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Calcium Acetate Formula: Understanding its Composition and Applications

Calcium acetate is a chemical compound with the formula Ca(C2H3O2)2. It is the calcium salt of acetic acid, which means it consists of one calcium ion (Ca2+) bonded to two acetate ions (C2H3O2^-). This compound is commonly found in various industrial and pharmaceutical applications due to its unique properties and versatility.

Chemical Structure and Properties:

The chemical structure of calcium acetate consists of one calcium cation, which has a charge of +2, and two acetate anions, each carrying a charge of -1. The calcium ion is coordinated by oxygen atoms from the acetate ions, forming a stable compound.

Calcium acetate is a white, odorless powder that is soluble in water. It is hygroscopic, meaning it readily absorbs moisture from the air. This property makes it useful in certain applications where moisture control is important.

C4H6CaO4Calcium acetate
Molecular weight of C4H6CaO4158.166 g/mol
Density of Calcium acetate1.509 g/cm3
Melting point of Calcium acetate160 °C
Refractive index1.55


  1. Pharmaceuticals: One of the primary uses of calcium acetate is in pharmaceutical products. It is commonly used as a medication to treat hyperphosphatemia in patients with kidney disease. Calcium acetate works by binding to phosphate in the gastrointestinal tract, reducing its absorption and thus lowering phosphate levels in the blood.
  2. Food Additive: Calcium acetate is sometimes used as a food additive, particularly in products where calcium fortification is desired. It can serve as a source of both calcium and acetate ions, providing nutritional benefits while also contributing to the texture and stability of certain foods.
  3. Water Treatment: In some water treatment processes, calcium acetate is utilized for its ability to neutralize acidic wastewater. By reacting with acids present in the water, calcium acetate helps to raise the pH to more neutral levels, making the water safer for discharge into the environment.
  4. Chemical Synthesis: Calcium acetate also finds applications in various chemical synthesis reactions. It can be used as a catalyst or as a source of acetate ions in organic synthesis processes.

Safety Considerations:

While generally considered safe when used as directed, calcium acetate should be handled with care to avoid ingestion, inhalation, or contact with the skin or eyes. Ingestion of large amounts can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort or other adverse effects. As with any chemical compound, proper safety precautions should be followed when handling calcium acetate.

In conclusion, calcium acetate is a versatile compound with a range of applications in pharmaceuticals, food, water treatment, and chemical synthesis. Its chemical formula, Ca(C2H3O2)2, reflects its composition as the calcium salt of acetic acid. Understanding its properties and applications is essential for utilizing this compound effectively in various industries.

Calcium acetate, a versatile compound with diverse applications, is formed by the combination of calcium and acetate ions. Understanding its formula can provide valuable insight into its structure and properties.

Chemical Formula:

The chemical formula for calcium acetate is Ca(CH3COO)2. This formula breaks down as follows:

  • Ca: Represents one calcium (Ca) atom.
  • (CH3COO): Represents the acetate ion (C2H3O2-), composed of carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O) atoms. The subscript 2 indicates two acetate ions are present to balance the charge of the single calcium ion.

Alternative Formula:

Another way to express the formula is C4H6CaO4. This formula simply lists the total number of each element present in the molecule:

  • C4: Four carbon atoms.
  • H6: Six hydrogen atoms.
  • Ca: One calcium atom.
  • O4: Four oxygen atoms.

Key Points:

  • Calcium acetate is an ionic compound, meaning it is formed by the attraction between oppositely charged ions.
  • The positive charge of the calcium ion (Ca+2) is balanced by the negative charges of the two acetate ions (2CH3COO-).
  • The formula reflects the balanced charges, ensuring electrical neutrality of the molecule.

Understanding the formula of calcium acetate provides a foundation for exploring its various properties and applications in different fields, such as food science, medicine, and textile manufacturing.

Calcium acetate Uses

  • Calcium acetate is used as a food additive.
  • Used as a corrosion inhibitor.
  • Used is the manufacturing of lubricants.
  • Used as a stabilizer in resins.
  • Used in bakery goods as an anti mold agent.
  • Used in gelatin as a thickener.
  • Used as an esterification catalyst.
  • Used in the making of agricultural products.
  • Used as a filler and stabilizing agent.

Calcium acetate Production

Calcium ethanoate can be obtained by soaking hydrated lime or calcium carbonate in vinegar. The reaction is as follows:

CaCO3(s) + 2CH3COOH(aq) → Ca(CH3COO)2(aq) + H2O(l) + CO2(g)

Ca(OH)2(s) + 2CH3COOH(aq) → Ca(CH3COO)2(aq) + 2H2O(l)

Calcium acetate Health Hazards

Acetate of lime is verified and considered to be of low concern based on the experiments conducted and data gathered. It is combustible under fixed conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Calcium Acetate Formula

  1. What is the chemical formula for calcium acetate?
    • Calcium acetate has the chemical formula Ca(C2H3O2)2. It is composed of one calcium (Ca) atom and two acetate (C2H3O2) ions.
  2. What is the molar mass of calcium acetate?
    • The molar mass of calcium acetate is calculated by adding the atomic masses of its constituent atoms. For calcium acetate, the molar mass is approximately 158.17 g/mol.
  3. What are the properties of calcium acetate?
    • Calcium acetate is a white crystalline solid with a slightly vinegary odor. It is soluble in water and insoluble in alcohol. It is often used as a food additive, in medicine to treat hyperphosphatemia in patients with kidney disease, and in other industrial applications.
  4. How is calcium acetate synthesized?
    • Calcium acetate can be synthesized by the reaction of acetic acid (vinegar) with calcium carbonate or calcium hydroxide. The reaction typically involves neutralizing acetic acid with calcium-containing compounds, resulting in the formation of calcium acetate and water.
  5. What are the uses of calcium acetate?
    • Calcium acetate has various applications. It is commonly used as a food additive, pH regulator, and sequestrant. Medically, it is used to treat hyperphosphatemia by binding to dietary phosphate in the intestine, reducing phosphate absorption. Additionally, it finds application in certain industrial processes, such as in the manufacture of textiles and the production of various chemicals.
  6. Is calcium acetate safe?
    • When used as directed, calcium acetate is generally considered safe. However, like any chemical compound, it should be handled with care and according to recommended guidelines. Overdose or misuse may lead to adverse effects, and it’s important to follow dosage instructions, especially in medical contexts.
  7. Can calcium acetate be ingested?
    • Yes, calcium acetate is commonly ingested, particularly in the form of dietary supplements or medications prescribed for specific medical conditions. It is also present in some foods as a food additive. However, it’s essential to follow recommended dosages and usage instructions provided by healthcare professionals.
  8. What precautions should be taken when handling calcium acetate?
    • When handling calcium acetate, it’s important to wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, to avoid skin contact or inhalation of dust. It should be stored in a cool, dry place away from incompatible materials. Additionally, follow proper disposal guidelines for any unused or waste material.
  9. Is calcium acetate environmentally friendly?
    • Calcium acetate is considered relatively environmentally friendly compared to some other chemicals. It is biodegradable and does not persist in the environment. However, as with any chemical substance, it should be handled responsibly to minimize potential environmental impact.
  10. Where can I purchase calcium acetate?
    • Calcium acetate is available for purchase from various chemical suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, and online retailers. It is commonly found in pharmacies in the form of dietary supplements or prescribed medications for medical use.

1. What is the chemical formula of calcium acetate?

The chemical formula of calcium acetate is Ca(CH3COO)2. This formula indicates that one calcium ion (Ca²⁺) combines with two acetate ions (CH₃COO⁻) to form a neutral compound.

2. What is the difference between the empirical formula and the molecular formula of calcium acetate?

Calcium acetate only has one formula, Ca(CH3COO)2, which is both the empirical formula and the molecular formula. The empirical formula represents the simplest whole-number ratio of atoms in a compound, and the molecular formula specifies the exact number of atoms in a molecule. Since calcium acetate is an ionic compound, it doesn’t exist as discrete molecules, making the distinction between empirical and molecular formula irrelevant.

3. Can you explain the meaning of the different parts of the formula?

  • Ca: This represents the symbol for the element calcium.
  • (CH3COO): This is the acetate ion, a polyatomic ion consisting of two carbon atoms (C), three hydrogen atoms (H), and two oxygen atoms (O). The parentheses indicate that there are two acetate ions in the compound.
  • 2: This subscript indicates that there are two acetate ions for every one calcium ion.

4. What is another way to write the formula of calcium acetate?

A less common way to write the formula is C4H6CaO4. This simply represents the sum of the individual atoms present in the compound. However, Ca(CH3COO)2 is the preferred and more informative way to write the formula.

What is the use of calcium acetate?

Calcium acetate is used in patients with end-stage kidney failure who are on dialysis to treat hyperphosphatemia with too much phosphate in the blood. Calcium acetate works by binding in the food you consume to the phosphate, and it is extracted from the body without being absorbed.

What are the side effects of taking calcium acetate?

Calcium acetate side effects high calcium levels in your blood — nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, increased appetite or urination, muscle fatigue, bone pain, discomfort, energy loss or tired feeling.

What is the difference between calcium carbonate and calcium acetate?

Two commonly used phosphate-binding agents are calcium carbonate and calcium acetate, and while both have similar efficacy, calcium acetate contains less elemental calcium

Is calcium acetate toxic?

Acute toxicity data for Calcium Acetate indicate that this is level IV toxicity for all exposure paths. Calcium acetate has no subchronic or developmental toxicity and is neither mutagenic nor genotoxic.

Is calcium acetate soluble in water?

Calcium acetate is a water-soluble compound used to neutralize and alkalize paper in aqueous and non-aqueous ways. Nevertheless, calcium acetate is converted to calcium carbonate with a release of acetic acid during the neutralization process.

What are some side effects of calcium acetate?

Solution: These are:

  • Confusion.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Itching
  • Weakness
  • Constipation
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Increased thirst

What is the molar mass of Calcium Acetate?

Solution: Formula is:


Thus its molar mass will be:


= 158.17 g per mol.

What is a Calcium Acetate?

Ans. Calcium acetate is a calcium salt of acetic acid. The formula of calcium acetate is C4H6CaO4. Moreover, calcium acetate is commonly known as acetate of lime, but its IUPAC registered name is calcium ethanoate. Additionally, this chemical is a white crystalline solid that has no colour. Calcium acetate has a slight smell of acetic acid.

What are the Uses of Calcium Acetate?

Ans. Calcium acetate is primarily used as a drug to treat people with kidney diseases. Such individuals find it hard to eliminate phosphate from their body. Hence, they may face serious health risks. Therefore, calcium acetate helps in regulating the phosphate level in their body.

What are the Side Effects of Calcium Acetate?

Ans. Some of the common side effects of calcium acetate are diarrhoea, stomach and abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, etc. Besides, allergies are also a negative effect of this medication, but it is not widely reported.

 What is the Process of Using Calcium Acetate?

Ans. The best process to use calcium acetate is with the meal. However, individuals must consult their doctors before opting for this medicine. Additionally, consuming calcium acetate, according to the prescribed doses, is vital. Otherwise one may face several negative effects.

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