Calcium Hydroxide is also known as slaked or hydrated lime. It has the chemical formula Ca(OH). Calcium oxide (quicklime), when mixed with water, produces a white powder. Calcium hydroxide is used in a number of ways, such as a flocculant for water treatment, an ingredient in plaster and cement, and a pH regulator in agriculture, food production, and the production of textiles and paper.

Making Calcium Hydroxide can be done easily. You must first obtain Calcium Oxide. Calcium oxide (also known as quicklime) is made by heating calcium carbonate () at high temperatures (around 900degC to drive out carbon dioxide) in a kiln. The calcium oxide is mixed with water using a “slaking” process. Calcium oxide reacts with water to produce heat, and this mixture then produces calcium hydroxide, which is a powdery white substance.

This reaction’s chemical equation is:

CaO + H2O – Ca(OH2)2

After the high-heat reaction, the mixture is allowed to settle. The solids and liquids are then separated by filtration or segregation. After the separation of the solid calcium, the remaining water is removed by drying the product.

Calcium Hydroxide is used in many applications. Calcium hydroxide is a common soil conditioner and fertilizer used in agriculture to neutralize acidic lands and provide calcium to plants. It is also used in construction as a component for mortar and cement and as a coating and filler material. Calcium hydroxide is also used to neutralize acidic waters and remove impurities in water. In the chemical industry, it can be used to produce calcium-based chemicals like calcium hypochlorite and calcium stearate. Acid mine drainage and other types of acidic waste are also treated with it.

Calcium Hydroxide, while GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) is safe to use, it does pose a few minor dangers. It can cause severe burns or irritation if it gets into contact with the skin or eyes. When handling Calcium Hydroxide, it is important to wear the appropriate personal protection equipment, such as goggles and gloves. Inhaling dust from Calcium Hydroxide may cause irritation of the respiratory tract. When working with large amounts, workers should use respiratory protection and avoid inhaling dust. Calcium hydroxide does not burn but can react with acids and release heat, generating hydrogen gas. In certain situations, this can lead to a fire or an explosion. Calcium hydroxide, while not a danger to humans directly, can harm aquatic life when released into water ways. It is important to take the appropriate measures to contain any spills and to clean them up.