Calcite is a carbonate mineral (minerals containing CO3) that is usually white or colorless, but can also be gray, yellow or green. It is one of the most important minerals in the world and is extremely common. It can be found in the three main types of rocks (sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks) and, in the form of marble or limestone, makes up much of the Earth’s crust. Calcite is one of the main minerals in limestone, marble and shells of marine species. Interestingly, calcite has more practical uses than most other minerals in the world. The following are some of the more common uses of calcite.
Uses Of Calcite
- The primary use for calcite is in the construction industry. The products containing calcite, limestone and marble, are commonly used on building projects. These are commonly used to create cement or concrete.
- Calcite is also used in commercial acid neutralization. It has been spread on fields to reduce acid, used in rivers that have been turned acidic by mining or other reason.
- These acid neutralization properties have also led to it being used in antacid tablets. Calcium carbonate is mixed with sugar and flavoring to make chewable tablets to neutralize stomach acids.
- Calcium carbonate is also used to absorb harmful gasses during the use of fossil fuels.
- Limestone and marble are often used for monuments and statues.
- These can also be ground up and added to animal feed for animals that require a calcium rich diet.
- In powdered form it is often used as a whitening agent. This is commonly used in paint.
- It is also used in many cleaning agents because it is hard enough to remove stains and dirt, but not hard enough to damage the cleaning surface.
- Ground limestone is also used in coal mines to reduce the coal dust in the air. It is sprayed onto the walls and roof of the mine. It also has the added benefit of reflecting light in the dark environment.
- High grade calcite was also used in World War II for gun sights.