Calcium Sulphate | A Simple Explanation
Calcium sulphate occurs naturally in two forms one of which is hydrated (with water) and the other is anhydrous (without water). The anhydrous variety is mainly found as the mineral anhydrite while the hydrated variety is better known as alabaster or gypsum.
The variety known as gypsum when mixed with water and allowed to dry hardens to form a solid structure that doesn't crack.
Calcium sulphate can either be found as a white odourless powder or as crystals which may be tinged with colour caused by impurities.
This poorly soluble white powder is used extensively in industry for a wide variety of purposes some of which include;
- The production of plaster of Paris
- As a food additive
- In dentistry including for the use of moulds/casts
- In the building trade for plaster and cement
- In agriculture as a soil improver
- In pharmaceuticals as a calcium supplement
- To increase brightness and whiteness in paper products