The metal calcium may not be as common in our daily lives as iron, aluminum or copper, but its importance cannot be ignored. As a lightweight, highly conductive metallic element, calcium has a wide range of applications in many high-tech fields, such as aerospace, electronics, automotive and energy. However, the production process of calcium metal is little known, and today we will uncover this mystery.
1.Discovery and early preparation of calcium
Calcium is the 20th element on the list of chemical elements, with the symbol Ca. It belongs to the alkaline earth metal family and has chemical similarities with elements such as magnesium, strontium, and barium. The discovery of calcium can be traced back to the late 18th century, when the French chemist Coutwa made this new element by heating limestone and soda. Since then, the calcium production process has been continuously improved and developed.
2.Production process of metal calcium
Ore extraction method
At present, most of the world’s metal calcium is obtained through the ore extraction method. This method mainly uses calcium-containing ores (such as limestone, marble, etc.) through high temperature calcination, the calcium in which is converted into calcium oxide, and then reduced into metallic calcium by reducing agents (such as coke). The specific steps are as follows:
(1) Calcination: calcium bearing ore is mixed with coke and calcined at high temperatures to produce calcium oxide and carbon dioxide.
(2) Reduction: the calcined calcium oxide reacts with a reducing agent (such as coke or hydrogen) at high temperatures to reduce calcium oxide to calcium metal.
(3) Distillation: the reduced calcium metal is distilled and purified to remove impurities and obtain high purity calcium metal.
Electrolysis is another common process for calcium metal production. This method mainly uses electrolysis of molten calcium chloride or calcium oxide to produce calcium metal. The specific steps are as follows:
(1) Melting: heating a calcium-containing compound (such as calcium chloride or calcium oxide) to a molten state.
(2) Electrolysis: in an inert atmosphere, calcium metal is precipitated on the cathode by electrolysis of molten calcium compounds.
(3) Distillation: the metal calcium obtained by electrolysis is distilled and purified to remove impurities and obtain high purity metal calcium.
3.Comparison of advantages and disadvantages of metal calcium production process
The advantage of the ore extraction method is that it has a wide range of raw materials and is suitable for large-scale production. In addition, this method has been developed and optimized for a long time, and the technology is mature and easy to operate. However, the ore extraction method also has some shortcomings, such as calcination process will produce a lot of carbon dioxide, has a certain impact on the environment; The reduction process needs to use a lot of reducing agents, the cost is high; At the same time, this method is difficult to obtain high purity metallic calcium.
The advantage of the electrolysis method is that it has good environmental performance and does not produce harmful gases. In addition, high purity metallic calcium can be obtained by electrolysis, which is suitable for fields with high purity requirements. However, the electrolysis method needs to use a lot of electricity, and the cost is high. At the same time, this method has higher requirements for equipment, requiring the use of special electrolytic equipment and inert atmosphere devices.
4.Development trend and prospect of calcium metal production process
With the continuous development of science and technology, the production process of calcium metal is also constantly improving and improving. In recent years, some new technologies and methods have been gradually applied in the production process of calcium metal, such as microwave heating and plasma technology. These new technologies have the advantages of high efficiency and environmental protection, and bring new development opportunities for the production of calcium metal.
At the same time, with the increasing awareness of environmental protection and the transformation of energy structure, green and low-carbon metal calcium production process has become an inevitable trend of future development. Therefore, the development of efficient, environmentally friendly and low-cost calcium metal production process will become the focus of future research. In addition, with the continuous development of new materials and new technologies, the requirements for the purity and quality of metal calcium are also increasing, which also provides new impetus for the improvement and development of metal calcium production process.
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