Calcium peroxide is a solid compound with chemical formula CaO2. Some of its chemical properties include the fact that it can’t dissolve in water. However, it can react with it to produce oxygen, and can dissolve in any acid and form hydrogen peroxide. The use of calcium peroxide is prevalent in many industries due to these qualities.
Use in Soil Remediation
Of all the ways that you could make use of calcium peroxide, its agricultural application is the most prevalent. The fact that calcium peroxide releases oxygen when in contact with water means that it can be used as a way to rejuvenate depleted soil. Normally after intensive agriculture or when soil is waterlogged, nutrients and oxygen are lost from the soil, making it barren.
In such a scenario, one has to use several artificial fertilizers to add minerals and nutrients to the soil, in addition to other interventions to make it viable again. Calcium peroxide is critical to this process, as it is used to increase the oxygen content of the soil. This depends on the fact that the soil has a little moisture that can react with the compound, so use in soil which has depleted moisture levels may not be recommended.
Apart from the agricultural applications, one can use calcium peroxide in a variety of different settings. The fact that calcium peroxide can release hydrogen peroxide when combined with acids means that it can be used as a bleaching agent. Indeed, it’s widely used in this manner in many paper industries. The production of hydrogen peroxide by this compound also makes it useful in the deodorization and bleaching of hair products as well as textiles. Calcium peroxide also has a place in health care, as it can be used as an antiseptic. The reactive oxygen species that it produces such as hydrogen peroxide are toxic to many different microorganisms and can therefore be used to disinfect these.
As has been noted above, the fact that calcium peroxide can act as a source of oxygen means that it can be used for restoring soils for agriculture. However, this characteristic of the compound also makes it useful in many ecological scenarios as well.
For instance, there are many water bodies such as lakes and ponds which have become non-viable due to pollution and other related factors. In such a scenario, calcium peroxide can be used to rejuvenate these water bodies as well. The oxygen released by the reaction between the water and the compound restores the oxygen content of the water.
Apart from that, this compound, since it’s a disinfectant, can also get rid of any microbes that may inhabit such water bodies. Normally when a water body loses oxygen, it gets populated by anaerobic bacteria which can live under low oxygen tensions. The problem with many such microorganisms is that they normally produce toxic gases such as sulfur containing gases as a result of their anaerobic respiration. The result of this is that the already anaerobic water becomes toxic as well, and renders it an environmental hazard.
By getting rid of all these issues, the compound calcium peroxide can be used to revitalize such a water body, making it suitable for such things as fishing as well as reducing the health hazard that such water bodies normally pose.
Calcium peroxide also has a role in many different industries. When it comes to manufacturing, the role of calcium peroxide in production of plastics cannot be ignored. This is because this compound is critical to the processes of catalysis and cross-linking the different compounds that are used in the polymerization of plastics to make them hard. Calcium peroxide is also used as an initiator of these processes as well.
Calcium peroxide has an NFPA health rating of 2, which means that it may be harmful when inhaled or ingested. This compound is widely considered to be a very safe product, and one can handle it with confidence. While problems arising from systemic toxicity have not been documented, it’s still prudent to ensure that one handles this compound with caution. When it comes into contact with skin it may not cause any harm, but any ingestion or inhalation of the product should prompt one to seek help from the local poison facility.