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Calcium acetate

Calcium acetate
IUPAC name Calcium acetate
Other names Acetate of lime
Calcium ethanoate
Abbreviations Ca(OAc)2
CAS number 62-54-4
SMILES CC([O-)]=O.CC([O-])=O.[Ca++]
Molecular formula C4H6O4Ca
Molar mass 158.138 g/mol
Appearance White solid
Density 1.6 kg/L
Melting point

160 °C (decomposition to acetone)

Solubility in water 400 g/l
NFPA 704
680 - 730 °C
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox disclaimer and references

The chemical compound calcium acetate is the calcium salt of acetic acid. It has the formula Ca(C2H3O2)2. Its standard name is calcium acetate, while calcium ethanoate is the systematic IUPAC name. An older name is acetate of lime. The anhydrous form is very hygroscopic; therefore the monohydrate (Ca(CH3COO)2.H2O, CAS [5743-26-0]) is the common form.

If an alcohol is added to a saturated solution of calcium acetate, a semisolid, flammable gel forms that is much like "canned heat" products such as Sterno. Chemistry teachers often prepare "California Snowballs", a mixture of calcium acetate solution and ethanol. The resulting gel is whitish in color, and can be formed to resemble a snowball.


Because it is inexpensive, calcium acetate was once a common starting material for the synthesis of acetone before the development of the cumene process.[1] [2]


In kidney disease, blood levels of phosphate may rise (called hyperphosphatemia) leading to bone problems. Calcium acetate binds phosphate in the diet to lower blood phosphate levels. Side effects of this treatment include upset stomach.

It is a food additive, mainly in candy products, though its purpose is unclear.


  1. ^ Leo Frank Goodwin and Edward Tyghe Sterne (1920). "Losses Incurred in the Preparation of Acetone by the Distillation of Acetate of Lime.". Industrial & Engineering Chemistry 12 (3): 240 - 243. doi:10.1021/ie50123a012.
  2. ^ E. G. R. Ardagh, A. D. Bbarbour, G. E. McClellan, and E. W. McBride (1924). "Distillation of Acetate of Lime.". Industrial & Engineering Chemistry 16 (11): 1133 - 1139. doi:10.1021/ie50179a013.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Calcium_acetate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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