Skip to main content
Select Source:

calcium oxide

calcium oxide, chemical compound, CaO, a colorless, cubic crystalline or white amorphous substance. It is also called lime, quicklime, or caustic lime, but commercial lime often contains impurities, e.g., silica, iron, alumina, and magnesia. It is prepared by heating calcium carbonate (e.g., limestone) in a special lime kiln to about 500°C to 600°C, decomposing it into the oxide and carbon dioxide. Calcium oxide is widely used in industry, e.g., in making porcelain and glass; in purifying sugar; in preparing bleaching powder, calcium carbide, and calcium cyanamide; in water softeners; and in mortars and cements. In agriculture it is used for treating acidic soils (liming). It is incandescent when heated to high temperatures; the Drummond light, or limelight, provides a brilliant white light by heating a cylinder of lime with the flame of an oxyhydrogen torch. Calcium oxide is a basic anhydride, reacting with water to form calcium hydroxide; during the reaction (slaking) much heat is given off and the solid nearly doubles its volume.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"calcium oxide." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"calcium oxide." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/calcium-oxide

"calcium oxide." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/calcium-oxide

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

calcium oxide

calcium oxide (quicklime) White solid (CaO) made by heating calcium carbonate (CaCO3) at high temperatures. It is used industrially to treat acidic soil and to make porcelain and glass, bleaching powder, caustic soda, mortar and cement. Calcium oxide reacts with water to form calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"calcium oxide." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"calcium oxide." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/calcium-oxide

"calcium oxide." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/calcium-oxide

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.