Calcium hypochlorite

Calcium hypochlorite

Chembox new
Name = Calcium hypochlorite
ImageFile =
ImageName = Calcium hypochlorite
OtherNames =
Section1 = Chembox Identifiers
CASNo = 7778-54-3

Section2 = Chembox Properties
Formula = Ca(ClO)2
MolarMass = 142.98 g/mol
Density = 2.35 g/cm3
Solvent = other solvents
SolubleOther = 21 g/100 ml (25°C)
MeltingPt = Decomposes at 100°C
BoilingPt =

Calcium hypochlorite is a chemical compound with formula calcium(hypochlorite)2. It is widely used for water treatment and as a bleaching agent (bleaching powder). This chemical is considered to be relatively stable and has greater available chlorine than sodium hypochlorite (liquid bleach).


It is manufactured using the calcium process or the sodium process.

Calcium Process

:2 Ca(OH)2 + 2 Cl2 → Ca(ClO)2 + CaCl2 + 2 H2O

Sodium Process

:2 Ca(OH)2 + 3 Cl2 + 2 NaOH → Ca(ClO)2 + CaCl2 + 2 H2O + 2 NaCl

Bleaching powder is actually a mixture of calcium hypochlorite Ca(ClO)2 and the basic chloride CaCl2, Ca(OH)2, H2O with some slaked lime, Ca(OH)2.


It is a yellow white solid which has a strong smell of chlorine. Calcium hypochlorite is not highly soluble in water. For that reason it should preferably be used in soft to middle hard water. There are two types of calcium hypochlorite - a dry form and a hydrated form. The hydrated form is safer to handle.

Calcium hypochlorite reacts with carbon dioxide to form calcium carbonate and release chlorine::2Ca(ClO)2 + 2CO2 → 2CaCO3 + 2Cl2 + O2

Calcium hypochlorite reacts with hydrochloric acid to form calcium chloride::Ca(ClO)2 + 4 HCl → CaCl2 + 2 H2O + 2 Cl2

Extreme care should be used in handling this product. Always keep in a cool dry place away from any organic material. When mixing it with water, it is safest to add the calcium hypochlorite to water. This material has been known to undergo self heating and rapid decomposition accompanied by the release of toxic chlorine gas.


Calcium hypochlorite is used for the disinfection of drinking water or swimming pool water. For use in outdoor swimming pools, calcium hypochlorite can be used as a sanitizer in combination with a cyanuric acid stabilizer. The stabilizer will reduce the loss of chlorine because of UV radiation. Calcium does make the water 'hard' and tends to clog up some filters. However, some types of calcium hypochlorite do contain anti-scaling agents in order to prevent clogging up of pipes/filters. This grade of calcium hypochlorite can also be used in hard waters. The main advantage of calcium hypochlorite is that it is unstabilised unlike chlorinated isocyanurates such as sodium dichloroisocyanurate or trichloroisocyanuric acid. Latter products do contain cyanuric acid. If the level of cyanuric acid becomes too high, it will influence the performance of the chlorine. Pools running on chlorinated isocyanurates should maintain a free chlorine level between 2 and 5 ppm (mg/L), whereas pools running on calcium hypochlorite should have a chlorine level of 1-2 ppm (mg/L).

Calcium hypochlorite (known as 'bleaching powder') is also used for bleaching cotton and linen and is used in the manufacture of chloroform.

Chlorine bombs
Calcium hypochlorite, which is easily obtainable in the form of pool chlorinating agents, has been used to make 'recreational' bombs. (sometimes referred to as "chlorine bombs") Due to its oxidising property, calcium hypochlorite can be mixed with readily oxidised substances (eg. glycerine, or glycols from brake fluid) to make a weak explosive. An alternative is to mix calcium hypochlorite with weak household acids (cola, vinegar), a mixture which will not explode per se, but create a large amount of gas, predominantly chlorine. Both variants are prepared by placing an amount of calcium hypochlorite-containing pool chlorinator into a bottle made preferably from plastic, then adding either an easily oxidised or acidic substance, putting the lid on the bottle, shaking it and throwing it away. The amount of gas produced by the chemical reaction of the two substances will eventually (usually after a few seconds) cause the bottle to rupture explosively. When mixed with flammable substances, flames may be produced as well. While experimenting with 'household' explosive mixtures is obviously a high-risk activity, there are additional dangers. Not only is there a real possibility of the bomb 'going off' earlier than expected and causing serious injury, but the substances involved in the preparation, as well as the products of the chemical reaction, are harmful (calcium hypochlorite being corrosive, an irritant and strong oxidiser; chlorine gas being highly toxic). "While plastic bottles will usually just rupture and not produce shrapnel, glass bottles will explode into sharp fragments which can very seriously injure persons standing nearby."


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • calcium hypochlorite — n a chlorine containing white powder CaCl2O2 used esp. as a bleaching agent, disinfectant, bactericide, and fungicide …   Medical dictionary

  • calcium hypochlorite — Chloride Chlo ride, n. (Chem.) A binary compound of chlorine with another element or radical; as, chloride of sodium (common salt). [1913 Webster] {Chloride of ammonium}, sal ammoniac. {Chloride of lime}, bleaching powder; a grayish white… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • calcium hypochlorite — kalcio hipochloritas statusas T sritis chemija formulė Ca(OCl)₂ atitikmenys: angl. calcium hypochlorite rus. кальций хлорноватокислый; кальция гипохлорит ryšiai: sinonimas – kalcio bis(oksochloratas) …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • calcium hypochlorite — noun any hypochlorite of calcium; used as a bleaching agent • Hypernyms: ↑hypochlorite, ↑bleaching agent, ↑bleach, ↑blanching agent, ↑whitener * * * noun : any hypochlorite of calcium: as …   Useful english dictionary

  • calcium hypochlorite — noun Date: 1869 a white powder CaCl2O2 used especially as a bleaching agent and disinfectant …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • calcium hypochlorite — a white, crystalline compound, Ca(OCl)2, used as a disinfectant and bleaching agent. [1885 90] * * * …   Universalium

  • calcium hypochlorite — cal′cium hypochlo′rite n. chem. a white, crystalline compound, Ca(OCl)2, used as a disinfectant and bleaching agent • Etymology: 1885–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • Hypochlorite De Calcium — Général Nom IUPAC Hypochlorite de calcium …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Calcium — (pronEng|ˈkælsiəm) is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078. Calcium is a soft grey alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth most abundant element by mass in the Earth s crust. Calcium is also …   Wikipedia