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Calcium Nitrate

Calcium Nitrate, commonly called lime nitrate or Norwegian saltpeter, is a simple inorganic salt of calcium, nitrogen, and oxygen represented by the chemical formula Ca(NO3)2 or CaN2O6 [1, 2]. It occurs either as an anhydrous compound that can absorb moisture from the atmosphere or as a tetrahydrate with water molecules [3]. In IUPAC nomenclature, it is called calcium dinitrate [3].

Calcium Nitrate Identification

CAS Number 10124-37-5 [3]
PubChem CID 24963 [3]
ChemSpider ID 23336 [1]
UN Number 1454 [3]
EC Number 233-332-1 [3]
RTECS Number EW2985000 [3]
UNII NF52F38N1N [3]
ICSC Number 1037 [3]

Calcium Nitrate Formula

Calcium Nitrate Composition and Synthesis

Calcium nitrate is produced by reacting calcium carbonate (normally as limestone) with nitric acid [4]:

CaCO3 + 2HNO3 → Ca(NO3)2 + CO2 + H2O

It is also obtained as an intermediate product during the production of nitrogen fertilizers through the Odda process, which involves acidification of calcium phosphate [4]:

Ca3(PO4)2 + 6HNO3 + 12H2O → 2H3PO4 + 3Ca(NO3)2 + 12H2O

It is synthesized through the reaction of calcium hydroxide and ammonium nitrate solution [4]:

2NH4NO3 + Ca(OH)2 → Ca(NO3)2 + 2NH4OH

Reaction with Other Compounds

Aqueous Calcium Nitrate and Aqueous Sodium Phosphate

When an aqueous solution of calcium nitrate is mixed with aqueous sodium phosphate, it produces calcium phosphate and sodium nitrate as represented by the following equation:

3Ca(NO3)2 + 2Na3PO4 → Ca3(PO4)2 + 6NaNO3

Calcium Nitrate and Ammonium Phosphate

Calcium nitrate reacts with ammonium phosphate to yield ammonium nitrate and calcium phosphate, which is shown in the following equation:

3Ca(NO3)2 + 2(NH4)3PO3 → 6NH4NO3 + Ca3(PO3)2

Calcium Nitrate and Sodium Acetate

When calcium nitrate reacts with sodium acetate, it undergoes double displacement reaction to form sodium nitrate and butanedioic acid, calcium salt:

Ca(NO3)2 + 2C2H3NaO2 → 2NaNO3 + Ca(C4H6O4)

Calcium Nitrate and Ammonium Fluoride

Calcium nitrate reacts with ammonium fluoride to form nitrous oxide, calcium fluoride, and water:

Ca(NO3)2 + 2NH4F → 2N2O + CaF2 + 4H2O

Calcium Nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate

Calcium nitrate undergoes a double displacement reaction with magnesium sulfate to yield calcium sulfate and magnesium nitrate:

Ca(NO3)2 + MgSO4 → CaSO4 + Mg(NO3)2

Calcium Nitrate and Potassium Chloride

When mixed with potassium chloride, it produces calcium chloride and potassium nitrate as given by the following equation:

Ca(NO3)2 + 2KCl → CaCl2 + 2KNO3

Calcium Nitrate and Sodium Carbonate

They undergo a double displacement reaction and form sodium nitrate and calcite as the products:

Ca(NO3)2 + Na2CO3 → 2NaNO3 + CaCO3

Calcium Nitrate and Sodium Chloride

Calcium nitrate reacts with halite or rock salt to yield calcium chloride and sodium nitrate:

Ca(NO3)2 + 2NaCl → CaCl2 + 2NaNO3

Calcium Nitrate and Sodium Hydroxide

When aqueous calcium nitrate reacts with aqueous sodium hydroxide, it forms an insoluble solid calcium hydroxide and an aqueous solution of sodium nitrate:

Ca(NO3)2 + 2NaOH → Ca(OH)2 + 2NaNO3

Calcium Nitrate and Water

Ca(NO3)2 dissociates in H2O to form Ca2+ and NO3- ions:

Ca(NO3)2 ↔ Ca2+ + 2 NO3-

Calcium Nitrate

Properties and Characteristics of Calcium Nitrate

General Properties

Molar Mass/Molecular Weight 164.086 g/mol (anhydrous) [3]

Physical Properties

Color and Appearance Colorless to white or light gray granular powder, hygroscopic crystals [3]
Melting Point About 560 °C, 1042 °F (anhydrous) [3]
Boiling Point  Decomposes (anhydrous); 132 °C, 270 °F (tetrahydrate) [5]
Density 2.5 g cm-3 [3, 5]
pH 5-7 [7]
State of matter at room temperature Solid [3]
Solubility Soluble in methanol, acetone, and anhydrous ammonia, almost insoluble in nitric acid [3]
Solubility in Water 121.2 g/L [3]
Magnetic Susceptibility (χ)  -45.9 X 10-6 cm3/mol

Atomic Properties

Crystal Structure Cubic (anhydrous), monoclinic (tetrahydrate)

Calcium Nitrate Structure


  • As fertilizer in agriculture, hydroponics, and greenhouse trades [3, 6].
  • Treating wastewater and preventing odor emission [6].
  • Applied with concrete and mortar in set-accelerating admixtures [6].
  • In regenerable cold packs since the dissolution of calcium nitrate is extremely endothermic [6].
  • As a constituent of molten salt mixtures that are used as heat-storage and heat-transfer fluid replacing thermo oil in solar power plants [6].

Is It Safe

Calcium nitrate causes acute toxicity and can be harmful if swallowed [3]. Its contact with skin or eyes also results in severe irritation or damage [3]. Calcium nitrate, being a strong oxidizer, may cause fire and give off toxic fumes [3].


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