Calcium Sulphate


Calcium sulfate (or calcium sulphate) is a common laboratory and industrial chemical. In the form of γ-anhydrite (the nearly anhydrous form), it is used as a desiccant. It is also used as a coagulant in products like tofu. In the natural state, unrefined calcium sulfate is a translucent, crystalline white rock. When sold as a color-indicating variant under the name Drierite, it appears blue or pink due to impregnation with cobalt chloride, which functions as a moisture indicator. The hemihydrate (CaSO4·~0.5H2O) is better known as plaster of paris, while the dihydrate (CaSO4·2H2O) occurs naturally as gypsum. The anhydrous form occurs naturally as β-anhydrite. Depending on the method of calcination of calcium sulfate dihydrate, specific hemihydrates are sometimes distinguished: alpha-hemihydrate and beta-hemihydrate.They appear to differ only in crystal size. Alpha-hemihydrate crystals are more prismatic than beta-hemihydrate crystals and, when mixed with water, form a much stronger and harder superstructure.