Calcium nitrate

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A white, deliquescent solid that is a strong oxidizing agent. Calcium nitrate was first produced commercially in Notodden, Norway in 1905. It is used in pyrotechnics, explosives, and match heads. Calcium nitrate has been identified as a deleterious accretion in wall paintings (Piqué et al 1992). The efflorescence also occurs when manure or other nitrogeneous compounds contact limestone in a dry environment.


Calcium nitrate.TIF

Synonyms and Related Terms

calcium dinitrate; lime nitrate; nitrocalcite; lime saltpeter; Norwegian saltpeter (Norgessalpeter); air saltpeter; calciumnitrat (Dan.); Kalksalpeter (Nor.); CalciNit


  • Fire risk in contact with organic compounds.
  • Integrachem: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, methanol, ethanol, acetone. pH = 6.0 (5% solution)

Composition Ca(NO3)2 - 4H2O
CAS 10124-37-5 (Anhydrous) 13477-34-4 (Tetrahydrate)
Melting Point 42-45 C (hydrated)
Density (g/ml) 1.82 (hydrated); 2.36 (dry)
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 236.15

Resources and Citations

  • F.Piqué, L.Dei, E.Ferroni "Physicochemical Aspects of the Deliquescence of Calcium Nitrate and Its Implications for Wall Painting Conservation" Studies in Conservation 37:217-227, 1992.
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 1729
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998