The BCCF - for information about calcium carbonate

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Calcium Carbonate

The World's Most Versatile Mineral

The world's oldest building. Made from limestone.

The sphinx and the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt

The world's oldest building, the Great Pyramid at Giza is believed to be over 4000 years old.

Until the late 19th century it was also the world's largest building. It is still probably the largest limestone building ever made and contains over 6 million tonnes of the material.

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10 Things you might not know about CaCO3

A few interesting facts about calcium carbonate

1st unusual fact about calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate is one of the most common minerals

Calcium carbonate makes up 4% of the earth's crust. Over 20% of the World's sedimentary rocks are composed of chalk or limestone.

2nd unusual fact about calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate – plant or animal or both?

Limestone is an inorganic, sedimentary rock formed from the remains of microscopic animals or foraminifera. Chalk was also thought to be derived from foraminifera but in 1953 was shown to be largely composed of coccoliths, a lime-secreting algae. So both.

3rd unusual fact about calcium carbonate

The world's oldest building is made of calcium carbonate

Khufu's Pyramid, usually referred to as the "Great Pyramid", is the world's oldest structure and consists of 2.5 million limestone blocks, each one weighing an average of 2.5 tonnes.

4th unusual fact about calcium carbonate

Chalk whiting – a Saxon connection

Ground Chalk has been commonly known for centuries as Whiting. It is believed 'whiting' is derived from the Saxon word, 'Hwíting-melu', which literally means 'whitening powder'.

5th unusual fact about calcium carbonate

Calcium is the fifth most abundant element in the body

Calcium is an important structural component of bones and teeth and also is necessary for the normal function of all muscles and nerves.

6th unusual fact about calcium carbonate

When pasta was made from chalk

Pasta, the Italian term for dough originally referred to how painters produced their pastel chalk. They kneaded chalk, pigment powder and an aqueous binder into uniform dough from which pencils were formed and finally dried.

7th unusual fact about calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate exists only on Earth and possibly on Mars

In Shergotty, India a meteorite fell from the sky which is believed to have originated from Mars. The meteorite contained calcium carbonate, as well as traces of gypsum.

8th unusual fact about calcium carbonate

Blackboard chalk isn't chalk

The base of pastel chalks is not calcium carbonate but calcium sulphate (CaSO4), which is derived from gypsum (CaSO4-2H2O). Pastels also contain clays and oils for binding and strong pigments.

9th unusual fact about calcium carbonate

Chalk and Cheese – a scam in the Middle Ages

14th century Welsh market traders used to try to pass chalk off as a hard cheese on unsuspecting customers, hence the popular term 'like chalk & cheese'

10th unusual fact about calcium carbonate

The white cliffs of Dover are “rare”

Though white cliffs are fairly common in England the only other chalk cliffs in the world, are in Northern Ireland, France, Denmark and Germany. Chalk geology is rare in the World, confined to northwest Europe; thus it is of global importance.

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