We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Industrial Uses of Calcium Hydride?

By Larry Ray Palmer
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
AboutMechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AboutMechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Calcium hydride (CaH2) is a powdered chemical compound with a salt-like crystal structure. In its pure form it is white, but is more commonly found in a less pure form with a gray shading. The chemical compound is made by combining calcium and hydrogen at high temperatures. It sees use in several industrial applications including the production of hydrogen, use as a desiccant chemical, and in the creation of certain metals via the Hydromet process.

The chemical compound CaH2 is sometimes used to produce pure hydrogen in laboratory settings. In the 1940s, calcium hydride was marketed under the name Hydrolith and was promoted as a method to create hydrogen for inflating weather balloons and dirigibles. Due to the immense quantities of calcium hydride needed to inflate air ships, however, it was not considered to be a cost-effective means of inflating dirigibles and other large air ships.

Due to its composition, the chemical is also used as a reducing and drying agent for some solvents. The use of mild desiccants as a pre-drying solution is preferable in some industrial applications to avoid dangerous chemical interactions. Calcium hydride can be used as such a pre-drying agent to remove many solvents before using more aggressive desiccants. By using the milder desiccant to remove solvents prior to applying more aggressive chemicals, volatile chemical reactions can be prevented.

Using the Hydromet process, this compound is also used to create certain metals. These include titanium, chromium, and zirconium. The metals created in this process are used in a number of industrial and manufacturing applications.

There are several issues that should be addressed when using calcium hydride for industrial applications. The hydrogen produced by calcium hydride is extremely flammable, posing dangers for explosion and fire. When used as a desiccant, this chemical compound reacts slowly with many solvents, which translates to increased drying times. In other cases, the chemical compound reacts violently with solvents, particularly chlorocarbons, creating possible hazards.

Aside from these considerations, the chemical compound is also subject to other issues when used as a desiccant in industrial settings. Calcium hydride (CaH2) is visually indistinguishable from Ca(OH)2 making misidentification possible. This compound will not remove dissolved oxygen from solvents.

The use of CaH2 requires special protective gear for safe handling. As an industrial drying agent, this compound is considered to be a desiccant and reducing agent of choice in many applications. When the chemical is used properly, it is considered to be safe for use.

AboutMechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.