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Calcium formate is the calcium salt of formic acid. Calcium formate is used within EU as an animal feed preservative but not in foods intended for human consumption. It acidifies the feed thus preventing microbe growth and increasing shelf life. About 15 g of calcium formate addition per kg of feed lowers its pH by one. 15 g/kg is the maximum recommended feed concentration within EU – this level is thought to be safe for pigs, chickens, fish and ruminants. Calcium formate prevents the growth bacteria such as E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus hirae in growth mediums. It also prevents the growth of fungi like Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans.
Calcium formate is used as a masking agent in the chrome tanning of leather. It promotes faster, more efficient leather penetration of the chrome. Calcium formate can also be used as a replacement for formic acid in the pickling operation.
As a grout and cement additive, calcium formate imparts a number of desirable properties in the final product, such as increased hardness and decreased setting time. Its addition is desirable for work at low temperature and for inhibition of corrosion of metal substrates within cement/grout. It is also effective in the prevention of efflorescence. In drywall (gypsum board), calcium formate can function as a fire retardant.
Calcium formate and urea mixtures are effective deicers, and tend to cause less corrosion of steel and cement surfaces relative to some other deicers.