Gypsum - this non toxic mineral, that was formed in nature millions of years ago, is and will increasingly benefit humans, animals, plants and environment. From chemical point of view gypsum is calcium sulfate, which crystallizes when associated with water and represents a very soft mineral with chemical formula CaSO42H2O.
First gypsum deposits were formed more than 100 million years ago by evaporation of seawater pools on equal ground. The material began to be used by people in the construction and decoration in the form of plaster and alabaster before 9000 BC. Gypsum plaster was discovered at Catal-Huyuk in Asia on underground fresco and in Israel were discovered gypsum screeds dating from 7000 BC, and also in the construction of the towers at Jericho. At the time of the pharaohs, gypsum is used as a solution in the construction of the Great Pyramid (3000 BC). In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, gypsum was used for creation of many decorations and artistic creations. Since then the variations of its use, mainly related to construction, continue to multiply.
The best known applications of this natural product are related to the production of building materials and mixtures, cement, medicine and agriculture.
- In the construction, gypsum is used for the production of mortars, plasters, plasterboard, gypsum blocks, leveling floors, ornaments and more.
- Gypsum has a very important role in controlling the rate of setting of the cement, which is produced by the co-grinding of clinker, gypsum and additives.
- In the medicine gypsum is used for dental, surgical and orthopedic purposes.
- In agriculture, the application of gypsum associates with its natural properties and characteristics that improve the soil and help farmers. For example, gypsum has the ability to improve soil structure by its content of calcium and sulfur; improve the absorption of water into the soil; to raise the pH of highly acidic soils; to stimulate fertility; helping to keep the water in sodium soils; to improve the quality of the fruit; to prevent certain diseases and many others.
An interesting fact is that gypsum (calcium sulphate) is used in the food industry. It is calculated that a person consumes about 8 kg gypsum throughout his life.