A white solid compound, CaO, formed by heating calcium in oxygen or by the thermal decomposition of calcium carbonate; cubic; r.d. 3.35; m.p. 2580°C; b.p. 2850°C. On a large scale, calcium carbonate in the form of limestone is heated in a tall tower (lime kiln) to a temperature above 550°C:CaCO3(s)⇌CaO(s)+CO2(g) Although the reaction is reversible, the carbon dioxide is carried away by the upward current through the kiln and all the limestone decomposes. Calcium oxide is used to make calcium hydroxide, as a cheap alkali for treating acid soil, and in extractive metallurgy to produce a slag with the impurities (especially sand) present in metal ores.