Is Calcium a Metal or Nonmetal? (+ 3 Things You Should Know)

Calcium is a metal. It is an alkaline earth metal that belongs to group 2 in the periodic table. 1 Like other metals, calcium has the ability to conduct electricity, has a metallic luster, and is malleable and ductile. It is also an important element for living organisms and is found in bones and teeth. 2 3

Well, this was just a simple answer. But there are few more things to know about this topic which will make your concept super clear.

So let’s dive right into it.

Key Takeaways: Is Calcium a Metal or Nonmetal?

  • Calcium is classified as an alkaline earth metal on the periodic table and shares similar properties with other elements in the same group.
  • Pure calcium metal does not exist naturally in nature due to its high reactivity, but can be produced through various chemical methods.
  • Pure calcium metal is relatively soft and malleable, and must be stored under an inert gas or oil to prevent oxidation.

Explanation: Why is calcium a metal?

Calcium is classified as a metal because its physical and chemical properties are like that of metals.

One of the defining characteristics of metals is their ability to conduct electricity and heat, and calcium is no exception. It is a good conductor of both electricity and heat, making it a valuable metal in many industrial applications. 4

Calcium is also malleable, which means it can be hammered or pressed into different shapes without breaking. This property is common among metals due to their closely packed metallic bonding structure, which allows for a high degree of flexibility. 5

Another important property of metals is their reactivity. Calcium is highly reactive and readily forms ionic compounds with other elements, particularly halogens such as chlorine and fluorine. 6

This is due to the relatively low energy required to remove the two outermost electrons from a calcium atom, which makes it highly reactive and capable of forming stable ionic compounds with other elements. 7

In summary, calcium is a metal due to its ability to conduct electricity and heat, malleability, and high reactivity, all of which are defining characteristics of metals.

What type of metal is calcium classified on the periodic table?

Calcium is classified as an alkaline earth metal on the periodic table. Calcium is located in the second column or group 2 of the periodic table, which is also known as the alkaline earth metals group. 

This group includes beryllium (Be), magnesium (Mg), strontium (Sr), barium (Ba), and radium (Ra), all of which have two valence electrons in their outermost energy level. 8

The elements in group 2 share similar chemical and physical properties, such as high reactivity and the ability to form cations with a +2 charge. They are also relatively soft and have relatively low melting and boiling points compared to most other metals.

In summary, calcium is classified as an alkaline earth metal on the periodic table, along with other elements that share similar properties and are located in the same column or group.

Does calcium exist as a pure metal?

Calcium is a reactive metal and does not exist in nature in its pure form because it readily reacts with other elements to form compounds. However, pure calcium metal can be produced through various chemical methods.

One common method for producing pure calcium metal is through the electrolysis of molten calcium chloride (CaCl2) or a mixture of calcium fluoride (CaF2) and calcium chloride. 9

Another method involves the reduction of calcium oxide (CaO) with aluminum at high temperatures. 10

Pure calcium metal has a silver-white appearance and is relatively soft and malleable. 11

However, it is also highly reactive and must be stored under an inert gas or oil to prevent oxidation. In the presence of air or moisture, calcium metal rapidly forms a surface layer of oxide or nitride, which can hinder further reaction with oxygen or water. 12

Overall, while calcium does not exist naturally in its pure form, it can be produced through chemical methods and has a number of industrial applications.

Further reading

Is Titanium a Metal or Nonmetal?
Is Chromium a Metal or Nonmetal?
Is Iron a Metal or Nonmetal?
Is Cobalt a Metal or Nonmetal?
Is Nickel a Metal? 

About author

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. He is a founder of Pediabay and is passionate about helping students through his easily digestible explanations.

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  1. It’s Elemental – The Element Calcium. (n.d.). It’s Elemental – the Element Calcium.
  2. Calcium in diet: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Calcium in Diet: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.
  3. Rajagopal, S., & Ponnusamy, M. (2017). Calcium Ion in Biological Systems. Calcium Signaling: From Physiology to Diseases, 1–14.
  4. Malmquist, S., & Prescott, K. (n.d.). The Periodic Table – Human Biology 2nd edition. The Periodic Table – Human Biology 2nd Edition.
  5. Vrana, L. M. (2001, August 17). Calcium and Calcium Alloys. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology.
  6. Wu, T. C., Xiong, H., & Rieke, R. D. (1990, August). Organocalcium chemistry: preparation and reactions of highly reactive calcium. The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 55(17), 5045–5051.
  7. Ionization Energy and Electron Affinity. (n.d.). Ionization Energy and Electron Affinity.
  8. Alkaline earth metal – Wikipedia. (2012, November 1). Alkaline Earth Metal – Wikipedia.
  9. Zaikov, Y. P., Batukhtin, V. P., Shurov, N. I., Ivanovskii, L. E., & Suzdaltsev, A. V. (2013, November 7). Calcium Production by the Electrolysis of Molten CaCl2—Part I. Interaction of Calcium and Copper-Calcium Alloy with Electrolyte. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B, 45(3), 961–967.
  10. Jacob, K., & Srikanth, S. (1990, July). Physical Chemistry of the Reduction of Calcium Oxide with Aluminum in Vacuum. High Temperature Materials and Processes, 9(2–4), 77–92.
  11. Calcium – Element information, properties and uses | Periodic Table. (n.d.). Calcium – Element Information, Properties and Uses | Periodic Table.
  12. Reactions of the Group 2 elements with air or oxygen. (n.d.). Reactions of the Group 2 Elements With Air or Oxygen.

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