Those Silica Gel Packs You Toss Out are Filled With Deliquescent Chemicals

Originally published here: https://mcgill.ca/oss/article/did-you-know/those-silica-gel-packs-you-toss-out-are-filled-deliquescent-chemicals

When you buy a new pair of shoes or stereo you probably encounter, and subsequently toss out, lots of little packets bearing the warning ‘Do Not Eat’ filled with silica gel. Did you know though, that those packs are filled with deliquescent chemicals? Deliquescent materials are those that absorb moisture from the air, to the point that, if allowed, they will absorb water until they are dissolved in solution. This moisture affinity is very helpful for keeping water away from sensitive electronics in computers, or stopping the accumulation of water inside double paned windows. Various chemical’s deliquescence is utilized in chemical production, livestock birthing, and flood cleanups. And, deliquescent is an amazing Scrabble word.

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