# What is the purpose of CaO in Oakwood reaction

In the Oakwood reaction, i.e. $$\ce{RCOOH ->[NaOH + CaO] RH + Na2CO3},$$ is there any role or importance of $\ce{CaO}$, because it doesn't appear to be anywhere in the product.

• Sodium hydroxide plus calcium oxide forms soda lime. Its use purely handling convenience, it has a high surface area for reaction and is far less hygroscopic than solid sodium hydroxide powder. – Waylander Dec 26 '17 at 10:37