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Lime products remove acidic pollutants from flue gas, avoiding acid rain and reducing the environmental air emission impact of all industries by more than 98%.
The word “lime”is a generic term and is used in a variety of ways. In the broadest sense lime refers to natural limestone rock deposits of calcium carbonate: limestone, marble and chalk, and dolomite stone of a similar nature. More specifically, the term “lime” is used today to refer to the high quality products like quicklime, dolime and calcium hydroxide, also known as hydrated lime.
Lime is a generic term, but by strict definition it only embraces manufactured forms of lime – quicklime (CaO) and hydrated lime (Ca(OH)2). It is, however, sometimes used to describe limestone products, which can be confusing. The raw material for all lime-based products is a natural stone: limestone, which is composed almost exclusively of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). When limestone contains a certain proportion of magnesium, it is called dolomite, or dolomitic limestone (CaMg(CO3)2). It is widely geographically available all over the world, (the Earth’s crust contains more than 4% calcium carbonate,) and it is used for many different purposes.
Although in English, the word lime is common with the citrus fruit by the same name, it is in most languages derived from the Latin “calx”, like kalk, calce, chaux, cal, kalko.
Lime is a essential but often unseen ingredient. Not only does it help the construction and manufacturing industries optimise their products but it also supports the drinking water, food and farming sectors with its versatile and unique characteristics. It is the only mineral product that can be used to produce steel and sugar in the same day! Lime is a highly important and diverse substance, due to its alkalinity and ability to purify and neutralise. It has been used throughout history and lime mortar was even a key building material in the construction of the Roman Empire!
It has a diverse range of uses and is often an undetected ingredient in many important processes. When we turn on a tap, use our cars, add sugar to our tea or even write a shopping list, we do not consider the ingredients that have gone into these everyday items. Lime helps to provide us with all of them. Even though it was discovered in ancient times, today it is manufactured using the latest industrial processes.
Lime is commonly thought of as an unseen product that profoundly affects our daily lives. Lime is used for a wide range of processes in various applications and products, all of which are essential to sustaining a thriving economy and our quality of life. Lime is a crucial mineral resource for key European value chains and its occurrence on European territory guarantees access to essential products and services to European citizens.
The absorption and neutralisation properties of lime play an important role in environmental protection, treatment of industrial flue gases, drinking water purification and polluted soils and wastewater treatment. Lime in agriculture increases fertiliser efficiency and is an invaluable ingredient in animal feed and hygienisation processes. Lime is also an important mineral resource for many manufacturing industries: it helps produce high strength steel, high performing construction materials for sustainable housing and infrastructure, and provides solutions to civil engineering, notably for the stabilisation of riverbanks and soils.
When crushed or ground, they are widely used as aggregates and building products.As a raw material, calcium carbonate can also be processed to form lime. When the rock is heated in a specially designed kiln to over 900°C, a chemical reaction occurs and creates calcium oxide, otherwise known as lime. Learn more on each of the 4 stages in the production process.