Dry Bulk

History and Problems in Lime Transportation

Posted by on Thursday, December 17, 2015 in Dry Bulk, News

Dry bulk trucker with his truck and trailer

Lime processing and use goes back a long way. In the Jordan area, archaeologists discovered houses with lime-covered walls and floors dating back to 7500 BC. It appears as early as 2800 BC farmers used lime as fertilizer and women in ancient Rome even applied it to color their hair red! People employed it to help make soap in the third century and put it in toothpaste in the 18th century. Even the Chinese go into the act. About 2500 km of the Great Wall contains lime-based mortar.

It seems lime transportation problems also go back a long way. Ancient lime processors answered those problems by simply building their kilns by a river near limestone outcroppings that provided the source material. Workers packed the cooled, processed lime into specially made barrels and loaded them on barges or boats. This solution resulted in a lot of kilns scattered over wide areas and narrowed the places to which the lime could be transported.

Later, as lime use gained in popularity, processing plants located near railroad tracks. Still later, they built roads to the factories. Today’s lime transporters still use ships, rails and roads, but employ more sophisticated packing procedures and containers to reduce problems.

Quicklime is such a dangerous substance, the governments prescribes rules as to lengths and types of exposure to it. Direct contact with the caustic powder burns skin and eyes. Prolonged breathing the dust causes harm to the lungs. Safety officials consider quicklime highly unstable and flammable. Producers see it as perishable. As a consequence to all this, quicklime must be packed in sealed, airtight containers and transported quickly. Bulk transport requires specially designed trailers or rail cars.

Slaked lime, on the other hand, is not considered dangerous, but it needs constant motion to keep it from solidifying. Once again, this requires special containment for transport. Slurries are extremely heavy and need heavier equipment to load and carry, therefore, more costly to transport.

Regardless of your needs for lime transportation, we can help. Our company has the equipment and the trained personnel to do things the right way. Contact us for more information.

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