To some, the story of lime is relatively uninteresting, but to those involved in its creation and use, it’s very important. From the beginning, lime comes out of the ground, and in the end it goes back into the ground, nurturing plant growth for people like farmers and gardeners. Ever wonder where lime comes from? Here’s the story.
Lime starts as limestone, which is mined out of quarries. Limestone contains a number of helpful minerals and substances, such as calcium. Once mined, the stone is crushed to varying sizes. Different uses necessitate different sized particles. Before the crushed stone is sent out, it must be washed.
Next, the material goes through a process called calcining. This process essentially heats up or burns the limestone. This heat turns the crushed limestone into quicklime and produces carbon dioxide. The lime then cools when it makes contact with the outside air. It is worth noting that the limestone is heated by contact with the fumes and heated air from the fuel, rather than using some form of direct heat transfer.
The crushed quicklime can be sold as is, or it can be hydrated, for different purposes. In order to hydrate quicklime, it must first be crushed again. Then, water is added and mixed into the substance. The final product must be checked and classified before it is transported to make sure it meets the requirements of the customer.
Lime is useful for a number of different purposes. Of course, it is used in plant fertilization and for other soil stabilization purposes. It is also used in steel manufacturing. Lime can effectively remove impurities in this process. Lime can also be used to clean and stabilize air, water, and waste.
Ever wonder where lime comes from, or where it goes? Now you know! It’s not a particularly complicated process, but it certainly solves a lot of problems in our world.