Lime is a fascinating and highly versatile raw material. People have been using lime as a building material for more than 14,000 years. Over time, an ever-broadening range of uses and applications has been discovered. Today, lime is used in many areas of life: in the construction of houses and roads, in the production of glass and plastic materials and in hygiene products, as well as jewelry and food.
The chemical industry uses lime, too. For example, it is used to produce citric acid, polyvalent alcohols and synthetic plasters. It is also used as a reactant in chemical synthesis or to change the pH value. Lime is truly a versatile material.
Calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which is the scientific name for limestone, is a chemical compound of calcium, carbon and oxygen that occurs naturally in various forms. It is one of the most common compounds in the world. Mountain ranges, coral reefs and stalactite caves consist largely of limestone.
Calcium carbonate occurs naturally in various different forms. The rocks are chemically identical, but vary in other ways. For example, two specific types of limestone are marble and chalk.
There are many different uses for lime. The calcium carbonate is used either in its original form, or in refined form as quicklime. Quicklime is divided into calcium oxide (unslaked lime or unslaked quicklime) and calcium hydroxide (slaked lime, white lime hydrate or lime hydrate).
A further stage of refinement results in whitewash (potassium hydroxide solution).
- as raw materials in the construction industry
- as additives in the steel and chemical industries
- as a mineral fertilizer in agriculture
- in the paint and varnish industry
- in paper and plastic materials
- in wastewater treatment and power plants
- and in many other areas of application.