One of the qualities of Kentucky water that makes it so perfect for producing our world-famous Bourbon is the limestone bed the water is filtered through before being used in alcohol distillation. This same limestone is also what forms industrial and agricultural lime, which has a wide range of everyday uses.
Lime is easy to use and is workable as a construction material, and then is strong and long lasting once it has cured, while being easily mixed with other materials to add needed qualities. Much of the ancient Roman architecture is made from a lime mortar or concrete with lime as the base, and it has been used in architecture and construction since.
Lime is also used to purify and clean wastewater and drinking water. It is also used in sugar refining, and even in some flour as a leavener. It is needed for glass production, and in paper pulp mills, and for making soil more alkaline for agriculture. It is also used in asphalt, and soil stabilization for dams, roads, or foundations. The term ‘limelight’ comes from early theatrical lights that used the glow emitted by lime when heated to high temperatures. Whitewashes are made from lime and are used as a protective coating for walls or other surfaces.
The largest current use of lime is to remove impurities during metal manufacturing. It can be added to iron ore and melted, creating pig iron which is then turned into steel. Lime can be used as a flux within furnaces to bond with impurities in the melted metals, allowing them to be removed easily and increase the quality of the final metal. Additionally, lime is used as a lubricant for metal presses and dies, and during the drawing process of creating metal wire or rods.
To make industrial lime, the limestone is first ground into a powder, and this stone is then dried and calcined at high temperatures in a lime kiln to produce quicklime. This is then mixed with water when used, and called hydrated or slaked lime.
Carrier Vibrating Equipment has equipment custom engineered for the lime processing industry, from dryers and coolers to conveyors. Our fellow company Heyl Patterson Thermal Processing makes lime calciners to fit in with Carrier equipment.