Lime has a long and diverse history, but its applications in the field of chemistry are just as varied. They include using lime for adjusting pH values, for neutralisation, as a reaction agent, a filler, and much more.
Lime can be used in the chemical industry in a variety of ways – as a natural calcium carbonate, as burnt calcium oxide, as slaked or hydrated lime, or as chemically precipitated calcium carbonate. In the chemical industry, lime is used for the production of inorganic or organic calcium compounds, as a reaction agent for chemical syntheses, to alter pH values, in chemical reactions, physico-chemical treatment processes and as a neutraliser. Lime is an important basic component in the manufacture of glass and ceramics. It is also indispensable in the sugar industry. Milk of lime is added to the raw beet juice. This pre-liming process leads to the separation of non-sugar substances, especially protein.
Examples of chemical applications
To produce calcium carbide, a mixture of high-purity quicklime and carbon is heated to approximately 2,000 degrees Celsius. Calcium carbide is used for metallurgical processes and for the production of acetylene gas (with the addition of H2O).
During the production of aluminium oxide, from which ceramic products and metallic aluminium are extracted, lime helps to break down the raw material bauxite and recover the alkaline solution used in the process.
Soda production can only be made profitable by using lime, which regenerates ammonia.