- Limestone is a sedimentary rock containing a large amount of calcite and aragonite minerals (CaCO3).
- The two components have the same chemical formula but the crystal structures are different.
- The nature composition and distribution of limestone are directly related to the deposition conditions such as:
- (1) Climate affecting the temperature and chemistry of water.
- (2) The depth of water that affects the values of light and the mobility of the environment.
- (3) The topography of the surface on which the limestone accumulates (coastal - continental shelf - sloping or collapsed sediments - basins)
USES OF LIMESTONE
We have already said that limestone deposits contain mostly calcium carbonate compound. As such, this compound can be quarried to be used by the farming sector. Usually, limestone is crushed into smaller particles and various grades are produced. Finally, these products are sold as ‘agricultural lime or “Aglime” which is again used to neutralize soil acidity as well as free up soil minerals like phosphates.
There are several industries that make use of limestone. As such, powdered limestone is used in the textile, paint, paper, rubber, glass and plastic industries amongst others. They are mostly used as fillers. Apart from this, it is used in the steel industry for the production process where limestone is used to remove impurities. The minerals found in limestones are also used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetic products, baking soda, toothpaste, etc.
Here limestone is quarried to service the needs of the building and construction industries. So the stone is cut into either slabs or blocks with specific dimensions. Some of its applications include sculptors, floor tiles, window sills, stair treads, and others. The famous pyramid of Giza in Egypt is made out of limestone.
Additionally, limestones containing clay content are utilized in the production of cement. Limestone aggregate is also used in road and railroad construction.
Crushed limestone is used as a filter stone in on-site sewage disposal systems. Limestone in powdered form is also used as a substance to absorb pollutants or control coal mine dust at many coal-mining facilities. Lime which is byproduct of limestone is used to neutralize acids and treat wastewater, industrial sludge, animal waste, and water supplies.