There are many applications for products based on lime in the chemical industry and process; the request for lime may satisfy the needs of the same as a raw material that becomes part of the final product or as an adjuvant which is useful, or essential, to a specific production process.
Using lime as a raw material has the primary purpose of making calcium available in chemical synthesis reactions (organic and inorganic salts) and, given its function as a strong base, for adjusting the pH level of the reaction medium or to totally neutralise acid wastewater separated from the main product.
Materials based on lime play an important role in the production of calcium phosphate, calcium acetate, calcium stearate, calcium tartrate, calcium citrate, calcium benzoate, calcium lactate, etc.
Lime industry products are also used as:
- dehydrating agents in plastic mixtures;
- fillers in the production of carpeting;
- neutralising agents, in the form of calcium sulfonates, in additives for lubricating oils for internal combustion engines.
Among the main uses of lime there are also those related to the production cycles of soda, paper and hide tanning.
In the food sector, there are many uses for products of the lime industry specifically obtained from tightly controlled processes aimed at achieving an adequate “food grade”.
Materials based on lime are mainly used as:
- an additive for controlling the acidity of many food products;
- a calcium supplement in powdered milk for infants;
- a coagulant in the white sugar production cycle to separate impurities that are concentrated in molasses from the refined product;
- in the production of “tortillas”, to facilitate the removal of the pericarp from the corn kernels and to control microbial activity on the same;
- in the formulation of toothpastes;
in fruit storage, where lime, used as an absorber of carbon dioxide released during maturation (“breathing”), makes it possible to increase storage times.