- Calcium carbonate is
a chemical compound, with chemical formula CaCO3. It is commonly used
medicinally as a calcium supplement or as an antacid. Calcium carbonate
is the active ingredient in agricultural lime. It is a common substance
found as rock in all parts of the world and is the main component of
seashells and the shell of snails. It is usually the principal cause of
- Calcite is even a
major component in the igneous rock called carbonatite and forms the
major portion of many hydrothermal veins. Some of these rock types are
composed of better than 99% calcite.
- The production of
GCC (and of dolomite, which is very similar) starts with its
extraction. Identifying the right ore-body in terms of composition,
homogenicity, etc. is essential to the whole production process ; a
pure calcium carbonate source needs to be identified.
- Limestone is
converted into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide by means of
calcination at temperatures in excess of 900°C. To ensure a high
level of purity, the calcination process is carried out using
natural gas. The carbonation product, calcium carbonate, could
possibly be marketed as precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), which
is used as filler mainly in paper.
Technology for the conversion of lime and industrial lime waste into
a new and superior form of calcium carbonate. The Fiber Loading™
process (US Patent 5,223,090 and RE 35,460) adopts the PCC
manufacturing technology used in a satellite plant to the pulp
processing operation in a paper mill.
- In comparison to
the existing satellite plant technology, Fiber LoadingTM can be more
efficient than the conventional method due to its high consistency
on-line reactor operation, which could eliminate the need for a
satellite plant to manufacture PCC slurry. The Fiber Loading™
process results in potential raw material savings for the
- Calcium carbonate
rocks are spread throughout the world, which is why they have been
among the most widely used raw materials for more than 5000 years.
Long ago, the Egyptians built their pyramids with limestone, and
today we still use hundred of millions of tonnes of calcium
carbonate in the building industry alone.
- The applications
of PCC, which is generally finer, are limited compared to those of
GCC. The principal ones are: paper, adhesives, plastics, elastomers,
foodstuffs, food colourants, pharmaceuticals, toiletries, etc.
Recently, the usage of PCC is increasing because it imparts certain
property enhancements to the end users.
- Increased demand
from the paper industry has been the main factor behind the rapid
growth in production of PCC since the mid-1980s. The change from
acid to neutral papermaking allowed paper companies to use calcium
carbonate, which was competitively priced and which, in some cases,
was brighter than the kaolin it replaced. The use of PCC in paper is
forecast to rise by an average of 5% a year and reach 7.2Mt by 2010.
Overall demand for PCC is forecast to rise from 7.75Mt in 2004 to
9.7Mt by 2010, an average rise of around 4.4%py.
- An calcium
carbonate industry is highly capital intensive. The combined value
of the survey participants’ capital investments in 2004 was close to
$104 million. The production of tat industry is highly energy
intensive. Their members consumed more than 1.5 billion kilowatt
hours of electricity in 2004 and spent more than $87 million on
electricity and $89 million on natural gas.
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