Impact of rock fabric, thermal behavior, and carbonate decomposition kinetics on quicklime industrial production and slaking reactivity

  • Gabriele VolaEmail author
  • Pierangelo Bresciani
  • Elisa Rodeghero
  • Luca Sarandrea
  • Giuseppe Cruciani


This paper deals with thermal analyses, burning trials and reactivity tests on 15 carbonate rocks, i.e., pure and impure carbonates, mud-supported and grain-supported limestones, crystalline marbles, and dolomites, used for the production of different lime products in industrial vertical shaft kilns worldwide. In particular, thermogravimetric and differential thermogravimetric analysis (TG–DTG) on massive (80–120 g) fine-grained (< 3.35 mm) samples allowed the extrapolation of the Arrhenius kinetic parameters, i.e., the (apparent) activation energy (Ea) and the pre-exponential or frequency factor (A). Other calcination parameters, i.e., the duration time, starting and ending calcination times and temperatures, and peaks of maximum calcination rate were also extrapolated in order to enhance their relationships with quicklime reactivity. Moreover, thermal analyses (TG–DTG–DTA) were repeated on powders (90 mg) using a more accurate analyzer to compare results. The study is completed by a thorough chemical–physical and mineralogical–petrographic characterization of carbonate rocks and derived burnt products. Results pointed out that medium-to-coarse crystalline materials, i.e., grain-supported limestones, diagenetic dolomites, and granoblastic marbles presented the highest activation energy, burnability and slaking reactivity. Conversely, microcrystalline carbonates with the highest micrite-to-sparite ratio, i.e., mud-supported limestones, and impure carbonates, enriched in quartz, clay minerals, and other subordinated non-carbonate impurities, presented the lowest activation energy, burnability, and slaking reactivity. This study also investigated the effect of BET-specific surface area and real density, depending on specific sintering tendency, on quicklime reactivity. Results from this multidisciplinary research activity put further constraints on carbonate rocks calcination kinetics and their suitability in the lime industry.


Calcination kinetics Quicklime reactivity Micrite-to-sparite ratio Limestone burnability 



Authors gratefully acknowledge helpful peer review of the manuscript by the blind reviewers. We also would like to thank you Prof. Daniele Mazza (PoliTo) for useful suggestions and discussions on kinetics parameters and the FSW method.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cimprogetti S.R.L, Lime TechnologiesDalmineItaly
  2. 2.Physics and Earth Sciences DepartmentUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly

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