Quicklime products are recognised throughout the construction industry for the stabilisation of weak clays, other marginal or excessively wet soils with consistent quality and performance. Limbase quicklime soil stabilisation is a well established technique giving environmental, speed and cost benefits for many ground engineering projects.
- The major use of quicklime is in the basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) process. Its usage varies from about 30–50 kg/t of steel. The quicklime neutralizes the acidic oxides, SiO2, Al2O3, and Fe2O3, to produce a basic molten slag.
- Ground quicklime is used in the production of aerated concrete blocks.
- Quicklime considerably increase the load carrying capacity of clay-containing soils. They do this by reacting with finely divided silica and alumina to produce calcium silicates and aluminates, which possess cementing properties.
- Small quantities of quicklime are used in other processes; e.g., the production of glass, calcium aluminate cement, and organic chemicals.
- Heat: Quicklime releases Thermal energy by the formation of the hydrate, calcium hydroxide, by the following equation:
- CaO (s) + H2O (l) ⇌ Ca(OH)2 (aq) (ΔHr = −63.7 kJ/mol of CaO)
- As it hydrates, an exothermic reaction results and the solid puffs up. The hydrate can be reconverted to quicklime by removing the water by heating it to redness to reverse the hydration reaction. One litre of water combines with approximately 3.1 kilograms (6.8 lb) of quicklime to give calcium hydroxide plus 3.54 MJ of energy. This process can be used to provide a convenient portable source of heat, as for on-the-spot food warming in a self-heating can, cooking, and heating water without open flames. Several companies sell cooking kits using this heating method.