The advantages of quarrying limestone

Written by jay leone
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Limestone offers countless applications. It is a very valuable resource often used for building materials in the construction industry. Limestone is an integral component in the manufacturing of items like glass. This type of stone forms in warm areas like the Persian Gulf, the Caribbean Sea and areas in the Indian Ocean. There are many advantages linked with quarrying limestone. St. Paul's Cathedral in London is one of the more notable buildings across the globe made of limestone.

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Formation

Limestone is a variety of sedimentary rock; it forms from the accumulation of materials like coral and shell over great periods of time. Waste products also facilitate the formation of limestone. It is formed most commonly in warmer, shallow marine environments. Limestone is primarily composed of a minimum 50 per cent calcium carbonate by weight. Other materials like quartz, pyrite, siderite and feldspar are also found in limestone. In general, waters within -1.11 degrees C latitude north of the equator and -1.11 degrees C south of the equator are ideal for limestone to form. The Bahamas hosts abundant calcium carbonate-producing shellfish, coral and other organism populations that are producing a giant limestone deposit.

Uses

One of the biggest advantages linked with quarrying limestone is that limestone has many uses. Limestone has been widely used in history to produce walls, floors, pillars and even sculptures. Crushed stone is often made up of limestone. Crushed stone can be used to provide the foundation for roads and railroads. This type of stone is often used as aggregate for concrete. Limestone can purify iron in a blast furnace. Many manufacturers employ limestone in the creation of glass.

Glass

Calcium carbonate, or limestone is a key material in glass production. Glass is formed by melting sand and cooling it. A flat glass sheet is formed by floating molten glass over a molten tin layer. Sodium carbonate is added to sand to reduce sand's melting temperature. Sodium carbonate decomposes in heat and forms carbon dioxide and sodium oxide but unfortunately, this makes glass soluble in water. When limestone (calcium carbonate) is added, the glass will not dissolve in water. Calcium carbonate decomposes in the heat, forming carbon dioxide and calcium oxide.

Economic Benefits

Quarrying limestone offers many other economic benefits. Limestone is mined around the world in large amounts. Limestone itself is of rather low value but it is still important to economies. Quarrying limestone creates jobs. Quarrying limestone involves both skilled and unskilled labour. It can take hundreds of people to efficiently mine enough limestone to make money. Many local towns and economies across the globe are set up around limestone quarries.

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