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Limestone Limestone is mainly calcium carbonate, CaCO3.

When it is heated, it breaks down to form calcium oxide and carbon dioxide. Calcium oxide reacts with water to produce calcium hydroxide. Limestone and its products have many uses, including being used to make mortar, cement, concrete and glass. Thermal decomposition Metal carbonates such as calcium carbonate break down when heated strongly. This is called thermal decomposition. Here are the equations for the thermal decomposition of calcium carbonate: calcium carbonate calcium oxide + carbon dioxide

CaCO3 CaO + CO2 Other metal carbonates decompose in the same way. Here are the equations for the thermal decomposition of copper carbonate: copper carbonate copper oxide + carbon dioxide

CuCO3 CuO + CO2 Notice that in both examples the products are a metal oxide and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide gas can be detected using limewater. Limewater turns cloudy white when carbon dioxide is bubbled through it. Metals high up in the reactivity series - such as calcium - have carbonates that need a lot of energy to decompose them. Metals low down in the reactivity series - such as copper - have carbonates that are easily decomposed. This is why copper carbonate is often used at school to show these reactions. It is easily decomposed, and its colour change, from green copper carbonate to black copper oxide, is easy to see

Quicklime and slaked lime For your exam, you need to know how quicklime and slaked lime are obtained from limestone. Making quicklime If limestone is heated strongly, it breaks down to form calcium oxide and carbon dioxide. Calcium oxide is also called quicklime. It is yellow when hot, but white when cold. Here are the equations for this reaction: calcium carbonate calcium oxide + carbon dioxide

CaCO3 CaO + CO2 This is a thermal decomposition reaction. Making slaked lime Calcium oxide reacts with water to form calcium hydroxide, also called slaked lime. Here are the equations for this reaction: calcium oxide + water calcium hydroxide CaO + H2O Ca(OH)2 A lot of heat is produced in the reaction, which may even cause the water to boil. Summary Using common names instead of chemical names, this is what happens: limestone quicklime + carbon dioxide quicklime + water slaked lime Uses of limestone Limestone, quicklime and slaked lime are all used to neutralise excess acidity - which may be caused by acid rain - in lakes and in soils. Limestone is used as a building material, and to purify iron in blast furnaces. It's also used in the manufacture of glass, and of cement (one of the components of concrete). The main uses of limestone and its products Limestone (CaCO3) can be used as a building material and in the manufacturing of iron. Glass - heated with sand and soda (sodium carbonate). Cement - heated with clay in a kiln. o Concrete - mixed with sand, water and crushed rock o Mortar - mixed with sand and water

Quicklime - heated.

Slaked lime (Calcium Hydroxide Ca(OH)2) - mixed with water Lime motar - mixed with water

Glass Glass is made by melting sand and then cooling it. Flat sheets of glass for windows are made by floating molten glass on a layer of molten tin. Glass manufacturers add sodium carbonate to sand during the manufacturing process, to reduce the melting temperature of the sand and so save energy. The sodium carbonate decomposes in the heat to form sodium oxide and carbon dioxide, but this makes the glass soluble in water. Calcium carbonate (limestone) is therefore also added, to stop the glass dissolving in water. The calcium carbonate decomposes in the heat to form calcium oxide and carbon dioxide. About 90 per cent of glass is soda-lime glass, or bottle glass. Environmental, social and economic considerations The limestone industry You need to be able to evaluate some of the effects of the limestone industry. The main advantages and disadvantages of the limestone industry Advantages and disadvantages of various building materials Limestone, cement and mortar slowly react with carbon dioxide dissolved in rainwater, and wear away. This damages walls made from limestone, and it leaves gaps between bricks in buildings. These gaps must be filled in or "pointed". Pollution from burning fossil fuels makes the rain more acidic than it should be, and this acid rain makes these problems worse. Concrete is easily formed into different shapes before it sets hard. It is strong when squashed, but weak when bent or stretched. However, concrete can be made much stronger by reinforcing it with steel. Some people think that concrete buildings and bridges are unattractive. Glass is usually brittle and easily shattered, but toughened glass can be used for windows. While glass is transparent and so lets light into a building, buildings with lots of glass can be too hot in the summer.

Environmental, social and economic considerations The limestone industry You need to be able to evaluate some of the effects of the limestone industry. The main advantages and disadvantages of the limestone industry Advantages - Limestone is a valuable natural resource, used to make things such as glass and concrete. - Limestone quarrying provides employment opportunities that support the local economy in towns around the quarry. Disadvantages - Limestone quarries are visible from long distances and may permanently disfigure the local environment - Quarrying is a heavy industry that creates noise and heavy traffic, which damages people's quality of life.