What is Calcium Carbonate?
Calcium carbonate, which is also recognized as the chemical formula CaCO3, makes up almost five percent of the earth’s crust and is found all throughout the planet. CaCO3 is a combination of CaO (calcium oxide) and CO2 (carbon dioxide). Calcium carbonate’s most common natural forms are chalk, limestone, and marble. These forms of the material are produced by the sedimentation of prehistoric sea animal shells. Although chalk, limestone, and marble are indistinguishable in chemical terms, they are different from each other in many other ways. These differentiations include the material’s purity, whiteness, thickness and homogeneity (meaning how uniform its composition is). Calcium carbonate is a material that is as abundant as it is useful. With many different applications for the material throughout a variety of industries, it could be argued that calcium carbonate is one of the most useful and versatile materials in existence.
How Is Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) Made?
Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) production requires consistent quicklime quality to produce a quality carbonate. The precipitated calcium carbonate production process consists of decarbonating limestone, which separates the CaO (calcium oxide) and CO2 (carbon dioxide). Precipitated calcium carbonate is produced by slaking high-calcium quicklime to create a lime slurry that is then combined with captured carbon dioxide (CO2). An even precipitation process allows good control of the crystallization and particle size of the PCC. Lime reactivity is key to achieving a finer particle size distribution and particle shape of PCC, as well as the stability of the process.
Variations in quicklime quality can result in difficulties slaking and inconsistent particle size. This can lead to downtime, not meeting your customers’ needs, additional waste, and impact your overall bottom line.
Equipment and corresponding processes may also need to be updated or replaced over time due to natural evolution of technology or normal wear and tear. Carmeuse is able to provide the raw materials, freight, and slaking systems to ensure that your needs are met.
Understanding Your Market Needs
Uses of Precipitated Calcium Carbonate
Precipitated Calcium Carbonate is used in several different areas of production such as the flooring, paint, and paper industry due to its mechanical and optical properties. Calcium carbonate is used in the paper industry both as a PCC filler and as a coating which allows for the paper to have such a pure white color. It can be found as a functional additive in everything from sealants and adhesives to inks and rubber.
The National Lime Association mentions the use of precipitated calcium carbonate in the paper, polymer, and healthcare industries. Specifically, paper-making requires large quantities of calcium carbonate which provides the paper with its whiteness and consistency. The whiteness and brightness of precipitated calcium carbonate is very critical, especially for office (white) paper manufacturing. Here, the impurities level must be well controlled, especially the iron oxide and manganese oxide. It can also provide cost savings to paper manufacturers through the replacement of more expensive pulp fiber and optical brightening agents.
Due to the physical and mechanical properties of calcium carbonate, its small particle size and crystal shape means that it also has many industrial uses like increasing impact strength in polymers. In the healthcare industry, it is routinely used as an effective acid neutralizer in antacid tablets and liquids.
Solutions to Meet Your Needs
Carmeuse can provide quicklime and the technical support to deal with variations in your process to improve your Precipitated Calcium Carbonate consistency and keep your slaking operations running smoothly. We are able to support every step in this process by providing:
Raw Materials: High Calcium Quicklime
Lime with low variation in quality to minimize adjustments in your processes and improve consistency of size and geometry of Precipitated Calcium Carbonate particles. Click here to view our high calcium quicklime offering.
Applications: Slaking, Handling, and Storage
Through Storage & Transfer Technologies (STT), a member of Carmeuse Group, we offer a full range of lime slakers designed to your specific conditions and requirements. In addition, we offer solutions to store and pneumatically transfer your bulk materials.
Our network of plants allows us to get you the product where and when you need it with quick and convenient deliveries.
To discuss your needs, contact us.
Both precipitated calcium carbonate and ground calcium carbonate are the same in terms of their chemical composition both with the formula CaCO3 . However, ground calcium carbonate is produced by grinding limestone while precipitated calcium carbonate is changed through chemical changes including the calcination and slaking processes. As a result, the particle size distribution for PCC is finer and more consistent than can be achieved in GCC.
As mentioned above, the purposes of precipitated calcium carbonate vary between industries and this product can be used from paper manufacturing to the flooring industry. PCC can be found in sealants, adhesives, rubbers, inks, and more. In paper manufacture, both talc and PCC are used to whiten and increase the printability of the paper.