Lime is one the most versatile materials used in industry which finds its major application in steel manufacturing industry mostly for removal of impurities. When limestone is drilled for production of lime in the rotary kilns, a dust of fine particles is obtained as a co-product. This important co-product so obtained is lime kiln dust. The lime kiln dust is contained in the filtering agents of rotary kiln and removed once these are filled. As lime kiln dust is blend of lime and lime stone it contains high amount of calcium content making lime kiln dust suitable for several applications like soil stabilization, industrial waste stabilization, soil drying or conditioning and agricultural uses. The production of lime kiln dust is majorly dominated by Asia-pacific countries like China and India, followed by Europe and the U.S. As the lime industry thrives the production of lime kiln dust continues.
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Lime kiln dust is a very fine material having unique chemical properties of limestone and lime along with silicates and other inert materials, which make the lime kiln dust highly suitable in agricultural uses. Depending on the concentration calcium carbonate it has obtained from lime-material, lime kiln dust can be effectively used in soil-liming process. The chief applications of lime kiln dust include soil conditioning, industrial waste stabilization and agricultural uses. Soil stabilization mainly includes the process of spreading of lime kiln dust on the soil using the lime delivery tanks or slurry mixers. Lime kiln dust spreader then waters the land (this process can be carried out simultaneously with lime kiln dust spreading). As lime kiln dust contains important ingredients like calcium oxide and magnesium oxide it adds to the mineral value of soil which improves the sub-grade soil. Soil drying is another key application of lime kiln dust wherein lime kiln dust acts as medium of absorbing water and liberating heat making the soil dry in wet lands. This makes lime kiln dust highly important in the construction site during rainy season. The lime kiln dust also acts as a key drying agent and is used in treatment for heavy metal contamination making it ideal for industrial waste stabilization. Special industrial blenders are however required in this process making it costly. Lime kiln dust is also used to a certain extent as mineral filler in stone matrix asphalt which is premium type of asphalt pavement. However the percentage content of calcium affects its usage owing to the properties expected at output. In case of agricultural applications the lime kiln dust is mainly used for improvement of calcium content in soil.
The application of lime in iron and steel industries causes large production of lime kiln dust as a co-product. The principal countries in lime kiln dust market include China and India, followed by Europe and the U.S. The increase in production facilities in China, Japan and India majorly cause lime kiln dust as a co-product. Even countries like the U.S and Europe are major producers of lime; however the stringent regulations across developed countries affect these production facilities resulting in shut down of the facilities that could not meet the regulations. Thus the production and requirement of lime across several industries largely affects the lime kiln dust produced. The increase in lime production sites in developing countries would help the production of lime kiln dust. Also the potential uses in agriculture and soil conditioning (construction industry) will boost the requirement of lime kiln dust further.
The major companies which produce lime kiln dust are Maerz Ofenbau AG (Switzerland), Greer lime company, Graymont (North America) ,Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical are few amongst others.