The thermal behavior of selected limestones from representative localities of the United Arab Emirates is investigated for their suitability for soft-burnt lime production. The limestone samples were collected from the Ghalilah, Musandam, Shauiba, Muthaymimah, Dammam and Asmari formations. The samples were characterized for petrography, mineral and chemical composition, together with physico-mechanical characteristics. Investigative methods included transmitted light microscopy (TLM), cathodoluminescence (CLM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), as well as X-ray micro-tomography (μ-CT), XRD, XRF and Archimedes method. The limestone samples were fired in an electrical muffle furnace for 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 hours at 800, 900, 1,000 and 1,100 °C. After firing the lime grains were tested to determine their hydration rate and microfabric. The Ghalilah and Musandam limes show the lowest and highest maximum hydration rates, respectively, due mainly to the impure nature of the former, and the smaller lime crystallites and dominance of post-calcination micro-cracks of the latter. The Dammam and Asmari limes preserve a “ghost” microfabric of the original limestone. Higher allochem contents impose lower activation energy requirements for calcination, which implies earlier calcination of the allochems. The Musandam, Shauiba and Muthaymimah limestones may be useful for the production of reactive soft-burnt lime under the applied firing conditions, however, the Dammam and Asmari limestones need more advanced calcination conditions than the applied ones. The Ghalilah limestone was found to be unsuitable for the production of lime.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology