Due to the many possible applications of lime and lime derivatives, it is not easy to draw up an exhaustive list of all the possible uses for lime and lime derivatives, and it is therefore necessary to limit ourselves to those that are of greatest commercial importance.
It is certain that the type of lime use in the different regions of the world is strongly influenced by the Specific characteristics of the industries present on site and their degree of development.
If we analyze the available statistics, we can notice that in regions where the economy is still at a very primitive level, the use of lime is mainly related to the construction industry and agriculture, while if we move to areas with higher industrial intensity, the use of lime for construction and agriculture decreases as a percentage of consumption and finds more space in the industrial application.
In even more wealthy regions, we note that a significant share of lime consumption is also linked to the activities of exhaust gases neutralization, waste water and green/bio-building uses which, being linked to environmental awareness, are continuously increasing.
World production of lime is estimated at over 420 million tons per year. Approximately one third of the world’s lime production is obtained by adding the production of China, USA and Russia alone. In Europe, the largest producer of lime is Germany with about 10 million tons per year, followed by Italy and France with about 4 million tons per year each.
Excluding petroleum products, which mainly have their own specific use, lime is the most widely produced basic chemical material in the world after sulphuric acid.
The main characteristic that makes lime and its by-products economically widely used in the most diverse applications is first of all its easy availability in all parts of the world with a low production cost.
From a technical point of view, lime is mainly used in all production processes where a basic agent (alkali) or a chemical component with a high degree of affinity to other elements of the periodic table is required.