Hydrated lime and/or milk of lime is used to remove temporary hardness from drinking water and to adjust its pH for optimum purification conditions by precipitating out the heavy metals in the form of insoluble hydroxides. Hydrated lime in the UK typically conforms to the new standard BS EN 12518: Class 1 Type A and is vital for the well being of millions of people.
Sugar manufacturers use lime in order to precipitate out impurities from beet and sugar cane extracts. Lime is also used to neutralise the odours which are generated by beet washing and transport.
Calcium Carbonate, quicklime and hydrated lime can all be used to adjust the pH of soils to give optimum growing conditions and hence improve crop yields. The use of quicklime, hydrated lime and/or blends of these with Calcium Carbonate will help to speed pH adjustment which can help to treat conditions.
Waste lime from sugar refining plants can be used as one of many ingredients needed to produce vital chicken feed supplements. A mix is created which is subsequently dried and hardened to form pellets. The supplements are given to the chickens to improve and increase the strength of their egg shells. In general, the supplement is simple, efficient and inexpensive.
In addition, hydrated lime can also be added to chicken litter in intensive poultry farms, to extend the life of the litter and provide a degree of protection against parasites and disease.
The pH of acidic ponds and lakes can be controlled and raised using hydrated lime. In general terms this creates a more hospitable environment for all aquatic organisms, in particular fish. Lime is therefore used by fish farmers to maintain a suitable habitat for breeding fish.
As apples and other fruit ripen, they emit carbon dioxide. When in storage, the carbon dioxide lowers the level of oxygen in the atmosphere and accelerates the rate of deterioration of the fruit. By circulating air around the fruit and over hydrated lime, the level of carbon dioxide is reduced and the fruit remains fresh and useable for longer.
Residues from processing citrus when mixed with lime can then be dried and sold as cattle feed. In addition, lime can also be used to neutralise waste citric acid and to raise the pH of fruit juices to stabilise the flavour and colour.
Lime or its derivatives are essential building blocks in the manufacture of many inorganic salts such as Calcium Phosphate, a toothpaste additive, Calcium Citrate a food and drink additive and Calcium Nitrite an additive for sludge treatment.