Limestone and Building Materials

GCSE chemistry unit 1.

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Calcium carbonate


when heated - calcium carbonate and carbon dioxide

when water is added-calcium hydroxide

used for - cement,mortar and concrete

Thermal decomposition -

calcium carbonateright facing arrow with heat ( oxide + carbon dioxide

Metals high up in reactivity series - a lot of energy to decompose

Metals low down- easily decomposed  colour change, from green copper carbonate to black copper oxide

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Making calcium oxide + calcium hydroxide

--calcium carbonate right facing arrow with heat ( calcium oxide + carbon dioxide

thermal decomposition reaction.

--Calcium oxide reacts with water to form calcium hydroxide, which is an alkali. Here are the equations for this reaction:

calcium oxide + water → calcium hydroxide

CaO + H2O → Ca(OH)2

A lot of heat is produced in the reaction, which may even cause the water to boil.

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Uses of limestone


CaCO3 + 2HCl → CO2 + CaCl2 + H2O

limestone-damaged by acid ran (sulfur dioxide)

CO2 - detected using limewater

Cement, mortar, concrete

Cement is made by heating powdered limestone with clay. Cement is an ingredient in mortar and concrete:

  • mortar, used to join bricks together, is made by mixing cement with sand and water
  • concrete is made by mixing cement with sand, water and aggregate (crushed rock)
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Limestone is a valuable natural resource, used to make things such as glass and concrete. Limestone quarrying provides employment opportunities that support the local economy in towns around the quarry. Limestone quarries are visible from long distances and may permanently disfigure the local environment.Quarrying is a heavy industry that creates noise and heavy traffic, which damages people's quality of life.

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