Limestone rock - a source of high purity calcium carbonate
Limestone rock - a source of high purity calcium carbonate

Longcliffe's new Milk of Lime Plant to supply JV partner, Alkali Solutions

Here at Longcliffe we have produced Milk of Lime (MOL) for many years as an intermediary product in the production of Precipitated Calcium Carbonate. However, two years ago we took a decision to manufacture MOL for sale in its own right and began reconfiguring and re-engineering our process plant in order to produce at much higher levels of solids content and some 20 times the production rate than was previously the case!

Milk of Lime is a fine suspension of calcium hydroxide particles in water and as the term implies is visually, but certainly not chemically, similar to your everyday pint of milk. Calcium hydroxide is produced from the highly exothermic reaction between calcium oxide, known also as “burnt lime”, and water. An excess of water is added to keep the calcium hydroxide in liquid suspension and to control the percentage solids content.

Our partners in this joint venture are Alkali Solutions, who market, sell and transport product to the end user under the brand names “Limesol” and “Puresol”. Manufacture, quality control and loading out of the Milk of Lime is the responsibility of Longcliffe, with day to day operational performance within the remit of Production Supervisor Dean Sheldon supported by his small team.

Derek Thompson, Sales Director of Alkali Solutions says “Our patented technology from the USA allows us to promote a high strength, low viscosity but highly reactive alkaline agent for a wide range of applications. Uses include disinfecting municipal water on the South Coast and in Scotland to neutralising metal laden mines in mid Wales. From drinking water purification to waste incinerators, all will provide sales growth in the coming years.”

Milk of lime production plantDuring the course of the past year we have been honing the production process and have achieved our aims of manufacturing a very high solids content product whilst maintaining fluidity, production control and safety in a reaction that runs at some 98°C. Operational control is maintained by computerised, measured additions of specialist chemicals to the process water, which is itself extracted from the onsite borehole. The treated water and burnt lime are then metered independently into the first of three stirred mixing vessels, otherwise known as slakers, where the exothermic chemical reaction begins. Resultant liquid hydrated lime product passes through two more mixing and conditioning vessels before it is screened to remove oversized grit and pumped to one of five holding tanks ready for despatch. Customers both large and small can be serviced by 28 tonne capacity road tanker or with 1,000 litre plastic IBC's.

Derek goes onto say: “There are similar products in the UK, but we are developing a reputation for quality and customer service that is beyond what the opposition can offer”. These are core values that we share here at Longcliffe and have built our longstanding reputation upon.

The Milk of Lime project dovetails nicely with both our existing Central Technology export business and our growing UK speciality and bagged product businesses and bodes well for the future prosperity and growth of our Speciality Division and Company as a whole.

For further information please contact: André Elliott, Compliance & Speciality Products Manager at Longcliffe Limited. T: +44 (0)1629 540284.

Natural Chemistry...Pure Science

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