10 Types of Equipment Every Industrial Lime Plant Needs

Lime is one of the most-used chemicals worldwide, and demand for this product has been increasing over the last several years. The global market experienced a slight decline during the height of the pandemic, but the downturn was short-lived. It is projected to grow by almost $10,000,000,000 at 2.6% annually between 2021-2028.

Quicklime has a wide range of uses, including the production of iron, steel, paper and pulp, and water and flue gas treatments. It is employed in building and engineering resources and is even used in some medicines. This makes it a lucrative market for lime producers and distributors. 

In the last 3 years, many companies have announced new lime plants to meet expected demand. Procuring the right equipment is one of the most critical steps in getting a new lime plant up and running. Here are the top ten types of equipment every lime plant needs to compete. 

1. Limestone Bin 

Limestone bins are typically square or rectangular in shape and smaller in volume than hoppers or silos. They are used for holding a “surge” capacity of limestone. 

For example, suppose a conveyor in your lime production process overfeeds material to a downstream conveyor. In that case, the bin provides additional capacity to minimize the impact on production and the potential for operational bottlenecks.  

2. Limestone Crushers 

The comminution of limestone begins with a series of crushers. 

Your primary crusher breaks down limestone, making it manageable for other site components such as belts, screens, and any secondary crushers. All components at a crushing site depend on your primary crusher’s performance, so choosing the suitable crusher for the job is a critical first step. 

Impact crushers are ideal for less-abrasive materials like limestone. They have high reduction ratios, durability, highly customizable settings, and are relatively easy to maintain. 

Depending on the required size of the final product, limestone may go through a secondary or tertiary crusher to further reduce its size. Cone crushers are common secondary crushers for limestone. Choosing the suitable secondary crusher for your facility depends on the hourly processing capacity, the size of the feed, and the size of the crushed material required. 

3. Conveyors

You will need conveyors throughout the lime production process. 

Conveyors transport hot, abrasive, or corrosive materials over long distances. These conveyors move lime from one area to another with minimal labor and manual handling. Quality conveyors can reduce plant maintenance needs and maximize process efficiency.

Learn more about our screw conveyor systems and drag chain conveyors

4. Preheaters

Preheaters recover heat using gasses from a pebble lime rotary kiln to preheat or pre-calcine limestone feed material. Preheaters use high-temperature exhaust gas to heat the processed stone evenly to 800°C. This process shortens limestone burn time in the kiln and achieves a high degree of active lime.

Preheating is an essential step in the lime production process, and underperforming preheaters can significantly reduce your daily output. Contact us here to learn more about how our maintenance capabilities increase preheater efficiency.  

5. Air Pollution Control Equipment 

Lime-induced dust must be collected and filtered to meet emission requirements and ensure the dust does not negatively impact employees or the surrounding environment. Baghouses, wet and dry scrubbers, mechanical dust collectors, and cyclones are all used to filter pollutants and reduce emissions in a lime plant. 

A baghouse is more commonly known as a fabric filter system.  Fine particulates collect on the fabric surface as the gas stream passes through the filter bag. These high-efficiency collection devices achieve collection efficiencies of over 99.9%. 

Wet scrubbers remove sulfur dioxide (SO2) and other pollutants from gas streams. Properly designed wet scrubbers are a highly efficient approach to controlling lime kiln emissions. They also require a lower capital investment than a dry injection fabric filter, resulting in low operating costs and significant savings for lime plants. 

Mechanical dust collectors are a highly efficient and cost-effective way to collect, capture, and separate limestone dust and particulates from the air.  ProcessBarron provides several solutions that have improved and increased dust collection capacity and overall system operation. 

Questions about what air pollution control (APC) equipment your plant needs? Contact our experts here.

6. Fans

Centrifugal fans move air and gas while maintaining safe and consistent temperatures.  Fans also mitigate dust and the build-up of byproducts in your system.

Fans are required to operate continuously in harsh conditions. Choosing durable and optimized fans is essential to ensure longevity and performance.  Proactive preventative maintenance during planned outages is critical in preserving fan reliability and performance.

Learn more about our fan designs and repair services here.

7. Kiln and Kiln Seals

After the preheater calcines the limestone feed material, it finishes calcining in a kiln, producing quicklime. 

Two common types of kilns include vertical shaft kilns and rotary kilns. Vertical shaft kilns have good closing performance and low fuel consumption. Because of their complex structure, they experience significant heat loss and uneven heat.

Rotary kilns are the most widely used in the United States. Rotary kilns consist of a rotating cylinder that sits horizontally on an incline. They are better equipped to save energy and are particularly suitable for burning small pieces of limestone.

Because of the demanding conditions inside a rotary kiln, they are prone to wear and damage in certain areas. Here are a few ways to prevent rotary kiln damage. 

Kiln seals prevent contaminants from escaping from a rotating kiln incinerator. ProcessBarron’s unique and proven kiln seal assembly consists of a truing ring, riding band, seal leaves, and a leaf support ring. 

ProcessBarron works with lime plants that use both vertical and rotary kilns. We have in-house capabilities to work with any size or age kiln and duplicate other manufacturers’ designs and replacement parts to eliminate up to 99% of unwanted air in-leakage. Contact us to learn more about our kiln maintenance services and kin seals. 

8. Product Cooler

Product coolers are used to recover heat from the hot lime product. Direct contact with “cooling air” cools the quicklime when it leaves the calcining zone.  Once cooled, the limestone pellets are screened by size, then bagged or stored.

Does your cooling process take longer than it should? We can help you discover efficiency gaps and identify the best solution. Contact us to learn more!

9. Fuel Bins

Fuel bins provide a controlled area to hold the flammable materials that fuel your other equipment. A quality fuel bin enables precise fuel control and metering, leading to good combustion control and low emissions.

Many fuel bins also provide improved system efficiency, have a long product life (average 20 years), and can significantly reduce maintenance and downtime costs. 

10. Silos 

Crushed limestone is stored in silos before and after processing. Your facility needs sufficient silos to ensure that pre and post-storage is never the limiting factor for your facility. 

Finding a Trusted Maintenance Partner

Having the right equipment is essential. Maintaining this equipment is just as important. Proper maintenance protects your investments, minimizes downtime and outages, and ensures that your operations are always running smoothly and efficiently. 

Contact us to learn more about how ProcessBarron can support your lime plant’s maintenance or product needs.