Oyster Shell and Lime Products

Lime, calcitic limestone, calcite, dolomite, dolomitic limestone, etc. all are names of aglime materials. As with any widely used material, there is considerable room for confusion. Natural materials can differ considerably in composition from one mine to the next. Technically correct definitions are frequently cumbersome, so everyday-use definitions develop which may be fine in local situations but which can cause confusion when used elsewhere. Legal definitions, as found in state aglime laws, are frequently different from one state to the next.

Calcite:  A mineral which occurs in nature. Pure calcite is 100% calcium carbonate (CaCO3) which is crystallized in hexagonal form. Calcite is a common constituent in calcitic limestone, dolomite, marble, chalk, marl, seashells, and similar substances. Because the mineral calcite is pure calcium carbonate (CaCO3), it is the standard by which the acid-neutralizing capability of all other liming materials is measured.

Calcitic Limestone:  A term widely used by agronomists when referring to agricultural limestone with high calcium content. Mainly calcium carbonate, but may also contain small amounts of magnesium carbonate. The term is not as restrictive in definition as calcite. It is often used to distinguish materials of low magnesium carbonate content from those of high content, the latter being referred to as dolomitic limestone.

Dolomite:  A mineral composed of calcium and magnesium carbonates. Pure dolomite contains 40 to 45% magnesium carbonates (MgCO3) and 54 to 58% calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

Dolomitic Limestone:  A material containing magnesium carbonates (MgCO3) in lesser concentrations than found in dolomite. In the aglime trade, a concentration of 15 to 20% magnesium carbonates (MgCO3) is common for material termed dolomitic limestone.



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