Limestone is not a renewable resource.
Keep reading to find out what limestone is, how it’s made, and how long it takes to form, here.
You’ll also learn why limestone is important to everyone in a community.
Is Limestone a Renewable Resource? (EXPLAINED)
What is Limestone?
Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock.
It is made of calcite or aragonite, which are both crystal forms of calcium carbonate.
Limestone is formed when calcite and aragonite precipitate out of water.
The water must contain dissolved calcium.
Limestone is created in two environmental types; through sedimentation in marine waters and during cave formation by water evaporation.
Limestone is found in marine deposits, but can also be found in river basins, lakes, and on land.
All limestone contains at least 50% calcium carbonate and some magnesium carbonate, dolomite.
Other minerals found in limestone include quartz, pyrite, clay, feldspar, iron carbonate, sulfate, and siderite.
Some limestone is found with considerable amounts of animal shells, including crinoidal, fusulinids, reef-like, and shells.
Limestone forms when sand, shells, and mud deposit at the bottom of a body of water and slowly solidify into rock.
What goes into the sedimentary formations helps differentiate what type of limestone is created.
Different types of limestone include crinoidal, fusulinids, reef-like, and shells.
Crinoidal limestone includes crinoid fossils, also called sea lilies.
Crinoids are marine echinoderms.
Crinoid limestone is often found in Permian-aged rocks in Kansas.
Fusilinid limestone contains solid fusulinid shells.
Fusilinids are single-celled animals with shells that secrete microgranular calcite.
Reef-like limestone is created with aquatic fauna and flora fossils.
This type of limestone includes bivalves, gastropods, trilobites, brachiopods, and coral.
Reef-like limestone is often found in tropical, shallow areas.
Shell limestones are small or long deposits that are hundreds of miles long.
Shell limestone contains brachiopods, oysters, corals, and clams.
This type of limestone is often found in shallow sea areas.
All forms of limestone take about a million years to form.
What is a Renewable Resource?
What does it mean for something to be a renewable resource?
A renewable resource is a natural resource that is unlimited.
To truly be renewable, the resource must be naturally replenished quickly.
To qualify as a natural resource, the resource must be useful to humans.
Examples of things that are renewable resources are water, minerals, and trees.
There are four major types of non-renewable resources.
Oil, nuclear energy, coal, and natural gas are non-renewable resources.
Instead of being renewable resources, these non-renewable resources are known as fossil fuels.
Non-renewable fossil fuels are created from animals and dead plants over millions of years.
Is Limestone Renewable or Not?
Limestone is considered a non-renewable resource.
Limestone is considered a non-renewable resource because of the significant time it takes for limestone to be created.
Once limestone is used up, it is considered gone.
Is Limestone Important to Preserve?
Limestone is the main ingredient in concrete.
Concrete is used to build solid buildings.
Because concrete is important to communities and infrastructure, limestone is important as well.
It is important to preserve limestone because it is the main ingredient in concrete.
Are there More Sustainable Resources to Use in Concrete?
Contractors and developers often search for an alternative to limestone to create concrete.
The reason contractors will search for alternatives to limestone is to find a more sustainable resource.
One that can be found in abundance, which makes it easier for them to create more concrete. With concrete, 98% of the material is cement.
The other 2% is a binder, which is often limestone.
Alternatives to traditional limestone to create concrete include HempCrete.
Contractors can also look at lime-based binders to see if that material meets their building requirements.
Two common lime-based binders include hydrated lime and hydraulic lime.
Limestone is also used to create pavers, driveway materials, and other decorative accents.
Other materials besides limestone include travertine and gravel.
When compared to travertine, limestone is much more durable than travertine.
Limestone is a natural stone, which makes it last longer than other comparative materials.
Limestone also has advantages over gravel.
Limestone is available in a variety of rock sizes, which is desirable when laying gravel.
Limestone is also porous, which means it will provide the driveway with a form of drainage. Gravel will not.
When choosing between limestone and gravel, it’s important to determine if both materials are available in your area.
Availability could affect pricing.
Now you know what limestone is and why it is considered a non-renewable resource.
Due to its non-renewable qualities, it’s important to know what products are created with limestone and what the future holds for everyone if resources are depleted.
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