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Author Topic: Lime quarries  (Read 1889 times)

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lucid119

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Lime quarries
« on: October 30, 2008, 01:01:38 PM »


I remember reading somewhere that a body can completely dissolve in a lime quarry, and I located one in North Canaan CT.  Does anyone know about this or have suggestions on how to research further? 
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Q

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Re: Lime quarries
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2008, 02:39:23 PM »

That idea - dissolving a body in lime - has been around for a long time. I doubt it would really work; certainly not in a quarry:

A quarry would be mostly limestone, a form of marble and just as inactive. Limestone is extracted and broken up and then must be baked in a very hot oven - a kiln. I don't know the modern technique, but I've seen and worked at old fashioned lime kilns. They were open topped furnaces; they would be started with a fierce wood fire and would get very hot. Chunks of limestone and logs would be fed from the top and the lot would burn together, very hot! We would feed the furnace continuously up to the oven's capacity (I never knew how that was figured, it could be a days work) - then when cooled the remains would be taken out:   thoroughly baked stone, transformed into quicklime, mixed with some ash .

The process is called reduction.

Quicklime combined with water is a very caustic mixture - but I doubt it would really dissolve a body. It's a good antibacterial, and would certainly preserve recognizable traces. The process of slaking quicklime with water is also quite hot and violent, but not hotter than boiling. It would probably remove most of the flesh (dunno, haven't tried it :) ).

The kiln would do - as the body would be cremated and whatever traces left would be hard to tell, visually anyway, from the ash and limestone that would be the final product. Perhaps this is where the notion came from.

For what it's worth ...

:) Q
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lucid119

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Re: Lime quarries
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2008, 11:06:40 AM »

Thank you so much for all the information! :)
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Elena

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Re: Lime quarries
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2008, 11:58:20 AM »

If you become interested in sources and uses for quicklime you might want to check out the article in Wikipedia -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_oxide

Best wishes,
Elena
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