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How to Calculate the Energy Efficiency of Lime Burning

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Otto Ruskulis said:

Dear Mr Sezarius Michael Kiting'ati

Thank you for your enquiry about a small lime kiln that Practical Action have asked me to reply to as I was part of the project team on lime and other alternative cements in the 1990s when I worked for Practical Action (then called the Intermediate Technology Development Group). I am no longer employed by Practical Action and Practical Action doesn't manage projects on small-scale lime production any more.

A good place to start for information on small lime kilns is a series of profiles from Practical Action of small lime productiion projects from various parts of the world. These were written in the 1990s, but have been revised more recently. The case studies comprise the following. I also include the web address from where they can be downloaded.

1. A Small Kiln for Batch and Continuous Production - http://practicalaction.org/a-small-lime-kiln-for-batch-and-continuous-firing
2. How to Build a Small Vertical Shaft Lime Kiln - http://practicalaction.org/how-to-build-a-small-vertical-shaft-lime-kiln
3. Lime Kiln Designs (oil-fired kilns) - http://practicalaction.org/lime-kiln-designs
4. Lime Production: A traditional kiln at Bou Noura, Algeria - http://practicalaction.org/lime-production-a-traditional-kiln-at-bou-noura-algeria
5. Lime Production: No.2 Improved Techniques at Chenkumbi, Malawi - http://practicalaction.org/lime-production-no-2-improved-techniques-at-chenkumbi-malawi
6. Lime Production: Traditional batch techniques in Chenkumbi - http://practicalaction.org/lime-production-traditional-batch-techniques-in-chenkumbi
7. Lime Production: Traditional batch techniques in Pattará, Costa Rica - http://practicalaction.org/lime-production-traditional-techniques-patarra-costa-rica
8. Lime Production: Traditional Techniques in Sri Lanka - http://practicalaction.org/lime-production-traditional-techniques-in-sri-lanka
You will need to register to download these cases studies. If you have any difficulties with this please contact Dawn McGahey at Practical Action.

I am not clear from your enquiry if you are considering producing lime as a batch or continuous process. In the continuous process lime and fuel are fed in continously into the top of a vertical shaft lime kiln 24 hours during the day over most of the year, and quicklime discharged from the bottom. This is the most efficient way of producing lime and uses the least fuel. In the batch process a low round or square kiln is filled up with stone and fuel, set on fire and allowed to burn for two or three days before being allowed to cool and then emptied. During the firing of this kiln additional fuel can be fed in through portholes into a firing chamber or in channels under the kiln. Batch production is inefficient in the use of fuel and the quality of the lime produced may not be all that high. However batch kilns are low in cost to build and do not need to be attended to at night. In the above case studies, 2, 3 and 5 refer to continuously operated kilns and 4, 6, 7 & 8 refer to batch kilns. Case study 1 is about a small trial kiln Practical Action developed in Malawi that can be operated either as a batch process or for continuous operation.

It is also possible to operate a vertical shaft kiln as a continuous process only during the day, allowing the kiln to burn out during the night then adding extra fuel with the first load of stone early in the morning. However, this uses additional fuel and the lime from the end and beginning of the day's burn might be of poor quality.

A small shaft kiln for continuous production was developed by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in India about 40 years ago. A number of these kilns were built and operated in India and several other countries and by accounts worked quite well and proved suitable for small-scale producers. Unfortunately there seems to be no information about the KVIC kiln on the internet. KVIC is still in operation but no longer active in lime production. Practical Action has some further details about the KVIC kiln in printed format and might be able to copy and send this to your physical mailing address.

Following on from the KVIC kiln, another Indian organisation - the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), developed slightly larger kilns for producing 5, 10 or 15 tonnes of lime per day, and a mechanical lime hydrator. For further information about the CBRI kilns contact:

Prof. S. K. Bhattacharyya
Director
Central Building Research Institute
Roorkee - 247 667
Uttrakhand
INDIA
Phone: +91 - 1332 - 272243
Fax: +91 - 1332 - 272272
Email: director @ cbri.res.in, director @ cbri.in, director @ cbrimail.com
Web: www.cbri.res.in, www.cbri.in, www.cbri.org.in

I hope that you find the above case studies of use. If you any further queries about them I might be able to provide further information.

Commented on: 2012-02-10 14:53:00

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Mr Sezarius Michael Kiting'ati said:

I am looking for an efficient lime burning kiln. Can you advice me the current proper kiln whic can produce 2000kgs of lime by using coal briquettes as a source of energy to burn it. Where can I get that kiln or how can I built it in the sence that what materials do I need to use to have agood one please.

Commented on: 2012-01-12 18:04:00

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