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Limestone Life Cycle Inventory
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed primarily of calcium carbonate with the occasional presence of magnesium. Most limestone is biochemical in origin meaning the calcium carbonate in the stone originated from shelled oceanic creatures. Limestone can also be chemical in origin as is the case with travertine. Chemical limestone forms when calcium and carbonate ions suspended in water chemically bond and precipitate from their aquatic sources.
Because of its high calcium content, limestone is usually light in color, although many variations exist. Commercially, the term limestone includes dolomite, dolomitic limestone, oolitic limestone, and travertine (Dolley 2007), a porous calcitic rock that is commonly formed near hot springs.
The leading stone produced in the US, limestone accounts for 42% of total domestic production. It is quarried in nine states with Wisconsin and Indiana producing over 87% of US tonnage. Limestone is most commonly employed as rough block for building and construction. Additionally, it is used as dressed stone in various applications including curbing, paneling, veneer, and tile (Dolley 2007). Two general phases of limestone production exist: quarrying and processing. Each of these phases is described below.
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