Mar 26, 2004, 5:00 PM
Post #16 of 20
jonna "sfmacaws" writes:
After looking at Rolly's pictures, I think that the cal I've noticed in the market is cal hydroxide as it looks like a powder. The cal I've been told about that comes from burning the limestone rock around here is probably cal oxide. It may also be in the markets and I haven't noticed it. After the corn is harvested, they build a fire in the milpa and put the rocks in it. I don't know how long it has to burn (or cook) but eventually when it is cool they bag it and bring the chunks home.....
That's the classic production method for making calcium oxide (CaO), and the source of several of the other descriptive names for the end product, specifically "burnt lime" or "calcined lime". Technically the process takes limestone aka calcium carbonate (CaCO3), and heats it to the point that carbon dioxide (CO2) is released, yielding calcium oxide. Reacting the calcium oxide with water (H2O) yields calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) which Rolly calls "Builder's Lime" and is more descriptively referred to as either "slaked" lime (think of slaking your thirst) or hydrated lime.
....We used to put it on dead animals to keep the smell down and hurry the decomposition, I think that I have seen it in rural cemetaries used the same way. ie In a cemetary near Soltuta there was a white powder visible in the dirt of some of the newer graves.....
Although you hear of people using either calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide for this purpose under the name "lime", the intended lime for disease epidemics, sanitizing latrines, and similar applications where large quantities of a low-cost disinfectant is needed is actually a third different lime. Chloride of Lime, aka Bleaching Powder is a crude mixture of calcium chloride hypochlorite, CaCl(OCl); calcium hypochlorite, Ca(OCl)2 ; and calcium chloride, CaCl2 formed by reacting calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)2 with chlorine gas (Cl2). The main disinfecting capabilities stem from the chlorine (Cl) component, which acts as an oxidizer. Ironically the odor reducing behavior stems from the inhibition of decay and although the traditional dumping of a murder victim into a shallow grave and then covering it with "lime" reduces the probability of the body being found by smell, it actually tends to preserve the evidence.
Remember "Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies...."
(This post was edited by ET on Mar 26, 2004, 5:03 PM)