C1.2 Limestone and building materials
Rocks provide essential building materials. Limestone is a naturally occurring resource that provides a starting
point for the manufacture of cement and concrete.
Candidates should use their skills, knowledge and understanding to:
■ consider and evaluate the environmental, social and economic effects of exploiting limestone and producing building materials (specifically limestone, cement and concrete) from it
■ evaluate the developments in using limestone, cement and concrete as building materials, and their advantages and disadvantages over other materials.
Calcium carbonate - Thermal decomposition of calcium carbonate Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) can be decomposed by heating (thermal decomposition) to make calcium oxide (CaO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). CaCO3(s) → CaO(s) + CO2(g) Reaction of metal carbonate, like calcium carbonate, with acid Metal carbonates react with acids to produce carbon dioxide, a salt and water. Limestone, being a metal carbonate, is damaged by acid rain Limestone uses - What is limestone? Limestone is a type of sedimentary rock that is mainly composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Uses Limestone may be directly used as a building material, or be used in the manufacture of building materials such as: cement, mortar and concrete. Cement works are often located close to limestone quarries. Limestone extraction from the ground This occurs at limestone quarries. After
C1.2 AQA revision notes on ‘Rock and building materials’ from Pearson (click here for pdf)