The BCCF - for information about calcium carbonate

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Calcium Carbonate

The World's Most Versatile Mineral

Calcium Carbonate Glossary


Chalk is a poorly compacted sedimentary rock predominately composed of compacted coccoliths (a lime-secreting algae).


Formed as limestone (see below) but the sedimentation process occurs in the presence of magnesium resulting in a dolomitisation process.


Limestone is also a sedimentary rock, but it is more compacted than chalk. It is formed from the remains of microscopic animals or foraminifera.


Marble is a coarse-crystalline, metamorphic rock, which is formed when chalk or limestone are recrystallised under conditions of high temperature and pressure.

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Calcium Carbonate – modern day applications

Major industrial applications of GCC and PCC

Calcium carbonate powders, precipitated products and dolomite, are among the most important and versatile materials used by industry.

Modern calcium carbonate uses – paper, paint, rubber, plastics, household products, sealants, agriculture, bread, pharmaceuticals, glass

Both ground calcium carbonate (GCC) and precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) are used in an increasingly wide range of applications. Commercial grades of calcium carbonate have been developed to meet the technical demands of a different requirements by optimising properties such as fineness, particle size distribution and colour.

Principal applications for ground calcium carbonate (GCC)

Adhesives and sealants
Animal and pet feeds
Construction (concrete, plasters, asphalt)
Environment (desulphurisation of flue gas)
Fertilisers and agricultural liming
Food and pharmaceuticals
Glass and ceramics
Household products
Paints and surface-coatings
Plastics and composites
Rubber and elastomers

Further information on major GCC applications

Principal applications of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC)

Cosmetics and toiletries
Food and pharmaceuticals
Paints and inks
Sealants and adhesives

Further information on major PCC applications

NB: Dolomite Uses

Uses for dolomite are largely similar to those for GCC. However, its magnesium content excludes it from another of applications e.g. foods, pharmaceuticals, etc. On the other hand, magnesium, like calcium, is an important biological element, which is of interest in agriculture and forestry. Dolomite and magnesium limestones are therefore used for agricultural liming and the rehabilitation of over-acidified lands and waters.

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