Limestone Mapping Proposal Funded

Zak Lasemi's proposal, "Mapping High-Calcium Limestone Resources near Illinois Coal-Fired Power Plants," was funded by the Illinois Clean Coal Institute (ICCI). Illinois is experiencing a dramatic increase in demand for high-calcium limestone for flue gas desulfurization in coal-fired power plants. Earlier ISGS studies funded by the ICCI showed that high-calcium limestones are not widely present in Illinois, and most limestone quarries examined consisted of multiple layers or ledges that varied significantly in CaCO3 content. This proposed project will undertake a layer-by-layer examination of limestone quarries within a 50-mile radius of existing and potential coal-fired power plants in order to identify and characterize the high-calcium limestone zones, especially those with CaCO3 contents of 95% or more. The quarry examinations will provide important information regarding the thickness, depth, areal distribution, and availability of the high-calcium limestone zones. The overall project objective is to prepare a resource map and database identifying and characterizing high-calcium limestone in Illinois quarries within economical transportation distances from existing and planned coal-fired power plants. The results will provide utilities and other industries that burn Illinois coal with a way to find the best quality limestone locally and at low cost. The project will start January 1, 2010 and will end May 31, 2011.