Limestone powder characterized by hydrophobic properties is used as an anti-explosive agent in coal mining industry. Unfortunately, the standard method of producing such powder by milling limestone with stearic acid is practically unprofitable in many modernized quarries and plants, and sometimes literally impossible due to the introduction of technological changes and implementation of modern mills. Then new methods of hydrophobization of limestone surfaces ought be searched. In the work two methods hydrophobization: from the stearic acid vapour phase and from silicone solutions are proposed.
Lime dust from the Czatkowice Quarry of Lime was used as a raw material during investigations. It is a good agent for research because it is possible to compare the properties of samples modified in this work to the properties of anti-explosive lime powder (Polish Standard, 1994) used in mining industry in Poland.
The first technique of limestone powder hydrophobization was carried out in an apparatus of own design (Vogt, 2008, 2011), and it consisted in free sedimentation of the powder layer dispersed by stearic acid vapour in powder counter current flow. The second way of modification consisted in mixing in the evaporating dish substrates: limestone powder and dope - silicone solution - Sarsil® H-15 (Vogt & Opaliński, 2009; Vogt & Hołownia, 2010). Evaluation of properties so-obtained waterproof powders was carried out according to the Polish Standard, as well as using original powder determination ways, with the Powder Characteristic Tester (Index tables, Tablets & Capsules, 2005). Moreover water vapour adsorption isotherms were obtained and the thermal decomposition of powder was made. All modified samples acquired the hydrophobic character. Therefore we can state that the both proposed methods of hydrophobization of the limestone powder are useful. The parameters obtained with the use of Powder Characteristics Tester enable us to make a characterization of limestone properties not only as a water resistant material but also from the cohesion point of view. On the base of TG, DTG or DTA and EGA curves for all investigated materials was stated that the character of the thermal decomposition of modified samples is the same as this one for raw powder, what is profitable for application of hydrophobized powders as an anti-explosive agent.