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View some of our frequently asked questions.

Lime FAQs

  • What is the difference between lime and limestone?

    Limestone is calcium carbonate mined from the ground and crushed for various end uses. When high calcium limestone is burned or calcined in a lime kiln, quicklime (calcium oxide) is produced. Quicklime can then be reacted with water to produce hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide). Quicklime has a much higher available calcium carbonate equivalent percentage when compared to limestone and a slightly higher value compared to hydrated lime. Generally speaking, the calcium carbonate equivalent values are as follows:

    Limestone (calcium carbonate): 80-100%
    Quicklime (calcium oxide): 150-175%
    Hydrated Lime (calcium hydroxide): 120-135%

  • How is lime made?

    Lime is produced through the calcination of limestone (calcium carbonate) in a lime kiln at temperatures at or above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.  The product of calcination of high calcium limestone is "quicklime" or calcium oxide.  Quicklime in turn can be reacted with water to produce hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide).

  • What are common uses for lime?

    Lime is a versatile product with many end uses. Some of the many uses include flue gas desulfurization in the coal fired power industry, water treatment (lime softening), anti-strip additive for asphalt hot mix, corn stover treatment for cattle feed, soil stabilization, drilling mud applications in the oil industry, or pH adjustment in various industrial or water treatment processes. If you have any questions regarding a potential lime application, one of our technical sales representatives would be happy to assist.

  • How should lime be handled?

    Lime should be handled with care and not until the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) has been reviewed.  See the products tab of our website to obtain an MSDS for our lime.  Lime should be stored in silos or an area where it is not susceptible to moisture.  Quicklime (calcium oxide) can be stored for short periods of time in 1-ton super sack totes.  Hydrated lime at Pete Lien & Sons is also bagged in 50-lb bags.   

  • How can I obtain a lime certification?

    Contact your local sales representative to obtain a certification for your project. We are able to provide certifications for water treatment verification, anti-strip applications by all State and Federal Transportation Departments, or a variety of other uses.

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Ground Calcium Carbonate FAQs

  • What are the Colorado Lien complex customer loading hours?

    a. Quarry: Monday – Friday: 7:00am – 3:00pm

    b. Fine Grind Plant: Monday – Friday: 24 hours a day; Saturdays: Open until 2pm; Sunday: Open at 8:00am through the day/night.

  • Do we sell to the public?


  • What are the directions to Owl Canyon Complex?

    The complex is located 17 miles north of Fort Collins on Highway 287, ½ mile north of mile marker 365, and 1 mile south of "The Forks" in Livermore, CO.

  • What is the difference between Lime and Ground Calcium Carbonate (GCC)

    a. Lime is produced by heating limestone in a kiln to change the mineral into calcium oxide, and calcium carbonate (aka: pulverized limestone or fine grind) is produced by pulverizing high-grade calcium minerals, in Pete Lien & Sons' case limestone, into a ground granular or power sized finished product.

    b. Pete Lien & Sons sells both Lime and Calcium Carbonate, but each product is produced at different locations.

    c. Lime is produced out of our Rapid City Complex, Frannie Complex, and Colorado Hydrate Complex, while Calcium Carbonate is produced out of our Owl Canyon Complex.

  • Does Pete Lien & Sons sell AgLime

    Yes, the name 'AgLime' is a bit deceiving because it is not lime, instead it is agricultural crushed limestone. Pete Lien & Sons sells 'AgLime' out of the Owl Canyon Complex via Ground Calcium Carbonate.

  • What do you mean by ‘Fine Grind’?

    a. Fine Grind is the process of pulverizing limestone

    b. There are many different names for Fine Grind material. They include; pulverized limestone/mineral, ground calcium carbonate (GCC), cal. carb., mineral filler, and AgLime to name a few. To complicate things further, each fine grind manufacturer has a different brand name for pulverized limestone.

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Sand & Gravel FAQs

  • Do you have round river rock – used for landscaping and rock gardens?

    Yes, our sand & gravel plants offer round river rock that is double washed and is used for landscaping purposes. It is available from the sand & gravel plants or local retailers in the Rapid City market.

  • When does it make sense to purchase from Pete Lien & Sons vs. local retailer's for sand & gravel?

     Our feeling is that the sand & gravel plants are setup best for contractors and/or full truck loads. Anything less than a truck load of material, it makes more sense to purchase from local retailer's.

  • Do you do delivery?

    All operations perform delivery of our products. We utilize our own trucks along with local contractors. The customer is also welcome to pick up the material with their truck or trucking contractor.

  • Where are you located?

    a. Wasta

    b. Creston

    c. Oral

    d. Sundance

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Crushed Stone & Ore FAQs

  • How many tons of rock do I need for my project?

    The tonnage of stone required for a given area varies by stone type, depth, and compaction efforts.  The calculator provided on our website is based on placement of compacted base course.  Other types of stones vary in unit weight and therefore will require more or less tonnage per volume of space.  The first step regardless of product is to calculate the volume to be filled.  This is completed by multiplying the length x width x depth.  All measurements must be in the same units (ie. typically inches, feet, or yards).  The volume can then be multiplied by the appropriate unit weight.  Some typical unit weights are provided below.  For assistance with your calculations or with questions, please contact your local Pete Lien & Sons aggregate sales representative.

  • How many tons of riprap are in one cubic yard?

    The conversion for riprap varies by size but generally speaking, a conversion of 2 tons per cubic yard is sufficient. Limestone has an in situ unit weight of approximately 160 pounds per cubic foot but voids on average reduce the unit weight of riprap to closer to 150 pounds per cubic foot.

  • What are the benefits of limestone ledge rock versus alluvial products?

    Limestone is a very clean fractured stone. It has minimal dirt/clay particles and is crushed thereby providing good structural characteristics. This makes it a very stable product that compacts well and maintains stability even in the presence of moisture. Limestone products provide added benefits to construction projects because it drains well and maintains its strength even when heavily wetted due to rain or snow. This is a significant benefit over alluvial products that typically have to be dried, shaped and then re-compacted, or in some cases completely replaced after being inundated by moisture events. This is another reason that limestone is preferred under building foundations as an engineered fill in areas of highly plastic (high clay content) soils.

  • What does limestone cost?

    Please contact your local sales representative to inquire about our products and pricing.

  • Does Pete Lien & Sons deliver?

    Pete Lien & Sons sales representatives work closely with many local transportation companies in order to ensure that our customers have access to all of our products. We are happy to help arrange transportation for all project sizes. Please contact your local sales representative to discuss your delivery needs.

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Ready Mix Concrete FAQs

  • How much concrete do I need?

    It depends. Please use the concrete calculator to come up with an approximate amount in cubic yards.

  • Where do I get concrete from Pete Lien & Sons?

    We have plants in Colorado, Wyoming, and Western South Dakota. Please check out the map for a location near you.

  • How do I protect my concrete?

    There are many best practices to ensure a quality finish and durable concrete. They can be done while placing the concrete or after it is set. See our Concrete in Practice tips for more information.

  • How can I most effectively place my concrete?

    Pete Lien & Sons has concrete boom pumps available for the easiest placement.

  • What is concrete?

    Cement, rock, sand, water, and admixtures like air entrainers, water reducers, or retarders.

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