Limekilns are used to make quicklime by cooking limestone to 1,650 ℉. Quicklime is used in fertilizer, insecticides, tanning, mortar, plaster, high-grade steel, paper, and cement. Until the creation of the limekilns in 1688, colonists crushed oyster shells to create quicklime. The quicklime industry helped fund the American Revolution and the Underground Railroad.
Decomposing limestone (CaCO3) into quicklime (burnt limestone; CaO) releases significant CO2 emissions, both from the combustion of fuel needed to heat the kiln to temperatures over 1,000°C, and by the release of CO2 from the reaction itself (CaCO3 --> CaO + CO2). Because quicklime is a key ingredient in the production of cement, as well as being used in steel, pulp-and-paper and other industries, efforts are underway to reduce the carbon footprint of this operation. -- Chemical Engineering / February 1, 2022
Across the street...
The Underground Railroad: birthplace of Freedom in the USA
"As part of the Plymouth Meeting Anti-Slavery Society they held meetings in the Plymouth Friends Meetinghouse across the street from their home."
Head north just a bit...
Limekilns: The cradle of commerce in the USA
"Remains of an industry that began in the village of Plymouth Meeting in 1688"
The original Made in America human influencer of climate change on an industrial scale.
If you head east a bit...
Old Corson Quarry: original mine for the limekilns and site of the train derailment
Before they discovered limestone in Plymouth Meeting, colonists had to crush oyster shells. The quarry is still in use today and was purchased by Highway Materials, Inc. in 1997.
The deaths and damage to infrastructure were caused in part by the culture, economics, and "cradle of climate change" created in Plymouth Meeting in 1688.