Soda lime is one of the most popular carbon dioxide absorbent materials to be used for closed-circuit life saving safety breathing apparatus in mining industries. A trained rescue person uses it during a situation such as a
fire, explosion or emission of toxic gasses in underground mines. This paper evaluates the chemical composition and physical properties of soda lime using specific parameters (moisture, carbon dioxide gas absorption, granule shape and fine particle size) which plays an important role in its application in breathing apparatus. Results indicated that soda lime moisture content, fine grains and hardness ranged between 11.6-18.3%, 0.2-1.9g, and 70-90%,
respectively. The CO 2 absorption rate was observed to be 20.0 to 57.0 minutes compared to standard UK Protosorb soda lime CO 2 (135 minutes). X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Scanning
Electron Microscope (SEM) analysis of the samples were carried out to understand the changes in molecular structure of the material before and after CO 2 absorption. The XRD result indicated presence of portlandite
(48.5%),calcite (49.6%) and potassium rhenium sulfide telluride cyan acetate (PRSTCA) (1.84%) before CO 2 absorption and calcite calcium carbonate (89.4%) portlandite (3.38%) and octasodium d-potassium tetra hydrogen
dihydroxo tetra telluride dipalladate (7.2%), 20-hydrate was observed after CO 2 absorption. EDS of sample 6 indicated presence of carbon (4.94%), oxygen (39.80%) sodium (3.36%) and calcium (51.90%) before CO 2 absorption and carbon (6.27%), oxygen (36 96%), sodium (1.37%) and calcium (55.40%) after CO 2 absorption.
Keywords: Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), soda lime, hot air oven, breathing apparatus, XRD, EDS, SEM.
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