Lime Kilns are very much a part of any industrialized maritime culture. No exception in Holland. These kilns can heat sea shells to over 900 degrees Celsius in order to bring about the chemical reaction to extract quicklime, an important component of cement products.
These Kalkovens (lime ovens) would be filled with sea shells and fueled with coal and peat. After about 72 hours the only thing remaining in the oven would be quicklime that could be scooped out from beneath through access holes.
Proximity to the waterway allows barges and ships to unload their dredged cargo of shells while also providing a means for the transport of the finished product. A large water source is also essential for cooling and extinguishing the fires to prevent the temperature rising above 1000 degrees Celsius at which time the usefulness of the quicklime is degraded.
These kilns are part of the permanent outdoor exhibit at the Zuider Zee Museum at Enkhuizen.
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