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Calcium oxide is usually made by the thermal decomposition of materials, such as limestone , that contain calcium carbonate (CaCO3; mineral name: calcite ). This is accomplished by heating the material to around 900°C (American Standard), a process called calcinations or lime-burning , so as to remove the carbon dioxide in a non-reversible chemical reaction . Lower temperatures would result in a reversible reaction, allowing the calcium carbonate to reabsorb the surrounding carbon dioxide. This is one of the first chemical reactions discovered by man and was known in prehistory.