Petrographic examination and grain size-distribution measurements were made on 11 specimens representing a broad spectrum of limestones and dolomites. The SO2 reaction kinetics of calcines prepared from each rock type were determined at 980??C. Stones of various geological types yield calcines of distinctly different physical structures that show correspondingly large differences in both rate of reaction and capacity for SO2 sorption. Pore size and particle size together determine the extent to which the interiors of individual particles react. Particles smaller than 0.01 cm with pores larger than 0.1 ?? react throughout their internal pore structure at a rate directly proportional to the BET surface. The rate decays exponentially as sulfation proceeds until the pores are filled with reaction product. The ultimate capacity of small particles is determined by the pore volume available for product accumulation, which is generally equivalent to about 50% conversion of the CaO in limestones. Variations in effectiveness of carbonate rocks for flue gas desulfurization are explained by the physical properties of their calcines, which are related to the crystal structure of the original rock. The high reaction rates achieved in the limestone injection process apparently result from the large surface area existing for short periods immediately following the dissociation of CaCO3.