Abstract A model has been developed for the removal of sulphur dioxide from flue gas by absorption into a limestone slurry. The flue gas desulphurization unit consists of an absorber tower and an oxidation tank. Flue gas enters the absorption tower at the bottom and meets the limestone slurry. There are five important chemical reactions with a finite rate. The rate-limiting reactions are limestone dissolution, calcium sulphite precipitation and dissolution, gypsum precipitation, sulphur dioxide absorption and sulphite oxidation in the slurry. The model also accounts for the presence of chloride ions, magnesium ions and organic acids in the limestone slurry. The absorption rates of sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide in the tower are calculated according to the two-film model. A non-uniform set of limestone particles is also included in the model. The model was tested against literature data and the agreement between the data and the model was satisfactory. A sensitivity analysis of the desulphurization process was carried out, the inputs to the model were changed and the results from the calculations were compared with the expected results. The response to the change in the inputs agreed well with the expected results.