The inhibition of calcite precipitation by natural organic material (NOM) in solutions seeded with calcite was investigated using a pH-stat system. Experiments were carried out using three NOMs with different physical/chemical properties. For each of the materials, inhibition was found to be more effective at lower carbonate/calcium ratios and lower pH values. The reduction in the precipitation rate could be explained by a Langmuir adsorption model using a conditional equilibrium constant. By identification of the type of site on the NOM molecules that is involved in the adsorption reaction, the "conditional" equilibrium constants obtained at different solution compositions converged to a single "nonconditional" value. The thermodynamic data determined at 25??C and 1 atm suggest that the interaction between NOM molecules and the calcite surface is chemisorptive in nature and that adsorption is an endothermic reaction driven by the entropy change. The greatest degree of inhibition was observed for the NOM with the highest molecular weight and aromatic carbon content. For a given type of NOM, the degree of inhibition of calcite precipitation was dictated by the balance between the enthalpy change and the entropy change of the adsorption reaction. ?? 2005 American Chemical Society.
Additional publication details
Inhibition of calcite precipitation by natural organic material: Kinetics, mechanism, and thermodynamics