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Theoretical study of the dimerization of calcium carbonate in aqueous solution under natural water conditions

Di Tommaso, D; de Leeuw, NH; (2009) Theoretical study of the dimerization of calcium carbonate in aqueous solution under natural water conditions. GEOCHIM COSMOCHIM AC , 73 (18) 5394 - 5405. 10.1016/j.gca.2009.06.003.

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Abstract

First principles calculations have been used to investigate the condensation reactions of hydrated calcium bicarbonate monomers in a simulated aqueous environment. The reaction pathway for the calcium bicarbonate dimerization process has been computed at the density functional theory-PBE level with the COSMO dielectric continuum model to simulate the hydrated environment. The results indicate that calcium bicarbonate dimers form via an associative mechanism: the first step involves a sevenfold calcium bicarbonate intermediate followed by the loss of one water molecule from the first coordination shell of calcium. Both steps are characterised by a low energy barrier of approximately 2 kcal mol(-1), suggesting that the dimerization process is not kinetically hindered in aqueous solution. However, the Gibbs free energies for the condensation reactions to form the calcium bicarbonate dimers and the species Ca(HCO3)(2)(H2O)(4), Ca(HCO3)(3)(H2O)(3)(-) and Ca-2(HCO3)(H2O)(10)(3+), computed using the PBE and mPW1B95 density functional theory levels for the gas-phase component and the UAHF-CPCM solvation model for the hydration contribution, are all positive, which indicates that the formation of these early calcium bicarbonate clusters is thermodynamically unfavourable in aqueous solutions. Our calculations therefore suggest that the oligomerization of calcium carbonate is not spontaneous in water, at the conditions considered in our simulations, i.e. T = 298 K and neutral pH, which indicates that the nucleation of calcium carbonate cannot occur through a homogeneous process when calcium-bicarbonate ion pairs are the major source of CaCo3 in the aqueous environment. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Type:Article
Title:Theoretical study of the dimerization of calcium carbonate in aqueous solution under natural water conditions
DOI:10.1016/j.gca.2009.06.003
Keywords:DENSITY-FUNCTIONAL THEORY, ATMOSPHERE TOTAL PRESSURE, 25 DEGREES C, MOLECULAR-DYNAMICS, CONTINUUM MODEL, CRYSTAL-GROWTH, SOLVENT, ENERGY, ION, CRYSTALLIZATION
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Chemistry

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