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The dynamic nature of crystal growth in pores

Godinho, JRA; Gerke, KM; Stack, AG; Lee, PD; (2016) The dynamic nature of crystal growth in pores. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 33086. 10.1038/srep33086. Green open access

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The kinetics of crystal growth in porous media controls a variety of natural processes such as ore genesis and crystallization induced fracturing that can trigger earthquakes and weathering, as well as, sequestration of CO2 and toxic metals into geological formations. Progress on understanding those processes has been limited by experimental difficulties of dynamically studying the reactive surface area and permeability during pore occlusion. Here, we show that these variables cause a time-dependency of barite growth rates in microporous silica. The rate is approximately constant and similar to that observed on free surfaces if fast flow velocities predominate and if the time-dependent reactive surface area is accounted for. As the narrower flow paths clog, local flow velocities decrease, which causes the progressive slowing of growth rates. We conclude that mineral growth in a microporous media can be estimated based on free surface studies when a) the growth rate is normalized to the time-dependent surface area of the growing crystals, and b) the local flow velocities are above the limit at which growth is transport-limited. Accounting for the dynamic relation between microstructure, flow velocity and growth rate is shown to be crucial towards understanding and predicting precipitation in porous rocks.

Type: Article
Title: The dynamic nature of crystal growth in pores
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep33086
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep33086
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049155
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