Scholarly Communications Project

The Leached Layer Formed On Wollastonite In An Acid Environment


Erich J. Weissbart

Master's Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science


Geological Sciences


Dr. J. D. Rimstidt

April 29, 1997
Blacksburg, Virginia


THE LEACHED LAYER FORMED ON WOLLASTONITE IN AN ACID ENVIRONMENT Erich J. Weissbart (ABSTRACT) Experiments were carried out in a fixed-bed external recycle mixed flow reactor to measure the rate of dissolution and the development of a leached layer on wollastonite. Each experiment ran for approximately 24 hours and the release rates of Si and Ca in the interval from 14 to 24 hours were analyzed. Each experiment began with an incongruent stage where Ca was released faster than the silica that remained on the surface to form the leached layer. The silica release rate after 14 hours was 2.13 x 10-9 ( 1.03 x 10-9, 1 , n=67) mol/m2/sec, and this rate appeared to be independent of pH from pH 2 to 6 at 25 degrees C. BET surface area measurements of reacted wollastonite showed large increases in BET Asp over the course of experiments even though both the Ca and Si release rates decreased. These large increases of measured Asp were the result of the growing internal porosity of the leached layer, and much of this surface does not seem to contribute to Si release rates. From these data, we infer that the overall reaction for the hydrolysis of wollastonite in an acid environment is best explained by two relatively independent reactions. First, Ca is removed from the crystal leaving behind linear silica polymers; then the silica polymers are released into solution where they hydrolyze to form H4SiO4. nCaSiO3 + 2nH+ nCa2+ + (H2SiO3)n (H2SiO3)n + nH2O n(H4SiO4) As the leached layer grows in thickness, the Ca release rate slows because it is controlled by transport through the leached layer. A model of Ca diffusion through the leached layer shows that the leached layer grows thicker at lower pH and presents a longer diffusion path for Ca transport into the solution. This diffusion limited reaction offsets the faster rate of the Ca hydrolysis reaction so that at steady state the Ca rates should also become equal to the Si release rate.

List of attached files

File NameSize (Bytes)
ch1.PDF284,518 Bytes
ch2.pdf96,903 Bytes
ch3.pdf26,172 Bytes
ch4.pdf32,453 Bytes
ch5.pdf2,697 Bytes
etd.pdf15,472 Bytes

The author grants to Virginia Tech or its agents the right to archive and display their thesis or dissertation in whole or in part in the University Libraries in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all proprietary rights, such as patent rights. The author also retains the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis or dissertation.
[ETD main page] [Search ETDs][] [SCP home page] [library home page]

Send Suggestions or Comments to