Effect of multiple precipitation inhibitors on calcium carbonate nucleation

M Tomson, Jane M Davison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the factors which affect the precipitation of calcium carbonate is important to the study of most natural waters. The effect of blends of precipitation inhibitors on calcium carbonate nucleation is investigated via a new test apparatus. Results indicate that the behavior of mixed inhibitors at minimum concentration levels is strictly additive, as predicted theoretically. The potential existence of a "super effective" inhibitor in nature or in industry is therefore precluded; this may have significant consequences for water-processing industries. The possibility of extending the upper limit of inhibitor effectiveness, imposed by the solubility of the calcium-inhibitor salts, through the use of mixed inhibitors is discussed. It is also possible that the notion of additive effects of mixed inhibitors may be valid in other systems, such as geochemical environments, potable water treatment systems, and industrial waters in which naturally occurring calcium carbonate inhibitors exist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-556
JournalApplied Geochemistry
StatePublished - 1988


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