A surface approach to understanding the dissolution of fluorite type materials Implications for mineral dissolution kinetic models
Sammanfattning: Traditional dissolution models are based in the analyses of bulk solution compositions and ignore the fact that different sites of a surface dissolve at different rates. Consequently, the variation of surface area and surface reactivity during dissolution are not considered for the calculation of the overall dissolution rate, which is expected to remain constant with time. The results presented here show the limitations of this approach suggesting that dissolution rates should be calculated as a function of an overall surface reactivity term that accounts for the reactivity of each of the sites that constitute the surface. In contrast to previous studies, here the focus is put on studying the surface at different dissolution times. Significant changes in surface topography of CaF2 were observed during the initial seconds and up to 3200 hours of dissolution. The observed changes include the increase of surface area and progressive exposure of the most stable planes, with consequent decrease in overall reactivity of the surface. The novelty of a proposed dissolution model for fluorite surfaces, when compared with traditional dissolution models, is that it differentiates the reactivity of each characteristic site on a surface, e.g. plane or step edge, and considers the time dynamics. The time dependency of dissolution rates is a major factor of uncertainty when calculating long term dissolution rates using equations derived from dissolution experiments running for short periods of time and using materials with different surface properties. An additional factor of uncertainty is that the initial dissolution times are the most dynamic periods of dissolution, when significant variations of surface area and reactivity occur. The results are expected to have impact in the field of nuclear waste management and to the larger geological and material science community.
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