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Keywords:

  • materials science and technology;
  • controlled precipitation;
  • polymorphism;
  • calcium carbonate;
  • nanoparticles

Abstract

Calcium carbonate nanoparticles (CCNP) were synthesised by precipitation from saturated sodium carbonate and calcium nitrate aqueous solutions. The effect of agitation rate, mixing time, calcium/carbonate ions concentration and temperature on particle size and morphology were investigated. Particles were characterised using X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Increasing the mixing time from 30 to 180 min resulted in a decrease in particles size. Mixing rate variation between 300 and 14 000 rpm decreased the particle size. Temperature increase favoured a significant growth in particle size and in the formation of aragonite beginning from 80°C. Calcium and carbonate ion concentrations are key parameters controlling the CCNP particle size. Calcite is the main polymorph obtained as revealed by XRD analysis. © 2011 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering