Agglomeration Mechanisms and Kinetics during the Carbonation of a Suspension of Lime in a Pilot Batch Reactor


The reaction studied in this work is the synthesis of nanometric size calcium carbonate particles by carbonation of a suspension of lime, which represents the most common industrial route. It consists in bubbling carbon dioxide in a suspension of lime to obtain precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC). PCC is a mineral filler with various applications: sealants, paints, paper, ink, pharmacy, cosmetics, food etc. However, there is a challenge related to the synthesis and the use of this precipitate: the agglomeration of the monoparticles. The aim of this work is then to understand the mechanisms of this phenomenon and to study its kinetics to improve the run of the process and the control of its impact on the final product. Experiments realized with a high concentration in sodium chloride (2 M) showed that the modification of the electrostatic environment did not change the particle size distribution and the morphology of the agglomerates. This indicates that the electrostatic interactions are not responsible for the agglomeration but the formation of crystalline bridges induced by the crystal growth. Thus, thanks to an agglomeration model including the crystal growth rate, the agglomeration kernel β and the agglomeration constant β0 can be determined using a mathematical treatment of the experimental particle size distributions. Finally, by varying the experimental conditions, it appears that the agglomeration constant increases with the temperature whereas there is an optimal value regarding the shear rate.

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Schnebelen, M. , Mozet, K. , Jakob, A. , Sy, D. , Plasari, E. and Muhr, H. (2015) Agglomeration Mechanisms and Kinetics during the Carbonation of a Suspension of Lime in a Pilot Batch Reactor. Crystal Structure Theory and Applications, 4, 35-46. doi: 10.4236/csta.2015.43005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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