During Goldschmidt 2013 conference I will give a talk concerning our still fresh findings on the precipitation of calcium carbonate in nano-droplets of water forming with an oil environment and stabilized by surfactants i.e. water-in-oil microemulsions. We show how we can use microemulsions to elucidate the formation of amorphous and crystalline CaCO3. The talk will be a part of 22j session: “Probing the early stages of mineral nucleation and growth: from prenucleation clusters to macrocrystals”.
Mixing of two distinct microemulsions containing calcium and carbonate ions leads to a reproducible method to make nano- and micro-sized, monodisperse particles. By using time-resolved and in situ small-angle X-ray scattering and high-resolution imaging we demonstrated that crystalline CaCO3 grows through a slow but progressive agglomeration of the amorphous particles of the size of original micelles.
We believe that these findings are relevant for understanding of the calcium carbonate growth mechanisms occurring at water/non-polar liquid interfaces in natural and industrial environments (e.g. preventing scale formation). Microemulsions could also be a good analogue model system for mineralization of coccolith plates formed within the cell vesicles produced in the Golgi apparatuses of coccolithophores.
Cite as: Stawski TM & Benning LG (2013) Mineralogical Magazine, 77(5) 2254.
Link to the session:
And see you at Goldschmidt 2013!