Interactions of the Calcite {10.4} Surface with Organic Compounds: Structure and Behaviour at Mineral – Organic Interfaces

S. S. Hakim, M. H. M. Olsson, H. O. Sørensen, N. Bovet, Jakob Bohr, R. Feidenhans'l, S. L. S. Stipp

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    The structure and the strength of organic compound adsorption on mineral surfaces are of interest for a number of industrial and environmental applications, oil recovery, CO2 storage and contamination remediation. Biomineralised calcite plays an essential role in the function of many organisms that control crystal growth with organic macromolecules. Carbonate rocks, composed almost exclusively of calcite, host drinking water aquifers and oil reservoirs. In this study, we examined the ordering behaviour of several organic compounds and the thickness of the adsorbed layers formed on calcite {10.4} surfaces. We used X-ray reflectivity (XRR) to study calcite {10.4} surfaces that were prepared in three alcohols: methanol, isopropanol and pentanol and one carboxylic acid: octanoic acid. All molecules adsorbed in self-assembled layers, where thickness depended on the density and the length of the molecule. For methanol and isopropanol, molecular dynamic simulations (MD) provided complementary information, which allowed us to develop a surface model. Branching in isopropanol induced slightly less ordering because of the additional degree of freedom. Pentanol and octanoic acid adsorbed as single monolayers. The results of this work indicate that adhered organic compounds from the surrounding environment can affect the surface behaviour, depending on properties of the organic compound.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number7592
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


    • Environmental chemistry
    • Biogeochemistry


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