Deposition rates of polysilicic acid with up to 10-3 M calcium ions

Taiji Chida, Yuichi Niibori, Osamu Tochiyama, Hitoshi Mimura, Koichi Tanaka

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Cementitious materials used for radioactive waste repository construction complicate the performance assessment of radioactive waste systems because the use of cement may greatly alter the pH (8-13) of groundwater and release constituents such as calcium ions. Under such conditions, it is important to clarify also the dynamic behavior of silica (silicic acid), in order to evaluate the alteration in the chemical and physical properties of the fractured layer or the host rock surrounding the repository. Since silica undergoes polymerization, precipitation or dissolution depending on the pH and/or temperature, the behavior of silica would be greatly complicated in the presence of other ions. This study is focused on the deposition rates of polysilicic acid and soluble silicic acid with up to 10-3 M Ca ions. In the experiment, Na2SiO3 solution (250 mL, pH > 10, 298 K) was poured into a polyethylene vessel containing amorphous silica powder (0.5 g), and a buffer solution, HNO3, and CaNO3 as Ca ions were sequentially added into the vessel. The pH of the solution was set to 8. The silica, initially in a soluble form at pH > 10 (1.4 × 10-2 M), became supersaturated and either deposited on the solid surface or changed into the polymeric form. Then the concentrations of both poly- and soluble silicic acid were monitored over a 40-day period. The decrease of polysilicic acid became slow with an increase in the concentration of Ca ions in the range of up to 10-3 M. In general, the addition of electrolytes to a supersaturated solution accelerates the aggregation and precipitation of polymeric species. However, the experimental result showed that polysilicic acid in the presence of Ca ions is apparently stable in solution, compared with that under a Ca-free condition. On the other hand, the concentration of soluble silicic acid in the presence of Ca ions immediately became metastable, that is, slightly higher than the solubility of soluble silicic acid. Its dynamic behavior was similar to that in the Ca-free condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2810-2816
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Geochemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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