Influence of ozonized kraft lignin on the crystallization of CaCO3

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Results are reviewed from a study examining how structural modifications introduced by ozonization enhance the influence of kraft lignin on the crystallization of CaCO3. Ozone treatment of kraft lignin in an aqueous environment is shown to increase its carboxylic acid and overall oxygen content and reduce its molecular weight. Calcium concentration and temperature were monitored in heated supersaturated solutions containing ozonized kraft lignins to gauge their influence on CaCO3 crystallization processes. The presence of kraft lignin raises the temperature necessary to induce crystallization. This effect is shown to level off at relatively low lignin concentrations and be dependent on the extent of ozone treatment the kraft lignin has undergone. A linear correlation is found between crystallization temperatures and the carboxylic acid content of ozonized lignin samples indicating the introduction of these functional groups plays an important role in enhancing its inhibitory effect. Scanning electron microscopy images of crystals grown in the presence of kraft lignins show significant morphological modifications. These are consistent with specific or pseudo specific interactions between the lignin and crystal faces of calcite to inhibit growth parallel to its c axis. The influence over crystal morphology demonstrated by modified kraft lignin increases with increasing ozonization. Also presented here are crystallization temperature data for a range of kraft lignin ultrafiltration fractions, which indicate that the optimal (nominal) molecular weight of kraft lignin for inhibiting the crystallization of CaCO3 lies between 5000 and 10000.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Yan Li (University of Minnesota) for kindly supplying several of the kraft lignin molecular weight fractions tested and Jeremy E. Loy (University of Minnesota) for acquiring the SEM images presented. This research is supported by the Minnesota Agricultural Experimental Station, Project Number MIN-43-050.


  • Antiscalant
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Crystallization
  • Kraft lignin
  • Ozonization

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