Stirring effect on kaolinite dissolution rate

Volker Metz, Jiwchar Ganor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Experiments were carried out measuring kaolinite dissolution rates using stirred and nonstirred flow-through reactors at pHs 2 to 4 and temperatures of 25°C, 50°C, and 70°C. The results show an increase of kaolinite dissolution rate with increasing stirring speed. The stirring effect is reversible, i.e., as the stirring slows down the dissolution rate decreases. The effect of stirring speed on kaolinite dissolution rate is higher at 25°C than at 50°C and 70°C and at pH 4 than at pHs 2 and 3. It is suggested that fine kaolinite particles are formed as a result of stirring-induced spalling or abrasion of kaolinite. These very fine particles have an increased ratio of reactive surface area to specific surface area, which results in enhancement of kaolinite dissolution rate. A balance between production and dissolution of the fine particles explains both the reversibility and the temperature and pH dependence of the stirring effect. Since the stirring effect on kaolinite dissolution rate varies with temperature and pH, measurement of kinetic parameters such as activation energy may be influenced by stirring. Therefore, standard use of nonagitated reaction vessels for kinetic experiments of mineral dissolution and precipitation is recommended, at least for slow reactions that are surface controlled.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3475-3490
Number of pages16
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number20
StatePublished - 19 Dec 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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