Dissolution of beta-C2S Cement Clinker: Part 1 Molecular Dynamics (MD) Approach for Different Crystal Facets

KMS Uddin and M Izadifar and N Ukrainczyk and E Koenders and B Middendorf, MATERIALS, 15, 6388 (2022).

DOI: 10.3390/ma15186388

A major concern in the modern cement industry is considering how to minimize the CO2 footprint. Thus, cements based on belite, an impure clinker mineral (CaO)(2)SiO2 (C2S in cement chemistry notation), which forms at lower temperatures, is a promising solution to develop eco- efficient and sustainable cement-based materials, used in enormous quantities. The slow reactivity of belite plays a critical role, but the dissolution mechanisms and kinetic rates at the atomistic scale are not known completely yet. This work aims to understand the dissolution behavior of different facets of beta-C2S providing missing input data and an upscaling modeling approach to connect the atomistic scale to the sub-micro scale. First, a combined ReaxFF and metadynamics-based molecular dynamic approach are applied to compute the atomistic forward reaction rates (R-D) of calcium (Ca) and silicate species of (100) facet of beta-C2S considering the influence of crystal facets and crystal defects. To minimize the huge number of atomistic events possibilities, a generalized approach is proposed, based on the systematic removal of nearest neighbors' crystal sites. This enables us to tabulate data on the forward reaction rates of most important atomistic scenarios, which are needed as input parameters to implement the Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) computational upscaling approach. The reason for the higher reactivity of the (100) facet compared to the (010) is explained.

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