Variation of Crystal Dissolution Rate Based on a Dissolution Stepwave Model

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Science  23 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5512, pp. 2400-2404
DOI: 10.1126/science.1058173

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A formulation based on defect-generated dissolution stepwaves of the variation of dissolution rate with the degree of undersaturation is validated by near-atomic-scale observations of surfaces, Monte Carlo simulations, and experimental bulk dissolution rates. The dissolution stepwaves emanating from etch pits provide a train of steps similar to those of a spiral but with different behavior. Their role in accounting for the bulk dissolution rate of crystals provides a conceptual framework for mineral dissolution far from equilibrium. Furthermore, the law extends research to conditions closer to equilibrium and predicts a nonlinear decrease in the rate of dissolution as equilibrium is approached, which has implications for understanding artificial and natural processes involving solid-fluid reactions.

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