Effects of organic additives on calcium hydroxide crystallisation during lime slaking

Cecilia Pesce, Giovanni L. Pesce, Marco Molinari, Alan Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Organic compounds, often used in cement systems as admixtures, may affect the crystallisation and carbonation kinetics of Ca(OH)2, an important phase of hydrated cement. Here, we investigated changes in Ca(OH)2 morphology in the presence of 3 organic compounds, commonly encountered in cement and lime-based materials: sucrose, pectin and calcium lignosulfonate. The additives were introduced either before or after lime slaking to determine the influence of temperature. Ca(OH)2 crystals and supernatant solutions were characterised at time of slaking and after 6 months of ageing using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and optical emission spectroscopy.

Our results indicate that the morphology of Ca(OH)2 crystals is modified by the characteristics of the organic molecules which promote formation of Ca(OH)2 with habits that can result in faster carbonation, an effect that is detrimental to cement used in reinforced concrete. These effects are enhanced when the additives are introduced before slaking, likely as a result of thermal degradation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106254
Number of pages13
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Early online date16 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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