Predictive surface complexation model of the calcite-aqueous solution interface: the impact of high concentration and complex composition of brines

Jan Vinogradov* (Corresponding Author), Miftah Hidayat, Mohammad Sarmadivaleh, Jos Derksen, David Vega-Maza, Stefan Iglauer, Damien Jougnot, Mohamed Azaroual, Philippe Leroy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Electrochemical interactions at calcite-water interface are characterized by the zeta potential and play an important role in many subsurface applications. In this work we report a new physically meaningful surface complexation model that is proven to be efficient in predicting calcite-water zeta potentials for a wide range of experimental conditions. Our model uses a two-stage optimization for matching experimental observations. First, equilibrium constants are optimized, and the Stern layer capacitance is optimized in the second stage. The model is applied to a variety of experimental sets that correspond to intact natural limestones saturated with equilibrated solutions of low-to-high salinity, and crushed Iceland Spar sample saturated with NaCl at non-equilibrium conditions. The proposed linear correlation of the Stern layer capacitance with the ionic strength is the main novel contribution to our surface complexation model without which high salinity experiments cannot be modelled. Our model is fully predictive given accurately known conditions. Therefore, the reported parameters and modelling protocol are of significant importance for improving our understanding of the complex calcite-water interfacial interactions. The findings provide a robust tool to predict electrochemical properties of calcite-water interfaces, which are essential for many subsurface applications including hydrology, geothermal resources, CO2 sequestration and hydrocarbon recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-867
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Early online date20 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Miftah Hidayat was supported by the Aberdeen-Curtin PhD studentship. David Vega-Maza is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (“Beatriz Galindo Senior” fellowship BEAGAL18/00259). The research work of Philippe Leroy was conducted within the framework of the O-ZNS project which is part of PIVOTS project (financial support provided by the Région Centre-Val de Loire and the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research).


  • zeta potential
  • calcite
  • aqueous solutions
  • surface complexation model
  • high salinity
  • complex composition
  • predictive model
  • Stern layer capacitance


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