Zeta potential on the anti-scalant modified sub-micro calcite surface

Pei Qing Yuan*, Zhen Min Cheng, Zhi Ming Zhou, Wei Kang Yuan, Raphael Semiat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


With the view of increasing the understanding to the anti-scaling mechanism in the membrane process, zeta potential on the anti-scalant (Calgon and PAA) modified sub-micro calcite surface was measured and was further characterized with a molecular simulation. Experimental results show that the original positively charged calcite in an aqueous solution is reversed to be negatively charged by introducing anti-scalants at a dosage of ppm level. On the basis of theoretical calculation, the observed reversal is resulted from the statistically predominant orientation of negative potential-determining groups in the adsorbed anti-scalant molecules, i.e. P{double bond, long}O and C{double bond, long}O, stretching against the calcite surface. A negative zeta potential prevailing on the calcite surface can effectively prevent the calcite from precipitating on the membrane surface. In the presence of anti-scalants, zeta potential on the sub-micro calcite surface is a sensitive function of calcite content, anti-scalant concentration, salt concentration, and pH of the suspension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-scalants
  • Molecular simulation
  • Sub-micro calcite
  • Zeta potential

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