Stability of sodium sulfate dicarbonate (~2Na₂CO₃• Na₂SO₄) crystals

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Bayuadri, Cosmas
Rousseau, Ronald W.
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Research on salts species formed by evaporation of aqueous solution of Na2 in the early 1930s. The thermodynamic, crystallographic and many other physical and chemical properties of most of the species formed from this solution has been known for decades. However, there was no complete information or reliable data to confirm the existence of a unique double salt that is rich in sodium carbonate, up until five years ago when a research identified the double salt (~2Na ₂ CO ₃ • Na ₂ SO ₄) from the ternary system Na₂CO ₃Na₂SO ₄ H₂O. Crystallization of this double salt so called sodium sulfate dicarbonate (~2Na ₂ CO ₃ • Na ₂ SO ₄) is known to be a primary contributor to fouling heat transfer equipment in spent-liquor concentrators used in the pulp and paper industry. Therefore, understanding the conditions leading to formation of this double salt is crucial to the elimination or reduction of an industrial scaling problem. In this work, double salts were generated in a batch crystallizer at close to industrial process conditions. X-ray diffraction, calorimetry, and microscopic observation were used to investigate the stability of the salts to in-process aging, isolation and storage, and exposure to high temperature. The results show that care must be taken during sampling on evaporative crystallization. Two apparent crystal habits were detected in the formation of sodium sulfate dicarbonate; the favored habit may be determined by calcium ion impurities in the system. The results also verify that sodium sulfate dicarbonate exists as a unique phase in this system and that remains stable at process conditions of 115-200℃
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