Predicting the precipiation of amorphous silica from geothermal brines

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The voluminous gel-like deposits encountered at Cerro Prieto, Wairakei, and Niland consist of flocculated colloidal amorphous silica. The crumbly grey and white scales associated with the gel-like materials are cemented colloidal aggregates. This colloidal silica is produced by homogeneous nucleation in the liquid phase; i.e., nucleation by growth of polymers to critical nucleus size without the participation of some preexisting solid particle. With most substances heterogeneous nucleation is dominant, and homogeneous nucleation is very slow, rare in nature, and difficult to study in the laboratory. The precipitation of amorphous silica is an apparent exception to this because of the very ... continued below

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pages 294-299

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Weres, Oleh; Yee, Andrew & Tsao, Leon January 1, 1978.

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Description

The voluminous gel-like deposits encountered at Cerro Prieto, Wairakei, and Niland consist of flocculated colloidal amorphous silica. The crumbly grey and white scales associated with the gel-like materials are cemented colloidal aggregates. This colloidal silica is produced by homogeneous nucleation in the liquid phase; i.e., nucleation by growth of polymers to critical nucleus size without the participation of some preexisting solid particle. With most substances heterogeneous nucleation is dominant, and homogeneous nucleation is very slow, rare in nature, and difficult to study in the laboratory. The precipitation of amorphous silica is an apparent exception to this because of the very low surface tension of the silica-water interface--between 35 and 50 ergs cm{sup -2} over the range of major practical interest. By comparison, the surface tension of the water-air interface is about 70-80 ergs cm{sup -2}. This means that enormous numbers of particles can be produced by homogeneous nucleation (on the order 10{sup 17} to 10{sup 18} per liter), and this completely swamps the effects of heterogeneous nucleation.

Physical Description

pages 294-299

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  • Proceedings fourth workshop geothermal reservoir engineering, Stanford, CA, December 13-15, 1978

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  • Report No.: SGP-TR-30
  • Report No.: CONF-781222-43
  • Grant Number: None
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 892555
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc884121

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • January 1, 1978

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Feb. 16, 2017, 7:01 p.m.

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Weres, Oleh; Yee, Andrew & Tsao, Leon. Predicting the precipiation of amorphous silica from geothermal brines, article, January 1, 1978; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc884121/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.