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Inorg Chem. 2010 Jun 21;49(12):5522-9. doi: 10.1021/ic100140j.

Incorporation of phosphorus guest ions in the calcium silicate phases of Portland cement from 31P MAS NMR spectroscopy.

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  • 1Instrument Centre for Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


Portland cements may contain small quantities of phosphorus (typically below 0.5 wt % P(2)O(5)), originating from either the raw materials or alternative sources of fuel used to heat the cement kilns. This work reports the first (31)P MAS NMR study of anhydrous and hydrated Portland cements that focuses on the phase and site preferences of the (PO(4))(3-) guest ions in the main clinker phases and hydration products. The observed (31)P chemical shifts (10 to -2 ppm), the (31)P chemical shift anisotropy, and the resemblance of the lineshapes in the (31)P and (29)Si MAS NMR spectra strongly suggest that (PO(4))(3-) units are incorporated in the calcium silicate phases, alite (Ca(3)SiO(5)) and belite (Ca(2)SiO(4)), by substitution for (SiO(4))(4-) tetrahedra. This assignment is further supported by a determination of the spin-lattice relaxation times for (31)P in alite and belite, which exhibit the same ratio as observed for the corresponding (29)Si relaxation times. From simulations of the intensities, observed in inversion-recovery spectra for a white Portland cement, it is deduced that 1.3% and 2.1% of the Si sites in alite and belite, respectively, are replaced by phosphorus. Charge balance may potentially be achieved to some extent by a coupled substitution mechanism where Ca(2+) is replaced by Fe(3+) ions, which may account for the interaction of the (31)P spins with paramagnetic Fe(3+) ions as observed for the ordinary Portland cements. A minor fraction of phosphorus may also be present in the separate phase Ca(3)(PO(4))(2), as indicated by the observation of a narrow resonance at delta((31)P) = 3.0 ppm for two of the studied cements. (31)P{(1)H} CP/MAS NMR spectra following the hydration of a white Portland cement show that the resonances from the hydrous phosphate species fall in the same spectral range as observed for (PO(4))(3-) incorporated in alite. This similarity and the absence of a large (31)P chemical shift ansitropy indicate that the hydrous (PO(4))(3-) species are incorporated in the interlayers of the calcium-silicate-hydrate (C-S-H) phase, the principal phase formed upon hydration of alite and belite.

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