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Title: Reactive force fields for aqueous and interfacial magnesium carbonate formation
We develop Mg/C/O/H ReaxFF parameter sets for two environments: an aqueous force field for magnesium ions in solution and an interfacial force field for minerals and mineral–water interfaces. Since magnesium is highly ionic, we choose to fix the magnesium charge and model its interaction with C/O/H through Coulomb, Lennard-Jones, and Buckingham potentials. We parameterize the forcefields against several crystal structures, including brucite, magnesite, magnesia, magnesium hydride, and magnesium carbide, as well as Mg 2+ water binding energies for the aqueous forcefield. Then, we test the forcefield for other magnesium-containing crystals, solvent separated and contact ion-pairs and single-molecule/multilayer water adsorption energies on mineral surfaces. We also apply the forcefield to the forsterite–water and brucite–water interface that contains a bicarbonate ion. We observe that a long-range proton transfer mechanism deprotonates the bicarbonate ion to carbonate at the interface. Free energy calculations show that carbonate can attach to the magnesium surface with an energy barrier of about 0.22 eV, consistent with the free energy required for aqueous Mg–CO 3 ion pairing. Also, the diffusion constant of the hydroxide ions in the water layers formed on the forsterite surface are shown to be anisotropic and heterogeneous. These findings can help explain the experimentally observed fast nucleation and growth of magnesite at low temperature at the mineral–water–CO 2 interface in water-poor conditions.  more » « less
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Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
23106 to 23123
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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    This work was partially supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Award No. ECCS-1931088. S.L. and H.W.S. acknowledge the support from the Improvement of Measurement Standards and Technology for Mechanical Metrology (Grant No. 22011044) by KRISS.

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