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  5. The dissolution kinetics of Portland cement is a critical factor in controlling the hydration reaction and improving the performance of concrete. Tricalcium silicate (C3S), the primary phase in Portland cement, is known to have complex dissolution mechanisms that involve multiple reactions and changes to particle surfaces. As a result, current analytical models are unable to accurately predict the dissolution kinetics of C3S in various solvents when it is undersaturated with respect to the solvent. This paper employs the deep forest (DF) model to predict the dissolution rate of C3S in the undersaturated solvent. The DF model takes into account several variables, including the measurement method (i.e., reactor connected to inductive coupled plasma spectrometer and flow chamber with vertical scanning interferometry), temperature, and physicochemical properties of solvents. Next, the DF model evaluates the influence of each variable on the dissolution rate of C3S, and this information is used to develop a closed-form analytical model that can predict the dissolution rate of C3S. The coefficients and constant of the analytical model are optimized in two scenarios: generic and alkaline solvents. The results show that both the DF and analytical models are able to produce reliable predictions of the dissolution rate of C3S when it is undersaturated and far from equilibrium. 
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  6. The precipitation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is a key mechanism in carbon capture applications relying on mineralization. In that regard, Ca-rich cementitious binders offer a unique opportunity to act as a large-scale carbon sink by immobilizing CO2 as calcium carbonate by mineralization. However, the atomistic mechanism of calcium carbonate formation is still not fully understood. Here, we study the atomic scale nucleation mechanism of an early stage amorphous CaCO3 gel based on reactive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We observe that reactive MD offers a notably improved description of this reaction as compared to classical MD, which allows us to reveal new insights into the structure of amorphous calcium carbonate gels and formation kinetics thereof.

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