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Why using synthetic Mineral instead of industrial or natural products

Cement industry

The evolution of the cement production is characterized by a gap between chemistry and engineering.
‘Engineering’ is defined as the application of ‘science’ to the design, building and use of machines.
‘Chemistry’ is defined as a branch of science which deals with the elements, the compounds they form and the reactions that they undergo.

The difficulty arises from the following factors ( Chatterjee XIII ICCC Madrid 2011) :
  1. The chemical studies are generally carried out in small scale, under equilibrium conditions, and in a synthetically created environment using purer raw materials while the plant-based chemical transformations occur in very large scale, often in disequilibrium conditions; mostly with natural raw materials and complex environmental conditions.
  2. The scale-up of laboratory studies of chemical reactions to the plant scale process is fraught with problems of reproducing the laboratory findings.
  3. The controls in the laboratory study of chemical reactions are simple and direct, while in a plant the process controls are mostly indirect and largely dependent on the intrinsic capability of the electronic system deployed.

The synthesis of large quantities of mineral having a controlled chemistry and mineralogy
could improve the link between chemistry and engineering and the laboratory and industrial scale.

  1. The production of a mineral at a significant scale (Kg) and controlled composition (chemistry and mineralogy) allows a safe extrapolation of the results from the laboratory to the plant
  2. Using an industrial cement requires a costly set of analysis for the identification of the sample. It is not required for a synthetic product.
  3. The industrial conditions of burning, cooling (thermal profile, atmosphere) of an industrial product are not known precisely and renders uncertain the correlations between composition and properties.
  4. The quantity of minor elements introduced as solid solution into the synthetic phases is precise.
  5. The cement industry rarely provides the intermediated compounds (clinker).

Biochemistry : Dental cement, tricalcium silicate ( C3S) , calcium phosphates (C4P) , Calcium aluminate cements

  1. The development of synthetic material allows to fill a gap between biochemical applications and civil engineering. Bridges between bio properties and mechanical behaviour gives promising developments.
  2. Industrial cements are not suitable for medical applications because of the minor elements contents and the lack of reproducibility of their properties. Cement with controlled composition gives more confidence.

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