Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 5, pp 1751–1761 | Cite as

Performance of limestones laden with mixed salt solutions of Na2SO4–NaNO3 and Na2SO4–K2SO4

  • Hilde De ClercqEmail author
  • Maja Jovanović
  • Kirsten Linnow
  • Michael Steiger
Original Article


The behaviour of two types of limestones having a different porosity, Maastricht and Euville limestone, laden with aqueous solutions of equimolar mixtures of sodium sulphate/sodium nitrate or sodium sulphate/potassium sulphate was investigated. At 50 % RH, the efflorescences on Maastricht samples during the first 30 h of drying consisted of similar amounts of thenardite and darapskite in case of an equimolar mixture of sodium sulphate/sodium nitrate while those on Euville samples under the same conditions contained mainly darapskite. After drying at 20 °C and 85 % RH, thenardite, formed through the precipitation and dehydration of mirabilite, was mostly detected in the efflorescences on both Maastricht and Euville samples. Re-wetting by increasing the RH from 50 to 85 % resulted in substantial damage on Maastricht stone laden with an equimolar mixture of sodium sulphate/sodium nitrate as a consequence of high supersaturation of mirabilite. In case of a contamination with equimolar amounts of sodium sulphate and potassium sulphate, the efflorescence on both limestones during drying at 50 % RH contained predominantly aphthitalite. The observed crystallisation behaviour is compared to the theoretical behaviour. The results indicate a strong influence of stone properties on the crystallisation behaviour of salt mixtures.


Limestone Salt crystallisation Sodium sulphate Binary salt mixture Darapskite Aphthitalite 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilde De Clercq
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maja Jovanović
    • 1
  • Kirsten Linnow
    • 2
  • Michael Steiger
    • 2
  1. 1.Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA)BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Hamburg, Inorganic and Applied ChemistryHamburgGermany

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