ACC and Vaterite as Intermediates in the Solution-Based Crystallization of CaCO3

  • Juan Diego Rodriguez-BlancoEmail author
  • Karina K. Sand
  • Liane G. Benning


Amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) and vaterite are not very common in abiotic systems, but they play a very significant role in biomineralization processes and are key in the global carbon cycle. Despite their importance, many questions about the factors affecting the mechanisms of formation and stabilization during biomineralization processes remain unanswered, because most of the information so far is obtained from experimental synthesis in abiotic conditions. In recent years, it has been shown that ACC and vaterite have complex structures and chemistries. Their formation and stability are drastically affected by pH, the presence of (in)organics (e.g., Mg2+, SO42−, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, citric acid, etc.), temperature, and supersaturation. Changes in any of these variables affect the lifetime of ACC and the crystallization rates and pathways to vaterite or other CaCO3 polymorphs. In addition, the morphologies, composition, sizes, and properties of ACC and vaterite are highly affected. This chapter provides a perspective on the current state-of-the-art research on the formation and crystallization mechanisms of ACC to vaterite.


Amorphous calcium carbonate ACC Vaterite Carbonates Nucleation Spherulitic growth Biomineralization 



J.D. Rodriguez-Blanco would like to acknowledge the EU-funded NanoCArB Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (IEF) under contract PIEF-GA-2013-624016. K.K. Sand is grateful for funding from the Danish Council for Independent Research on their Individual Post Docs (0602-02915B) and Sapere Aude program (0602-02654B) and support from the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is operated by Battelle for the US Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC05-76RL01830.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Karina K. Sand
    • 2
    • 3
  • Liane G. Benning
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of GeologyTrinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland
  2. 2.NanoScience Center, Department of ChemistryUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Physical Sciences DivisionPacific Northwest National LaboratoriesRichlandUSA
  4. 4.German Research Center for Geosciences, GFZInterface Geochemistry SectionPotsdamGermany
  5. 5.Department of Earth SciencesFree University of BerlinBerlinGermany
  6. 6.School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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