Diffusion potentials (membrane potentials) were measured in mortar in a moisture state below saturation for the first time. In contrast to conventional diffusion cell setups, the experimental approach was based on embedded ion selective electrodes. A numerical model with coupled Nernst-Planck equations for the most abundant species in the pore solution allowed simulating ion transport processes and the correspondingly arising diffusion potentials. It was found that Portland cement mortar with a water/cement ratio of 0.6 does not exhibit any significant permselective behaviour – even not in an unsaturated state determined by self-desiccation. Apparently, the stable radius of water-filled capillaries is still large enough to allow ionic transport through those fractions of pore solution that are unaffected by double layer effects. In addition, the relative importance of liquid junction potentials at the reference electrode / sample interface and internal diffusion or membrane potentials are discussed with respect to application of direct potentiometry to cement based materials.

Diffusion potentials in porous mortar in a moisture state below saturation

ELSENER, BERNHARD;
2010

Abstract

Diffusion potentials (membrane potentials) were measured in mortar in a moisture state below saturation for the first time. In contrast to conventional diffusion cell setups, the experimental approach was based on embedded ion selective electrodes. A numerical model with coupled Nernst-Planck equations for the most abundant species in the pore solution allowed simulating ion transport processes and the correspondingly arising diffusion potentials. It was found that Portland cement mortar with a water/cement ratio of 0.6 does not exhibit any significant permselective behaviour – even not in an unsaturated state determined by self-desiccation. Apparently, the stable radius of water-filled capillaries is still large enough to allow ionic transport through those fractions of pore solution that are unaffected by double layer effects. In addition, the relative importance of liquid junction potentials at the reference electrode / sample interface and internal diffusion or membrane potentials are discussed with respect to application of direct potentiometry to cement based materials.
diffusion potential ; ion selective electrode; permselective
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/23032
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