Mechanisms for the removal of calcium phosphate deposits in turbulent flow

Felicia Littlejohn, Christine S. Grant, A. Eduardo Sáez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This work investigates the mechanisms for the removal of calcium phosphate deposits from stainless steel tubing in turbulent flows. Two types of deposits were analyzed: brushite (dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, DCPD) and a mixture of DCPD/hydroxyapatite (HAP). Cleaning studies were carried out at pHs ranging from 2.85 to 10. The data were analyzed by means of a mathematical model that incorporates the effects of interfacial dissolution and mass transfer. The results show that the HAP/DCPD cleaning rate is influenced both by the kinetics of the interfacial dissolution and by mass transfer. Within the same range of experimental conditions, the rate-limiting mechanism for DCPD removal was the abrasion of the solid by shear stresses. In this case, the interfacial dissolution process plays the role of decreasing the structural integrity of the deposit. These findings show that the removal mechanism of the HAP/DCPD mixture differs significantly from the behavior of individual components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-942
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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