Cleaner continuous flow production of mesoporous calcium-magnesium silicate as a potential biomaterial

  • Chun Hui ZhouEmail author
  • Shu Ting Xia
  • Sridhar Komarneni
  • Freeman Bwalya Kabwe
  • Gui Chen Jin
  • Mao Quan Chu


Dolomite is an abundant, naturally occurring carbonate mineral, but the conventional processes of converting dolomite to new materials are time-consuming and energy-intensive. In addition, products from dolomite such as magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, which are used as adsorbents and additives, are mostly low value-added. Here, we demonstrated the conversion of dolomite to a mesoporous calcium-magnesium silicate (m-CMS) using a green and efficient continuous-flow synthesis method. The samples were characterized using powder X-ray diffraction, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy, N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The material possessed mesoporosity and exhibited high a specific surface area of 629 m2/g and a pore volume of 0.66 cm3/g. The maximum water absorptivity of the sample was 52.6%. After the m-CMS immersing in Tris–HCl solution for 56 days, the weight loss ratio reached 30 wt%, indicating its good potential biodegradability. Hydroxyapatite was formed on the surfaces after the m-CMS was immersed in simulated body fluids. The m-CSM provided nucleation sites, and subsequently supplied Ca2+ for hydroxyapatite crystal growth, indicating that the material has potential bone conduction capability. This work suggests that m-CMS can be synthesized from dolomite and tetraethyl orthosilicate through a quick continuous process, and that the m-CMS could be used as a biomaterial.


Dolomite Mesoporous calcium-magnesium silicate Continuous process Biodegradability Biocompatibility 



The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (41672033), the State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Green Chemistry-Synthesis Technology, Zhejiang University of Technology (GCTKF2014006), and Institute of Life Science and Technology of Tongji University. The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support from the open fund from Key Laboratory of Clay Minerals of Ministry of Land and Resources of the People’s Republic of China, Engineering Research Center of Non-metallic Minerals of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang Institute of Geology and Mineral Resource, China (ZD2018K05). CHZ conceived of the study. GCJ conducted the experiments, provided the data and drafted the paper and then STX finalized the paper for submission and proofread the paper. All the work is with extensive discussion and input from CHZ. SK, FBK and MQC provided assistance during the work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chun Hui Zhou
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Shu Ting Xia
    • 1
  • Sridhar Komarneni
    • 3
  • Freeman Bwalya Kabwe
    • 1
  • Gui Chen Jin
    • 1
  • Mao Quan Chu
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Group for Advanced Materials & Sustainable Catalysis (AMSC), State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Green Chemistry-Synthesis Technology, College of Chemical EngineeringZhejiang University of TechnologyHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of Life Science and TechnologyTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Ecosystem Science and Management and Materials Research Institute, 204 Energy and the Environment LaboratoryThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  4. 4.Qing Yang Institute for Industrial MineralsChi ZhouChina

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