Experimental study of crystallization fouling by calcium carbonate: Effects of surface structure and material

Hong Qing Jin, Hrushikesha Athreya, Sophie Wang, Kashif Nawaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mitigation of crystallization fouling on heat transfer surface is crucial for developing highly efficient desalination techniques, because the tenacious and porous crystal layer can drastically deteriorate system efficiency. Surface modification is a potential approach to decrease scale formation and promote crystal removal, but some of the mechanisms between crystallization and substrate properties are still not fully understood. In this study, we use dual-angle microscopic visualization and image processing to quantify three-dimensional crystallization behavior and analyze the impact of surface structure and material. The transition of crystal size and distance with roughness and wettability are identified from statistical analysis. The determination of crystal porosity and effective thermal conductivity is enabled by visualized geometry and measured deposition mass. This study shed lights on potential strategies of surface modification to mitigate scaling in desalination by enhancing scale removal and localizing crystal growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115754
StatePublished - Jun 15 2022


  • 3D crystal morphology
  • fouling
  • surface induced crystallization
  • thermal desalination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental study of crystallization fouling by calcium carbonate: Effects of surface structure and material'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this