Synergistic and antagonistic effect of SO42- on dispersing power of polycarboxylate

Ahmad Habbaba, Nadia Zouaoui, Johann Plank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The dispersing performance of polycarboxylate (PC) high-range water-reducing admixtures can be strongly enhanced or impeded by sulfate ions present in cement pore solution. Here, two PCs based on methacrylic acid-co-w-methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate ester were tested in an inert model suspension based on CaCO3, which contained different amounts of potassium sulfate. It was found that the dispersing effectiveness of highly anionic PCs is positively affected by sulfate, stemming from concomitant adsorption of both PC and sulfate. On the other hand, sulfate negatively impacts performance of PCs possessing low anionic character as a consequence of competitive adsorption between PC and sulfate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-646
Number of pages6
JournalACI Materials Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Adsorption
  • Fluidity
  • High-range water-reducing admixture
  • Polycarboxylate
  • Zeta potential


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