The effect of aluminium on the polymerization of silicic acid was studied at pH 7, 8 and 9 in the aluminium concentration range of 0-26 ppm (Al) by spectrophotometry, gel chromatography and 27Al NMR. Retarding and accelerating effects of aluminium on the growth of polysilicic acid particles and on the reaction between monosilicic acid and polysilicic acid were observed by changing the pH. It is suggested that the accelerating effect on the reaction between polysilicic acid particles is due to the formation of aluminium hydroxide on the surface of polysilicic acid. The rate of decrease in the monosilicic acid concentration in the presence of aluminium was faster than that in the absence of aluminium at pH 9, because monosilicic acid could be adsorbed rapidly on the aluminium hydroxide. From the results it was presumed that the formation of aluminium hydroxide on the solid surface may accelerate the deposition of silicic acid from geothermal water.
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