Expression of cementitious pore solution and the analysis of its chemical composition and resistivity using X-ray fluorescence

Marisol Tsui Chang, Luca Montanari, Prannoy Suraneni, W. Jason Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The goal of this method is to determine the chemical composition and electrical resistivity of cementitious pore solution expressed from a fresh paste sample. The pore solution is expressed from a fresh paste sample using a pressurized nitrogen gas system. The pore solution is then immediately transferred to a syringe to minimize evaporation and carbonation. After that, assembled testing containers are used for the X-ray fluorescence (XRF) measurement. These containers consist of two concentric plastic cylinders and a polypropylene film which seals one of the two open sides. The pore solution is added into the container immediately prior to the XRF measurement. The XRF is calibrated to detect the main ionic species in the pore solution, in particular, sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), and sulfide (S2-), to calculate sulfate (SO4 2-) using stoichiometry. The hydroxides (OH-) can be calculated from a charge balance. To calculate the electrical resistivity of the solution, the concentrations of the main ionic species and a model by Snyder et al. are used. The electrical resistivity of the pore solution can be used, along with the electrical resistivity of concrete, to determine the formation factor of concrete. XRF is a potential alternative to current methods to determine the composition of pore solution, which can provide benefits in terms of reduction in time and costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere58432
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number139
StatePublished - Sep 23 2018


  • Cement
  • Chemical composition
  • Electrical resistivity
  • Engineering
  • Formation factor
  • Issue 139
  • Pore solution
  • X-ray fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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