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X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy was applied to assess the solubility-limiting phase of Ni in cement and cement minerals. The study reveals the formation Ni and Al containing hydrotalcite-like layered double hydroxides (Ni-Al LDHs) when cement material (a complex mixture of CaO, SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3 and SO3) was treated with Ni in artificial cement pore water under highly alkaline conditions (pH = 13.3). This finding indicates that Ni-Al LDHs and not Ni-hydroxides determine the solubility of Ni in cement materials.

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