Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Interaction of Citric or Hydrochloric Acid With Calcium Fluorapatite: Precipitation of Calcium Fluoride



D N. Misra


The interaction of citric acid (H3Ci) with calcium fluorapatite (Ca10 F2(PO4)6) was explored for two reasons: (i) to determine the role of the acid in the dissolution process and hence in the mechanism of tooth fluoridation, and (ii) to determine whether there is any formation of calcium citrate. It was found that the concentration of calcium or fluoride ions is not stoichiometric with respect to that of phosphate ions in the solution and the stoichiometric deficiency of the amount of fluoride ions in the solution is twice that of the calcium ions and this demonstrates that some calcium fluoride is precipitated . The interaction may be represented by the following chemical equation (pH {nearly equal to} 2.5): Ca10F2(PO4)6 + 8H3Ci -> (10-x) Ca2+^ + 2H2PO 1/4- + 4HPO 2/4- + (2-2x)F1- + xCaF2 + 8H2Ci1-, where x (presently 2 that has precipitated and may be calculated from the experimental ratio of Ca to P in the solution. In order to establish that the interaction occurs generally with all acids, the reaction of hydrochloric acid with fluoroapatite was studied, and exactly analogous behavior was observed. These facts are also in accord with the solubility of fluorapatite and calcium fluoride. When the amounts of Ca and P in solution are corrected for the precipitated CaF2, the ratio of Ca to P becomes stoichiometric ( = 1.67). Preliminary X-ray analysis of the reacted fluorapatite showed that it contained calcium fluoride. The precipitated CaF2 may act as a reservoir for the subsequent fluoridation of the mineral and may inhibit bacterial action in the mouth. The concentration of citrate ions does not change in solution and no formation of calcium citrate is observed.
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science


calcium fluoride, citric acid, dissolution, fluorapatitte, hydrochloric acid, interaction, precipitation


Misra, D. (1999), Interaction of Citric or Hydrochloric Acid With Calcium Fluorapatite: Precipitation of Calcium Fluoride, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (Accessed May 20, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created September 1, 1999, Updated June 2, 2021