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Dr Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco

Associate Professor

Tel: + 353 1 896 1691 
Office: Museum Building, Office 0.15A
Google Scholar ID: Dr Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco
ORCID: Dr Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco
ResearchGate: Dr Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco
Researcher ID: Dr Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco
Personal website: Dr Juan Diego Rodriguez-Blanco


I am an Ussher Assistant Professor in Nanomineralogy. My fields of research are environmental mineralogy and crystallisation. My research focuses on mineral genesis and the interaction of aqueous species with mineral surfaces. In particular, I study the mechanisms of mineral nucleation and growth and the interaction of common seawater ions, pollutants and organics with mineral surfaces and their relevance to global-scale processes like biomineralisation, biogeochemical element cycling and the evolution of the global chemistry of the oceans. The objectives of my research are (1) to develop new methods for the removal of (in)organic waste products from drinking water and (2) to design more energy efficient separation and recycling methods for strategic metals.


I am a strong advocate of combining the classical knowledge in any subject area with modern up-to-date research-led teaching and link this to real-world applications. I follow this philosophy to design the modules I teach.
Director of MSc Environmental Science
Deputy Director of MSc Energy Science

Undergraduate level

GSU22201 - From Atoms to Rocks: Introduction to Geochemistry (SF, 10 credits, TR062)
GLU33004 - The Crystal World, module coordinator (JS, 5 credits, TR062 Geoscience)
GLU44006 - Carbonates: from the Atomic to the Planetary Scale, module coordinator (SS, 5 credits, TR062 Geoscience)

Postgraduate Level:

CH7001 - Introduction to Energy Science (MSc Energy Sciences, 10 credits)
CH7002 - Sustainable Energy Sources and Technology II (MSc Energy Sciences, 10 credits)
GL7001 - Managing the Impact of Energy Utilisation (MSc Energy Sciences, module coordinator, 10 credits)
GL7003 - Resource & Carbon Impact, module coordinator (MSc Zero Carbon Technology, module coordinator, 10 credits)

I furthermore contribute to:

GSU11002/11005 - Spaceship Earth (JF, TR062)
GSU44001 - Geoscience Capstone Project (SS, TR062 Geoscience)
GSU44003 - Geoscience Frontiers: Past, Present and Future (SS, TR062 Geoscience)
ES7302 - Desk studies (MSc Environmental Sciences)
ES7052 - Dissertation projects (MSc Environmental Sciences)
MSc Thesis of MSc Energy Science

PhD students and postdoc

Project "SEparating Critical metals ThrOugh mineRal crystallisation" (SEleCTOR), funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Geological Survey Ireland

SEleCTOR will develop novel, clean and cheap protocols to separate rare earths from water via the design of functionally engineered nanoparticles with targetes structures.

- Daniel Gonzalez Santamaria (postdoc, stating in 2022)
Melanie Maddin (PhD student)
- Luca Terribili (PhD student)

Project "Design of synthetic rare earth mInerals for chemical filters" (Provost PhD Awards)

This project develop an efficient low-cost green method to promote the removal of (in)organic pollutants by spacific rare-earth minerals from wastewaters at (near)-ambient conditions.

Adrienn Szucs (PhD student)

Project TARGETing crystallisation for Enhanced Carbon Capture and Storage (TARGET-CCS), funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Geological Survey Ireland

This project aims to investigate the poorly understood geochemical conditions under which metastable carbonates can crystallise during the interaction of CO2-rich fluids with basaltic rocks in order to enhance their stability and maximise their capacity to store CO2.

Niamh Faulkner (PhD student)

Project MetalIntelligence (Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 722677)

This project aims to improve mineral liberation analysis using electron backscatter diffraction via scanning electron microscopy in preparation for more efficient processing.

Alexandra Stavropoulou (PhD student)


Book chapters:

Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Sand, K.K. and Benning, L.G. (2017) ACC and vaterite as metastable intermediates in the solution based crystallization of CaCO3. Chapter 5 of New Perspectives on Mineral Nucleation and Growth.  Eds: Alexander van Driessche, Matthias Kellermeier, Liane G. Benning, Dennis Gebauer. Springer International Publishing. Switzerland. 

Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D. and Tobler, D.J. (2022) Carbonate minerals. In press for the book: Environmental Minerals. Wiley-Blackwell.

Peer-reviewed papers:

González-Santamaría, D.E., Justel A., Fernández, R., Ruiz, A.I., Stavropoulou, A., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Cuevas, A. (2021) SEM-EDX study of bentonite alteration under the influence of cement alkaline solutions. Applied Clay Science, 212, 106223. [DOI: 10.1016/j.clay.2021.106223]

Szucs, A.M., Stavropoulou, A., O’Donnell, C., Davis, S., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D. (2021) Reaction Pathways toward the Formation of Bastnäsite: Replacement of Calcite by Rare Earth Carbonates. Crystal Growth & Design, 21, 512–527. [DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01313]

Okhrimenko, D.V., Lakshtanov, L.Z., Olssonc, M.H.M., Ceccato, M., Dalby, K.N., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Andersson, M.P., Stipp, S.L.S. (2021) Adsorption of nitrogen heterocyclic compounds (NHC) on soil minerals: Quinoline as an example. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects611, 125899.  [DOI. 10.1016/j.colsurfa.2020.125899]

Verma, A.K, Bourke, M.C., Viles, H.A., Osinski, G.R., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D. (2020) The effect of impact-generated heterogeneities and discontinuities on the subsequent weathering of impactites: insights from laboratory experiments. Earth and Space Science Open Archive. [DOI: 10.1002/essoar.10505291.1]

Müller, I.A., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Storck, J-C, Santilli do Nascimento, G., Bontognali, T.R.R., Vasconcelos, C., Benning, L.G., Bernasconi, S.M. (2019) Calibration of the oxygen and clumped isotope thermometers for (proto-)dolomite based on synthetic and natural carbonates. Chemical Geology525, 1-17. [doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2019.07.014]

Steele, A., Benning, L.G., Wirth, R., Siljeström, S., Fries, M.D., Hauri, E., Conrad, P.G., Rogers, K., Eigenbrode, J., Schreiber, A., Needham, A., Wang, J.H., McCubbin, F.M., Kilcoyne, D., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D. (2018) Organic synthesis on Mars by electrochemical reduction of CO2. Science Advances, 4, eaat5118.

Besselink, R., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Stawski, T.M., Benning, L.G., and Tobler, D.J. (2017) How short-lived ikaite affects calcite crystallisation. Crystal Growth & Design, 17, 6224-6230. DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.7b00743  

Montanari, G., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Bovet, N., Stipp, S.L.S., and Tobler, D.J. (2017) Impact of citrate ions on the nucleation and growth of anhydrous CaCO3. Crystal Growth & Design., 17, 5269-5275.  DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.7b00796. 

Ossorio, M., Stawski, T.M., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Sleutel, M., García-Ruiz, J.M., Benning, L.G., Van Driessche, A.E.S. (2017) Physicochemical and Additive Controls on the Multistep Precipitation Pathway of Gypsum. Minerals, 7, 140. DOI: 10.3390/min7080140

Lorenz, B., Ceccato, M., Andersson, M.P., Dobberschütz, S., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Dalby, K.N., Hassenkam, T., Stipp, S.L.S. (2017) The salinity dependent adhesion response properties of aluminosilicate (K-feldspar) surfaces. Energy & Fuels, 31, 4670–4680.

Roncal-Herrero, T., Astilleros, J.M., Bots, P., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Prieto, M., Benning, L.G., Fernandez-Diaz, L. (2017) Reaction pathways and textural aspects of the replacement of anhydrite by calcite at 25 °C. American Mineralogist, 102, 1270–1278.

Nielsen, M.R., Sand, K.K., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Bovet, N., Generosi, J., Dalby, K.N., and Stipp S.L.S. (2016) Inhibition of Calcite Growth: Combined Effects of Mg2+ and SO42–. Crystal Growth & Design, 16, 6199–6207.

Tobler, D.J., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Sørensen, H.O., Stipp, S.L.S., Dideriksen, K. (2016) Effect of pH on Amorphous Calcium Carbonate Structure and Transformation. Crystal Growth & Design, 16, 4500-4508.  

Voigt, M., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Vallina, B., Benning, L.G., Oelkers, E.H. (2016) An experimental study of hydroxylbastnasite solubility in aqueous solutions at 25 °C. Chemical Geology, 430, 70-77.

Stawski, T., Van Driessche, S., Ossorio, M., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Besselink, R., Benning, L.G. (2016) Formation of calcium sulfate through the aggregation of sub-3 nanometre primary species. Nature Communications, 7, 10177.

Andersson, M.P., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Stipp, S.L.S. (2016) Is bicarbonate stable in and on the calcite surface? Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 176, 198-205.

Vallina, B., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Brown, A.P., Blanco, J.A. and Benning, L.G. (2015) The role of amorphous precursors in the crystallization of La and Nd carbonates. Nanoscale, 7, 12166-12179.

Hodson, M.E., Benning, L.G., Demarchi, B., Penkman, K.E.H., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Schofield, P.F., Versteegh, E.A.A. (2015) Biomineralisation by earthworms – an investigation into the stability and distribution of amorphous calcium carbonate. Geochemical Transactions, 16, 4.
Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Shaw, S. and Benning, L.G. (2015) A route for the direct crystallization of dolomite. American Mineralogist, 100, 1172-1181.

Tobler, D.J., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Dideriksen, K., Bovet, N., Sand, K.K., Stipp. S.L.S. (2015) Citrate Effects on Amorphous Calcium Carbonate (ACC) Structure, Stability, and Crystallization. Advanced Functional Materials, 25, 3081-3090.
Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Vallina, B., Blanco, J.A. and Benning, L.G. (2014) The role of REE3+ in the crystallization of lanthanites. Mineralogical Magazine, 78, 1373-1380.

Vallina, B., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Blanco, J.A. and Benning, L.G. (2014) The effect of heating on the morphology of crystalline neodymium hydroxycarbonate, NdCO3OH. Mineralogical Magazine, 78, 1391-1397.
Tobler, D.J., Rodriguez Blanco, J.D., Dideriksen, K., Sand, K.K., Bovet, N., Benning, L.G., and Stipp, S.L.S. (2014) Effect of aspartic acid and glycine on amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) structure, stability and crystallisation. Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 10, 143–148.

Cobourne, G., Mountjoy, G., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Benning, L.G., Hannon, A.C. and Plaisier, J.R. (2014) Neutron and X-ray Diffraction and Empirical Potential Structure Refinement Modelling of Magnesium Stabilised Amorphous Calcium Carbonate. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 401, 154-158. 

Vallina, B., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Brown, A.P., Benning, L.G. and Blanco, J.A. (2014) Enhanced magnetic coercivity of α-Fe2O3 obtained from carbonated 2-line ferrihydrite. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 16, 2322.

Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Shaw, S., Bots, P., Roncal-Herrero, T., and Benning, L.G. (2014) The role of Mg in the crystallisation of monohydrocalcite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 127, 204-220.
Hubbard, G.H., West, L.J., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Shaw, S. (2014) Laboratory study of spectral induced polarization responses of magnetite — Fe2+ redox reactions in porous media. Geophysics, 79, D21-D30.

Vallina, B., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Brown, A.P., Blanco, J.A. and Benning, L.G. (2013) Amorphous dysprosium carbonate: characterization, stability and crystallization pathways. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 15, 1438.

Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Shaw, S., Bots, P., Roncal-Herrero, T., and Benning, L.G. (2012) The role of pH and Mg on the stability and crystallization of amorphous calcium carbonate. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 536, Suppl1, S477-S479.

Bots, P., Benning, L.G., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Roncal-Herrero, T., and Shaw, S. (2012) Mechanistic insights into the crystallization of amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC). Crystal Growth and Design,12,3806-3814.

Sand, K.K., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Makovicky, E., Benning, L.G., and Stipp, S.L.S. (2012) Aragonite growth in water-alcohol mixtures: classical or nonclassical crystallization? MRS Proceedings, 1419, mrsf11-1419-nn01-08.

Van Driessche, A.E.S., Benning, L.G., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Ossorio, M., Bots, P., García-Ruiz, J.M. (2012) The Role and Implications of Bassanite as a Stable Precursor Phase to Gypsum Precipitation. Science, 336, 69-72.

Sand, K.K., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Makovicky, E., Benning, L.G. and Stipp, S. (2012) Crystallization of CaCO3 in water-ethanol mixtures: spherulitic growth, polymorph stabilization and morphology change. Crystal Growth and Design, 12, 842-853.

Csákberényi-Malasics, D., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Kovács Kis, V., Rečnik, A., Benning, L.G., and Pósfai, M. (2012) Structural properties and transformations of precipitated FeS. Chemical Geology, 294-295, 249-258.

Roncal-Herrero, T., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Oelkers, E.H. and Benning, L.G. (2011) The direct precipitation of rhabdophane (REEPO4·nH2O) nano-rods from acidic aqueous solutions at 5 to 100 °C. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 13, 4049-4062.

Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Shaw, S. and Benning, L.G. (2011) The kinetics and mechanisms of Amorphous Calcium Carbonate (ACC) crystallization to calcite, via vaterite. Nanoscale, 3, 265-271.

Astilleros, J.M., Godelitsas, A., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Fernandez-Diaz, L., Prieto, M., Lagoyannis, A., Harissopulos, S. (2010) Interaction of gypsum with lead in aqueous solutions. Applied Geochemistry, 25, 1008-1016.

Roncal-Herrero, T., Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Benning, L.G., Oelkers, E.H. (2009) Precipitation of Iron and Aluminum Phosphates Directly from Aqueous Solution as a Function of Temperature from 50 to 200°C. Crystal Growth & Design, 9, 5197-5205.

Rodriguez-Blanco, J.D., Shaw, S. and Benning, L.G. (2008) How to make ‘stable’ ACC: protocol and preliminary structural characterization. Mineralogical Magazine, 72, 283-286.

Rodríguez, J.D., Jiménez, A., Prieto, M., Torre, L., and García-Granda, S. (2008) Interaction of gypsum with As(V)-bearing aqueous solutions: Surface precipitation of guerinite, sainfeldite, and Ca2NaH(AsO4)2×6H2O, a synthetic arsenate. American Mineralogist, 93, 928-939.

Rodríguez-Blanco, J.D., Jiménez, A., and Prieto. M. (2007) Oriented Overgrowth of Pharmacolite (CaHAsO4×2H2O) on Gypsum (CaSO4×2H2O). Crystal Growth & Design, 12, 2756-2763.

Köhler, S., Cubillas, P., Rodríguez-Blanco, J.D., Prieto, M. (2007) Removal of cadmium from wastewaters by aragonite shells and the influence of other divalent cations. Environmental Science and Technology, 41, 112-118.

Jimenez, A., Rodríguez, J.D., Torre-Fernandez, L., Prieto, M., and García-Granda, S. (2006) Crystal structure of dicalcium sodium monohydrogen diarsenate hexahydrate, Ca2Na[HAsO4][AsO4]·6H2O. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie - New Crystal Structures, 221, 241-242.