Cement hydration kinetics is a complex problem of dissolution, nucleation and growth that is still not well understood, particularly in a quantitative way. While cement systems are unique in certain aspects they are also comparable to natural mineral systems. Therefore, geochemistry and particularly the study of mineral dissolution and growth may be able to provide insight and methods that can be utilized in cement hydration research. Here, we review mainly what is not known or what is currently used and applied in a problematic way. Examples are the typical Avrami approach, the application of Transition State Theory (TST) to overall reaction kinetics and the problem of reactive surface area. Finally, we suggest an integrated approach that combines vertical scanning interferometry (VSI) with other sophisticated analytical techniques such as atomic force microscopy (AFM) and theoretical model calculations based on a stochastic treatment.

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