The survival of important pieces of our architectural and sculptural heritage is challenged by irreparable damage due to crystallization of soluble salts. Mineral precipitation is also a problem in many industrial processes, leading to costly scale formation. Most of the mechanisms that control these crystallization reactions can be modified or slowed down by using specific additives. Recent advances in elucidating the mechanisms of mineral nucleation and growth and molecular-level mineral–additive interactions have led to the development of novel treatments for the prevention of mineral scale and salt damage.

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