Oxide melt solution calorimetry of sulfides: Enthalpy of formation of sphalerite, galena, greenockite, and hawleyite

Suraj Deore, Alexandra Navrotsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Oxidative drop solution calorimetry is being developed as a general method for sulfide thermochemistry. The samples are dropped from room temperature into molten 3Na2O·4MoO3 solvent at 975 K, with oxygen bubbling through the melt to ensure rapid and complete conversion of sulfide to dissolved sulfate. Complete dissolution of sulfides and retention of sulfur in the solvent is documented by furnace tests and visual observation, consistent determination of enthalpy of drop solution, and comparison with previous data for the heat of formation of ZnS, PbS, and CdS. Enthalpies of formation (kJ/mol) from the elements (ΔHfO) are determined for sphalerite (ZnS) (-206.53 ± 4.03 kJ/mol), galena (PbS) (-98.12 ± 4.37 kJ/mol), greenockite (hexagonal CdS) (-148.79 ± 4.13 kJ/mol), and hawleyite (cubic CdS) (-147.65 ± 4.28 kJ/mol). Thus, hawleyite appears to be energetically very similar to greenockite but possibly slightly metastable by about 1 kJ/mol. The results confirm that oxidative drop solution calorimetry in molten sodium molybdate is a viable method for sulfide thermochemistry. It will be most useful for sulfides with moderate heats of oxidation (e.g., the Fe-S, Co-S, and Ni-S systems), and should be applicable to ternary compounds, e.g., the Fe-Ni-S and Ni-Co-S systems, and systems showing large homogeneity ranges, as well as to other chalcogenides and pnictides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-403
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Mineralogist
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Enthalpy of formation
  • Galena
  • Greenockite
  • Hawleyite
  • Oxide melt solution calorimetry
  • Sphalerite
  • Sulfides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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