Thermochemistry of jarosite-alunite and natrojarosite-natroalunite solid solutions

Christophe Drouet, Katrina L. Pass, Dirk Baron, Sara Draucker, Alexandra Navrotsky

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60 Scopus citations


The thermochemistry of jarosite-alunite and natrojarosite-natroalunite solid solutions was investigated. Members of these series were either coprecipitated or synthesized hydrothermally and were characterized by XRD, FTIR, electron microprobe analysis, ICP-MS, and thermal analysis. Partial alkali substitution and vacancies on the Fe/Al sites were observed in all cases, and the solids studied can be described by the general formula K1-x-yNay(H3O)xFez Alw(SO4)2(OH)6-3(3-z-w)( H2O)3(3-z-w). A strong preferential incorporation of Fe over Al in the jarosite/alunite structure was observed. Heats of formation from the elements, ΔH°f, were determined by high-temperature oxide melt solution calorimetry. The solid solutions deviate slightly from thermodynamic ideality by exhibiting positive enthalpies of mixing in the range 0 to +11 kJ/mol. The heats of formation of the end members of both solid solutions were derived. The values ΔH°f = -3773.6 ± 9.4 kJ/mol, ΔH°f = -4912.2 ± 24.2 kJ/mol, ΔH°f = -3734.6 ± 9.7 kJ/mol and ΔH°f = -4979.7 ± 7.5kJ/mol were found for K0.85(H3O)0.15Fe2.5( SO4) 2(OH)4.5(H2O)1.5, K0.85(H3O)0.15Al2.5( SO4)2(OH)4.5(H2O)1.5, Na0.7(H3O)0.3Fe2.7(SO4) 2(OH)5.1(H2O)0.9, and Na0.7(H3O)0.3Al2.7( SO4)2(OH)5.1(H2O)0.9 respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first experimentally-based report of ΔH°f for such nonstoichiometric alunite and natroalunite samples. These thermodynamic data should prove helpful to study, under given conditions, the partitioning of Fe and Al between the solids and aqueous solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2197-2205
Number of pages9
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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