The Thermal Decomposition of Amosite

A. A. Hodgson, A. G. Freeman1 and H. F. W. Taylor
Cape Asbestos Fibres Limited, Barking, Essex,
Department of Chemistry, University of Aberdeen
1Present address: Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.

Summary: When amosite (fibrous grunerite, Fe5·5Mg1·5Si8O22(OH)2), is heated in argon or nitrogen, physically combined water is lost up to 500–700° C. Above 500° C (static) or 700° C (dynamic), dehydroxylation occurs endothermically, giving a pyroxene as the main product. Under dynamic heating conditions, part of the hydroxyl water is lost as hydrogen, with concurrent oxidation of the iron. At about 1000° C the pyroxene is decomposed to olivine and cristobalite; at about 1100° C melting begins. In oxygen or air, physically combined water is again lost below 500–700° C. At 350–1200° C a sequence of overlapping dehydrogenation, oxygen absorption, and dehydroxylation reactions occurs, which gives rise to a broad exotherm on the d.t.a. curve. The main products (for static heating conditions) are an oxyamphibole at 350–800° C, and a spinel, hematite, a pyroxene, and X-ray amorphous material at 800–1100° C. Silica crystallizes as cristobalite at 1100–1350° C, and as tridymite at 1450° C. Most of the products in either neutral or oxidizing atmospheres are formed topotactically. The mechanisms and rates of the reactions are discussed, and the problem of determining the chemically combined water in amosite and other minerals of similar composition is considered.

Mineralogical Magazine; September 1965 v. 35; no. 271; p. 445-463; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1965.035.271.01
© 1965, The Mineralogical Society
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