Methods for the Chemical Analysis of Meteorites: II. The Major and Some Minor Constituents of Chondrites

A. A. Moss, M. H. Hey, C. J. Elliott and A. J. Easton
Dept. of Mineralogy, British Museum (Natural History), London S.W.7

Summary: Pure dry chlorine at 250 to 350° C is shown to have no action on the principal silicate and phosphate phases of meteorites, but reacts quantitatively with the sulphide and phosphide phases and with kamacite; taenite does not react if it contains more than about 20 to 25 % Ni; some rare meteoritic minerals have not yet been tested. Volatile chlorides (including SiCl4) distil, and non-volatile chlorides can be leached out with water. Based on these observations, a method has been devised and applied to the analysis of a number of chondrites and to the purification of olivine and pyroxene separated by physical methods. The amount of Si present in the metal of enstatite chondrites, and the distribution of P, Ga, Ge, Ti, Cr, Mn, Ca, and Mg between oxidized and non-oxidized phases can readily be determined, and some results are presented. From the limited data so far available, Co appears to be concentrated in kamacite; gallium in the metallic phase is mainly in the taenite; germanium is strongly siderophile in the common chondrites but some is present in the silicate of the enstatite chondrites; titanium is markedly chalcophile in the enstatite chondrites, less so in the common chondrites, and the same applies to chromium; phosphorus is present as phosphide in the enstatite chondrites, but as phosphate in the hypersthene chondrites.

Mineralogical Magazine; March 1967 v. 36; no. 277; p. 101-119; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1967.036.277.17
© 1967, The Mineralogical Society
Mineralogical Society (