The Effect of Organic Acids on the Dissolution of K-feldspar Under Conditions Relevant to Burial Diagenesis

J. Bevan* and D. Savage
Department of Geology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
*Now at Enterprise Oil, Griffin House, The Strand, London WC2, UK
Fluid Processes Research Group, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Notts NG12 5GG, UK

Abstract: The mechanism by which secondary porosity in sandstone reservoirs is produced is poorly understood. Previous hypotheses to account for the increased dissolution of framework silicates have invoked the introduction of acidic and/or organic-rich fluids capable of complexing metals. In order to evaluate the relative effects of these factors, the rates of K-feldspar dissolution have been measured at 70°C and 95°C, at pH values of 1, 4, and 9, with and without oxalic acid, at a total pressure of 50 MPa, using direct sampling autoclaves. The presence of oxalic acid increased the dissolution rate of Kfeldspar at pH 4 and 9, but decreased the rate at pH 1 at both temperatures. The maximum increase in dissolution rate was observed at pH 4, 95°C by a factor ∼4. In oxalic-free experiments, the rate of dissolution increased an order of magnitude with each unit decrease in pH in the pH regime 1–4. In the presence of oxalic acid, this dependency of dissolution upon pH decreased to approximately an order of magnitude increase with each decrease in pH by 2pH units. The dissolution process was observed to be stoichiometric under all conditions, indicating that the mechanism by which rates are increased was not due to preferential complexation of aluminium, but rather by an increase in the overall solubility of feldspar in the neutral pH region. This regime of increased rate of reaction of feldspar coincides with that expected to be naturally buffered by the introduction of organic acids into a sandstone reservoir system.

Keywords: organic acids • K-feldspar • dissolution • diagenesis

Mineralogical Magazine; September 1989 v. 53; no. 372; p. 415-425; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1989.053.372.02
© 1989, The Mineralogical Society
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