In Situ IR Spectroscopic and Thermogravimetric Study of the Dehydration of Gypsum

A. Putnis, B. Winkler and L. Fernandez-Diaz
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, U.K.
Departamento de Cristalografia y Mineralogia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain

Abstract: The dehydration of gypsum CaSO4.2H2O has been studied, at negligible water vapour pressure, by in situ infrared (IR) spectroscopy and by thermogravimetry to determine whether intermediate phases (CaSO4.nH2O) exist, other than the hemihydrate with n=0.5, and also to compare the mechanism of the dehydration process when measured by two techniques with very different correlation lengths. Thermogravimetry shows an apparently continuous water loss with an activation energy of 90.3 kJ.mol−1, with no changes in the activation energy as a function of the degree of dehydration. IR spectroscopy on the other hand, clearly shows the existence of three discrete phases, gypsum CaSO4.2H2O, hemihydrate CaSO4.0.5H2O and γ-CaSO4, with nucleation of each successive phase as dehydration proceeds. There is no evidence to suggest the presence of phases with any intermediate water content.

Keywords: gypsum • dehydration • infrared spectroscopy • thermogravimetry

Mineralogical Magazine; March 1990 v. 54; no. 374; p. 123-128; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1990.054.374.14
© 1990, The Mineralogical Society
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