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Solubilities of metal carbonates

Gamsjäger, H., Königsberger, E.ORCID: 0000-0002-4606-0741 and Preis, W. (1998) Solubilities of metal carbonates. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 70 (10). pp. 1913-1920.

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Solubilities in aqueous media of sparingly-soluble metal carbonates play an important role in chemical processes whether they occur in a laboratory, on an industrial scale, or in the geologic environment. Solubility phenomena (i.e. dissolution and precipitation reactions) of metal carbonates control procedures for preparing, separating and purifying chemicals. Moreover, the interactions of the hydrological cycle with the cycle of carbonate rocks, the naturally occurring dissolution of carbonate minerals in water as well as their precipitation on the ocean floor and in the sediments of rivers and lakes can be described by the principles of solubility, although gigantic quantities of material may be involved.

The experimental methods for the determination of carbonate solubilities are reviewed and the results are discussed within the frame-work of equilibrium thermodynamics. It will be shown that Gibbs functions of pure stoichiometric carbonate phases can be determined by accurately measuring solubilities in aqueous electrolyte systems. In cases where solid-solid phase transformations and recrystallisations are kinetically inhibited, the methods developed were successfully applied to metastable equilibria. Occasionally, solubility data were even employed to estimate activity coefficients of components forming a series of carbonate solid solutions.

Whenever possible the activity coefficients of the reacting species were controlled by use of a constant ionic medium. Solubility constants obtained at various fixed ionic strengths were fitted to the Pitzer equations and extrapolated to infinite dilution. Provided the standard potentials of the respective metal ion/metal electrode are known over a range of ionic strengths the values of solubility constants at infinite dilution can be calculated independently. In any case the optimised thermodynamic constants were incorporated in a comprehensive computer model which permits a wide variety of solubility calculations. These are illustrated by a case study of a multicomponent system with industrial relevance.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
Copyright: © 1998 IUPAC
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