An experimental study of the solubility of molybdenum in H2O and KCl-H2O solutions from 500 °C to 800 °C, and 150 to 300 MPa

Thomas Ulrich*, John Mavrogenes

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    167 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The solubility of molybdenum (Mo) was determined at temperatures from 500 °C to 800 °C and 150 to 300 MPa in KCl-H2O and pure H2O solutions in cold-seal experiments. The solutions were trapped as synthetic fluid inclusions in quartz at experimental conditions, and analyzed by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICPMS). Mo solubilities of 1.6 wt% in the case of KCl-bearing aqueous solutions and up to 0.8 wt% in pure H2O were found. Mo solubility is temperature dependent, but not pressure dependent over the investigated range, and correlates positively with salinity (KCl concentration). Molar ratios of ∼1 for Mo/Cl and Mo/K are derived based on our data. In combination with results of synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy of individual fluid inclusions, it is suggested that Mo-oxo-chloride complexes are present at high salinity (>20 wt% KCl) and ion pairs at moderate to low salinity (<11 wt% KCl) in KCl-H2O aqueous solutions. Similarly, in the pure H2O experiments molybdic acid is the dominant species in aqueous solution. The results of these hydrothermal Mo experiments fit with earlier studies conducted at lower temperatures and indicate that high Mo concentrations can be transported in aqueous solutions. Therefore, the Mo concentration in aqueous fluids seems not to be the limiting factor for ore formation, whereas precipitation processes and the availability of sulfur appear to be the main controlling factors in the formation of molybdenite (MoS2).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2316-2330
    Number of pages15
    JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
    Volume72
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008

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