The dissolution of quartz in dilute aqueous solutions of organic acids at 25°C

P. C. Bennett, M. E. Melcer, D. I. Siegel, J. P. Hassett

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The dissolution of quartz in dilute aqueous solutions of organic acids at 25° and standard pressure was investigated by the batch dissolution method. The bulk dissolution rate of quartz in 20 mmole/Kg citrate solutions at pH 7 was 8 to 10 times faster than that in pure water. After 1750 hours the concentration of dissolved silica in the citrate solution was 167 μmole/Kg compared to 50 μmole/Kg in water and a 20 mmole/Kg solution of acetate at pH 7. Solutions of salicylic, oxalic, and humic acids also accelerated the dissolution of quartz in aqueous solution at pH 7. The rate of dissolution in organic acids decreased sharply with decreasing pH. The possibility of a silica-organic acid complex was investigated using UV-difference spectroscopy. Results suggest that dissolved silica is complexed by citrate, oxalate and pyruvate at pH 7 by an electron-donor acceptor complex, whereas no complexation occurs between silica and acetate, lactate, malonate, or succinate. Three models are proposed for the solution and surface complexation of silica by organic acid anions which result in the accelerated dissolution and increased solubility of quartz in organic rich water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1521-1530
Number of pages10
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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