Reactions of Fe2+ and Fe3+ with Calcite1

R. H. Loeppert and L. R. Hossner
Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843
1 Contribution from the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station.

Abstract: Ferrous or ferric perchlorate, 0.01 M, was reacted with calcite in stirred aqueous suspensions which were bubbled vigorously with an oxidizing purge gas. Two and three equivalents of CaCO3 were dissolved per mole of Fe2+ and Fe3+ neutralized, respectively. With Fe(ClO4)2, the crystalline Fe oxide products partially coated the calcite surface. The dominant products were lepidocrocite and goethite when the purge gas was air or 20% CO2 (balance air), respectively. After reaction with Fe2+ the edges and corners of the calcite crystals were generally rounded and the faces were non-uniformly pitted; however, after reaction with Fe3+, a mosaic pattern with distinct ridges and channels was evident on the calcite. These ridges were somewhat pitted, but distinct stepped dislocations were present leading to a featureless and generally flat channel floor. When the calcite was separated from the Fe solution by a semi-permeable membrane, precipitation occurred predominantly on the calcite side and on the Fe side of the membrane in the Fe2+ and Fe3+ systems, respectively.

Fe oxyhydroxides precipitated from the Fe(ClO4)3 and Fe(ClO4)2 solutions by different mechanisms. In the Fe(ClO4)3 system, although the initial reaction may have been at the calcite surface, the bulk of the poorly crystalline ferrihydrite was formed by hydrolysis of Fe polymers in suspension. Neutralization occurred by the reaction with basic products of a surface-controlled dissolution of calcite, rather than by a direct reaction of acidic polymers with the calcite surface. In the Fe(ClO4)2 system, lepidocrocite or goethite formed by the partial hydrolysis of Fe3+ or Fe3+ by reaction with calcite or the basic products of calcite dissolution and subsequent precipitation of simple Fe species on existing FeOOH nuclei.

Key Words: Calcite • Dissolution • Goethite • Hydrolysis • Iron • Lepidocrocite • Precipitation

Clays and Clay Minerals; June 1984 v. 32; no. 3; p. 213-222; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1984.0320309
© 1984, The Clay Minerals Society
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