Feldspar dissolution at 25°C and low pH

Susan L. Brantley, Lisa Stillings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Although steady state dissolution of feldspar occurs stoichiometrically in acidified dilute solutions, leached layers form during dissolution and are maintained at constant thickness by the balance between leaching of Al3+ and Mb+ and silica network hydrolysis. The feldspar surface in contact with dilute acid solution is penetrated by hydrogen species whose concentration is pH-dependent. Because we have observed that dissolution rate and ion exchange within the feldspar surface decrease with increasing concentration of cations in solution, but proton adsorption is not dependent upon salt concentration, we present two rate models which assume that ion exchange of H+ or H3O+ for K+, Na+, or Ca2+ enhances the hydrolysis of Si within the leached, hydrated surface layer. Specifically, the pH-dependent ion-exchange reactions are assumed to accelerate hydrolysis of AlOSi bonds in the surface, causing an increase in the concentration of ≡SiOH sites throughout the leached, hydrated layer and a consequent increase in the rate of silica network hydrolysis. The silica network hydrolysis reaction (depolymerization), enhanced by ion exchange, is therefore pH-dependent and rate-limiting, in contrast to network hydrolysis of quartz at low pH. Assuming that dissolution rate is dependent upon the surface concentration of protonated exchange sites, which we model with a Langmuir isotherm, we predict the following rate equation: R = knnsT (KH{H+}/1 + KH{H+} + KM{Mb+} + ∑i Ki{C+i})n Here, R is the area-normalized rate of feldspar dissolution at steady state, k is the rate constant, ns is the fraction of total sites that are AlOSi (exchange) sites at the water-feldspar interface, T is the number of surface sites per unit area, KH and KM refer to the adsorption constants for H+ and Mb+ adsorption onto the AlOSi site respectively, and the braces refer to activities of dissolved species. The term ∑i Ki{C+i} includes the effect of adsorption of any other species Ci onto the AlOSi (exchange) site, including Al3+ adsorption. The value of n is 1 if only AlOSi sites on the surface contribute to dissolution but equals 0.5 if sites throughout the hydrated surface layer contribute. We have used the model with n = 0.5 to fit dissolution rate data of five feldspars as a function of NaCl concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-127
Number of pages27
JournalAmerican Journal of Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Feldspar dissolution at 25°C and low pH'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this