Collaborative Research: Experimental Determination of REE-Chloride Complex Stability Constants and Monazite Solubilities in Hydrothermal Solutions Grant uri icon



  • 9705661 Wood Knowledge of the behavior of the rare earth elements (REE) in high temperature water solutions is required in the following areas: 1) geochronology (i.e., rock dating); 2) REE ore deposit geology; and 3) remediation and safe storage of nuclear waste . Unfortunately, there is a lack of the relevant data required for a better understanding od REE geochemistry. It is expected that the REE will form a dissolved complex with the chloride ion in many natural solutions, and it is known that REE phosphate phases (monazite, xenotime, rhabdophane) are common REE minerals. Thus, the objectives of this proposal are to: 1) determine the solubility of monazite/xenotime in hydrothermal solutions up to 350(C; 2) determine the stoichiometries and stabilities of REE chloride complexes up to 350(C; and 3) apply our experimental data to problems related to the mobility of REE during water-rock interaction. The data obtained in this study will resolve discrepant theoretical estimates in the literature, provide one of the first experimentally derived sets of thermodynamic data for REE complexes at elevated temperatures, permit quantitative modeling of the role of REE chloride complexes in REE mobility, and serve as a basis for improved theoretical predictions of stability constants for other REE complexes for use until additional experimental data become available. During the course of this project, one graduate and one undergraduate student will be trained in hydrothermal experimental techniques, a number of modern analytical methods, and various aspects of aqueous geochemistry relevant to studies in economic geology and environmental geochemistry. In addition, a new experimental geochemistry laboratory will be set up at Montana Tech.

date/time interval

  • June 15, 1997 - December 31, 2000

total award amount

  • 70,813