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Title: Experimental Determination of Solubilities of Sodium Polyborates In MgCl 2 Solutions: Solubility Constant of Di-Sodium Hexaborate Tetrahydrate, and Implications For the Diagenetic Formation of Ameghinite

In this paper, solubility measurements were conducted for sodium polyborates in MgCl 2 solutions at 22.5 ± 0.5 °C. According to solution chemistry and XRD patterns, di-sodium tetraborate decahydrate (borax) dissolves congruently, and is the sole solubility-controlling phase, in a 0.01 mol/kg MgCl 2 solution: Na 2B 4O 7•10H 2O(cr) ⇌ 2Na + + 4B(OH) 4 + 2H + + H 2O(l). However, in a 0.1 mol/kg MgCl 2 solution borax dissolves incongruently and is in equilibrium with di-sodium hexaborate tetrahydrate: 2Na 2B 6O 10•4H 2O(cr) + 2Na + + 23H 2O(l) ⇌ 3Na 2B 4O 7•10H 2O(cr) + 2H +. In this study, the equilibrium constant (log K 0) for Reaction 2 at 25 °C and infinite dilution was determined to be –16.44 ± 0.13 (2σ) based on the experimental data and the Pitzer model for calculations of activity coefficients of aqueous species. In accordance with the log K 0 for Reaction 1 from a previous publication from this research group, and log K 0 for Reaction 2 from this study, the equilibrium constant for dissolution of di-sodium hexaborate tetrahydrate at 25 °C and at infinite dilution, Na 2B 6O 10•4H 2O(cr) + 10H 2O(l) ⇌ 2Na + +more » 6B(OH) 4 - + 4H + was derived to be –45.42 ± 0.16 (2σ). The equilibrium constants determined in this study can find applications in many fields. For example, in the field of nuclear waste management, the formation of di-sodium hexaborate tetrahydrate in brines containing magnesium will decrease borate concentrations, making less borate available for interactions with Am(III). In the field of experimental investigations, based on the equilibrium constant for Reaction 2, the experimental systems can be controlled in terms of acidity around neutral pH by using the equilibrium assemblage of borax and di-sodium hexaborate tetrahydrate at 25 °C. As salt lakes and natural brines contain both borate and magnesium as well as sodium, the formation of sodium hexaborate tetrahydrate may influence the chemical evolution of salt lakes and natural brines. Di-sodium hexaborate tetrahydrate is a polymorph of the mineral ameghinite [chemical formula Na 2B 6O 10•4H 2O; structural formula NaB 3O 3(OH) 4 or Na 2B 6O 6(OH) 8]. Finally, di-sodium hexaborate tetrahydrate could be a precursor of ameghinite and could be transformed when borate deposits are subject to diagenesis.« less
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Carlsbad, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0008-4476; 658638
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Canadian Mineralogist
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 55; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0008-4476
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Carlsbad, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
Country of Publication:
United States
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; borate chemistry; borax; polymorph of ameghinite; nuclear waste management; diagenesis of borate deposits
OSTI Identifier: