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Dingwell, Donald B.; O'Neill, Hugh St. C.; Ertel, Werner and Spettel, Bernhard (1994): The solubility and oxidation state of nickel in silicate melt at low oxygen fugacities: Results using a mechanically assisted equilibration technique. In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 58, No. 8: pp. 1967-1974 [PDF, 841kB]


The solubility of Ni in a silicate melt has been measured using a new, mechanically assisted equilibration technique over a wide range of controlled ƒO2 values. The melt composition corresponds to the 1 atm eutectic in the system CaAl2Si2O8-CaMgSi2O6 + 10 wt% CaO. The experiments were performed at 1300°C and over an ƒO2 range of 10−8.5 to 10−13.75, and over a temperature range of 1270 to 1390°C at a constant gas mixing ratio ( ). The experiment consists of a sample of melt contained within a crucible of Ni metal and held in a 1 atm gas mixing furnace. A Ni spindle is entered into the sample from above and continuously rotated at a constant angular velocity using a viscometer head. The stirring of the sample serves to accelerate the approach to equilibrium between the liquid sample and the metal crucible (and spindle). This arrangement allows relatively rapid equilibration of Ni content following changes to higher or lower ƒO2 values. Samples of the melt may be taken at any time for analysis and thus the equilibrium solubility of Ni in the silicate melt may be determined from unambiguous experimental reversals. The Ni contents of samples, analysed both by INAA and by ICP-AES, range from 25 to 5300 ppm.

The data presented in this paper indicate that the oxidation state of Ni in the investigated melt is Ni2+ over the entire range of ƒO2 investigated. This conclusion contrasts with recent reports in the literature of an inflection in the ƒO2 dependence of Ni solubility, which has been interpreted as solution of neutral Ni at low ƒO2 (Morse et al., 1991; Colson, 1992; Ehlers et al., 1992). We also present data for the temperature dependence of Ni solubility in the investigated melt. The solubility decreases with increasing temperature at constant ƒO2. The present results are in good agreement with the metal-loop-equilibration experiments reported by Holzheid et al. (1994).

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