A critical review of thermodynamic data for aqueous and solid V species is presented to evaluate dissolution, transport, and precipitation of V under natural conditions. Emphasis is given to results of experimental studies of V chemistry, especially those for which the experimental conditions are near those found in nature. Where possible, data are obtained for or corrected to the reference conditions of 298.15K, 1 atm (1.01325 bar) and zero ionic strength. Vanadium [IV] (VIV) and vanadium[V] (VV) are the most soluble forms of V in nature, and their complexes with fluoride, sulfate, and oxalate may act to increase V solubility under oxidizing conditions. Because redox behavior is of fundamental importance to understanding natural V chemistry, the kinetics of reduction of VIV to VIII H2S were studied. Although H2S is predicted from thermodynamic data to be capable of reducing VIV to VIII, this reaction has not been demonstrated experimentally. Experiments were carried out under conditions of temperature (45??C), pH (3.6-6.8), ionic strength (0.05-0.1 m), and V concentrations (9.8-240 ??molar) likely to be found in nature. Because the reaction is very slow, H2S concentrations in excess of natural conditions were used (8.1 ?? 10-4 to 0.41 atm). The results show that VIV is reduced to VIII under a variety of conditions. The rate increases with increasing pH, but is not appreciably affected by ionic strength (as represented by the concentration of KCl, which was used as the supporting electrolyte in all cases). Prior to initiation of the reaction, there is an induction period, the length of which increases with increasing KCl concentration or decreasing pH. Attempts to model the reaction mechanism by numerical methods have failed to produce a satisfying fit of the results, indicating partial reaction orders, a complex mechanism, or involvement of a variety of intermediate species. The results of the thermodynamic and kinetic studies were applied to understanding the genesis of V deposits such as those commonly found on the Colorado Plateau. Vanadium in these sandstone-hosted deposits is present mostly in the reduced oxidation state, VIII. Because of the insolubility of VIII oxyhydroxides, it is likely that a more oxidized form of V (either [IV] or [V]) was transported to the site of mineralization, and that the V was reduced in situ and subsequently precipitated. A probable reductant is hydrogen sulfide; the presence of pyrite cogenetic with the V minerals documents the presence of H2S during mineralization. The experiments described here show that H2S could have reduced VIV to V III, and thus led to the formation of these deposits. ?? 1992.
Additional publication details
Thermodynamics and kinetics of reactions involving vanadium in natural systems: Accumulation of vanadium in sedimentary rocks