In the system NaCl-KCl-H2O, with and without ??-quartz present, steam was equilibrated in a large-volume reaction vessel with brine and/or precipitated salt at 600??C and pressures ranging from about 100 to 0.4 MPa. Episodically, steam was extracted for chemical analysis, accompanied by a decrease in pressure within the reaction vessel. In the absence of precipitated salt, within the analytical uncertainty stoichiometric quantities of Cl and total alkali, metals (Na + K) dissolve in steam coexisting with chloriderich brine. In contrast, in the presence of precipitated salt (in our experiments halite with some KCl in solid solution), significant excess chloride as associated hydrogen chloride (HCl0??) dissolves in steam. The HCl0 is generated by the reaction of steam with solid NaCl(s), producing solid NaOH(s) that diffuses into halite, forming a solid solution. In our quasistatic experiments, compared to dynamic flow-through experiments of others, higher initial ratios of H2O/NaCl have apparently resulted in higher model fractions of NaOH(s) in solid solution in halite. This, in turn, resulted in incrementally higher concentrations of associated NaOHo dissolved in steam. Addition of quartz to the system NaCl + KC1 + H2O resulted in an order of magnitude increase in the concentration of HCl0 dissolved in steam, apparently as a consequence of the formation of sodium disilicate by reaction of silica with NaOH(s). The measured dissolved silica in steam saturated with alkali halides at 600??C in the pressure range 7-70 MPa agrees nicely with calculated values of the solubility of ??-quartz obtained using the equation of Fournier and Potter (1982), corrected for dissolved salt by the method of fournier (1983). Na K ratios in steam at 600??C tend to be slightly greater than in coexisting brine. When precipitated halite is present, larger mole fractions of NaOH(s) in solid solution in that halite apparently result in even larger Na K ratios in coexisting steam. Precipitation of more halite as a consequence of repeated depressurization episodes results in decreased Na K ratios in both the brine and coexisting steam phases, indicating that the lower pressures begin to favor K over Na in the vapor. When steam is in contact with precipitated salts in the absence of brine, the Na K ratio in the steam is less than that of the bulk composition of the salt-H2O system. ?? 1993.
Additional publication details
Composition of steam in the system NaCl-KCl-H2O-quartz at 600°C