We determined vapor-liquid relations (P-T-x) and derived critical parameters for the system CaCl2-H2O from 380-500??C. Results show that the two-phase region of this system is extremely large and occupies a significant portion of the P-T space to which circulation of fluids in the Earth's crust is constrained. Results also show the system generates significant amounts of HCl (as much as 0.1 mol/kg) in the vapor phase buffered by the liquid at surprisingly high pressures (???230 bars at 380??C, <580 bars at 500??C), presumably by hydrolysis of CaCl2: CaCl2 + 2H2O = Ca(OH)2 + 2HCl. We interpret the abundance of HCl in the vapor as due to its preference for the vapor phase, and by the preference of Ca(OH)2 for either the liquid phase or solid. The recent recognition of the abundance of CaCl2 in deep brines of the Earth's crust and their hydrothermal mobilization makes the hydrolysis of CaCl2 geologically important. The boiling of Ca-rich brines produces abundant HCl buffered by the presence of the liquid at moderate pressures. The resultant Ca(OH)2 generated by this process reacts with silicates to form a variety of alteration products, such as epidote, whereas the vapor produces acid-alteration of rocks through which it ascends.
Additional publication details
The generation of HCl in the system CaCl2-H2O: Vapor-liquid relations from 380-500°C