In situ synchrotron XRD analysis of the kinetics of spodumene phase transitions†
The phase transition by thermal activation of natural α-spodumene was followed by in situ synchrotron XRD in the temperature range 896 to 940 °C. We observed both β- and γ-spodumene as primary products in approximately equal proportions. The rate of the α-spodumene inversion is first order and highly sensitive to temperature (apparent activation energy ∼800 kJ mol−1). The γ-spodumene product is itself metastable, forming β-spodumene, with the total product mass fraction ratio fγ/fβ decreasing as the conversion of α-spodumene continues. We found the relationship between the product yields and the degree of conversion of α-spodumene to be the same at all temperatures in the range studied. A model incorporating first order kinetics of the α- and γ-phase inversions with invariant rate constant ratio describes the results accurately. Theoretical phonon analysis of the three phases indicates that the γ phase contains crystallographic instabilities, whilst the α and β phases do not.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Bunsentagung 2018: Kinetics in the Real World