Original paper

The 'cave' mineral oxammite - a high resolution thermogravimetry and Raman spectroscopic study

Frost, R.L.; Weier, Matt L.

Abstract

The thermal decomposition of natural ammonium oxalate known as oxammite has been studied using a combination of high resolution thermogravimetry coupled to an evolved gas mass spectrometer and Raman spectroscopy coupled to a thermal stage. Three mass loss steps were found at 57, 175 and 188°C attributed to dehydration, ammonia evolution and carbon dioxide evolution respectively. Raman spectroscopy shows two bands at 3235 and 3030 cm-1 attributed to the OH stretching vibrations and three bands at 2995, 2900 and 2879 cm-1, attributed to the NH vibrational modes. The thermal degradation of oxammite may be followed by the loss of intensity of these bands. No intensity remains in the OH stretching bands at 100°C and the NH stretching bands show no intensity at 200°C. Multiple CO symmetric stretching bands are observed at 1473, 1454, 1447 and 1431cm-1, suggesting that the mineral oxammite is composed of a mixture of chemicals including ammonium oxalate dihydrate, ammonium oxalate monohydrate and anhydrous ammonium oxalate.

Keywords

oxalateweddellitemoolooitehumboldtinenatroxalateoxammiteglushinskiteraman spectroscopyinfrared emission spectroscopy