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Abelsonite

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Philip Hauge Abelson
Formula:
Ni(C31H32N4)
System:
Triclinic
Colour:
Pink-purple, dark ...
Lustre:
Adamantine, Sub-Metallic
Hardness:
2 - 3
Name:
For US physicist Philip Hauge Abelson (1913-2004). He was co-discoverer of element 93 (neptunium), editor of the periodical Science (1962-1984), and director of the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory (1953-1971).
Chemically a nickel porphyrine derivative, classified as deoxophylloerythroetioporphyrin. Unique combination of elements; the only organonickel mineral known. Formed at depth (Milton et al., 1978), likely from a chlorophyll (but likely not the chlorophyll-d) (Storm et al., 1984).

Abelsonite is accompanied by its structural norisomer; the surrounding shale contains other Ni porphyrins, which represent a series of more extended homologues.

Structure details (Storm et al., 1984): (1) methyl groups in the 2, 3, 7, 12, and 18 positions, (2) ethyl group in the 8 and 17 positions. According to Milton et al.(1978) the molecules in abelsonite are not planar. The substitution pattern in the mineral is genetically related to a typical chlorophyll. The potential precursor to abelsonite is 17-desethyl, 17-propionic acid.

Worth of notice is an unnamed mineral coded as 'UM1984-14-CH:ClNOV', which is a natural vanadyl deoxophylloerythroetioporphyrin, the second known metalloporphyrin mineral, although not isostructural with abelsonite.

Classification of Abelsonite

Approved
Approval Year:
1975
10.C0.A.20
10.CA.20

10 : ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
C : Miscellaneous Organic Minerals
A : Miscellaneous Organic Minerals
Dana 7th ed.:
50.4.9.1
50.4.9.1

50 : ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
4 : Miscellaneous
32.15

32 :
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Type Occurrence of Abelsonite

General Appearance of Type Material:
Aggregates of platy crystals; as patches, sometimes over 2 mm in diameter
Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Smithsonian
Geological Setting of Type Material:
Mahogany Zone oil shale; found in six stratigraphical zones ( M9, M7, M2, L6, L0, and K1); its genesis is connected with unique geochemical conditions of Lake Uinta; likely formed due to chlorophyll diagenesis; abelsonite's relatively insoluble precursor was likely transported by an aqueous solution towards sediments of favorable lithology

Occurrences of Abelsonite

Geological Setting:
Small aggregates, to 1 cm, of thin laths or
plates. Of secondary origin on fracture surfaces in oil shale.

Physical Properties of Abelsonite

Adamantine, Sub-Metallic
Colour:
Pink-purple, dark greyish purple, pale purplish red, reddish brown.
Comment:
Semitransparent
Streak:
pink
Hardness (Mohs):
2 - 3
Cleavage:
Poor/Indistinct
Probable on {111}.
Density:
1.33 - 1.48 g/cm3 (Measured)    1.45 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Abelsonite

Crystal System:
Triclinic
Cell Parameters:
a = 8.44Å, b = 11.12Å, c = 7.28Å
α = 90.88°, β = 113.75°, γ = 79.57°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.759 : 1 : 0.655
Unit Cell Volume:
V 613.79 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
1
Comment:
Space group P-1 or P1

Optical Data of Abelsonite

Type:
Biaxial

Chemical Properties of Abelsonite

Formula:
Ni(C31H32N4)
All elements listed in formula:
Analytical Data:
data from the RRUFF project, by electron microprobe, wt.%, mean (C, H and N estimated from stoichiometry)
Ni 9.67
Fe 0.58
Cr 0.15
Empirical Formula:
(Ni0.92Fe2+0.05Cr0.02)C31H32N4

Relationship of Abelsonite to other Species

10.CA.Tholins(C,H,N)
10.CA.05RefikiteC20H32O2
10.CA.10FlagstaffiteC10H22O3
10.CA.15HoeliteC14H8O2
10.CA.25KladnoiteC6H4(CO)2NH
10.CA.30GuanineC5H5N5O
10.CA.30Tinnunculite (of Chesnokov & Shcherbakova)C10H12N8O8
10.CA.35UreaCO(NH2)2
10.CA.40UriciteC5H4N4O3
32.1EvenkiteC21H44
32.2 Fitchtelite
32.3SimonelliteC19H24
32.4KratochvíliteC13H10
32.5IdrialiteC22H14
32.6CarpathiteC24H12
32.7RefikiteC20H32O2
32.8FlagstaffiteC10H22O3
32.9HoeliteC14H8O2
32.10KladnoiteC6H4(CO)2NH
32.11AcetamideCH3CONH2
32.12GuanineC5H5N5O
32.13UreaCO(NH2)2
32.14UriciteC5H4N4O3

Other Names for Abelsonite

Name in Other Languages:
Czech:Abelsonit
French:Abelsonite
German:Abelsonit
Italian:Abelsonite
Latvian:Ābelsonīts
Portuguese:Abelsonita
Spanish:Abelsonita

Other Information

IR Spectrum:
bands [cm-1]: 2970, 2915, 2860 (C-H stretching); 620w, 602w, 535w, 512w, 441s, 392w
Other Information:
UV-Vis bands [nm]: 392, 510, 550 in benzene or 390, 512, and 552 in acetone (suggestible for deoxophylloerythroetioporphyrin with an isocyclic ring); also 618 band present, suggesting presence of some free-base porphyrin
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Abelsonite

Reference List:
Milton, C., Dwornik, E.J., Estep-Barnes, P.A., Finkelman, R.B., Pabst, A., Palmer, S. (1978) Abelsonite, nickel porphyrin, a new mineral from the Green River Formation, Utah. American Mineralogist: 63: 930-937.

Storm, C.B., Krane, J., Skjetne, T., Telnaes, N., Branthaver, J.F., Baker, E.W. (1984) The structure of abelsonite. Science: 223: 1075-1076.

Miller, S.A., Hambley, T.W., Taylor, J.C. (1984): Crystal and molecular structure of a natural vanadyl porphyrin. Australian J. Chem.: 37: 761-766; in: Dunn, P.J., Fleischer, M., Langley, R.H., Shigley, J.E., Zilczer, J.A. (1988): New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 70: 881

Mason, G.M., Trudell, L.G., Branthaver, J.F. (1989): Review of the stratigraphic distribution and diagenetic history of abelsonite. Organic Geochemistry: 14: 585-594

Lafuente, B., Downs, R.T., Yang, H., Stone, N. (2015): The power of databases: the RRUFF project. In: Highlights in Mineralogical Crystallography, T. Armbruster and R. M Danisi, eds. Berlin, Germany, W. De Gruyter: pp 1-30; http://rruff.info/Abelsonite (2016)

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W. and Nichols, M.C., Eds. Handbook of Mineralogy, Mineralogical Society of America, Chantilly, VA 20151-1110, USA. http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/ (2016)

Internet Links for Abelsonite

Localities for Abelsonite

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
(TL) indicates type locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
USA
 
  • Colorado
    • Rio Blanco Co.
      • Piceance Creek Basin
Handbook of Mineralogy
  • Utah
    • Uintah Co.
      • Green River formation
Am Min 63: 9-10 pp 930-937
Am Min 63: 9-10 pp 930-937
Am Min 63: 9-10 pp 930-937
Am Min 63: 9-10 pp 930-937
Am Min 63: 9-10 pp 930-937
Am Min 63: 9-10 pp 930-937
Am Min 63: 9-10 pp 930-937
Am Min 63: 9-10 pp 930-937
Mineral and/or Locality  
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