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Palygorskite

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Formula:
(Mg,Al)5(Si,Al)8O20(OH)2 · 8H2O
System:
Monoclinic
Colour:
White. grayish, ...
Hardness:
2 - 2½
Name:
For the type locality Palygorskaya, Russia.
May be confused with sepiolite.

Results of García-Romero & Suárez (2010) indicate that no compositional gap exists between sepiolite and palygorskite.

Classification of Palygorskite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
9.EE.20

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
E : Phyllosilicates
E : Single tetrahedral nets of 6-membered rings connected by octahedral nets or octahedral bands
74.3.1a.1

74 : PHYLLOSILICATES Modulated Layers
3 : Modulated Layers with joined strips
16.7.6

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
7 : Aluminosilicates of Mg
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Type Occurrence of Palygorskite

Occurrences of Palygorskite

Geological Setting:
Alteration product of magnesium silicates

Physical Properties of Palygorskite

Waxy, Earthy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Translucent
Colour:
White. grayish, yellowish, gray-green
Hardness (Mohs):
2 - 2½
Cleavage:
Distinct/Good
Good on {110}
Comment:
Tough
Density:
1 - 2.6 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.35 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Palygorskite

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
B2/m
Cell Parameters:
a = 12.78Å, b = 17.86Å, c = 5.24Å
β = 95.78°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.716 : 1 : 0.293
Unit Cell Volume:
V 1,189.95 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Commonly fibrous, tangled mats known as mountain leather. Individual, small crystals are lath-shaped.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
10.44 (100)
6.36 (13)
4.466 (20)
4.262 (22)
3.679 (15)
3.096 (16)
2.539 (20)

Optical Data of Palygorskite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.522 - 1.528 nβ = 1.530 - 1.546 nγ = 1.533 - 1.548
2V:
Measured: 30° to 61°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.011 - 0.020
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Low
Pleochroism:
Visible
Comments:
X= pale yellow
Y=Z= pale yellow-green

Chemical Properties of Palygorskite

Formula:
(Mg,Al)5(Si,Al)8O20(OH)2 · 8H2O
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Fe,K

Relationship of Palygorskite to other Species

Other Members of Group:
TuperssuatsiaiteNa2Fe3Si8O20(OH)2 · 4H2O
Unnamed (Na-Ca-Fe-Silicate-Hydrate)NaCa(Fe2+,Al,Mn)5[Si8O19(OH)](OH)7 · 5H2O
WindhoekiteCa2Fe3+2.67[Si8O20](OH)4 · 10H2O
YofortieriteMn5Si8O20(OH)2 · 8-9H2O
9.EE.05BementiteMn7Si6O15(OH)8
9.EE.10BrokenhilliteMn8Si6O15(OH)10
9.EE.10Pyrosmalite-(Fe)Fe82+Si6O15(OH,Cl)10
9.EE.10FriedeliteMn82+Si6O15(OH,Cl)10
9.EE.10Pyrosmalite-(Mn)Mn82+Si6O15(OH,Cl)10
9.EE.10Mcgillite(Mn,Fe)8Si6O15(OH)8Cl2
9.EE.15Nelenite(Mn,Fe)16(Si12O30)(OH)14[As33+O6(OH)3]
9.EE.15SchalleriteMn162+As3Si12O36(OH)17
9.EE.20TuperssuatsiaiteNa2Fe3Si8O20(OH)2 · 4H2O
9.EE.20YofortieriteMn5Si8O20(OH)2 · 8-9H2O
9.EE.20WindhoekiteCa2Fe3+2.67[Si8O20](OH)4 · 10H2O
9.EE.25Falcondoite(Ni,Mg)4Si6O15(OH)2 · 6H2O
9.EE.25LoughliniteNa2Mg3Si6O16 · 8H2O
9.EE.25SepioliteMg4(Si6O15)(OH)2 · 6H2O
9.EE.25Kalifersite(K,Na)5Fe73+Si20O50(OH)6 · 12H2O
9.EE.30GyroliteNaCa16Si23AlO60(OH)8 · 14H2O
9.EE.30OrlymaniteCa4Mn3Si8O20(OH)6 · 2H2O
9.EE.30TungusiteCa4Fe2Si6O15(OH)6
9.EE.35Reyerite(Na,K)2Ca14(Si,Al)24O58(OH)8 · 6H2O
9.EE.35Truscottite(Ca,Mn)14Si24O58(OH)8 · 2H2O
9.EE.40NatrosiliteNa2Si2O5
9.EE.45MakatiteNa2Si4O8(OH)2 · 4H2O
9.EE.50VarennesiteNa8Mn2Si10O25(OH,Cl)2 · 12H2O
9.EE.55RaiteNa4Mn32+Ti0.25Si8O20(OH)2 · 10H2O
9.EE.60IntersiliteNa6Mn2+Ti[Si10O24(OH)](OH)3 · 4H2O
9.EE.65Shafranovskite(Na,K)6(Mn,Fe)3Si9O24 · 6H2O
9.EE.65ZakharoviteNa4Mn5Si10O24(OH)6 · 6H2O
9.EE.70ZeophylliteCa13Si10O28(OH)2F8 · 6H2O
9.EE.75Minehillite(K,Na)2-3Ca28Zn4Al4Si40O112(OH)16
9.EE.80Fedorite(Na,K)2-3(Ca4Na3)Si16O38(OH,F)2 · 3.5H2O
9.EE.80Martinite(Na,◻,Ca)12Ca4(Si,S,B)14B2O38(OH,Cl)2F2·4H2O
9.EE.85Lalondeite(Na,Ca)6(Ca,Na)3Si16O38(F,OH)2·3H2O
16.7.1PyropeMg3Al2(SiO4)3
16.7.2SapphirineMg4(Mg3Al8)O4(Si3Al9O20)
16.7.3Sapphirine-1A(Mg,Al,Fe2+)8[(Al,Si,Fe3+)6O18]O2
16.7.4MagnesiochloritoidMgAl2(SiO4)O(OH)2
16.7.5KulkeiteMg8Al(AlSi7O20)(OH)10
16.7.7SaponiteCa0.25(Mg,Fe)3((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
16.7.8AliettiteCa0.2Mg6((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)4 · 4H2O
16.7.9Montmorillonite(Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2 · nH2O
16.7.10Baumite(Mg,Al,Mn,Zn,Fe)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4

Other Names for Palygorskite

Other Information

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 Palygorskite

Reference List:
von Ssaftschenkow, T. (1862) Paligorskit. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlichen Gesellschaft für die Gesammte Mineralogie zu St. Petersburg 1862: 102-104.

Huggins, C.W., Denny, M.V., Shell, H.R. (1962) Properties of palygorskite, an asbestiform mineral: US Bureau of Mines, Report of Investigaton 6071: 17pp.

Van Olphen, H. (1966) Maya Blue: A clay-organic pigment? Science: 154: 3749: 645–646.

Christ, C.L., Hathaway, J.C., Hostetler, P.B., Shepard, A.O. (1969) Palygorskite: new X-ray data. Amererican Mineralogist: 54: 198-205.

Serna, C., VanScoyoc, G.E., Ahlrichs, J.L. (1977) Hydroxyl groups and water in palygorskite. American Mineralogist: 62: 784-792.

Permskiye gubernskiye vedomosti (Perm District Gazette): 26: 127.

Smith, D.G.W., Norem, D. (1986) The electron-microprobe analysis of palygorskite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 24: 499-511.

Smith, D.G.W., Norem, D. (1986) The electron-microprobe analysis of palygorskite: addendum. The Canadian Mineralogist: 24: 791-791.

Chisholm, J.E. (1990) An X-ray powder-diffraction study of palygorskite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 28: 329-339.

Chisholm, J.E. (1992) Powder-diffraction patterns and structural models for palygorskite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 30: 61-73.

(1994) Minerals Science Forum: 166: 647-652.

McKeown, D.A., Post, J.E., Etz, E.S. (2002) Vibrational analysis of palygorskite and sepiolite. Clays and Clay Minerals: 50: 667-680.

Guistetto, R., Chiari G, (2004) Crystal structure refinement of palygorskite from neutron powder diffraction. European Journal of Mineralogy: 16: 521-532.

Post, J.E., Heaney, P.J. (2008) Synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction study of
the structure and dehydration behavior of palygorskite. American Mineralogist: 93: 667–675.

Chryssikos, G.D., Gionis, V., Kacandes, G.H., Stathopoulou, E.T., Suárez, M., García-Romero, E., Sánchez del Rio, M. (2009) Octahedral cation distribution in palygorskite. American Mineralogist: 94: 200-203.

Nasedkin, V.V., Boeva, N.M., Garbuzova, I.A., Kovalchuk, M.V., Vasiliev, A.L. (2009) The crystal structure and chemistry of several palygorskite samples with different geneses. Crystallography Reports: 54: 884-900.

García-Romero, E., Suárez, M. (2010) On the chemical composition of sepiolite and palygorskite. Clays and Clay Minerals: 58: 1-20.

Internet Links for Palygorskite

Localities for Palygorskite

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.
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