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Struvite

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Formula:
(NH
 
4
)Mg(PO
 
4
) · 6H
 
2
O
System:OrthorhombicColour:Colourless, white ...
Lustre:VitreousHardness:1½ - 2
Member of:Struvite Group
Name:Named after Heinrich Christoph Gottfried Struve (1722-1851) of the Russian diplomatic service, Consul at Hamburg (Germany).
[For comment on name see http://www.mindat.org/mesg-7-284821.html]
Isostructural with:Struvite-(K)


Struvite Group.
The ammonium analogue of Struvite-(K).

A mineral commonly found as a product of organic decay in putrescent matter, canned foods or other bacterial action on organic compounds, and as a constituent of human kidney and bladder stones in alkaline and infected urines.

Classification of Struvite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:7/C.23-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:8.CH.40

8 : PHOSPHATES, ARSENATES, VANADATES
C : Phosphates without additional anions, with H2O
H : With large and medium-sized cations, RO4:H2O < 1:1
Dana 8th edition ID:40.1.1.1

40 : HYDRATED NORMAL PHOSPHATES,ARSENATES AND VANADATES
1 : AB(XO4)·xH2O
Hey's CIM Ref.:19.3.23

19 : Phosphates
3 : Phosphates of Be and Mg
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Type Occurrence of Struvite

Type Locality:St Nikolai church, Hamburg, Germany
Year of Discovery:1846
Geological Setting of type material:Medieval sewers

Occurrences of Struvite

Geological Setting:Guano or dung deposits; peat beds; organically rich sediments.

Physical Properties of Struvite

Lustre:Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Colourless, white (dehydrated), yellow or brownish, light grey; colourless in transmitted light.
Streak:White
Hardness (Mohs):1½ - 2
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Distinct/Good
On {001}, good; on {100}, poor.
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
Density (measured):1.711 g/cm3
Density (calculated):1.705 g/cm3

Crystallography of Struvite

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mm2 - Pyramidal
Cell Parameters:a = 6.94Å, b = 11.2Å, c = 6.13Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.62 : 1 : 0.547
Unit Cell Volume:V 476.47 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Morphology:Crystals equant; wedge-shaped (due to large and unequally developed {101} and {10_1}), coffin-shaped (when viewed along [100]); short prismatic [001], [010], or [100]; thick tabular {100}. The distribution of the pyramidal or domical faces is often irregular. Crystals commonly distinct, to 1 inch (2.5 cm), with a distinct hemimorphic habit.
Twinning:On {001}. The acute poles of [001] unite in the composition plane {001}, with deep re-entrant angles.
Crystal Atlas:
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Struvite no.36 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Struvite no.47 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
5.905 (40)
5.601 (60)
4.257 (100)
4.139 (40)
2.919 (55)
2.690 (50)
2.660 (45)

Optical Data of Struvite

Type:Biaxial (+)
RI values: nα = 1.495 nβ = 1.496 nγ = 1.504
2V:Measured: 37° , Calculated: 40°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.009

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Moderate
Dispersion:relatively weak

Chemical Properties of Struvite

Formula:
(NH
 
4
)Mg(PO
 
4
) · 6H
 
2
O
Simplified for copy/paste:(NH4)Mg(PO4)·6H2O
Essential elements:H, Mg, N, O, P
All elements listed in formula:H, Mg, N, O, P

Relationship of Struvite to other Species

Member of:Struvite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Hazenite
KNaMg
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 14H
 
2
O
Struvite-(K)
KMg(PO
 
4
)·6H
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
8.CH.05Walentaite
H(Ca,Mn
2+
 
,Fe
2+
 
)Fe
3+
3
(AsO
 
4
,PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
8.CH.10Anapaite
Ca
 
2
Fe
2+
 
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 4H
 
2
O
8.CH.15Picropharmacolite
Ca
 
4
Mg(AsO
 
4
)
 
2
(HAsO
 
4
)
 
2
· 11H
 
2
O
8.CH.20Dittmarite
(NH
 
4
)Mg(PO
 
4
) · H
 
2
O
8.CH.20Niahite
(NH
 
4
)(Mn
2+
 
,Mg)(PO
 
4
) · H
 
2
O
8.CH.25Francoanellite
K
 
3
Al
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(HPO
 
4
)
 
3
· 12H
 
2
O
8.CH.25Taranakite
(K,NH
 
4
)Al
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH) · 9H
 
2
O
8.CH.30Schertelite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
MgH
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 4H
 
2
O
8.CH.35Hannayite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
Mg
 
3
H
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 8H
 
2
O
8.CH.40Struvite-(K)
KMg(PO
 
4
)·6H
 
2
O
8.CH.40Hazenite
KNaMg
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 14H
 
2
O
8.CH.45Rimkorolgite
(Mg,Mn)
 
5
(Ba,Sr,Ca)(PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 8H
 
2
O
8.CH.50Bakhchisaraitsevite
Na
 
2
Mg
 
5
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 7H
 
2
O
8.CH.55Fahleite
Zn
 
5
CaFe
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
6
· 14H
 
2
O
8.CH.55Smolyaninovite
(Co,Ni,Mg,Ca)
 
3
(Fe
3+
 
,Al)
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
4
· 11H
 
2
O
8.CH.60Barahonaite-(Al)
(Ca,Cu,Na,Fe
3+
 
,Al)
 
12
Al
 
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
8
(OH,Cl)
 
x
· nH
 
2
O
8.CH.60Barahonaite-(Fe)
(Ca,Cu,Na,Fe
3+
 
,Al)
 
12
Fe
3+
2
(AsO
 
4
)
 
8
(OH,Cl)
 
x
· nH
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
19.3.1Moraesite
Be
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH) · 4H
 
2
O
19.3.2Beryllonite
NaBePO
 
4
19.3.3Hurlbutite
CaBe
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
19.3.4Hydroxylherderite
CaBe(PO
 
4
)(OH,F)
19.3.5Glucine
CaBe
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
· 0.5H
 
2
O
19.3.6Fransoletite
Ca
 
3
Be
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(HPO
 
4
)
 
2
· 4H
 
2
O
19.3.7Uralolite
Ca
 
2
Be
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
3
(OH)
 
3
· 5H
 
2
O
19.3.9Pahasapaite
Li
 
8
(Ca,Li,K)
 
10.5
Be
 
24
(PO
 
4
)
 
24
· 38H
 
2
O
19.3.10Tiptopite
K
 
2
(Na,Ca)
 
2
Li
 
3
Be
 
6
(PO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
2
· H
 
2
O
19.3.11Gainesite
Na(Na,K)(Be,Li)Zr
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 1.5-2H
 
2
O
19.3.12Roscherite
Ca
 
2
Mn
2+
5
Be
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
6
(OH)
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
19.3.13Faheyite
(Mn,Mg,Na)Be
 
2
Fe
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 6H
 
2
O
19.3.14Farringtonite
Mg
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
19.3.15Holtedahlite
Mg
 
2
(PO
 
4
)(OH)
19.3.16Althausite
Mg
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH,O)(F,☐)
19.3.17Newberyite
Mg(HPO
 
4
) · 3H
 
2
O
19.3.18Phosphorrösslerite
Mg(HPO
 
4
) · 7H
 
2
O
19.3.19Bobierrite
Mg
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
19.3.20Barićite
(Mg,Fe)
 
3
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
· 8H
 
2
O
19.3.21Panethite
(Na,Ca)
 
2
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)
 
2
(PO
 
4
)
 
2
19.3.22Dittmarite
(NH
 
4
)Mg(PO
 
4
) · H
 
2
O
19.3.24Hannayite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
Mg
 
3
H
 
4
(PO
 
4
)
 
4
· 8H
 
2
O

Other Names for Struvite

Synonyms:
GuaniteStruveite
Other Languages:
Catalan:Struvita
Dutch:Struviet
German:Struvit
Guanit
Struveit
Italian:Struvite
Polish:Struwit
Russian:Струвит
Simplified Chinese:鸟粪石
Spanish:Guanita
Struveita
Struvita

Other Information

Electrical:Pyroelectric. Piezoelectric.
Other Information:Readily soluble in acids. Very slightly soluble in water.
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Struvite

Reference List:

- +
Ulex (1845): Svenska Vetenskapsakademien, Stockholm, Handlingar [Ak. Stockholm, Öfv.]: 3: 32 (as Struveit).

Teschemacher (1846): Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 28: 546 (as Guanite).

Ulex (1846): Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 58: 99 (as Struveit).

Hausmann, J.F.L. (1847): Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen. Second edition: vol. 2, in two parts.

Ulex (1848): Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 66: 41 (as Struveit).

Ulex (1851): Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 51.

Pittman (1870): Contributions to the Minerals of Victoria: 56.

Sadebeck (1877): Mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, Vienna: 113.

Kalkowsky (1886): Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 11: 1.

MacIvor (1887): Chemical News and Journal of Industrial Science, London: 55: 215.

Robinson (1889): Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society: 6: 360.

Arzruni (1890): Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 18: 60.

Goldschmidt, V. (1890-91): Index der Krystallformen der Mineralien. 3 volumes: vol. 3, 420p.: 167.

Dana, E.S. (1892): System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 806.

Hoffmann (1901): American Journal of Science: 11: 149.

de Schulten (1903): Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 26: 95.

Bøggild (1907): Meddelelser Dansk. Geol. For.: 13: 25.

Goldschmidt, V. (1922): Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 8: 95.

Palache, C. (1923): American Mineralogist: 8: 72.

Porter (1924): American Mineralogist: 9: 93.

Hintze, Carl (1933): Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [4A]: 1201.

Ayres (1942): American Mineralogist: 27: 387.

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951): The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 1124 pp.: 715-717.

Acta Crystallographica: B26: 1429-1440.

Acta Crystallographica (1986): B42: 253.

Internet Links for Struvite

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Struvite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Localities for Struvite

    The 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. ? 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.
    Antarctica
     
    • Western Antarctica
    Barczuk A. & Tatur A. 2003: BIOGENIC PHOSPHATE AND SULPHATE MINERALS IN THESOILS OF ANTARCTIC PENINSULA. Mineralogical Society of Poland - Special Papers, vol. 23, pp. 41-43
    Australia
     
    • Tasmania
      • Bass Strait
    http://www.crocoite.com/locationbulletins/part1/zeolites.pdf
      • Southern Islands
    Bottrill & Baker (in prep) Catalogue of minerals of Tasmania
    • Victoria
      • Corangamite Shire
        • Skipton
          • Mt. Widderin (Anderson's Hill)
    Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 699, 716.; Webb, J. A., Joyce, E. B., & Stevens, N. C. (1982). Lava caves of Australia. In Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology. International Speleological Foundation, Seattle. p74-85.
      • Warrnambool
    Botswana
     
    • North-West District
      • Ngamiland West District
    Handbook of Mineralogy - Anthony, Bideaux, Bladh, Nichols
    Canada
     
    • Québec
      • Montérégie
        • La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM
          • Mont Saint-Hilaire
    HORVÁTH, L. & PFENNINGER-HORVÁTH, E. (2000) I minerali di Mont-Saint-Hilaire (Québec, Canada) Rivista Mineralogica Italiana, XXIV, 140-202 (in Italian with English summary).
    • Yukon Territory
    Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 710.
        • Klondike Area (Klondyke District; Klondike District)
          • Indian River Drainage
            • Quartz Creek Drainage
              • Quartz Creek
    Traill, R. J. (1980) Catalog of Canadian Minerals: Revised 1980. Geological Survey of Canada Paper 80-18.
    Denmark
     
    • Nordjylland Region
      • Aalborg
    Bøggild, Ove Balthasar. 1907. Struvit fra Limfjorden, Meddelelser fra Dansk Geologiske Forening, 3(13), 25 Bøggild, Ove Balthasar. 1943. Danmarks mineraler, Danmarks Geologiske Undersøgelse, II. Række, no. 71 Johnstrup, Frederik. 1887. Struvit fra Limfjorden, 13. Skandinaviske Naturforskermøde Forhandlinger, 97 Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 716.
    Falkland Islands
    [Specimens in the Natural History Museum, London]
    Germany
     
    • Hamburg
    Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 716.
    • Hesse
      • Taunus
    Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 716.
    • Lower Saxony
      • Lüneburg
    A. Wittern: "Mineralfundorte in Deutschland", 2001
    Kosovo
     
    • District of Kosovska Mitrovica
      • Kosovska Mitrovica
        • Trepča valley
          • Trepča complex
    Féraud J. (1979) - La mine " Stari-Trg " (Trepca, Yougoslavie) et ses richesses minéralogiques. Avec la collaboration de Mari D. et G. (1979) Minéraux et Fossiles, n° 59-60, p. 19-28
    Malaysia
     
    • Borneo Island
      • Sarawak
    Mineralogical Magazine (1983): 47: 79-80.
    Namibia
     
    • Karas Region
      • Lüderitz District
    J.W. Anthony, R.A. Bideaux, K.W. Bladh, M.C. Nichols: Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. IV (2000)
    Netherlands
     
    • Noord-Holland
      • Amsterdam
    geonieuws-1982-07-144
    Réunion Island
    Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 716.
    South Africa
     
    • Western Cape Province
      • West Coast District
        • Saldanha Bay
    No reference listed; Minerals of South Africa
    USA
     
    • California
      • Mono Co.
        • Mono Lake
    Cohen, L.H. & P.H. Ribbe (1966), Magnesium phosphate mineral replacdement at Mono Lake California: American Mineralogist: 51: 1755-1765; Ribbe, P.H. and Cohen, L. (1966) Newberyite and monetite from Paoha Island, Mono Lake, California. California Division of Mines and Geology Mineral Information Service: 19: 46; Cooper, J.F. & G.E. Dunning (1969), Struvite found at Mono Lake: California Division Mines & Geol. Min. Info Svc.: 22: 44-45; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 314; Walker, J. (1988): Paoha Island phosphates. Quarterly of San Bernardino County Museum Association, 35, 46-47.
    • Colorado
      • Chaffee Co.
    Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckels, E. B.
    • Maine
      • Oxford Co.
        • Rumford
    King, V. and Foord, E., 1994, Mineralogy of Maine, v. 1.
    Venezuela
     
    • Miranda
    Urbani, 1997. Bol. Soc. Venezolana de Espeleología, no.30.
    Franco Urbani (2009) Venezuelan Cave Minerals: Second Review. Mineralogy 1 2009 ICS Proceedings. In 15th International Congress of Speleology. p 345
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