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Thenardite

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Formula:
Na
 
2
SO
 
4
System:OrthorhombicColour:Colourless, very light ...
Hardness:2½ - 3
Name:
Named after Louis Jacques Thénard (1777-1857), Professor of Chemistry, University of Paris (France).


Five polymorphs known.
May occur as a dehydration product of mirabilite.

Classification of Thenardite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:6/A.07-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:7.AC.25

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
A : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) without additional anions, without H2O
C : With medium-sized and large cations
Dana 8th edition ID:28.2.3.1

28 : ANHYDROUS ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
2 : A2XO4
Hey's CIM Ref.:25.1.1

25 : Sulphates
1 : Sulphates of the alkali metals and ammonium
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Type Occurrence of Thenardite

Type Locality:Espartinas Saltworks, Ciempozuelos, Madrid, Spain
Year of Discovery:1826
Geological Setting of type material:Salt Lake.

Occurrences of Thenardite

Geological Setting:Lakes and playas in arid regions; as efflorescences on soils in arid areas, and in caliche. Also occurs around volcanic fumaroles mixed with alkali halides and sulphates and as an incrustation on recent lavas.

Physical Properties of Thenardite

Lustre:Vitreous, Resinous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Colourless, very light grey, light brown; colourless in transmitted light
Hardness (Mohs):2½ - 3
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Perfect
On {010} perfect; on {101} fair; on {100} incomplete
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Hackly
Density (measured):2.664 g/cm3
Density (calculated):2.674 g/cm3

Crystallography of Thenardite

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:Fddd {F2/d 2/d 2/d}
Cell Parameters:a = 5.86Å, b = 12.3Å, c = 9.82Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.476 : 1 : 0.798
Unit Cell Volume:V 707.81 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:8
Morphology:Crystals dipyramidal {111} with minor truncations; tabular {010} rough and striated, and {101} present as large faces; prismatic [100], rare. Pulverulent crusts, efflorescences.
Twinning:On {110} common, yielding cruciform groups. Also on {011}, yielding twins rather similar to gypsum "butterfly" twins.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

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.

Optical Data of Thenardite

Type:Biaxial (+)
RI values: nα = 1.471 nβ = 1.477 nγ = 1.484
2V:Measured: 83° , Calculated: 86°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.013

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Moderate
Dispersion:none

Chemical Properties of Thenardite

Formula:
Na
 
2
SO
 
4
Simplified for copy/paste:Na2SO4
Essential elements:Na, O, S
All elements listed in formula:Na, O, S

Relationship of Thenardite to other Species

Common Associates:
NitratineNatronMirabiliteHaliteGypsum
GlauberiteEpsomiteBlödite
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
7.AC.05Vanthoffite
Na
 
6
Mg(SO
 
4
)
 
4
7.AC.08Pyracmonite
(NH
 
4
)
 
3
Fe(SO
 
4
)
 
3
7.AC.10Efremovite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
Mg
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
7.AC.10Langbeinite
K
 
2
Mg
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
7.AC.10Manganolangbeinite
K
 
2
Mn
 
2
(SO
 
4
)
 
3
7.AC.15Yavapaiite
KFe(SO
 
4
)
 
2
7.AC.15Eldfellite
NaFe
3+
 
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
7.AC.20Godovikovite
(NH
 
4
)Al(SO
 
4
)
 
2
7.AC.20Sabieite
(NH
 
4
)Fe
3+
 
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
7.AC.30Metathenardite
Na
 
2
SO
 
4
7.AC.35Aphthitalite
(K,Na)
 
3
Na(SO
 
4
)
 
2
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
25.1.2Matteuccite
NaHSO
 
4
· H
 
2
O
25.1.3Mirabilite
Na
 
2
SO
 
4
· 10H
 
2
O
25.1.4Arcanite
K
 
2
SO
 
4
25.1.5Mercallite
KHSO
 
4
25.1.6Misenite
K
 
8
H
 
6
(SO
 
4
)
 
7
25.1.7Aphthitalite
(K,Na)
 
3
Na(SO
 
4
)
 
2
25.1.8Mascagnite
(NH
 
4
)
 
2
SO
 
4
25.1.9Letovicite
(NH
 
4
)
 
3
H(SO
 
4
)
 
2
25.1.10Ammonioalunite
(NH
 
4
)Al
 
3
(SO
 
4
)
 
2
(OH)
 
6

Other Names for Thenardite

Synonyms:
PyrotechniteThénardite
Other Languages:
German:Anhydrisches Natronsulfat
Thenardit
Russian:Тенардит
Simplified Chinese:无水芒硝
Spanish:Thenardita

Other Information

Thermal Behaviour:Melting Point = 883° C.
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 Thenardite

Reference List:

- +
Casaseca J.L., (1826), Annales de chimie et de physique, Paris: 32, 308.

Casaseca J.L., (1826) Annals of Philosophy, London: 12: 313.

Breithaupt, A. (1832) Vollständige Characteristik etc., 2nd. Ed.: 33 (as Anhydrisches Natronsulfat).

Scacchi (1855) Mem. Incend. Vesuvius, Naples (as Pyrotechnite).

Des Cloizeaux (1857) Annales des mines: 11: 318.

Baerwald (1882) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 6: 36.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 895.

Görgey (1910) Mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, Vienna: 29: 202.

Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 143.

Goldschmidt, V. (1922) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 8: 126.

Kracek (1921) Journal of Physical Chemistry: 33: 1281, 1304.

Cole (1926) Canada, Mines Branch, Ottawa, no. 646.

Doelter, C. (1926) Handbuch der Mineral-chemie (in 4 volumes divided into parts): 4[2]: 35 (see Jänecke in).

Hintze, Carl (1929) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3B]: 2679.

Kracek (1929) Journal of Physical Chemistry: 33: 1281.

Kracek and Gibson (1929) Journal of Physical Chemistry: 33: 1304.

Zachariasen and Ziegler (1932) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 81: 92.

Hill and Wills (1938) Journal of the American Chemical Society: 60: 1647.

Spencer (1944) Mineralogical Magazine: 27: 29.

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: 404-407.

Canadian Mineralogist (1975): 13: 181-187.

Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte (1978): 408.

Acta Chemica Scandinavica:: 27: 814-822.

Best Localities for Thenardite

Best of Species:Thenardite

Internet Links for Thenardite

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
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  • Thenardite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Localities for Thenardite

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