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Abelsonite

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Philip Hauge Abelson
Formula:
Ni(C31H32N4)
Colour:
Pink-purple, dark greyish purple, pale purplish red, reddish brown.
Lustre:
Adamantine, Sub-Metallic
Hardness:
2 - 3
Specific Gravity:
1.33 - 1.48
Crystal System:
Triclinic
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.


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Classification of AbelsoniteHide

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 :

Physical Properties of AbelsoniteHide

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

Optical Data of AbelsoniteHide

Type:
Biaxial

Chemical Properties of AbelsoniteHide

Formula:
Ni(C31H32N4)
IMA Formula:
NiC31H32N4

Crystallography of AbelsoniteHide

Crystal System:
Triclinic
Class (H-M):
1 - Pinacoidal
Space Group:
P1
Cell Parameters:
a = 8.4416(5) Å, b = 10.8919(70) Å, c = 7.2749(40) Å
α = 90.465(2)°, β = 113.158(2)°, γ = 78.080(2)°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.775 : 1 : 0.668
Unit Cell V:
599.74 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
1
Comment:
Data at 100 K (Hummer et al., 2017).

Type Occurrence of AbelsoniteHide

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
Reference:
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(9-10), 930-937.

Synonyms of AbelsoniteHide

Other Language Names for AbelsoniteHide

Czech:Abelsonit
French:Abelsonite
German:Abelsonit
Italian:Abelsonite
Latvian:Ābelsonīts
Portuguese:Abelsonita
Spanish:Abelsonita

Common AssociatesHide

AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
AnalcimeNa(AlSi2O6) · H2O
DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Mica GroupA group of sheet silicates that can be parted into flexible or brittle sheets.
OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
PyriteFeS2
QuartzSiO2

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

10.CA.Tholins(C,H,N)
10.CA.05RefikiteC20H32O2Orth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 2
10.CA.10FlagstaffiteC10H22O3Orth.
10.CA.15HoeliteC14H8O2Orth.
10.CA.25KladnoiteC6H4(CO)2NHMon. 2/m
10.CA.30GuanineC5H5N5OMon.
10.CA.30Tinnunculite (of Chesnokov & Shcherbakova)C10H12N8O8Orth.
10.CA.35UreaCO(NH2)2Tet. 4 2m : P4 21m
10.CA.40UriciteC5H4N4O3Mon.

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

32.1EvenkiteC21H44Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcm
32.2FichteliteC19H34Mon.
32.3SimonelliteC19H24Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnna
32.4KratochvíliteC13H10Orth.
32.5IdrialiteC22H14Orth.
32.6CarpathiteC24H12Mon. 2/m : P21/b
32.7RefikiteC20H32O2Orth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 2
32.8FlagstaffiteC10H22O3Orth.
32.9HoeliteC14H8O2Orth.
32.10KladnoiteC6H4(CO)2NHMon. 2/m
32.11AcetamideCH3CONH2Trig. 3m : R3c
32.12GuanineC5H5N5OMon.
32.13UreaCO(NH2)2Tet. 4 2m : P4 21m
32.14UriciteC5H4N4O3Mon.

Other InformationHide

IR Spectrum:
bands [cm-1]: 2970, 2915, 2860 (C-H stretching); 620w, 602w, 535w, 512w, 441s, 392w
Notes:
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 AbelsoniteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
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)
Daniel R. Hummer, Bruce C. Noll, Robert M. Hazen, Robert T. Downs (2017): Crystal structure of abelsonite, the only known crystalline geoporphyrin. American Mineralogist 102, 1129-1132.

Internet Links for AbelsoniteHide

Localities for AbelsoniteHide

This 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.

Locality ListHide

- This locality has map coordinates listed. - This locality has estimated coordinates. ⓘ - Click for further information on this occurrence. ? - Indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. - Good crystals or important locality for species. - World class for species or very significant. (TL) - Type Locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) - First Recorded Locality for everything else (eg varieties). Struck out - Mineral was erroneously reported from this locality. Faded * - Never found at this locality but inferred to have existed at some point in the past (eg from pseudomorphs.)

All localities listed without proper references should be considered as questionable.
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
  • Wyoming
    • Sweetwater Co.
MILTON, C. (1977): Mineralogy of the Green River Formation. Mineralogical Record 8, 368-379.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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