Kamacite sulfurization in the solar nebula

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54 Scopus citations


The kinetics and mechanisms of kamacite sulfurization were studied experimentally at temperatures and H2S/H2 ratios relevant to the solar nebula. Pieces of the Canyon Diablo meteorite were heated at 558 K, 613 K, and 643 K in 50 parts per million by volume (ppmv) H2S-H2 gas mixtures for up to one month. Optical microscopy and x-ray diffraction analyses show that the morphology and crystal orientation of the resulting sulfide layers vary with both time and temperature. Electron microprobe analyses reveal three distinct phases in the reaction products: monosulfide solid solution (mss), (Fe, Ni, Co)i_xS, pentlandite (Fe, Ni, Co)9-xS8, and a P-rich phase. The bulk composition of the remnant metal was not significantly changed by sulfurization. Kamacite sulfurization at 558 K followed parabolic kinetics for the entire duration of the experiments. Sulfide layers that formed at 613 K grew linearly with time, while those that formed at 643 K initially grew linearly with time then switched to parabolic kinetics upon reaching a critical thickness. The experimental results suggest that a variety of thermodynamic, kinetic, and physical processes control the final composition and morphology of the sulfide layers. We combine morphological, x-ray diffraction, electron microprobe, and kinetic data to produce a comprehensive model of sulfide formation in the solar nebula. Then, we present a set of criteria to assist in the identification of solar nebula condensate sulfides in primitive meteorites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-833
Number of pages13
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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