Abstract

Davidbrownite-(NH4), (NH4,K)5(V4+O)2(C2O4)[PO2.75(OH)1.25]4·3H2O, is a new mineral species from the Rowley mine, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. It occurs in an unusual bat-guano-related, post-mining assemblage of phases that include a variety of vanadates, phosphates, oxalates and chlorides, some containing NH4+. Other secondary minerals found in association with davidbrownite-(NH4) are antipinite, fluorite, mimetite, mottramite, quartz, rowleyite, salammoniac, struvite, vanadinite, willemite and wulfenite. Crystals of davidbrownite-(NH4) are light green–blue needles or narrow blades up to ~0.2 mm long. The streak is white, the lustre is vitreous, Mohs hardness is ca. 2, tenacity is brittle and fracture is splintery. There are two good cleavages in the [010] zone, probably {100} and {001}. The measured density is 2.12(2) g cm–3. Davidbrownite-(NH4) is optically biaxial (+) with α = 1.540(2), β = 1.550(5) and γ = 1.582(2) (white light); 2V = 58.5(5)°; moderate r > v dispersion; and orientation Z = b and Ya. Pleochroism: X = pale blue, Y = nearly colourless, Z = light blue; and Y < X < Z. Electron microprobe analysis gave the empirical formula [(NH4)3.11K1.73Na0.09]Σ4.93[(V4+1.92Mg0.01Al0.02)Σ1.95O2](C2O4) [(P3.94As0.12)Σ4.06O10.94(OH)5.06]·3H2O, with the C and H content provided by the crystal structure. Raman and infrared spectroscopy confirmed the presence of NH4 and C2O4. Davidbrownite-(NH4) is monoclinic, P21/c, with a = 10.356(6), b = 8.923(5), c = 13.486(7) Å, β = 92.618(9)°, V = 1244.9(12) Å3 and Z = 2. The crystal structure of davidbrownite-(NH4) (R1 = 0.0524 for 2062 Io > 2σI reflections) consists of a chain structural unit with the formula {(V4+O)2(C2O4)[PO2.75(OH)1.25]4}5–, and a disordered interstitial complex containing five large monovalent cations (NH4+ and K+) and three H2O groups pfu. Strong hydrogen bonds form links within and between the chains.

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