Physics and Chemistry of Minerals

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 299–309 | Cite as

Identification of hydrogen species in alunite-type minerals by multi-nuclear solid-state NMR spectroscopy

  • Elisabeth Grube
  • Andrew S. Lipton
  • Ulla Gro NielsenEmail author
Original Paper


The various hydrogen species present in a series of synthetic hydroniumjarosite ((H3O)Fe3(SO4)2(OH)6), and ammonioalunite ((NH4)Al3(SO4)2(OH)6) as well synthetic potassium (Cr3+ and V3+) and hydronium (V3+, Cr3+, and Ga3+) analogues were identified and quantified by 1H and 2H MAS NMR spectroscopy. The results confirm the defect mechanism proposed for alunite Nielsen et al. (Am Miner 92: 587–597, 2007), and allow for identification and quantification of even a few percent structural defects. For the paramagnetic samples, the isotropic shift for G2-OH group (V3+, Cr3+, and Fe3+) span more than 1100 ppm, which is related to different d-electron configuration (d2, d3, and d5). Analysis of the 1H and 27Al MAS NMR spectra shows that the synthetic ammonioalunite contains small amounts (5–10%) of hydronium. Furthermore, the close structural relationship between of hydronium and gallium alunite is reflected by the 27Al and 71Ga quadrupole coupling parameters. Thus, the current work demonstrates the applicability of solid state NMR spectroscopy for identification and quantification of hydrogen species in both dia- and paramagnetic minerals.


Jarosite Alunite Gallium alunite Solid state NMR Paramagnetic NMR Hydronium ion Acid mine drainage 



Associate professor Dorthe B. Ravnsbæk, University of Southern Denmark is thank for valuable discussions regarding analysis of the PXRD data. EG acknowledges Oticon for a M.Sc. fellowship. UGN is grateful for financial support from the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science and a Villum Young Investigator fellowship (Villum Foundation, VKR022364). High-Field NMR studies were performed at EMSL, a DOE Office of Science User Facility sponsored by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research and located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Supplementary material

269_2018_1004_MOESM1_ESM.docx (5.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 5773 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics, Chemistry and PharmacyUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark
  2. 2.Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryRichlandUSA

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