EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Ca isotope fractionation upon synthesis of carbonated apatite

Michael E. Böttcher1,2,3, Nikolaus Gussone4, Anika C. Conrad1, Iris Schmiedinger1, Jens Fiebig5, Markus Peltz6, Georg Grathoff6, and Burkhard C. Schmidt7
Michael E. Böttcher et al.
  • 1Leibniz IOW, Geochemistry & Isotope Biogeochemistry, Warnemünde, Germany (
  • 2Marine Geochemistry, University of Greifswald, Germany
  • 3Interdisiplinary Faculty, University of Rostock, Germany
  • 4Institut für Mineralogie, Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster, Germany
  • 5Institute of Geosciences, Goethe-University of Frankfurt, Germany, and Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Frankfurt (Main), Germany
  • 6Economic Geology, University of Greifswald, Germany
  • 7Department of Experimental and Applied Mineralogy, Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany

Carbonated hydroxy-apatite (CHAP) was experimentally synthesized in batch-type set-ups by mixing of calcium (Ca)- and phosphate-bearing aqueous solutions and the transformation of calcite powder in aqueous solution between 11° and 65°C (Gussone et al., 2020). Compositional changes of the experimental solution and solid phase products were followed by elemental analysis, Raman spectroscopy, scanning-electron microscopy, and powder XRD. In the mixing experiments, crystallization of CHAP took place following the precipitation of metastable brushite as precursor that was then transformed into CHAP. In the transformation experiments using synthetic calcite as a precursor phase it was found that the reaction at pH values between 7.5 and 7.9 occurs via the direct replacement of calcium carbonate by CHAP.

Calcium isotope fractionation led to an enrichment of the light isotope in the solid CHAP compared to the aqueous solution by about -0.5 to -1.1 ‰, independent from the experimental approach, and the magnitude was essentially independent of temperature. The metastable brushite formed prior to transformation to CHAP showed a reduced fractionation compared to the CHAP. The observed Ca isotope fractionation into the CHAP lattice resembles that of natural phosphorites and lies within the range of the view existing theoretical and experimental studies.


Reference: Gussone N., Böttcher M.E., Conrad A.C., Fiebig J., Pelz M., Grathoff G., Schmidt B.C. (2020) Calcium isotope fractionation upon experimental apatite formation. Chem. Geol., 551, 119737

The study was supported by German Science Foundation (DFG) to M.E.B and J.F. within the EXCALIBOR project (BO1548/8 and FI 948/7), and to N.G. (GU1035/10), and by Leibniz IOW.

How to cite: Böttcher, M. E., Gussone, N., Conrad, A. C., Schmiedinger, I., Fiebig, J., Peltz, M., Grathoff, G., and Schmidt, B. C.: Ca isotope fractionation upon synthesis of carbonated apatite, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3384,, 2021.