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Zirconium Carbonates

The existence of several carbonates of zirconium serves to emphasise the electropositive character of this element. Berzelius and Hermann obtained hydrated carbonates by precipitation, and Mandl prepared a precipitated carbonate by passing carbon dioxide through a mixture of zirconium nitrate and ammonium carbonate solutions. Chauvenet has reinvestigated the subject and finds that when a zirconium salt is precipitated by sodium carbonate of any concentration the compound ZrCO4.ZrO2.8H2O is formed as a gelatinous, microcrystalline mass which becomes ZrCO4.ZrO2.2H2O in an exhausted desiccator; ZrCO4 may be regarded as an ortho-carbonate or a basic carbonate ZrO.CO3. When the above salt is heated beyond 60° C. it loses carbon dioxide and water, forming 2ZrCO4.3ZrO2.3H2O, which at 250° C. yields a product of the composition ZrCO4.3ZrO2.H2O, and at 400° C. is converted into zirconium dioxide. No anhydrous carbonate appears to exist, but when the dehydrated basic carbonate is exposed to a pressure of 30-40 atmospheres of carbon dioxide it is converted into the hydrated ortho-carbonate ZrCO4.2H2O.

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