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Open AccessArticle

Fate of Hydrocarbons in Iron-Bearing Mineral Environments during Subduction

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Department of Physics, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas (National Research University), Leniskiy avenue 65/1, 119991 Moscow, Russia
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Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Bolshoy Boulevard 30, bld. 1, 121205 Moscow, Russia
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Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth, Universitätsstraße 30, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany
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Department of Energy Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Brinellvägen 68, 10044 Stockholm, Sweden
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Materials Physics and Technology at Extreme Conditions, Laboratory of Crystallography, Universität Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany
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The Institute for Mineralogy of the Westfälische Wilhelms, Universität Münster, Corrensstraße 24, 48149 Münster, Germany
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ESRF-The European Synchrotron, CS40220 38043 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
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Department of Industrial Economy and Management, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Lindstedtsvägen 30, 11428 Stockholm, Sweden
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(11), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9110651
Received: 10 September 2019 / Revised: 17 October 2019 / Accepted: 18 October 2019 / Published: 23 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genesis of Hydrocarbons in the Upper Mantle)
Subducted sediments play a key role in the evolution of the continental crust and upper mantle. As part of the deep carbon cycle, hydrocarbons are accumulated in sediments of subduction zones and could eventually be transported with the slab below the crust, thus affecting processes in the deep Earth’s interior. However, the behavior of hydrocarbons during subduction is poorly understood. We experimentally investigated the chemical interaction of model hydrocarbon mixtures or natural oil with ferrous iron-bearing silicates and oxides (representing possible rock-forming materials) at pressure-temperature conditions of the Earth’s lower crust and upper mantle (up to 2000(±100) K and 10(±0.2) GPa), and characterized the run products using Raman and Mössbauer spectroscopies and X-ray diffraction. Our results demonstrate that complex hydrocarbons are stable on their own at thermobaric conditions corresponding to depths exceeding 50 km. We also found that chemical reactions between hydrocarbons and ferrous iron-bearing rocks during slab subduction lead to the formation of iron hydride and iron carbide. Iron hydride with relatively low melting temperature may form a liquid with negative buoyancy that could transport reduced iron and hydrogen to greater depths. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron carbide; iron hydride; subduction; hydrocarbons; petroleum; mantle iron carbide; iron hydride; subduction; hydrocarbons; petroleum; mantle
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Serovaiskii, A.; Mukhina, E.; Dubrovinsky, L.; Chernoutsan, A.; Kudryavtsev, D.; McCammon, C.; Aprilis, G.; Kupenko, I.; Chumakov, A.; Hanfland, M.; Kutcherov, V. Fate of Hydrocarbons in Iron-Bearing Mineral Environments during Subduction. Minerals 2019, 9, 651.

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