# Talk:Wüstite

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## FeO != Wustite

The mantle does have 7.5% FeO as weight percentage. However, this is not present as wustite neccessarily. It is present as FeO components in olivine and pyroxene solid solution series. Rolinator 03:06, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

You sound like you know what you are talking about, but what you are saying does not seem reasonable to me (which does not mean you are wrong). Plagioclase is a solid solution with albite and anorthite endmembers, yet neither albite nor anorthite cease to exist by being components of the solid solution. So why would FeO cease to be wüstite by being a component of olivine and pyroxene solid solution series, unless special definitions are being applied whereby only pure FeO can be called wüstite? --Ben Best 05:01, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The composition of magnetite is sometimes expressed as FeOFe2O3. Yet it is not a solid solution between wustite and hematite, it is a mineral by itself. When quoting a whole rock chemical analyses, the convention is to give percentages of FeO and Fe2O3, which gives you an idea of what redox state the rock is in. There will only be wustite as a mineral phase wheren there is no Fe2O3 in the rock.
Consider the mantle xenolith on the pyroxene page. It is composed primarily of pyroxene (orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene), olivine, chromite, etc. Pyroxene has a range of compositions, but if you work out the ionic balance of the major cations in the XYSi2O6 series, they are +2. Therefore, iron is present in Fe2+ state outside of wüstite, and within other minerals. This is also true of olivine, where iron is present in the 2+ valent state. Therefore, analyses which quote FeO 7.5% are quoting it as a chemical composition, not a mineralogical composition (otherwise known as normative mineralogy). Iron is also present in Fe2+ state in spinel minerals such as magnetite, chromite, etc.
Further, in order to have iron present as a pure oxide, outside of a spinel such as chromite, the rock needs to have enough iron and little enough other components in order to prevent forming minerals which contain iron. For example, it has to become enriched in Fe, but not oxygen, in order to convert Fe2O3 into FeO. Once enough FeO is created that there is too much to be hosted within olivine, and there is not enough oxygen to form magnetite, then you form wustite. Theoretically, this could happen with as little as 7.5% FeO, however you would need some bizarre chemical composition with lots of calcium, sodium, etc and very little silicon. Therefore, the mantle composition has too much silicon and oxygen to allow wustite to form - which is why it is such a rare mineral. I hope this explains things well enough. You may also wish to check out mineral redox buffer for a thorough explanation.Rolinator 05:38, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for taking the trouble to give such a detailed explanation. Hopefully it will be of benefit to others who read this page. I think that I have reasonable grounds for having been confused and I think that others could easily be as afflicted. In the main text of this wüstite entry I see:
1. FeO.Fe2O3 + C --> 3FeO + CO
magnetite + graphite/diamond --> wüstite + carbon monoxide
ie, "FeO == wüstite". But in the context of normative mineralogy,
"FeO != wüstite" -- because you aren't really speaking of the mineral FeO. --Ben Best 06:50, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Again you are confusing the FeO functional group in magnetite FeO.Fe2O3 as being "magnetite is made from one part wustite, one part hematite". Magnetite is one part magnetite, not a solid solution between wustite and magnetite.
Remember, a solid solution is notated (X,Y)O. Capisce? Therefore FeO.Fe2O3 != FeO (wüstite) + Fe2O3 (hematite).
Secondly, the equation FeO.Fe2O3 + C --> 3FeO + CO can also be expressed as the equilibrium equation.
${\displaystyle FeO.Fe_{2}O_{3}+C\rightleftharpoons 3FeO+CO}$
If you understand equilibria, you'll realise that there is a back reaction to the wüstite-creating reaction above;
FeO.Fe2O3 + C <-- 3FeO + CO
This is a redox equilibrium, or in other words, oxygen fugacity. And, again, the redox conditions of the mantle generally do not favor wüstite. Again, read the text of the article: "until all Fe3+ ions are converted to Fe2+ (ie; via reduction of the oxygen fugacity of the system via addition of reducing agents such as native carbon) the oxide mineral assemblage (ie; the normative mineralogy) remains wüstite-magnetite". ie;
${\displaystyle FeO.Fe_{2}O_{3}\rightleftharpoons FeO+/-O_{2}+/-C+/-CO}$
You seem seriously confused by the concept of expressing magnetite as FeO.Fe2O3. Maybe if you think of magnetite as Fe3O4, that will help? Maybe think of the above reactions as;
${\displaystyle Fe_{3}O_{4}+C\rightleftharpoons (Fe_{3}O_{4}+FeO+CO)\rightleftharpoons 3FeO+CO}$
where there is an intermediate equilibrium state (a redox buffer assemblage) containing graphite, magnetite and wustite as separate minerals where wustite is NOT within magnetite.
Rolinator 00:57, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for what is apparently a frustrated, but patient explanation, Rolinator. But you seem to have misunderstood the simplicity of my comment:
1. FeO.Fe2O3 + C --> 3FeO + CO
magnetite + graphite/diamond --> wüstite + carbon monoxide
ie, "FeO == wüstite".
I was referring ENTIRELY to the right side of the equation and to the equation of FeO with wüstite on the right side. It was a conceptual, not a quantitative reference. --Ben Best 03:52, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

## Magnetite is a chemical compound, a mixed oxidation state iron oxide. Wustite isn't FeO!

Magnetite

As a chemist I find the statement "The formula for magnetite is more accurately written as FeO. Fe2O3 than as Fe3O4. Magnetite is one part FeO and one part Fe2O3, rather than a solid solution of wüstite and hematite." as misleading. Fe3O4 is a chemical compound, all atoms are nicely and regularly placed in a crystal lattice.

Wustite isn't FeO

Wustite is correctly identified as non-stoichiometric late in the article lede. As Wustite is non-stoichiometric (always!) - is there any way that you could show this your mineral box rather than the misleading FeO?. The pretty rock salt lattice picture of the the structure of FeO further misleads the casual reader into thinking that FeO has some occurence in nature- wustite isn't FeO - FeO is thermodynamcally unstable and pyrophoric.

Axiosaurus (talk) 10:30, 17 December 2012 (UTC)