Book review

Mária Földvári:

Handbook of thermogravimetric system of minerals and its use in geological practice.

Occasional Papers of Geological Institute of Hungary, Volume 213. pp. 180, Budapest 2011.

Click here to see the cover page


Thermal analysis plays a specific role in the identification and quantitative determination of mineral components of rocks. In spite of the fact that minerals were the first group of materials studied regularly by using thermoanalytical methods, the potential offered by these methods is still not fully utilized in the field of earth sciences. From quantitative phase analysis point of view it is very important that thermogravimetric measurements give direct and absolute values for thermal reactions making stoichiometric calculation possible.


The author analyzed about 30000 geological samples over more than 40 years. Gained experiences over the decades enable the systematization of the thermal reactions of minerals and gave the grounds for the compilation of this book.  


In the first chapter basic information on thermal analysis, thermoanalytical techniques, thermoanalytical nomenclature, thermoanalytical measurement parameters, the role of experimental conditions, calibration and standardisation is summarized. This chapter also deals with different technical (derivative, second derivative methods, controlled rate thermal analysis, evolved gas analysis techniques) and evaluation (quantitative determination based on mass-change, calculation of virtual kinetic parameters, and using of corrected decomposition temperature which introduced by the author) methods.


In the next part different kinds of possible thermal reactions of minerals are systematised focusing on thermal decomposition reactions.


An ample chapter discusses different water types in minerals and their thermoanalytical features. The most detailed part regarding this subject is the types of interlayer water in clay minerals.


The system of decomposition reactions based on the electronegativity of the cation, related to given anions (bonding strength) and to the complexity of the structure (diffusion).


In the chapter “Thermogravimetric curves and their interpretation by stoichiometric processes of minerals” a total of 148 figures show thermoanalytical curves up to 1000 °C for 114 minerals investigated by the author during geological routine work. Thermal processes are interpreted on the basis of thermoanalytical reaction equations or the description of the reaction. For thermal reactions accompanied by mass changes a method for quantitative determination is also presented.


In the round of special geological applications many examples are demonstrated using corrected decomposition reactions. In a short chapter for instance there are publications from many fields of geology applying thermal methods for solving specific geoscientific problems.


The book is illustrated by 220 figures and 74 tables. The number of references is 1195.



György Liptay