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Condensation Temperatures of the Elements (Volatile & Refractory)

The primary cosmochemical classification of the elements is based on their volatility within the solar nebula. Each element’s equilibrium (50%) condensation temperatures (TC,50 (K) at 10 -4 bar) is used to divide the elements into those that are refractory (having equilibrium condensation temperatures higher than the most abundant rock-forming elements such as magnesium, silicon and iron), moderately volatile (having TC,50 lower than refractory elements but higher than that of FeS), and volatile (having TC,50 less than FeS). Some sources also refer to the super refractory elements that include Hf, Zr, W, Re and Os.

The TC,50 used below and the table further down was created in large part using the information from the 2019 paper written by B. Wood, et al titled “The condensation temperatures of the elements: A reappraisal“.

  • 1720 K (Hafnium TC,50) < TC,50 Super-Refractory < 1806 K (Osmium TC,50)
  • 1291 K (Chromium TC,50< TC,50 Refractory < 1720 K
  • 672 K (Sulfur TC,50< TC,50 Moderately Volatile < 1291 K
  • TC,50 Volatile < 672 K

Note that the en.wikipedia.org entry uses references that are no longer up to date.

Condensation Temperatures of the Elements (Volatile & Refractory)

Atomic NumberElement SymbolT50 (K) Wood (2019)PhaseT50 (K) Lodders (2003)PhaseT50 (K) Wasson (1985)Category 1**Category 2
3Li 1148En 1142Fo + En 1225Moderately Volatile
4Be1551Mll 1452MllModerately RefractoryRefractory Lithophile
5B 740Pl908FspVolatile
6C 40CH4·7H2O + CH4 iceHighly Volatile
7N 123NH3·H2OHighly Volatile
8O 183Rock + Water ice 180Rock + Water iceHighly Volatile
9F 674F-Ap 734F-Ap 736
10Ne 9.1Ne ice
11Na 1035Pl 958Fsp 970Volatile
12Mg 1343Fo + Cpx 1336Fo1340Moderately Refractory
13Al 1652Crn 1653Hbn 1650Refractory Lithophile
14Si 1314Fo + Cpx 1310Fo + En 1311Moderately Refractory
15P1287Scb 1229Scb 1151Moderately Volatile
16S672Tro 664Tro 648Volatile
17Cl472Cl-Ap 948Sdl 863
18Ar47Ar·6H2OHighly Volatile
19K 993Pl 1006Fsp1000Volatile
20Ca1535Mll 1517Hbn + Mll 1518Refractory Lithophile
21Sc1541Prv + Mll 1659Hbn1644Refractory Lithophile
22Ti 1565Prv 1582Prv 1549Refractory Lithophile
23V 1370Fe alloy + Prv 1429Prv1450Moderately Refractory
24Cr1291Fe alloy 1296Fe alloy 1277Moderately Refractory
25Mn1123Fo + En 1158Fo + En1190Moderately Volatile
26Fe 1338Fe alloy 1334Fe alloy 1336Moderately Refractory
27Co 1354Fe alloy 1352Fe alloy 1351Moderately Refractory
28Ni 1363Fe alloy 1353Fe alloy 1354Moderately Refractory
29Cu 1034Fe alloy 1037Fe alloy 1037Moderately Volatile
30Zn 704Tro 726Fo + En 660
31Ga 1010Fe alloy 968Fe alloy + Fsp 918Volatile
32Ge 830Fe alloy 883Fe alloy 825
33As 1235Fe alloy 1065Fe alloy1157
34Se 701Tro 697Tro 684Volatile
35Br 420Syl 546Cl-Ap 690
36Kr 52Kr·6H2OHighly Volatile
37Rb752Sa 800Fsp 1080Volatile
38Sr 1548Prv 1464Ca-titanateModerately VolatileRefractory Lithophile
39Y 1551Mll + Prv 1659Hbn 1592Refractory Lithophile
40Zr1722ZrO2 1741ZrO2 1780Super-RefractoryRefractory Lithophile
41Nb1561Prv 1 1559Ca-titanate 1550Moderately RefractoryRefractory Lithophile
42Mo1520Mo metal 1590Refractory metal alloy 1608Refractory Siderophile
44Ru 1533Os-Ir-Ru alloy 1551Refractory metal alloy 1573
45Rh 1370Fe alloy 1392Refractory metal alloy 1391
46Pd1330Fe alloy 1324Fe alloy 1334Moderately Refractory
47Ag 699Tro 996Fe alloy 952Volatile
48Cd 502Tro 652En + Tro430
49In 492Tro 536Tro 456Very Volatile
50Sn 604Fe alloy 704Fe alloy 720Volatile
51Sb 890Fe alloy 979Fe alloy 912
52Te 665Tro 709Fe alloy 680
53I 390KI 535Cl-Ap
54Xe 68Xe·6H2O
55Cs 593Sa 799FspVolatile
56Ba 1423Prv 1455Ca-titanateModerately VolatileRefractory Lithophile
57La 1615Hbn 1578Hbn + Ca-titanate 1520Refractory Lithophile
58Ce 1454Mll+ Prv 1478Hbn + Ca-titanate 1500Moderately RefractoryRefractory Lithophile
59Pr 1550Hbn + Prv 1582Hbn + Ca-titanate 1532Refractory Lithophile
60Nd 1630Hbn 1602Hbn 1510Refractory Lithophile
62Sm 1545Hbn + Prv1590Hbn + Ca-titanate 1515Refractory Lithophile
63Eu1491Mll + Prv 1356Hbn + Ca-titanate + Fsp 1450Moderately RefractoryRefractory Lithophile
64Gd 1630Hbn 1659Hbn 1545Refractory Lithophile
65Tb 1630Hbn 1659Hbn 1560Refractory Lithophile
65TdRefractory Lithophile
66Dy 1630Hbn 1659Hbn 1571Refractory Lithophile
67Ho 1630Hbn 1659Hbn 1568Refractory Lithophile
68Er 1630Hbn 1659Hbn 1590Refractory Lithophile
69Tm 1630Hbn 1659Hbn1545Refractory Lithophile
70Yb 1528Mll + Prv 1487Hbn + Ca-titanate 1455Moderately RefractoryRefractory Lithophile
71Lu 1630Hbn 1659Hbn 1597Refractory Lithophile
72Hf 1720HfO2 1684HfO2 1652Super-RefractoryRefractory Lithophile
73Ta 1546Prv 1573Hbn + Ca-titanate1550Refractory Lithophile
74W 1736W-Re 1789Refractory metal alloy 1802Super-RefractoryRefractory Siderophile
75Re 1736W-Re 1821Refractory metal alloy 1819Super-RefractoryRefractory Siderophile
76Os 1806Os metal 1812Refractory metal alloy 1804Super-RefractoryRefractory Siderophile
77Ir 1566Os-Ir 1603Refractory metal alloy 1610
78Pt 1370Fe alloy 1408Refractory metal alloy 1411Moderately Refractory
79Au 967Fe alloy 1060Fe alloy1225Moderately Volatile
80Hg 240Tro 252Tro
81Tl 365Tl2S, Tl 532Tro 428Very Volatile
82Pb 495PbS 727Fe alloy 496Very Volatile
83Bi 480Bi metal 746Fe alloy 451Very Volatile
90Th 1630Hbn 1659Hbn 1545Refractory Lithophile
92U 1609Hbn 1610Hbn1420Refractory Lithophile
 

Notes:

  1. En = enstatite; Fo = forsterite; Cpx = clinopyroxene; Mll = melilite; Pl = plagioclase; Fsp = feldspar; Ap = apatite; Crn = corundum; Hbn = hibonite; Scb = schreibersite; Tro = troilite; Sdl = sodalite; Prv = perovskite; Syl = sylvite; Sa = sanidine
  2. 10 -5 bar
  3. Approximate temperature
  4. ** Based on Wasson except for C, Ar, Kr, N, O that are based on Lodders

Other Sources:

  1. https://par.nsf.gov/servlets/purl/10036398
  2. Lauretta, McSween “Meteorites and the Early Solar System”, p. 296 (Volatile Evolution and Loss by Andrew M. Davis)
  3. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1086/375492/fulltext/57586.text.html, Solar System Abundances and Condensation Temperatures of the Elements, Katharina Lodders