Thermogravimetric analysis has been used to determine the thermal stability of the mineral stercorite H(NH4)Na(PO4)·4H2O. The mineral stercorite originated from the Petrogale Cave, Madura, Eucla, Western Australia. This cave is one of many caves in the Nullarbor Plain in the South of Western Australia. The mineral is formed by the reaction of bat guano chemicals on calcite substrates. Upon thermal treatment the mineral shows a strong decomposition at 191 °C with loss of water and ammonia. Other mass loss steps are observed at 158, 317 and 477 °C. Ion current curves indicate a gain of CO2 at higher temperature and are attributed to the thermal decomposition of calcite impurity.
1. Bridge, PJ. Archerite (K, NH4)H2PO4, a new mineral from Madura, Western Australia. Mineral Mag. 1977;41:33–35. .