Dickson-Type Reactor

  • The picture shows a Dickson-type reactor next to a control element on which pressure and temperature can be read off.

    Dickson-Type Reactor

    A Dickson-type reactor is an experimental arrangement that can be used to simulate various processes occurring in hydrothermal systems under laboratory conditions.


Person in charge:

Patrick Monien


GEO 5190

Direct dial:


The method

This fle­xi­ble re­ac­tion cell set­up was in­iti­al­ly de­scri­bed by Dick­son  et al. (1963) and la­ter si­gni­fi­cant­ly mo­di­fied by Sey­fried  et al. (1979, 1987). It can be uti­li­zed to in­ves­ti­ga­te equi­li­bri­um pro­ces­ses that oc­cur wi­t­hin hydro­ther­mal sys­tems. Flu­id and so­lid re­ac­tants re­si­de wi­t­hin a cor­ro­si­on re­sis­tant fle­xi­ble re­ac­tion cell made of gold or ti­ta­ni­um (Wu  et al. 2016). Pres­su­re and tem­pe­ra­tu­re can be ad­jus­ted in­de­pen­dent­ly up to a le­vel of 50 MPa and 400 °C. The set­up al­lows for con­co­mitant flu­id sam­pling and so­lid re­ac­tants can be re­co­ve­r­ed upon ter­mi­na­ti­on of an ex­pe­ri­ment. Four cust­o­mi­zed au­to­cla­ve sys­tems are avail­able in the Hydro­ther­mal Lab (Hy­Lab) of the Pe­tro­lo­gy of the Oce­an Crust re­se­arch group.

A Dickson-type reactor surrounded by a thick metal jacket with various titanium pipeworks; a disposable syringe hangs from one of the pipeworks. Next to the reactor is a control panel on which the current temperature and pressure in the reactor can be read.
Close-up of a disposable syringe held by two hands wearing blue nitrile gloves used to take a clear liquid sample from the reactor.
Close-up of a gold cell used in the reactor from which two pale green solid reaction products are tipped.

Contact person for technical information

Dr.Christian Hansen



  • Dickson FW, Blount CW, Tunell G (1963): Use of hydrothermal solution equipment to determine the solubility of anhydrate in water from 100 °C to 275 °C and from 1 bar to 1000 bars pressureAmerican Journal of Science.
    doi:10.2475/ajs.261.1.61 |

  • Seyfried WE, Gordon PC, Dickson FW (1979): A new reaction cell for hydrothermal solution equipmentAmerican Mineralogist.
    PDF |

  • Seyfried WE, Janecky DR, Berndt ME (1987): Rocking autoclaves for hydrothermal experiments. II. The flexible reaction-cell system. In: Hydrothermal Experimental Techniques. Wiley-Interscience Publications.
    PDF |

  • Wu SJ, Cai MJ, Yang CJ, Li KW (2016): A new flexible titanium foil cell for hydrothermal experiments and fluid samplingReview of Scientific Instruments.
    doi:10.1063/1.4963700 |