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Cation Exchange Reactions of Vermiculite with Cu-Triethylenetetramine as Affected by Mechanical and Chemical Pretreatment

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The cation exchange capacity (CEC) is a characteristic property of expandable clay minerals, such as smectites and vermiculites. The aim of this work was to examine the cation exchange behavior of vermiculite using the Cu-triethylenetetramine (Cu-trien) CEC method and the influence of mechanical and chemical pretreatment, with the ammonium acetate method serving as a reference. The Cu-trien method makes rapid and direct CEC measurements possible. Three different kinds of mill were used to grind a vermiculite sample from Russia, in order to reduce the particle size to <10 m. The Netzsch CGS 10 dry mill reduced the particle size more effectively than the other grinding methods. Chemical pretreatments were used to remove carbonates, organic matter, Fe oxides, and divalent exchangeable cations from vermiculite samples prior to CEC measurements. Subsamples of ground and chemically pretreated vermiculite samples were saturated with Na, Li, Mg, Ca, and Cu cations to determine the effect of exchangeable cations on measured CEC values. Chemical pretreatment, monovalent cation pretreatment, and 48 h of shaking time were needed to measure vermiculite CEC values effectively using the Cu-trien method.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-08-01

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  • The JOURNAL publishes articles of interest to the international community of clay scientists, including but not limited to areas in mineralogy, crystallography, geology, geochemistry, sedimentology, soil science, agronomy, physical chemistry, colloid chemistry, ceramics, petroleum engineering, foundry engineering, and soil mechanics. Clays and Clay Minerals exists to disseminate to its worldwide readership the most recent developments in all of these aspects of clay materials. Manuscripts are welcome from all countries.

    Clays and Clay Minerals is the official publication of The Clay Minerals Society.

    The Editor-in-Chief is Professor Joseph W. Stucki

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