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A Comparison of Point of Zero Charge Measurement Methodology

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Contaminant-transport modeling requires information about the charge of subsurface particle surfaces. Because values are commonly reused many times in a single simulation, small errors can be magnified greatly. Goethite (α-FeOOH) and pyrolusite (β-MnO2) are ubiquitous mineral phases that are especially contaminant reactive. The objective of the present study was to measure and compare the point of zero charge (PZC) using different methods. The pyrolusite PZC was measured with three methods: mass titration (MT) (PZC = 5.9±0.1), powder addition (PA) (PZC = 5.98±0.08), and isoelectric point, IEP (PZC = 4.4±0.1). The IEP measurement was in agreement with literature values. However, MT and PA resulted in a statistically larger PZC than the IEP measurement. The surface area of pyrolusite, 2.2 m2g–1, was too small to permit PZC determination by the potentiometric titration (PT) method. Goethite PZC values were measured using MT (7.5±0.1), PT (7.46±0.09), and PA (7.20±0.08). The present work presents the first reported instance where MT and PA have been applied to measure the point of zero charge of either pyrolusite or goethite. The results illustrate the importance of using multiple, complementary techniques to measure PZC values accurately.
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Keywords: — BET; GOETHITE; ISOELECTRIC POINT; MASS TITRATION; POINT OF ZERO CHARGE; POTENTIOMETRIC TITRATION; POWDER ADDITION; PYROLUSITE; X-RAY DIFFRACTION; ZETA POTENTIAL CHARGE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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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 [email protected]

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