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Investigation of smectite hydration properties by modeling experimental X-ray diffraction patterns. Part I. Montmorillonite hydration properties.

Abstract : Hydration of the <1 μm size fraction of SWy-1 source clay (low-charge montmorillonite) was studied by modeling of X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns recorded under controlled relative humidity (RH) conditions on Li-, Na-, K-, Mg-, Ca-, and Sr saturated specimens. The quantitative description of smectite hydration, based on the relative proportions of different layer types derived from the fitting of experimental XRD patterns, was consistent with previous reports of smectite hydration. However, the coexistence of smectite layer types exhibiting contrasting hydration states was systematically observed, and heterogeneity rather than homogeneity seems to be the rule for smectite hydration. This heterogeneity can be characterized qualitatively using the standard deviation of the departure from rationality of the 00l reflection series (ξ), which is systematically larger than 0.4 A when the prevailing layer type accounts for ~70% or less of the total layers (~25 of XRD patterns examined). In addition, hydration heterogeneities are not randomly distributed within smectite crystallites, and models describing these complex structures involve two distinct contributions, each containing different layer types that are randomly interstratifed. As a result, the different layer types are partially segregated in the sample. However, these two contributions do not imply the actual presence of two populations of particles in the sample. XRD profile modeling has allowed also the refinement of structural parameters, such as the location of interlayer species and the layer thickness corresponding to the different layer types, for all interlayer cations and RH values. From the observed dependence of the latter parameter on the cation ionic potential ( r/v , v = cation valency and r = ionic radius) and on RH, the following equations were derived: 36 37 Layer thickness (1W) = 12.556 + 0.3525 × ( r/v - 0.241) × (v × RH - 0.979) Layer thickness (2W) = 15.592 + 0.6472 × ( 38 r/v - 0.839) × (v × RH - 1.412) which allow the quantification of the increase of layer thickness with increasing RH for both 1W (one-water) and 2W (two-water) layers. In addition for 2W layers interlayer H2O molecules are probably distributed as a unique plane on each side of the central interlayer cation. This plane of H2O molecules is located at ~1.20 A from the central interlayer cation along the c* axis.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 12, 2006 - 12:20:35 PM
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Eric Ferrage, Bruno Lanson, Boris A. Sakharov, Victor A. Drits. Investigation of smectite hydration properties by modeling experimental X-ray diffraction patterns. Part I. Montmorillonite hydration properties.. American Mineralogist, Mineralogical Society of America, 2005, 90, pp.1358-1374. ⟨hal-00105756⟩

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