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Hydrothermal synthesis and characterization of dioctahedral smectites: A montmorillonites series

Abstract : The aim of this study is to synthesize and finely characterize montmorillonite samples, dioctahedral smectites without tetrahedral charges (structural formulae Nax(Al(2 − x)Mgx)Si4O10(OH)2), to allow their use as reference samples in clay science. The montmorillonites synthesis under hydrothermal conditions at different pressures and with various layer charge deficit has been attempted. The temperature was fixed at 320 °C, the pressure parameter values were 20 MPa, 80 MPa, 120 MPa and 200 MPa. The Mg content varied from 0.25 to 0.60 per half unit cell. The reaction products have been characterized with multi-technique analyses (ICP-AES, EMP, CEC, XRD, FTIR, NMR and TGA). Montmorillonite phase was only produced at 120 and 200 MPa. At 20 and 80 MPa, the results suggest that a 0.33 and 0.16-tetrahedral charge deficit exist in the formed samples. Moreover, the octahedral occupancies are higher than two (2.15 and 2.07 at 20 and 80 MPa respectively). In these experimental conditions, the synthetic smectites are mixtures between montmorillonite, beidellite and saponite. At 120 MPa and for a Mg content of 0.25 or higher than 0.33, the synthetic products were also mixtures of smectites. Tetrahedral charge deficits of 0.11, 0.11 and 0.15 were found for Mg contents of 0.25, 0.50 and 0.60 respectively. The octahedral occupancy was also higher than 2.00. A montmorillonite phase with only octahedral charges and an octahedral occupancy near 2.00 was synthesized for a Mg content of 0.33 and at pressures equal to or higher than 120 MPa. This low charge reference smectite shows a very low amount of accessory minerals and an octahedral charge deficit only created by the presence of magnesium in the structure. This montmorillonite can be compared structurally to the most studied natural one: the montmorillonite SWy-2 from Wyoming.
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Sébastien Lantenois, Rémi Champallier, Jean-Michel Bény, Fabrice Muller. Hydrothermal synthesis and characterization of dioctahedral smectites: A montmorillonites series. Applied Clay Science, Elsevier, 2008, 38 (3-4), pp.165-178. ⟨10.1016/j.clay.2007.03.005⟩. ⟨insu-00160450⟩

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