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Evidence for the nucleation and epitaxial growth of Zn phyllosilicate on montmorillonite

Abstract : Zinc uptake in suspensions (less-than-or-equals, slant3.7 g L−1) of MX80 montmorillonite was investigated at pH 4.0 and 7.3, a total Zn concentration ([Zn]total) of 500 μM, and dissolved Si concentrations ([Si]aq) of not, vert, similar70 and not, vert, similar500 μM in 0.5 M NaCl, by kinetics experiments and polarized extended X-ray absorption fine structure (P-EXAFS) spectroscopy. Differential thermogravimetric analysis verified the cis-vacant character of the montmorillonite. No Zn uptake occurred at pH 4.0, confirming that cation exchange was hampered by the high ionic strength of the suspension. At pH 7.3 and low [Si]aq (not, vert, similar70 μM), Zn uptake occurred rapidly during the first hour of reaction, and then leveled off to 50 μmol/g montmorillonite at 168 h. The uptake rate is consistent with Zn sorption on pH-dependent edge sites. At pH 7.3 and high [Si]aq (not, vert, similar500 μM), the initial sorption rate was similar, but Zn sorption continued, reaching 130 μmol/g at 168 h, and was paralleled by Si uptake with a Si/Zn uptake ratio of 1.51(10), suggesting formation of a Zn (hydrous) silicate. P-EXAFS data indicated that the first oxygen coordination shell of sorbed Zn is split into two subshells at 1.97(2) and 2.08(3)–2.12(2) Å for all EXAFS samples. These two distances are assigned to a mixture of tetrahedral (IVZn) and octahedral (VIZn) Zn complexes. The proportion of IVZn was lower in the high [Si]aq samples and decreased with reaction time. Al low [Si]aq and 216 h of reaction, nearest cationic shells of 0.6(4) Al in the film plane and 0.5(4) Si out of the film plane were detected at 3.00(2) and 3.21(2) Å, respectively, and were interpreted as the formation of IVZn and VIZn mononuclear complexes at the edges of montmorillonite platelets, in structural continuity to the (Al, Mg) octahedral sheets. At high [Si]aq, in-plane Zn and Al and out-of-plane Si neighbors were detected at 4 h, indicating the formation of Zn phyllosilicate nuclei at the layer edges. At 313 h, Zn–Al pairs were no longer detected, and Zn atoms were surrounded on average by 3.4(5) in-plane Zn at 3.10(1) Å and 1.7(9) out-of-plane Si at 3.30(2) Å, supporting the precipitation of a Zn phyllosilicate. Thus, dioctahedral Al phyllosilicate may act as a nucleating surface for the heterogeneous formation of trioctahedral Zn phyllosilicate at [Si]aq relevant to natural systems.
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M. L. Schlegel, Alain Manceau. Evidence for the nucleation and epitaxial growth of Zn phyllosilicate on montmorillonite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Elsevier, 2006, 70 (4), pp.901 à 917. ⟨10.1016/j.gca.2005.10.021⟩. ⟨insu-00354681⟩



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