Chemical Determination of Tetrahedral Ions in Nontronite and Montmorillonite

B. B. Osthaus
Gulf Research & Development Company, Pittsburgh

Abstract: Samples of nontronite and montmorillonite were digested with dilute hydrochloric acid for various periods of time. Chemical determinations of the acid-soluble ions were made for each period of digestion. Curves are presented showing the rates of solution of these minerals as decreasing exponential functions of time. A change in the slopes of the curves, as plotted on semilogarithmic paper against time on the linear scale, suggests different rates of solution for the ions in the tetrahedral and octahedral layers. The initial slope of the curves represents the simultaneous rates of solution of the octahedral and tetrahedral layers with the octahedral layer predominating. The second slope of the curves represents the rate of solution of the tetrahedral layer predominantly. Extrapolation of this slope to zero time is thought to give the percent of the tetrahedrally substituted ions within very close limits. Solubility curves of nontronite suggest the presence of both iron and aluminum in the tetrahedral layer. The solubility curves for Polkville montmorillonite indicate there is no substitution for silicon in the tetrahedral layer. Experimental values of tetrahedral substitution in nontronite check very closely with values postulated from the theoretical calculations obtained from the chemical analysis of the mineral.

Clays and Clay Minerals; 1953 v. 2; no. 1; p. 404-417; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1953.0020134
© 1953, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)