Abstract: Samples of several naturally fine-grained micaceous minerals were heated at 450°C for 24 hr (after the effects of other temperatures and heating periods were evaluated with the < 2 µm fraction of Grundite) and then characterized in terms of their release of K to NaCl-NaTPB (sodium tetraphenylboron) solutions and other potentially related properties.
This heat treatment produced a substantial increase in the amount of K that each mineral released when first placed in the NaCl-NaTPB solution (the greatest increase being 22 m-equiv K/100 g in Marblehead illite). Depending upon the mineral heated, the subsequent rate of K release was increased, decreased or unchanged. Also, all the minerals except glauconite exhibited an increase (ranging from 4 to 38 m-equiv K/100 g) in their maximum degree of K release if they were heated. Thus, it was established that the K release behavior of these minerals is not only subject to appreciable alteration by heat treatments but is altered in a manner that varies with the mineral. The nature of these alterations, however, did not clearly identify an involvement of the other mineral properties that were examined. An increase in NH4- and Cs-exchangeable K occurred when these minerals were heated—presumably as a result of exfoliation. With Morris illite samples, this increase was nearly 28 m-equiv 100 g. Thus, heated samples of these minerals may be useful sinks for the removal of NH4 and Cs in various wastes.