Flouride Content of Clay Minerals and Argillaceous Earth Materials

Josephus Thomas Jr., H. D. Glass, W. A. White and R. M. Trandell
Illinois State Geological Survey, Urbana, IL 61801, U.S.A.

Abstract: A reliable method, utilizing a fluoride ion-selective electrode, is described for the determination of fluoride in clays and shales. Interference by aluminum and iron is minimal. The reproducibility of the method is about ±5% at different levels of fluoride concentration.

Data are presented for various clay minerals and for the <2-µm fractions of marine and nonmarine clays and shales. Fluoride values range from 44 ppm (0.0044%) for nontronite from Colfax, WA, to 51,800 ppm (5.18%) for hectorite from Hector, CA. In general, clays formed under hydrothermal conditions are relatively high in fluoride content, provided the hydrothermal waters are high in fluoride content. Besides hectorite, dickite from Ouray, CO, was found to contain more than 50 times as much fluoride (6700 ppm) as highly crystalline geode kaolinite (125 ppm). The clay stratum immediately overlying a fluorite mineralized zone in southern Illinois was found to have a higher fluoride content than the same stratum in a nonmineralized zone approximately 1 mile away. Nonmarine shales in contact with Australian coals were found to be lower in fluoride content than were marine shales in contact with Illinois coals.

It is believed that, in certain instances, peak shifts on DTA curves of similar clay minerals are the result of significant differences in their fluoride content.

Clays and Clay Minerals; August 1977 v. 25; no. 4; p. 278-284; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1977.0250405
© 1977, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)