Infrared Spectroscopic Study of Adsorbed Water on Reduced-Charge Na/Li-Montmorillonites

Garrison Sposito, R. Prost and J.-P. Gaultier
Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, California 92521
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Station de Science du Sol, Route de Saint-Cyr, 78000 Versailles, France

Abstract: Infrared (IR) spectra in the fundamental and near-IR regions were obtained for Na-saturated Wyoming montmorillonite and reduced-charge Na/Li-saturated. Wyoming montmorillonites hydrated under water vapor at 50% RH and dehydrated under vacuum. For the Na-montmorillonite, changes in the intensities of the structural OH-bending modes, particularly that of the MgAlOH group, were observed as the clay was dehydrated. This result was interpreted as evidence that exchangeable Na ions lose solvation water and settle into the ditrigonal cavities on the clay surface as it becomes desiccated. For the Na/Li montmorillonites, the structural OH-bending modes also decreased in IR intensity because of Li+ migration into the octahedral sheet. The fundamental IR spectra of D2O adsorbed by the montmorillonites showed characteristic absorptions at 2685, 2510, 2400, and 1205 cm−1 that decreased in intensity proportionally to the cation-exchange capacity. This result, along with corroborating data from X-ray powder diffractograms and from near-IR diffuse reflectance spectra of H2O adsorbed by the clays, suggest that the exchangeable cations on Na-montmorillonite dissociated from the clay surface as it hydrated and played a significant role in organizing the structure of adsorbed water at low water contents.

Key Words: Cation-exchange capacity • Infrared spectroscopy • Montmorillonite • Reduced charge • Water adsorption

Clays and Clay Minerals; February 1983 v. 31; no. 1; p. 9-16; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1983.0310102
© 1983, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)