Swelling of n-Butylammonium Vermiculite in Water

L. F. Braganza, R. J. Crawford, M. V. Smalley and R. K. Thomas
Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble 38042 Cedex, France
Physical Chemistry Laboratory, South Parks Road Oxford, OX1 3QZ, United Kingdom

Abstract: The swelling of an n-butylammonium vermiculite in solutions of n-butylammonium chloride has been studied by neutron diffraction as a function of temperature and the concentration of the soaking solution. On heating a swollen sample a transition to the crystalline phase took place at a well-defined temperature, the c-axis spacing changing from 120 to 19.4 Å at 14°C in a 0.1 M solution and from 330 to 19.4 Å at 33°C in a 0.01 M solution. The phase transition was completely reversible, and a study of the temperature-concentration phase diagram was made as high as 50°C The swollen phase was studied in a range of concentrations of the external solution between 0.2 M and 5 x 10-4 M, for which the c-axis spacings were 85 and 910 Å, respectively. The reversibility, sharpness, and reproducibility of the phase change from crystalline to swollen gel suggest that the transition is truly thermodynamic, which is not in accord with DLVO theory. The concentration dependence of the observed d-values also could not be explained satisfactorily by DLVO theory.

Key Words: DLVO theory • n-Butylammonium chloride • Neutron diffraction • Swelling • Vermiculite

Clays and Clay Minerals; February 1990 v. 38; no. 1; p. 90-96; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1990.0380112
© 1990, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)