The Application of Drift Spectroscopy to the Multicomponent Analysis of Organic Chemicals Adsorbed on Montmorillonite

Robert W. Parker1 and Raymond L. Frost2
1 Queensland Department of Lands, Robert Wicks Research Station, PO Box 178, Inglewood, Q, 4387, Australia
2 Centre for Instrumental and Developmental Chemistry, Queensland University of Technology PO Box 2434, Brisbane, Q, 4001, Australia

Abstract: Diffuse Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy was used to monitor both molecular interactions and concentrations of volatile organic chemicals adsorbed on a commercial montmorillonite. Chemicals tested included propanoic acid, hexanal, heptanal, trimethylamine, dimethylsulfide and dimethyldisulfide. Diffuse Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy had several advantages over other infrared techniques including ease of sample preparation, greater numbers of useful bands and the ability to detect both major and minor components from the same spectra. Evidence for the formation of organo-clay complexes was found for all chemicals except dimethylsulfide. Spectra of mixed chemicals on the clay showed numerous overlapping bands. Organic concentrations were determined by multicomponent analysis using a least squares curve fitting technique. Significant correlation (P < 0.01) between actual and determined concentrations of added organics was obtained for all except dimethylsulfide. Here the weak spectral contribution appeared to be overshadowed by the strongly adsorbing montmorillonite with consequent decrease in sensitivity. Diffuse Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy of organo-montmorillonite complexes could be used both as a means of studying molecular interactions and for the determination of adsorbed organic concentrations.

Key Words: Montmorillonite • Odor • Organic • Slow-release • Sorption

Clays and Clay Minerals; February 1996 v. 44; no. 1; p. 32-40; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1996.0440103
© 1996, The Clay Minerals Society
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