Effect of Al and Organic Acids on the Surface Chemistry of Kaolinite

David B. Ward1 and Patrick V. Brady2
1 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., 2155 Louisiana Blvd. Suite 10000, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
2 Geochemistry Research (MS 0750), Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185

Abstract: The cause of pH and ionic strength-dependent proton and hydroxyl adsorption onto kaolinite is specific binding at edge Al and Si sites, and it can be modeled as a function of temperature with a triple layer model (TLM) of the mineral-solution interface. Exchange of Al for protons and hydroxyls is observed at low pH, with a stoichiometry approaching 1:3 (Al:H+). Adsorption of organic acids from dilute solutions depends on: 1) solution pH; 2) the functionality of the acid; and, to a lesser extent, 3) temperature. Such adsorption may occur primarily at Al sites exposed on kaolinite edges, as indicated by sorption experiments on the constituent oxides, where negligible sorption was observed on SiO2 (quartz), but was significant on Al2O3 (corundum) surfaces. Under similar conditions, oxalate adsorbs more strongly than acetate or formate to aluminol sites.

Key Words: Aluminum • Organic Acids • Oxalate • Surface Change

Clays and Clay Minerals; August 1998 v. 46; no. 4; p. 453-465; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1998.0460410
© 1998, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)