Clays and Clay Minerals

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 198–207 | Cite as

The nature of soil kaolins from Indonesia and Western Australia

  • Robert D. HartEmail author
  • Robert J. Gilkes
  • Syamsul Siradz
  • Balwant Singh


Purified soil kaolins from Indonesia and Western Australia were characterized using analytical TEM, XRD, TGA and chemical analysis. The Indonesian kaolins, formed from tuff, consist of a mixture of tubular kaolin crystals with relatively low Fe concentrations and platy kaolin crystals with higher Fe concentrations. Western Australian kaolins also contained tubular and platy crystals but showed no systematic relationship of crystal morphology with Fe content. The coherently scattering domain (CSD) size of the Indonesian samples (5–6 nm for 001, i.e. c axis dimension) is remarkably consistent and is approximately half of the value for the Western Australian kaolins (9.7–13.4 nm), and both are much smaller sizes than values for the reference kaolins (15.6–27.8 nm). Coherently scattering domain sizes derived from the Scherrer equation are approximately twice the values obtained from the Bertaut-Warren-Averbach Fourier method but the results show the same pattern of variation. For the Indonesian, Western Australian and reference kaolins, the N2-BET surface area ranges 59–88, 44–56 and 5–28 m2/g; the dehydroxylation temperatures range 486–499, 484–496 and 520–544°C, the mean cation exchange capacities (CEC) are 9.4, 5.0 and 3.5 meq 100 g−1 and the surface densities of charge range 0.10–0.14, 0.08–0.10 and 0.04–0.12 C/m2. The properties of the Western Australian kaolins and Indonesian kaolins differ substantially, but kaolins within each group have similar properties. These results suggest that soil kaolin properties may be characteristic of a particular pedoenvironment and that a systematic study of kaolins in different pedoenvironments is required.

Key Words

Analytical TEM Soil Kaolin XRD 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amigo, J.M., Bastida, J., Sanz, A., Signes, M. and Serrani, J. (1994) Crystallinity of lower Cretaceous kaolinite of Teruel (Spain) Applied Clay Science, 9, 51–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. API, American Petroleum Institute (1951) Reference Clay Minerals. Project 49, Preliminary Reports, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Árkai, P., Merriman, R.J. Roberts, B., Peacor, D.R. and Toth, M. (1996) Crystallinity, crystallite size and lattice strain of illite-muscovite and chlorite — Comparison of XRD and TEM data for diagenetic to epizonal pelites. European Journal of Mineralogy, 8, 1119–1137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aylmore, L.A.G., Sills, I.D. and Quirk, J.P. (1970) Surface area of homoionic illite and montmorillonite clay minerals as measured by the sorption of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Clays and Clay Minerals, 18, 91–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bailey, S.W. (1989) Halloysite — A critical assessment. Proceedings of the International Clay Conference, Strasbourg, France. Scientifique Geologie Memoires, 86, 89–98.Google Scholar
  6. Bertaut, M.F. (1950) Raies de Debye-Scherrer et repartition des dimensions des domains de Bragg dans les poudres polycrystallines. Acta Crystallographica, 3, 14–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bolland, M.D.A., Posner, A.M. and Quirk, J.P. (1976) Surface charge on kaolinites in aqueous suspension. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 14, 197–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brindley, G.W. and Wan, H.M. (1974) Use of long spacing alcohols and alkanes for calibration of long spacings from layer silicates, particularly clay minerals. Clays and Clay Minerals, 22, 313–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brindley, G.W., Kao, C.-C., Harrison, J.L., Lipsicas, M. and Raythatha, R. (1986) Relation between structural disorder and other characteristics of kaolinites and dickites. Clays and Clay Minerals, 34, 239–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brown, G. and Brindley, G.W. (1980) X-ray diffraction procedures for clay mineral identification. Pp. 305–359 in: Crystal Structures of Clay Minerals and their X-ray Identification (G.W. Brindley and G. Brown, editors). Monograph, 5. Mineralogical Society, London.Google Scholar
  11. Churchman, G.J. and Gilkes, R.J. (1989) Recognition of intermediates in the possible transformation of halloysite to kaolinite in weathering profiles. Clay Minerals, 24, 579–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Drits, V.A., Środoń, J. and Eberl, D.D. (1997) XRD measurement of mean crystallite thickness of illite and illite/ smectite: Reappraisal of the Kübler index and the Scherrer equation. Clays and Clay Minerals, 45, 461–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Drits, V.A., Eberl, D.D. and Środoń, J. (1998) XRD measurement of mean thickness, thickness distribution and strain for illite and illite/smectite crystallites by the Bertaut-Warren-Averbach technique. Clays and Clay Minerals, 46, 38–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eberl, D.D., Środoń, J., Kralik, M., Taylor, B.E. and Peterman, Z.E. (1990) Ostwald ripening of clays and metamorphic minerals. Science, 248, 474–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eberl, D.D., Drits, V., Środoń, J. and Nüesch, R. (1996, revised 2/3/99) MudMaster: a program for calculating crystallite size distributions and strain from the shapes of X-ray di ffraction peaks. US Geological Survey Open File Report 96–171.Google Scholar
  16. Eberl, D.D., Nuesch, R., Šucha, V. and Tsipursky, S. (1998) Measurement of fundamental illite particle thicknesses by X-ray diffraction using PVP-10 intercalation. Clays and Clay Minerals, 46, 89–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gee, G.W. and Baulder, J.W. (1986) Particle size analysis. Pp 383–411 in: Methods of Soil Analysis, Part I. (A. Klute, editor). Mongraph No. 9. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.Google Scholar
  18. Hinkley, D.N. (1963) Variability in ‘crystallinity’ values among kaolin deposits of the coastal plain of Georgia and South Carolina. Proceedings 11th National Conference, Ottawa, Canada, 229–235.Google Scholar
  19. Hughes, J.C. and Brown, G. (1979) A crystallinity index for soil kaolins and its relation to parent rock, climate and maturity. Journal of Soil Science, 30, 557–563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jepson, W.B. and Rowse, J.B. (1975) The composition of kaolinite — an electron microprobe study. Clays and Clay Minerals, 23, 310–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kawano, M., Tomita, K. and Shinohara, Y. (1997) Analytical electron microscopic study of the non-crystalline products formed at the early weathering stages of volcanic glass. Clays and Clay Minerals, 45, 440–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Klug, H.P. and Alexander, L.E. (1974) X-ray Diffraction Procedures for Polycrystalline and Amorphous Materials. John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York, London.Google Scholar
  23. Koppi, A.J. and Skjemstad, J.O. (1981) Soil kaolins and their genetic relationships in southeast Queensland, Australia. Journal of Soil Science, 32, 661–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Krumm, S. (1999) The Erlangen geological and mineralogical software collection. Computers and Geosciences, 25, 489–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lanson, B. and Kübler, B. (1994) Experimental determinations of the coherent scattering domain size distribution of natural mica-like phases with the Warren-Averbach technique. Clays and Clay Minerals, 42, 489–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lorimer, G.W. (1987) Quantitative X-ray microanalysis of thin specimens in the transmission electron microscope; a review. Mineralogical Magazine, 51, 49–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ma, C. and Eggleton, R.A. (1998) Cation exchange capacity of kaolinite. Clays and Clay Minerals, 47, 174–180.Google Scholar
  28. Mehra, O.P. and Jackson, M.L. (1960) Iron oxide removal from soils and clays by a dithionite-citrate system buffered with sodium bicarbonate. Clays and Clay Minerals, 7, 317–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mestdagh, M.M. Vielvoye, L. and Herbillon, A.J. (1980) Iron in kaolinite: II. The relationship between kaolinite crystallinity and iron content. Clay Minerals, 15, 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Muller, J.-P. and Calas, G. (1989) Tracing kaolinites through their defect centres: Kaolinite paragenesis in a laterite (Cameroon). Economic Geology, 84, 694–707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Newman, A.C.D. (1987) The interaction of water with clay mineral surfaces. Pp. 237–274 in: Chemistry of Clays and Clay Minerals (A.C.D. Newman, editor). Monograph, 6, Mineralogical Society, London.Google Scholar
  32. Rayment, G.E. and Higginson, E.R. (1992) Australian Laboratory Handbook of Soil and Water Chemical Methods. Australian Soil and Land Survey.Google Scholar
  33. Schwertmann, U. and Herbillon, A.J. (1992) Some aspects of fertility associated with the mineralogy of highly weathered tropical soils. Pp. 47–59 in: Myths and Science of Soils of the Tropics (R. Lal and P.A. Sanchez, editors). Special Publication 29, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.Google Scholar
  34. Singh, Balwant (1991) Mineralogical and chemical characteristics of soils from southwestern Australia. Ph.D. thesis, University of Western Australia.Google Scholar
  35. Singh, Balbir (1992) Applications of electron optical techniques to studies of soil materials. Ph.D. thesis, University of Western Australia.Google Scholar
  36. Singh, Balwant and Gilkes, R.J. (1992a) Properties of soil kaolins from south-western Australia. Journal of Soil Science, 43, 645–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Singh, Balwant and Gilkes, R.J. (1992b) XPAS: An interactive program to analyse X-ray powder diffraction patterns. Powder Diffraction, 7, 6–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Singh, B. and Gilkes, R.J. (1995) Application of analytical transmission electron microscopy to identifying intercrystal variations in the composition of clay minerals. Analyst, 120, 1335–1339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Siradz, S. (2002) Mineralogical and chemical characteristics of soils from Indonesia. Ph.D. thesis, University of Western Australia.Google Scholar
  40. Smykatz-Kloss, W. (1975) The DTA determination of the degree of (Dis-) order of kaolinites. Pp. 429–438 in: Proceedings of the International Clay Conference, Wi lmette, Illinois, USA.Google Scholar
  41. St Pierre, T.G., Singh, B., Webb, J. and Gilkes, R.J. (1992) Mössbauer spectra of soil kaolins from south-western Australia. Clays and Clay Minerals, 40, 341–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Stone, W.E. and Torres-Sanchez, R.-M. (1988) Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy applied to minerals. Journal of the Chemical Society: Faraday Transactions, 84, 117–132.Google Scholar
  43. Tazaki, K. (1982) Analytical electron microscopic studies of halloysite formation processes — morphology and composition of halloysite. Pp. 573–584 in: Proceedings of the 7th International Clay Conference, Bologna-Pavia. Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co., New York.Google Scholar
  44. Trunz, V. (1976) The influence of crystallite size on the apparent basal spacings of kaolinite. Clays and Clay Minerals, 24, 84–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Van Olphen, H. (1963) An Introduction to Clay Colloid Chemistry. Wiley-Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  46. Warren, B.E. and Averbach, B.L. (1950) The effect of cold-work di stortion on X-ray patterns. Journal of Applied Physics, 21, 595–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Weaver, C.E. (1976) The nature of TiO2 in kaolinite. Clays and Clay Minerals, 24, 215–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Clay Minerals Society 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Hart
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert J. Gilkes
    • 1
  • Syamsul Siradz
    • 2
  • Balwant Singh
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Soil Science and Plant NutritionUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Soil ScienceGadjah Mada UniversityYogyakartaIndonesia
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Soil ScienceUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations