Clays and Clay Minerals

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 306–315 | Cite as

The Effect of Heat Treatments on the Total Charge and Exchangeable Cations of Ca-, Na-, and Li-Saturated Kaolinite

  • Kurt D. Pennell
  • R. Dean Rhue
  • Willie G. Harris


The effect of heat treatments on the total charge and water adsorption by Ca-, Na- and Li-saturated kaolinite was studied using extraction techniques and thermal gravimetric analysis, respectively. Measurements of cation exchange capacity indicated that the total charge of Li-kaolinite was reduced by approximately 50% after heating to 110 or 130°C. In contrast, the total charge of Ca-kaolinite remained essentially constant while that of Na-kaolinite decreased slightly. Water adsorption and desorption on Ca- and Li-kaolinite following heat treatments at 150°C were consistent with the total charge of the respective kaolinites. Ion extraction of Li-kaolinite using NH4C1 revealed that only 6% of the Li remained exchangeable after heating, while Al and H were released. Thus, non-exchangeable Li ions not only reduced the total charge of the kaolinite but also displaced Al and H from the kaolinite structure. Infrared spectroscopy also indicated that Li migrated into the kaolinite structure and replaced a portion of the Al from the octahedral sheet. The results presented here indicate that Li-kaolinite represents a surface of reduced charge rather than a surface free of cation-hydration effects. Therefore, Li-kaolinite is not recommended as a reference for the study of vapor-phase adsorption, and conclusions based on such a reference material should be reevaluated.

Key Words

Kaolinite Cation exchange capacity Water adsorption Lithium retention 


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Copyright information

© The Clay Minerals Society 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt D. Pennell
    • 1
  • R. Dean Rhue
    • 2
  • Willie G. Harris
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Soil Science DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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