Smectites, when expanded with metal clusters, can generate layered microporous solids with an appropriate acidity, pore size, and thermal stability required for catalysts used in conventional chemical (Pinnavaia, 1983) and petrochemical processes (Figueras, 1988; Occelli, 1989). The detailed description of the ion-exchange reactions that produce pillared interlayered clay (PILC) and the conditions necessary to generate thermally stable PILC are still a subject of some debate and controversy.

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Investigations of the hydrolysis reactions of aqueous solutions of aluminum salts (Hsu and Bates, 1964; Baes and Mesmer, 1976; Bottero et al., 1980, 1982...

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