The cation exchange capacity (CEC) of fine-grained materials, and especially clay minerals, is a fundamental property of these materials, and can be determined routinely. A search of the recent literature illustrates the great interest of this property to researchers. For example, a search of the GeoRef database for references to “cation exchange capacity” for the years 1980 to 1999 yields 2559 citations.

Methods of measurement are based on a determination of the quantity of a particular exchangeable cation, by a variety of means, expressed per 100 g of dry clay. These methods are principally chemical and spectroscopic. The present study...

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