Abstract

Two varieties of Zn-smectite were synthesized hydrothermally: sauconite, with an ideal composition of Na0.4Zn3(Si3.6Al0.4)O10(OH)2·nH2O; and a Zn equivalent of hectorite, with an ideal composition of Na0.4(Li0.4Zn2.6)Si4O10(OH)2·nH2O (referred to here as Zn-hectorite). For comparison, hydrothermal synthesis of the related trioctahedral smectites of hectorite, Na0.4(Li0.4Mg2.6)Si4Ol0(OH)2·nH2O and hectorites containing Cu, Co or Ni in the octahedral sheets instead of Mg were also attempted. The results showed that sauconite, Zn-hectorite and hectorite could be synthesized in the temperature range 100–125°C but hectorites containing Cu, Co or Ni in the octahedral sheet, under the same conditions or even at a temperature of 150°C, could not.

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