Layer charge reduction of selected homoionic swelling clay minerals upon heating is reviewed. This phenomenon is known for Li+-montmorillonites as the Hofmann-Klemen effect. Aspects covered in the review include: mechanism of the charge reduction caused by the irreversible migration of small cations into the mineral layers; final sites of the fixed cations in the octahedral and/or tetrahedral sheets, as deduced on the basis of structural and spectroscopic data obtained in several studies; effects of octahedral and tetrahedral components of the layer charge; properties of the exchangeable cations; and the chemistry and structure of the mineral on charge reduction. Current knowledge has been summarized on the changes of various mineral properties connected with charge reduction, including the loss of swelling and the decrease in the cation exchange capacity, the most important change upon cation fixation. Also discussed are the preparation, properties, and advantages of uses of series of reduced-charge montmorillonites (RCMs) in research; interactions of RCMs with alkylammonium cations and organic cationic dyes, with some examples on the interactions with organic polymers and other organic compounds. Properties of organo-complexes and composite materials prepared from RCMs are also included in this review.

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