Abstract

Bentonite, biotite, illite, kaolin, muscovite, vermiculite and zeolite were acidified or alkalized with HCl or NaOH of concentrations 0.0, 0.1, 1.0 and 5.0 mole dm−3 at room temperature for 2 weeks and converted into Ca homoionic forms. Low-temperature nitrogen and room-temperature water-vapor adsorption-desorption isotherms were used to characterize the mineral pores of radii between 1 and 30 nm. Nanopore volumes, size distributions, average radii and fractal dimensions were calculated. Values calculated from the nitrogen isotherms differed from those derived from water-vapor data. With an increase of the acid-treatment concentration, the pore volumes measured using both adsorption techniques increased markedly for all minerals. The pore radii measured from nitrogen isotherms appeared to decrease for all minerals except zeolite, while the pore radius calculated from water-vapor data increased in most cases. The fractal dimension measured from water vapor isotherms decreased in all cases indicating smoothing of the mineral surfaces and decrease in pore complexity. No well defined trends in any of the pore parameters listed above were noted under alkaline treatment. In the reaction of each mineral with acid and alkali treatments, the individual character of the mineral and the presence of impurities seems important.

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