Creating an environmentally friendly precursor to form a kaolinite intercalation compound is important for promoting the applications of nanohybrid kaolinite in electrochemical sensors, low- or zero-toxicity drug carriers, and clay-polymer nanocompounds. In the present study, a stable hydrated kaolinite precursor with d001 = 0.84 nm was prepared successfully by heating the transition phase, the as-prepared kaolinite-hydrazine intercalate, at temperatures between 40 and 70°C. The structure of the hydrated kaolinite was characterized by X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy. The morphology was examined using scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that the hydrated hydrazine of the transition phase was easy to decompose to hydrazines and water molecules in the interlayer at 40–70°C. Hydrazine molecules de-intercalated gradually, and water molecules remained in the ditrigonal holes of the silicate layer with sufficient stability, finally forming the stable 0.84 nm hydrated kaolinite in the system with a success rate of 80–90%. The 0.84 nm hydrated kaolinite may become an excellent precursor for the preparation of other kaolinite intercalates. A degree of intercalation of ~100% was obtained for the kaolinite-ethylene glycol intercalate, and a degree of intercalation of~80% was obtained for the kaolinite-glycine intercalate from the 0.84 nm hydrated kaolinite precursor.

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