Abstract

Kaolinite-ferrihydrite and montmorillonite-ferrihydrite associations were prepared following a procedure based on the Russell method for the synthesis of ferrihydrite and the texture of the clay-ferrihydrite complexes was studied using different techniques. The textural properties of kaolinite were little affected by the Fe association, showing only a slight increase in the specific surface area measured by nitrogen adsorption and a decrease in the largest pores (>10 mu m), as measured by mercury porosimetry. In contrast, the nitrogen specific surface area of the montmorillonite complexes was much higher than that of the clay without Fe and the pore structure depended on the amounts of Fe in the complexes. Application of the fractal approach to nitrogen adsorption data indicated that the surface roughness (microporosity) was greater for the complexes prepared from diluted Fe(III) solutions, in agreement with the information obtained from classical interpretation of the adsorption isotherms (shape of the isotherms and t-plots).

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