Max M. Mortland, retired Distinguished Professor of Soil Science and Geology at Michigan State University, passed away peacefully on July 29, 2013, at the age of 90. Max was recognized internationally for his pioneering studies of clay-mineral-intercalation chemistry. Using infrared spectroscopy and X-ray powder diffraction as his primary instrumental methods of analysis, he elucidated the acid-base chemistry of inorganic and organic exchange cations on the interlayer surfaces of smectite clays, particularly Wyoming montmorillonite, his ‘favourite’ clay. He was the first to report electron-transfer reactions between transition-metal cations (e.g. Cu2+) and physically adsorbed aromatic molecules (e.g. benzene) on montmorillonite...

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