Stability of hectorite in weakly acidic solutions. I. A chemical study of the dissolution of hectorite with special reference to the release of silica

Kevin G. Tiller
1968 Clay minerals  
The dissolution of hectorite suspensions in M/20 CaCl2 has been studied under conditions of low acidity. The reaction was almost completed within 2 weeks but very slow changes continued. There was an initial preferential release of Mg which corresponded approximately to the number of Mg atoms exposed at the clay edges but thereafter Mg and Si were released into solution in nearly equimolar amounts until most of the clay was decomposed. The release of octahedral cations was equivalent to the
more » ... uivalent to the amounts of H+ ions added. Some earlier views on the acid attack of 2:1 clays were supported. With increasing amounts of acid added, the Si released into solution as monosilicic acid become supersaturated before final precipitation as amorphous silica of high surface area. The molar proportion of Si/Mg released into solution was less than that of the original sample yet there was no chemical or X-ray evidence of the development of significant siliceous 'fringes'. The residues of the tetrahedral layer probably separate continually, thus maintaining the same kind of reaction surface throughout the reaction, without passing into solution or forming a stable sol. Acid attack in the presence of excess silicic acid did not result in any appreciable selective dissolution of octahedral layer.
doi:10.1180/claymin.1968.007.3.01 fatcat:m4ofovh2qbe4bksq2lsfaqbgcu