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Study on hydration of montmorillonite in aqueous solutions

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2015, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 196-202

Peng, C.L.; Min., F.F.


Using a parameter representing the degree of hydration of particles in a liquid called hydration index I, which we derived based on Einstein’s viscosity equation, we evaluated the degree of hydration of fine montmorillonite particles in different aqueous solutions by measuring the viscosities of the montmorillonite dispersions and plotting relative viscosity against volume fraction of dry montmorillonite particles in the dispersions. We investigated the effects on the hydration of montmorillonite in aqueous solutions of (1) the type and (2) the concentration of electrolytes in the solutions and (3) pH. For the same concentration of electrolytes, the hydration index I of montmorillonite was found to increase in the order of Na+ > K+ for monovalent cations and Mg2+ > Ca2+ for divalent cations, and to decrease with increasing valence of cations in the order of Na+ > Ca2+ > Al3+. For both Na+ and Ca2+, the hydration index I first increased with increasing concentration of electrolytes and then decreased after a certain concentration. The hydration index I increased with increasing pH.