This thesis contains an introduction to the surface chemistry of minerals in aqueous environment, and a summary of five manuscripts concerning adsorption reactions at the surfaces of nano-sized gibbsite (α-Al(OH)3), amorphous silica and kaolinite.
Nano-sized gibbsite was synthesized and thoroughly characterized using X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The adsorption of protons and the development of charge at the surfaces were studied using high precision potentiometry and zeta potential measurements. The results showed that singly coordinated surface sites at the particle edges protonate/deprotonate, while ion pairs with the medium ions are formed at doubly coordinated surface sites at the basal planes. This ion pair formation is a slow reaction, requiring long equilibrium times.
The adsorption of o-phthalate, maleate, fumarate, malonate and oxalate onto gibbsite surfaces was studied using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, zeta potential measurements, adsorption measurements and theoretical frequency calculations. All ligands were found to form outer-sphere complexes at the basal planes. Significant amounts of inner-sphere complexes at the particle edges were found for malonate and oxalate only. The observed adsorption was described using surface complexation models.
The proton reactions at the surface of amorphous silica were described using a two-site model. XPS indicated that Na+ is accumulated in the vicinity of the surface. Proton reactions at kaolinite surfaces were explained using a nonelectrostatic model, assuming that only the aluminol and silanol sites at the particle edges are reactive. Extensive modeling provided support for this assumption.
2002. , 66 p.
Gibbsite, silica, kaolinite, surface complexation, protonation, adsorption, carboxylates, modeling, AFM, IR, XPS