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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2010 Sep 1;349(1):275-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2010.05.018. Epub 2010 May 10.

N(2)-BET specific surface area of bentonites.

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BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Stilleweg 2, D-30655 Hannover, Germany.


The specific surface areas (SSA(N2BET)) of 36 different bentonites had larger values for Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) bentonites than for Na(+) bentonites. This trend could not be explained by the different d(001) values nor by the different microstructures. The investigation of Cu-triene-exchanged smectites, which on drying at 105 degrees C still had a d(001) value accounting for approximately 13A, proved that the SSA(N2BET) of low-charged smectites increased more than that of high-charged smectites. This could be explained by: (i) more space between the permanent charge sites in the case of low-charged smectites and (ii) the fact that the layers of Cu-triene smectites do not collapse at 105 degrees C. In contrast the SSA(N2BET) of Ca(2+)-exchanged bentonites could not be related to the layer charge density (LCD) as in the case of the Cu-triene-exchanged bentonites which is probably due to the varying number of collapsed layers. In conclusion, the SSA(N2BET) of bentonites which is known to be largely variable is probably determined by microporosity resulting from the quasi-crystalline overlap region and accessible areas of the interlayer. The number of layers per stack and the microstructure are supposed to play a subordinate role. The larger SSA(N2BET) of Ca/Mg bentonites compared to Na bentonites probably can be explained by the larger space between the charges in the case of the presence of divalent cations.


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