Synthesis, characterisation and application of organoclays

Xi, Yunfei (2006) Synthesis, characterisation and application of organoclays. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis focuses on the synthesis and characterisation of organoclays. X-ray diffraction has been used to study the changes in the basal spacings of montmorillonite clay and surfactant-intercalated organoclays. Variation in the d-spacing was found to be a step function of the surfactant concentration.

Three different molecular environments for surfactant octadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (ODTMA) within the surface-modified montmorillonite are proposed upon the basis of their different decomposition temperatures. High-resolution thermogravimetric analysis (HRTG) shows that the thermal decomposition of

montmorillonite modified with ODTMA takes place in four steps attributing to dehydration of adsorbed water, dehydration of water hydrating metal cations, loss of surfactant and the loss of OH units respectively. In addition, it has shown that the decomposition procedure of DODMA and TOMA modified clays are very different from that of ODTMA modified ones. The surfactant decomposition takes place in several steps in the DODMA and TOMA modified clays while for ODTMA modified clays, it shows only one step for the decomposition of surfactant. Also TG was proved to be a useful tool to estimate the amount of surfactant within the organoclays.

A model is proposed in which, up to 0.4 CEC, a surfactant monolayer is formed between the montmorillonite clay layers; up to 0.8 CEC, a lateral-bilayer arrangement is formed; and above 1.5 CEC, a pseudotrimolecular layer is formed, with excess surfactant adsorbed on the clay surface. While for dimethyldioctadecylammonium bromide (DODMA) and trioctadecylmethylammonium bromide (TOMA) modified clays, since the larger sizes of the surfactants, some layers of montmorillonite are kept unaltered because of steric effects. The configurations of surfactant within these organoclays usually take paraffin type layers. Thermal analysis also provides an indication of the thermal stability of the organoclay as shown by different starting decomposition temperatures.

FTIR was used as a guide to determine the phase state of the organoclay interlayers as determined from the CH asymmetric stretching vibration of the surfactants to provide more information on surfactant configurations. It was used to study the changes in the spectra of the surfactant ODTMA upon intercalation into a sodium montmorillonite.

Surfaces of montmorillonites were modified using ultrasonic and hydrothermal methods through the intercalation and adsorption of the cationic surfactant ODTMA. Changes in the surfaces and structure were characterized using electron microscopy. The ultrasonic preparation method results in a higher surfactant concentration within the montmorillonite interlayer when compared with that from the hydrothermal method. Both XRD patterns and TEM images demonstrate that SWy-2-Namontmorillonite contains superlayers. TEM images of organoclays prepared at high surfactant concentrations show alternate basal spacings between neighboring layers. SEM images show that modification with surfactant will reduce the clay particle aggregation. Organoclays prepared at low surfactant concentration display curved flakes, whereas they become flat with increasing intercalated surfactant.

Fundamentally this thesis has increased the knowledge base of the structural and morphological properties of organo-montmorillonite clays. The configurations of surfactant in the organoclays have been further investigated and three different molecular environments for surfactant ODTMA within the surface-modified montmorillonite are proposed upon the basis of their different decomposition temperatures. Changes in the spectra of the surfactant upon intercalation into clay have been investigated in details. Novel surfactant-modified montmorillonite results in the formation of new nanophases with the potential for the removal of organic contaminants from aqueous media and for the removal of hydrocarbon spills on roads.

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ID Code: 16483
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Frost, Raymond & Kloprogge, Jacob
Keywords: clay, organo-clay, montmorillonite, smectite, bentonite, isomorphic substitution, basal spacing, surfactant, cation exchange, intercalation, thermal decomposition, dehydration, dehydroxylation, infrared spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, high-resolution thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, morphology, organic contaminants, oil spills, sorbents
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Department: Faculty of Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Yunfei Xi
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:04
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:41

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