Morphology, Structure, Thermal Stability, XR-Diffraction, and Infrared Study of Hexadecyltrimethylammonium Bromide–Modified Smectite

Amel El Messabeb-Ouali, Mémia Benna-Zayani, Malika Ayadi-Trabelsi, Sébastien Sauvé


We characterized the interlayer structure and morphology of modified natural clays. Organoclay-based materials are increasingly used for multiple applications. We modified a purified Na-bentonite using cation exchange with hexadecyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (HDTMA) and characterized it using; UV spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, photoacoustic FTIR spectroscopy (PA-FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) techniques, laser scattering distribution (LSD), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The adsorption of HDTMA on interlayer sites of Na-smectite fraction is nearly total until an adsorption equivalent to 1.85 times the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the clay. The formation of the HDTMA-smectite changes the properties of the clay from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. The XRD patterns show an increase in the basal spacings. TGA characterization and analysis were shown to be useful to estimate the amount of surfactant within the organoclay. LSD analyses have shown a decrease of the effective particle diameter with increasing sonication times. AFM images showed that these Na-smectite surfaces appeared foliated with irregular aggregate structures at high HDTMA loading. The present study shows that not only the basal spacing but the morphology and the particle size of the organoclay strongly depend on the packing density of surfactant within the smectite interlayer space.

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International Journal of Chemistry   ISSN 1916-9698 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9701 (Online)

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