Changes in layer charge of clay minerals upon acid treatment as obtained from their interactions with methylene blue

M. Pentrák, A. Czímerová, J. Madejová, P. Komadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adsorption of methylene blue (MB) on acid-treated clay minerals was used to follow the changes in layer charge (LC). Decreased values of cation exchange capacity (CEC) upon HCl attack confirmed reduction of LC in all studied systems. Second derivative absorption spectra (SDS) were used for better resolution of the individual bands in the spectra and for easier distinguishing between absorption of different dye species, such as the monomers absorbing near 675 nm, dimers (600. nm), H-aggregates (570. nm), and J-aggregates (775 nm). The changes in the SDS of smectites showed increasing rate of their dissolution in HCl with rising substitution for octahedral Al. The MB spectra of SWy-2 revealed heterogeneity of layer charge distribution in this montmorillonite. Formation of MB monomers confirmed that smectite/illite was more stable in HCl than illite despite of its higher content of swelling layers. The MB spectra were found to better reflect the changes in the LC of acid-treated clay minerals with non-swelling layers than the CEC values. The spectra of well-ordered kaolinite did not change at all within acid-treatment, while a slight increase of monomers band was observed for disordered kaolinite after 36 h. The obtained results confirmed that MB adsorption is a very sensitive tool for characterization of layer charge of different clay minerals modified upon acid treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Clay Science
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Acid treatment
  • CEC
  • Clay minerals
  • Layer charge
  • Methylene blue
  • UV-Vis spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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