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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Ethylene Glycol Retention by Soils as a Measure of Surface Area and Interlayer Swelling1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 16 No. 4, p. 342-345

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  1. C. A. Bower and
  2. F. B. Gschwend2



The ethylene glycol-retention method proposed by Dyal and Hendricks for determining interlayer swelling and the surface areas of clays has been modified for use on soils. The modified procedure is described. Data are presented showing that values for external surface area obtained by the ethylene glycol-retention method agree satisfactorily with those obtained by the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller gas-adsorption method. The effects of various exchangeable cations, organic matter and soluble salts upon ethylene glycol retention were studied. The nature of the exchangeable cation had no significant influence upon values obtained for external retention by soils. Total retention by calcium- and hydrogen-saturated samples tended to be higher than that by sodium- and magnesium-saturated samples. The lowest values for total retention were obtained on potassium- and ammonium-saturated samples. The presence of organic matter increased values obtained for total retention. The apparent surface area of the organic matter in four soils varied from 558 to 803 sq. meters per gm. When calculated on a salt-free basis, values for retention are not significantly affected by the presence of soluble salts.

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