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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 49 No. 5, p. 1153-1159
    Received: Dec 17, 1984
    Accepted: May 8, 1985

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Sodium-Calcium-Magnesium Exchange on Silver Hill Illite1

  1. Garrison Sposito and
  2. C. S. LeVesque2



Binary and ternary cation exchange reactions involving sodium (Na+), calcium (Ca2+), and magnesium (Mg2+) on Silver Hill illite suspended at pH 7 in a 50 mol m−3 perchlorate background were investigated. The binary exchange experiments indicated a preference of the clay mineral for Ca and Mg over Na and for Ca over Mg. The principal ternary exchange data, on the other hand, indicated no selectivity difference between Ca and Mg in the presence of adsorbed Na at a nominal exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) of 25. No differences among the values of the total adsorbed metal charge (Qo) were observed in a set of binary and ternary Na→M (M = Ca and/or Mg) exchange experiments carried out at the same time. There was, however, a systematic increase in the value of Qo on a time-scale of months in Na-illite suspended in NaClO4. The increase in Qo was produced by adsorbed Na+ that could be displaced by ammonium (NH+4) but not by Ca2+ or Mg2+ ions. The quantity of this “quasi-exchangeable” Na present in the principal ternary exchange experiments was determined to be about 13% of the value of Qo, an amount concluded to be sufficient to cover the high-energy exchange sites on the illite and thereby relegate Ca-Mg exchange to sites having relatively low selectivity differences, as observed experimentally.

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