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  • 1 Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Cristalografía y Mineralogía Facultad de Ciencias, Campus de Teatinos, Universidad de Málaga, 29071 Málaga Spain E-mail
  • | 2 Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla, Centro Mixto C.S.I.C.-Universidad de Sevilla C/Américo Vespucio s/n, Isla de la Cartuja, 41092 Sevilla, Spain
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Kaolinites from well-known sources (KGa-1 and KGa-2) were used to study the influence of the particle-size reduction on the dehydroxylation process. Size reduction of particles was obtained by ultrasound treatment to avoid the effect of the progressive amorphization of the structure, which takes place with the traditional grinding treatment. The particle-size reduction causes an increase of the mass loss between 140 and 390°C attributed to the loss of the hydroxyl groups exposed on the external surface of kaolinite; a shift to lower temperatures of the endothermic effect related with the mass loss between 390 and 600°C; and a shift of the end of dehydroxylation to lower temperatures. The first modification can be explained by an increase of the number of hydroxyls exposed on the external surface of kaolinite which is proportional to the new surface generated in the particle reduction process, whereas the shift of the dehydroxylation to lower temperatures is related to the reduction of the dimensions of the particles which favour the diffusion controlled mechanisms. Comparing between the DTA curves to the TG curves of the studied samples shows that the observed modifications in the thermal properties induced by the particle-size reduction are greater for the low-defect kaolinite. The intensity of these modifications depends on the effectiveness of the ultrasound treatment.

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