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  • 1 Queensland University of Technology Inorganic Materials Research Program, School of Physical and Chemical Sciences GPO Box 2434 Brisbane Queensland 4001 Australia
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Thermal analysis complimented with evolved gas mass spectrometry has been applied to hydrotalcites containing carbonate prepared by coprecipitation and with varying divalent/trivalent cation ratios. The resulting materials were characterised by XRD, and TG/DTG to determine the stability of the hydrotalcites synthesised. Hydrotalcites of formula Mg4(Fe,Al)2(OH)12(CO3)·4H2O, Mg6(Fe,Al)2(OH)16(CO3)·5H2O, and Mg8(Fe,Al)2(OH)20(CO3)·8H2O were formed by intercalation with the carbonate anion as a function of the divalent/trivalent cationic ratio. XRD showed slight variations in the d-spacing between the hydrotalcites. The thermal decomposition of carbonate hydrotalcites consists of two decomposition steps between 300 and 400°C, attributed to the simultaneous dehydroxylation and decarbonation of the hydrotalcite lattice. Water loss ascribed to dehydroxylation occurs in two decomposition steps, where the first step is due to the partial dehydroxylation of the lattice, while the second step is due to the loss of water interacting with the interlayer anions. Dehydroxylation results in the collapse of the hydrotalcite structure to that of its corresponding metal oxides and spinels, including MgO, MgAl2O4, and MgFeAlO4.

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