Illite is a dioctahedral K-deficient mica with an interlayer cation content of 0.6-0.85 atoms per formula unit. 1M and 2M(1) are the illite polytypes more abundant in nature. Because illite is one of the major component of clays used for the production of traditional ceramics, the understanding of its high temperature transformations is of paramount importance for the knowledge of the structural and microstructural properties of fired ceramic products. To our knowledge, the study of the illite dehydroxylation kinetics has not been attempted to date. Hence, this work presents the investigation of the reaction mechanism of dehydroxylation of illite for the first time. The natural sample investigated in this study is a 1M-polytype from Hungary. Several classical methods of kinetic analysis were used (isoconversional method, Avrami method, direct fit with kinetic expressions, and others) to achieve a complete picture of the dehydroxylation mechanism. The proposed model for the dehydroxylation of illite is a multi-step reaction sequence with (1) condensation of the water molecule in the octahedral layer; (2) one-dimensional diffusion of the water molecules through the tetrahedral ring (rate limiting step of the reaction); (3) two-dimensional diffusion of the water molecules through the interlayer region (rate limiting step of the reaction).
Kinetics of illite dehydroxylation / Gualtieri, Alessandro; Ferrari, Stefano. - In: PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY OF MINERALS. - ISSN 0342-1791. - STAMPA. - 33:(2006), pp. 490-501. [10.1007/s00269-006-0092-z]