The kinetics of hydrothermal crystallisation of sodium zeolites from a natural mixture of halloysite and amorphous silica with Si/Al approximate to 4 was investigated. The sample collected at Scarpara (Tuscania, Italy) is the final product of an intense hydrothermal alteration process on the pre-existing leucitic tufities. In order to enhance its reactivity in the NaOH solution, the sample was thermally activated at 600 degreesC for 1 h. The hydrothermal crystallisation sequence of zeolites formed in the range 90-150 degreesC has been followed using real-time synchrotron powder diffraction. The reaction kinetics of Na-X. Na-P and analcime were analysed using a model developed for the study of the kinetic data from X-ray diffraction experiments. Na-X and Na-P cocrystallize with an autocatalytic nucleation at lower isothermal temperatures and with a heterogeneous nucleation at higher isothermal temperatures. Na-X tends to dissolve before Na-P, which in turn transforms into analcime. This work is part of a general project on the kinetics of formation of zeolites from clay precursors which is important for either engineering and production of valuable industrial materials and for the interpretation of poorly understood processes of formation of zeolites in natural hydrothermal environments.
Synthesis of sodium zeolites from a natural halloysite / Gualtieri, Alessandro. - In: PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY OF MINERALS. - ISSN 0342-1791. - 28:(2001), pp. 719-728. [10.1007/s002690100197]