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The objective of this research was to examine the potential for intercalation of trichloroethene (TCE) by clay minerals associated with aquifer sediments. Sediment samples were collected from a field site in Tucson, AZ. Two widely used Montmorillonite specimen clays were employed as controls. X-ray diffraction, conducted with a controlled-environment chamber, was used to characterize smectite interlayer d-spacing for three treatments (bulk air-dry sample, sample mixed with synthetic groundwater, sample mixed with TCE-saturated synthetic groundwater). The results show that the d-spacing measured for the samples treated with TCE-saturated synthetic groundwater are larger (~26%) than those of the untreated samples for all field samples as well as the specimen clays. These results indicate that TCE was intercalated by the clay minerals, which may have contributed to the extensive elution tailing observed in prior miscible-displacement experiments conducted with this sediment. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


D E Matthieu, M L Brusseau, G R Johnson, J L Artiola, M L Bowden, J E Curry. Intercalation of trichloroethene by sediment-associated clay minerals. Chemosphere. 2013 Jan;90(2):459-63

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PMID: 22921434

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