Surface protonation data of kaolinite - Reevaluation based on dissolution experiments

Jiwchar Ganor, Jordi Cama, Volker Metz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study is to compare available surface titration curves of kaolinite, to explain the differences between them, and to constrain their interpretation based on predictions of surface protonation that emerged from dissolution experiments. Comparison of six surface titration curves obtained at 25°C reveals significant discrepancies, both in the shape of the curves and in the pH of the point of zero net proton charge (pHPZNPC). Based on an analysis of the different sites available for adsorption on kaolinite surfaces we conclude that different kaolinite samples are expected to have similar pHPZNPC. Therefore, the major reason for the differences in the observed surface protonation is related to the different ways in which the pHPZNPC was determined. To compare the titration curves, some of the curves were recalculated so that the proton surface concentrations of all the titration curves would be zero around pH 5. As a result, we obtained a good agreement between the titration curves. A prediction of the molar fraction of protonated sites was retrieved from modeling of kaolinite dissolution reaction and was compared to the protonation data obtained from surface titration. The model successfully predicts the surface protonation data of most of the surface titrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2003


  • Adsorption isotherms
  • Clay
  • Dissolution
  • Kaolinite
  • Surface protonation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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