Learning outcomes of the course unit
Clays are extremely important materials in many sectors of industrial technology as additional (plastics, foodstuffs) or as basic constituents (fire-proof materials, ceramics), in environment protection in relation to their exchange capacity with aqueous solutions and chemicals introduced in the environment, in studies of slope stability. The aim of the course is to provide the basic information on the structural and chemical features of clay minerals and the principles for their identification through the main analytical methods.
Course contents summary
1. Crystal structure and chemical composition of clay minerals. Crystal structure of clay minerals. Classification of clay minerals.
2. Analytical methods for clay mineral identification. X-ray diffraction. Identification of clay minerals through X-ray diffraction. Thermal analyses. Infrared spectra. Electron microscopy.
3. Origin of clays. Genetic processes. Geological settings. Environment-genetic process relations.
4. Chemical and Physical properties of clay minerals. Layer surfaces. The different states of water in clay minerals. Layer charge. Cationic and anionic exchange capacity. Morphology. Specific surface. Charge density. Double charge theory. PZP. Solubility.
5. Clays and weathering. Weathering processes. Weathering and climate. Weathering profiles of some rocks.
6. Clays and industrial technology. Fire-proof materials. Ceramics. Outlines for the analysis of ancient ceramic artefacts.
7. Clays and environment. Chemical contamination and environmental pollution. Nuclear waste disposal.
8. Clays and slope stability. Clay composition and slope stability. Chemical composition of some clay formation in Northern Apennines.
Alietti A., Dell'Anna L., Lombardi G., Mattias P. (1979) - Struttura e composizione dei minerali argillosi. Estratto da Geol. Appl. E Idrogeol., Bari, vol. 14, 71-103
Velde B. (1992) - Introduction to clay minerals. Ed. Hapman & Hall, London, New York
Thorez J. (1976) - Practical identification of clay minerals. Ed. Lelotte
Meunier A. (2005) - Clays. Springer, BerlinVaughan D.J. & Wogelius R.A. (2000) - Environmental mineralogy. EMU Notes in Mineralogy vol. 2, Eotvos University Press
frontal lectures (3 credits), laboratory (1 credit)