Microstructural Characterization of Water-Rich Boehmite (AlO(OH)): TEM Correlation of Apparently Divergent XRD and TGA Results
Description: An understanding of the solid-phase thermodynamics and aqueous speciation of aluminum is critical to our ability to understand and predict processes in a wide variety of geologic and industrial settings. Boehmite (AIO(OH)) is an important phase in the system Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>-H<sub>2</sub>O that has been the subject of a number of structural and thermodynamic studies since its initial synthesis [l] and discovery in nature . Unfortunately, it has long been recognized that thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) of both synthetic and natural boehmite samples (that appear well crystallized by powder XRD methods) yields significant excess water - typically losing 16-16.5 wt. % on heating as compared with a nominal expected weight loss of 15.0 wt. % [3,4]. The boehmite used in our experiments was synthesized hydrothermally from acid-washed gibbsite (Al(OH)<suv>3</sub>) at 200°C. Powder XRD and SEM examination showed no evidence of the presence a contaminant phase. The TGA patterns do not suggest that this is due to adsorbed water, so a structural source is likely. We therefore undertook to examine this material by TEM to clarify this phenomenon.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Allard, L. F.; Anovitz, L. M.; Benezeth, P.; Coffey, D. W.; Palmer, D. A.; Porter, W. D. et al.
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