Identification of Iron-Containing Impurities in Natural Kaolinites Using the Mössbauer Effect

C. S. Hogg, P. J. Malden and R. E. Meads
Research Laboratories, English Clays, Lovering, Pochin & Co. Ltd., St. Austell, Cornwall
Department of Physics, University of Exeter

Summary: Two clay samples originating in the kaolinized granite area near St. Austell, Cornwall, have been examined by Mössbauer spectroscopy. The iron-containing impurity in the sample with a red discoloration (sample A) has, by measurement of the hyperfine magnetic field, been identified as hematite. In the case of sample B, which was yellow in colour, preliminary Mössbauer work indicated β-FeOOH as the impurity, but detailed measurements of hyperfine field and Néel temperature, when compared with similar results for a synthetic β-FeOOH sample, suggested otherwise. X-ray and chemical work suggested that the iron-containing phase in sample B is goethite, α-FeOOH in which some substitution of Al+3 for Fe2+ has occurred; the Mössbauer data are consistent with this conclusion. Both clay samples exhibited superparamagnetic behaviour and this has been utilized to obtain rough estimates of the mean radius of the particles of the iron-containing impurity. These were 117 Å for the α-Fe2O8 in sample A and 270 Å for aluminian α-FeOOH in sample B.

Mineralogical Magazine; March 1975 v. 40; no. 309; p. 89-96; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1975.040.309.12
© 1975, The Mineralogical Society
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