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Exchange and apparent fixation of lithium in selected soils and clay minerals



Exchange and apparent fixation of lithium in selected soils and clay minerals



Soil Science 148(1): 46-52



Relatively few data exist on the exchange reactions of Li in soils; rather, the bulk of the literature has dealt with simple ion exchange reactions on ideal exchangers, usually synthetic resins or pure clay minerals. Occasional observations of anomalous exchange of Li have been reported, without any clear explanation. This study was initiated to more carefully examine Li exchange in complex soil-solution and clay mineral systems. At the low concentrations employed, Li was sorbed preferentially by the southeastern U.S. soils evaluated over excesses of Na, K, Mg, and Ca in the adsorption solution phase. Trace amounts of Li were also sorbed to bentonite, kaolinite, and vermiculite clay samples in the presence of 0.01 M Mg(NO3)2 (5.82, 3.67 and 8.37 .mu.g g-1, respectively). The bentonite retained no Li against displacement by M NH4Cl, but both the kaolinite and vermiculite fixed a substantial portion of the total sorbed Li (57 and 60%, respectively). Similarly, at low Li additions to an Iredell surface soil sample (0 to 2.4 mmol kg-1), a significant portion of the sorbed Li was fixed against displacement by M NH4Cl, M CsCl, 0.5 M MgCl2, and 0.05 M HCl/0.012 M H2SO4 (e.g., 77.0, 79.2, 82.0, and 75.9%, respectively, at a 1.1 mmol kg-1 loading). The rate of Li sorption to the Iredell surface soil wsas slowed in the presence of a 0.005 M MgCl2 background relative to an absence of background electrolyte. The extent of sorption ws also reduced to .apprx.80% of that observed without supporting electrolyte, in agreement with the mass of Li observed to be fixed against displacement in the desorption study. The source and nature of sorption sites within soils and clay minerals that have this high selectivity for Li remain unclear, although vacant octahedral positions at the mineral edge may be responsible.

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Accession: 001831071

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DOI: 10.1097/00010694-198907000-00005



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