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Subject: X-ray diffraction of clay saturated with organic cations

Date: 12/13/02 at 10:08 AM
Posted by: Peter
E-mail: fp12@gre.ac.uk
Message Posted:

I am carrying out research into the migration of light hydrocarbons through heterogeneous media within the unsaturated zone of the subsurface in contaminated land scenarios. To this end, i wish to investigate the interaction of smectite / illite / vermiculite (from a field soil) with kerosene (known as Jet A1) by conducting a range of experiments to identify any physical or structural changes to the clay that could take place. One experiment in-particilar that i want to carry out involves saturating my field soil in kerosene to allow the organic cations to adsorb to the exchange sites on the clays (as opposed to normally saturating the soil with Ca2+ or Mg2+), then centrifuge my mixture to seperate the clays and prepare the sample for XRD analysis.So, my question is, is it safe to analyse a sample of clay prepared in this manner by XRD? A colleague suggested that the X-Rays might agitate the hydrocarbons and cause a potential fire hazard. Is this actually a problem, or am i looking for problems when none exist?Any advice anybody can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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