A molecular dynamics study of the swelling patterns of Na/Cs- montmorillonites and the hydration of interlayer cations

T Liu and YQ Chen, CHINESE PHYSICS B, 22, 027103 (2013).

DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/22/2/027103

We report on a molecular dynamics study of the swelling patterns of an Na-rich/Cs-poor montomorillonite and a Cs-montomorillonite. The recently developed CLAYFF force field is used to predict the basal spacing as a function of the water content in the interlayer. The simulations reproduce the swelling patterns of the Na and Cs-montomorillonite, suggesting a mechanism of its hydration different from that of the montomorillonite. In addition, we find that the differences in size and hydration energy of Na and Cs ions have strong implications for the structure and the internal energy of interlayer water. In particular, our results indicate that the hydrate difference in the presence of coexistent Na and Cs has a larger influence on the behavior of a clay- water system. For Na-rich/Cs-poor montomorillonite, the hydration energy values of Na ions and water molecules each have a dramatic increase compared with those in Na-montomorillonite on the interlayer spacing, and the hydration energy values of Cs ions and water molecules decrease somewhat compared with those in Cs-montomorillonite.

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