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Degradation of Tetraphenylboron at Hydrated Smectite Surfaces Studied by Time Resolved IR and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopies
journal contributionposted on 1998-12-01, 00:00 authored by D B Hunter, Will GatesWill Gates, P M Bertsch, K M Kemner
The surface catalyzed redox reactivity of an organoboron probe molecule (tetraphenylboron, or TPB) with fully hydrated clay mineral surfaces is described wherein one or both of two degradation pathways can occur. Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-IR) spectroscopy can quantitatively measure, in situ, both acid hydrolytic and oxidative degradation of TPB as controlled by the exchange cation identity and the structural octahedral Fe content of the clay mineral. Oxidation of TPB at smectite surfaces is directly attributable to octahedral Fe(III) in the clay structure. The concomitant reduction of Fe(III) during TPB oxidation can be analytically measured by X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy. The resultant distortion of the clay mineral structure during the reduction of structural Fe could be probed directly by extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy. The lack of evidence for clay mineral dissolution during the reaction with TPB permits defining the clay as a catalyst. The combination of these three in situ spectroscopic techniques to measure the reaction in real time, provides powerful insight into the reactivity of clay mineral surfaces.