Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.233, No.2, 250-258, 2001
Assessment of the surface heterogeneity of talc materials
The hydrophobic and hydrophilic components of the surface of talc materials in aqueous solution were determined using ionic surfactants and their polar headgroup adsorption isotherms. The hydrophilic and hydrophobic surface areas are inferred from the amount of probe molecule adsorbed and the structure of the adsorbed layer. Natural dispersion of talc shows at 298 K a pH of 9.4 and the electrophoretic measurements indicate that the particles are negatively charged. The hydrophilic surface area is estimated from the adsorption of benzyltrimethylammonium ions (BTMA(+)) through electrostatic interactions as supported by the increase of divalent ions in the bulk phase and the decrease in the exothermic displacement enthalpy. It was also observed from the adsorption isotherm of benzene sulfonate anions that the density of positive surface sites is very low and is thus neglected. The adsorption of an anionic surfactant essentially occurs through dispersive interactions between the nonpolar organic tail of the molecule and the hydrophobic surface. Furthermore, some assumptions on the structure of dodecyl sulfate surfactant aggregates at the interface allow the hydrophobic part of the talc particles to be estimated. The cationic surfactant adsorption has been investigated and found to corroborate the hydrophilic and hydrophobic area values first obtained.