The role of thermal analysis in the development of high-iron-content kaolinite-based photocatalysts

Veronika Vágvölgyi, Katalin Győrfi, Balázs Zsirka, Erzsébet Horváth, János Kristóf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Dynamic and controlled-rate thermogravimetric analyses have been carried out on acid-treated (11 and 5.8 M HCl), high-iron-content kaolinites as potential photocatalysts. The mineral contaminants were determined by XRD, while the defect sites of reduced coordination number obtained by surface treatments were identified with 27Al MAS NMR spectroscopy. Upon heating, water is evolved from the surface-treated samples in three main stages: (1) removal of adsorbed water up to ~ 200 °C, (2) goethite dehydroxylation between 200 and 350 °C and (3) dehydroxylation of the clay in the 300–700 °C temperature range. Identification of water released from the above mass loss steps is difficult due to the significant overlap of steps 2 and 3, as well as to the presence of coordinated water at broken edges and defect sites (–OH2 + groups). As a result, the thermal behavior of surface-treated kaolinites should be taken into account both in the preparation of hybrids/composites and in the acid–base characterization of the catalytic surface.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • CRTA
  • Kaolinites
  • Photocatalysis
  • Surface modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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