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Modification of a montmorillonite-illite clay using alkaline hydrothermal treatment and its application for the removal of aqueous Cs+ ions
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A montmorillonite-illite clay was modified using alkaline hydrothermal treatment (reflux method) and applied to the removal of aqueous Cs+ ions. The alkaline solutions were prepared by dissolving NaOH in seawater and in distilled water, and the effect of the two alkaline media on the sorption capacities of the modified clay was discussed. The modified materials were characterized using XRD, SEM/EDS, and FTIR. As a result of the modification, the original mineral was partially transformed into a zeolitic material with spherical morphology. The results showed that the modification improved the Cs+ uptake capacity of the starting clay, with the clay modified in distilled water medium demonstrating higher sorption capacity. The sorption data were adequately described using the Freundlich and Dubinin-Radushkevich isotherm models.