As far as Materials are concerned, clay must qualify as the oldest branch of all materials science but it continues to define some of the newest material developments and probably ranks as the most important and versatile of all of man’s industrial minerals with a wealth of modern applications and uses.

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Bentonites: linking clay science with technology

Bentonites are very important industrial clays, which are valued by the industry due to the unique properties of smectites. This symposium invites presentations which deal with all aspects of bentonites, from the geological, mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of deposits, to the determination of physical properties, possible processing/activation routes and commercial applications.

Developments and applications of quantitative analysis to clay-bearing materials, incorporating ‘The Reynolds Cup School’

Because of their effects on the physical and chemical properties of rocks, soils, clays, and industrial materials, and because of the genesis and history information they record, knowledge of the types and relative amounts of clay minerals and other poorly ordered minerals is essential in many academic and industrial endeavours. Methods of quantitative phase analysis (QPA) represent, therefore, important tools e.g. in mineral exploration and processing, in clay science, and material science to name a few.

Asian Clay Minerals Group Research in Progress (II) (part of Euroclay2015)

The Asian Clay Research Group was organized through the Nagoya and Seoul meeting in 2010 and 2012. We plan to hold the 3rd meeting in Guangzhou in 2016. Our first participation in The CMS meeting in College Station, Texas, USA (2014) was successful in terms of communicating/collaborating with other clay minerals groups. The purpose of this session, held as part of the Euroclay2015 meeting, is to bring active Asian clay scientists together and promote scientific communication and interaction with the international clay minerals community.

Clay and fine particle-based materials for environmental technologies and clean up

Environmental pollution is a growing public concern worldwide as society industrialises and citizens become more aware of the associated risks. Despite many resources being channelled towards the development of technologies for cleaning up contaminated environments, millions of contaminated sites still exist in sensitive locations because of the prohibitive cost of remediation or the lack of an effective technology to clean up sites to a level required by regulators.

Beyond smectite-based nanocomposites

Nowadays, investigation on polymer-clay nanocomposites is already a well-established area of research that attracts scientists from both basic and applied research fields. For many years, smectites were the chosen clay for the preparation of those nanocomposites but now other types of clays minerals, such as kaolinite, nanotubular halloysite or microfibrous sepiolite and palygorskite are increasingly used in the preparation of polymer-clay nanocomposites.

Computational chemistry studies of clay minerals - bridging length and time-scales

As analytical methods such as atomic force and scanning electron microscopy increasingly provide nanoscale information about processes occurring in layered minerals, the atomic resolution of computer simulation methods has become a natural adjunct to understand processes and structure at clay surfaces.  Electronic structure simulations provide insight into redox processes, chemical reactivity at surfaces, and allow comparison with spectroscopic methods. Molecular mechanics approaches, where electrons are not included, are allowing the study of increasingly large systems and longer timescale

Natural zeolites – environmental, biomedical and industrial applications

Natural zeolites are microporous hydrated aluminosilicate minerals having countless technological applications due to their unique physicochemical features such as cation exchange, selective adsorption, molecular sieving, catalysis, etc.  As far as cation exchange is concerned, natural zeolites have been largely investigated for ammonia and heavy-metal removal, although modification of these minerals with long-chain cationic surfactants enhances their adsorption properties towards anions and low polar organic contaminants.