Clay, Phosphate Adsorption, Dispersion, and Rheology

J. Teo, W.K. Liew, Yee-Kwong Leong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Soluble phosphate is a common ingredient of fertilizer used in agriculture production all over the world. This chemical mixed with soil is transported into the water and marine environment via rainfall causing a range of environmental problems such as toxic algae bloom. Kaolin clay is a common material found in soil and is used as a model system to understand the effects of phosphate adsorption on the flocculation/dispersion of the clay slurries. In the topics, torrential downpours are common. The large water flow will easily disperse the unflocculated or weakly flocculated sediments over a wide area including river and marine environments. Phosphate adsorption was found to weaken the interparticle forces between clay platelets in the slurries. At high enough concentration, it will completely deflocculate the clay slurries, i.e. the net interparticle force is repulsive. A deflocculated slurry is characterised by a low viscosity and no yield stress. As a result, it is much easier to disperse this slurry over a wide area possible even in a small downpour. This study will present the flow and yield stress behaviour of kaolin clay slurries under the influence of adsorbed phosphate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-407
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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