Technical sessions, organizers, and descriptions

  1. Functional clay nanoparticles
  2. 2-D nanomaterials
  3. Qualitative and quantitative characterization of clay minerals and short-range ordered materials
  4. Spectroscopy of clays
  5. Molecular simulations of clays and related phases: properties and reactions
  6. Clays in geological processes
  7. Clay mineralogy and geochemistry on Mars
  8. Clays in soils and sediments
  9. Clays and Environments
  10. Clays and oil/gas production
  11. Clay interactions with radioactive waste and waste forms
  12. Interactions of clay minerals with microorganisms and biomolecules
  13. Clays, nanoparticles and health
  14. Asian Clay Minerals Group research progress
  15. Teaching clay mineralogy
  16. General session
  1. Functional clay nanoparticles. Atsushi Takahara1 and Hung-Jue Sue2 (1Institute for Materials Chemistry and Engineering, Kyushu University CE11 Ito Campus, 744 Motooka Nishi-ku, 819-0395, Japan:; 2Polymer Technology Center, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123, USA:
    Clay science and applications of clay minerals, such as montmorillonite, halloysite, imogolite, sepiolite, and others has received great attention from both academic and industrial points of view. Clay nanoparticles can be modified by several surface modification techniques in order to realize various functionalities. Appropriate modification of clay surfaces will enhance the dispersion of clay in various solvents and polymer matrices to realize desired functionalities. This symposium will focus on science and technology of clay particles for various scientific and engineering applications.
  2. 2-D nanomaterials. Gary W. Beall (Texas State University, San Marcus, Texas, USA:
    Since the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for the discovery of graphene the field of 2-D materials has become one of the most active research areas. In terms of the characteristics of graphene oxide and graphene they could easily be classified as clays. Many clay minerals when dispersed down to their primary particle size are very close to 2-D materials. This symposium will cover all 2-D materials including fundamental theory and practical applications. [ Top ]
  3. Qualitative and quantitative characterization of clay minerals and short-range ordered materials.Michael Ploetze1 and Bruno Lanson2 (1ETH Zurich, IGT, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland; ploetzel@ethz.ch2Université Poitiers-CNRS, F-86022 Poitiers, France;
    Because of effects on the physical and chemical properties of rocks, soils, clays, and industrial materials, knowledge of the types and relative amounts of the minerals present is essential. Quantitative phase analysis (QPA) represents, therefore, an important tool for characterization of mixed mineral phase systems; e.g. in mineral exploration and processing, in clay science, and material science to name a few. Whereas powder XRD is the method of choice for this task, further techniques exist, that deliver additional and unique information in mineral characterization. The current state of the art in QPA, approaches for improvement, and new methods particularly in characterization and modelling of layered minerals and disordered or amorphous clays will be covered in this session. [ Top ]
  4. Spectroscopy of clays. Georgios Chryssikos (Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens, Greece:
    Spectroscopy offers a powerful toolbox for the observation, classification, and identification of clay minerals, independent of (but in constant dialog with) XRD and other experimental techniques. Featured is the spectroscopist’s point of view on issues such as the structural variability within clay families in relationship to composition and properties, or the interactions between clays and small molecules (including, par excellence, H2O) and the use of the latter as structural proxies. Also considered are the practical challenges associated with high-throughput applications for geological mapping and exploration or process monitoring. Answers are sought from spectroscopy, but unexpected new questions are inevitable and very welcome.[ Top ]
  5. Molecular simulation of clay minerals and reactions.Xiandong Liu1 and Andrey Kalinichev2 (1School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China. Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK:; 2Laboratoire SUBATECH - Ecole des Mines de Nantes 44307 Nantes, France:
    Molecular simulations have been widely applied in the study of clay minerals and related phases. These techniques have proven to be powerful tools for complementing experiments and field observations. As computer power and theoretical methods evolve, more and more properties and reactions at atomic and molecular levels can be explored, including mineralogy, (bio)geochemical behaviors, geological roles and material properties for environmental and engineering applications. The aim of this session is to highlight recent computational studies of clay minerals and related mineral phases, e.g. oxides, hydroxides, zeolites, advanced layered materials etc. The topics of interest include structures, dynamics, interfacial processes, chemical reactivity and material properties. The simulation techniques cover electronic structures methods, classical simulations, and coarse grained modeling. Multiple scale modeling studies of bulk or interface systems are encouraged. [ Top ]
  6.  Clays in geological processes. Michal Skiba (Department of Mineralogy, Petrology, and Geochemisty Institute of Geologicall Sciences, Jagiellonian University, ul. Oleandry 2a, 30-063 Kraków, Poland:
    Clay minerals and phyllosilicates are found in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Clays are formed in a wide range of processes, such as magmatism, metamorphism, hydrothermal processes, weathering, sedimentation, and diagenesis. This session invites papers dealing with all aspects of clay and phyllosilicate geology. We are particularly interested in submissions related to the processes of clay mineral formation and transformation in different geological environments and the use of clay minerals and phyllosilicates in the dating and reconstruction of geological processes. [ Top ]
  7. Clay mineralogy and geochemistry on Mars. Bethany Ehlmann1 & Doug Ming2 (1California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA:; 2NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, USA:
    Orbital and landed missions have provided a wealth of datasets that have substantially improved our understanding of clay mineralogy and geochemistry on Mars.  Infrared spectroscopic instruments on the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Express, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter missions have identified and mapped clay minerals, carbonates, sulfates, chlorides and other phases in numerous discrete geologic units exposed at the surface.  The Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Phoenix Scout, and the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) have encountered phyllosilicates, sulfates, carbonates, Fe-oxyhydroxides, perchlorates, and other minerals at several landing sites. Martian meteorites also provide the opportunity to probe the clay mineralogy and geochemistry of martian samples in terrestrial laboratories.  This session will focus on the clay mineralogy and geochemistry of martian materials, including the latest datasets from the MSL Curiosity mission. [ Top ]
  8. Clays in soils and sediments. Craig Rasmussen (Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA:
    Soils and sediments serve as synthographs of environmental conditions and ecosystem processes. Understanding how clay minerals in soil and sediment interact with, control, and record ecosystem processes is fundamental to understanding soil and ecosystem function. This session will explore the use of soil and sediment clay minerals to characterize ecosystem processes across nano- to landscape spatial scales, and over modern to Quaternary time scales. Topics may include coupling of molecular, isotopic, or imaging techniques for using soil clay mineral data as (i) proxy for environmental conditions and unraveling the coevolution of soil and ecosystem properties, (ii) understanding soil biogeochemical cycling in natural and managed systems, and (iii) quantifying mineral weathering and transformation processes. [ Top ]
  9. Clays and Environments. Balwant Singh (Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Sydney, Australia:
    Clay minerals have a long history for industrial and commercial uses; however, clay applications in environmental contexts have been recognized in the past few decades. This symposium invites papers covering a range of environmental applications of naturally occurring clay minerals, modified clay minerals, and synthesized nano-particles. We are particularly interested in submissions related to the application of clays - in organic and inorganic contaminant adsorption, for the delivery of particular compounds, in the protection of surface and ground waters, and the role of clays in soil carbon sequestration. [ Top ]
  10. Clays and oil/gas production. Manika Prasad (OCLASSH/Center for RockAbuse, Petroleum Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines, Golden CO 80401, USA:
    This session will be devoted to understanding the physical properties of clay minerals in the hydrocarbon world. There are numerous specific applications and problems arising from the presence of clay minerals. Such effects can include formation damage in the presence of swelling clays, proppant embeddment in clay layers, and porosity preservation and water retention. We invite papers on clay-organic interactions, clay swelling, clay stabilization, and clay effects on indirect measurements, such as resistivity, acoustics, and NMR. [ Top ]
  11. Clay interactions with radioactive waste and waste forms. Nik Qafoku and Jim Neeway (Geosciences Group, Earth Systems Science Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA:, )
    Significant amounts of nuclear waste have been generated over the past decades from the production of energy from nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons production activities. This waste contains a variety of radionuclides and contaminants of concern and is stored in temporary waste containers or in permanent waste repositories, depending on the radionuclide, contaminants and stage of waste treatment. In some instances, the radioactive waste is immobilized in waste forms (i.e., solids with low solubility and low release rates for radionuclides and contaminants) and the disposal of this waste is set to be in an environment containing clays. The symposium will address different aspects of radioactive waste interactions with clay minerals. The clay minerals may be present as part of the natural repository environment or they may be used as engineered barriers to mitigate radionuclide release into the surrounding environment. The effects of variables, such as waste chemistry, waste form, radionuclide and contaminant concentrations, and types of clay minerals, on the transport and ultimate fate of radionuclides and contaminants in different environmental settings will be discussed. [ Top ]
  12. Interactions of clay minerals with microorganisms and biomolecules.Qiaoyun Huang1 and Deb P. Jaisi,2 (1Dean, Faculty of Resources and Environment, Vice Director, State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China:; 2 University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA: ) Clay minerals, which have large surface areas and surface charges, are the major colloidal components in soils and sediments. The interactions between these fine particles and various microorganisms and biomolecules, such as enzymes and DNA have profound impacts on the structure, biological activity, and quality of soils and associated environments, and ultimately influence human health. Studies of the interactions have received increasing attention by scientists from different fields including soil science, plant nutrition, mineralogy, microbiology, chemistry, and environmental science. This session will discuss the latest research advances with respect to 1) Physical and chemical processes at interfaces between clay minerals and microorganisms; 2) Binding mechanisms of biomolecules with clay minerals and activities of bound biomolecules; 3) Interaction of clay minerals with microorganisms on the behavior and fate of nutrients and contaminants in various environments; 4) Microbial weathering of clay minerals and biomineralization; and 5) Interactions of clay minerals with biomolecules and microorganisms on soil structure and stability. [ Top ]
  13. Clays, nanoparticles and health. Sandra Carolina Londono & Keith Morrison (School of Earth & Space Physical Sciences, Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona, USA:, & )
    The study of clays and health represents an emerging research field that encompasses a range of scientific disciplines. Additionally, clays are environmentally important for their impact on element reactivity, mobility, toxicity and effects on public health. The advancement of new technologies and methodologies for evaluating these nanometric minerals has enhanced our study of their interactions with biological systems. This session invites studies on how clays can be utilized as unique resources to impact human and environmental health, considering both the benefits and the detrimental effects. [ Top ]
  14. Asian Clay Minerals Group research progress. Jinwook Kim1, Hyen-Goo Cho2 and Jae-Min OH3 (1Department of Earth System Sciences, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea:; 2Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Gyeongsang National University, JinJu, Korea:; and 3Dept. Chemistry and Medical Chemistry, Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea:
    The Asian Clay Research Group was organized through the Nagoya and Seoul meetings in 2010 and 2012. The purpose of this session is to present current research progress of the Asian Clay Research Group. This session will bring active Asian clay scientists together and promote scientific communication with the Clay Minerals Society. The topics are clay and clay materials in natural environments as well as industrial applications. Clays undergo biotic and abiotic reactions in natural environments that impact a number of geological and environmental processes, such as sediment diagenesis, colloid transport, the mobility and the ultimate fate of organic and inorganic contaminants, integrity of waste repositories, and stability of the ocean floor. Furthermore, the science and technologies of industrial clays, including exploration and clay resource development, particle engineering from macro to nano, chemical and physical modification, industrial application, sustainable resource development and bio-medical applications are currently investigated. We would like to invite presentations that include, but are not limited to, clay interactions with environmental contaminants in soils and sediments, clays and energy, microscopic characterization of clay mineral reactions, soil clays and clay chemistry, clays in medicine, and industrial clays. [ Top ]
  15. Teaching clay mineralogy. Paul A. Schroeder (Department of Geology, University of Georgia 210 Field Street, Athens, GA 30602-2501 USA:
    Teaching clay science embraces the challenge of including students from many disciplines. Classes are often comprised of geologists, chemists, soil scientists, material scientists, and ecologists. The rapid growth of nano-composite engineering and mineral health science is creating even more diversity in the clay classroom. This session seeks contributions that demonstrate class activities or field experiences that can be shared with the clay science community. The purpose is to help expand teacher repertoires in a multidisciplinary field. Students (current and past) are also encouraged to participate to reflect their perspectives on past pedagogy or present projects experienced in a class. [ Top ]
  16. General session. Bruce Herbert (Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX:
    This session will include all presentations not coming under one of the specific session categories previously listed. [ Top ]