Table of Contents
Indian Journal of Materials Science
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 920835, 10 pages
Research Article

Dynamics of Kaolinite-Urea Nanocomposites via Coupled DMSO-Hydroxyaluminum Oligomeric Intermediates

1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 447, Arusha, Tanzania
2Department of Chemical Engineering, Hanyang University, 1271 Sa 3-dong, Sangnok-gu, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do 426-791, Republic of Korea
3Chemistry Department, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35091, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
4Chemistry Department, Mkwawa University College of Education, P.O. Box 35091, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Received 9 May 2015; Accepted 19 August 2015

Academic Editor: Marino Lavorgna

Copyright © 2015 Siafu Ibahati Sempeho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Kaolinite-urea nanocomposites were prepared via intercalation reactions in an attempt to investigate the dynamic nature of kaolinite morphology for advanced applications in controlled release systems (CRS). Characterization was done using SEM-EDX, XRF, ATR-FTIR, XRD, and DT/DTG; Andreasen pipette sedimentation technique was used to determine the grain size distribution of the raw kaolinite. The X-ray diffraction pattern revealed the existence of an FCC Bravais lattice where the intercalation ratios attained were 51.2%, 32.4%, 7.0%, and 38.4% for hydroxyaluminum oligomeric intercalated kaolinite, substituted urea intercalated kaolinite, calcined DMSO intercalated kaolinite, and hydroxyaluminum reintercalated kaolinite, respectively, along with their respective crystallite sizes of 33.51–31.73 nm, 41.92–39.69 nm, 22.31–21.13 nm, and 41.86–39.63 nm. The outcomes demonstrated that the employed intercalation routes require improvements as the intercalation reactions were in average only ≈32.3%. The observations unveiled that it is possible to manipulate kaolinite structure into various morphologies including dense-tightly packed overlapping euhedral pseudo hexagonal platelets, stacked vermiform morphologies, postulated forms, and unique patterns exhibiting self-assembled curled glomeruli-like morphologies. Such a diversity of kaolinite morphologies expedites its advanced applications in the controlled release systems (CRS) such as drug delivery systems and controlled release fertilizers (CRFs).