The diffusivity of ions in liquid solutions is known either to decrease with an increase in the ion size or to have a single maximum depending on the ion size. This article presents evidence for the appearance of multiple maxima and thus multiple ion sizes with enhanced diffusivity. This is caused by destabilization of the ion solvation shell and only happens at the ion radii that correspond to changes of the ion coordination number, which happen with an increase in the ion size. Solvation shell fluctuations are activated which leads to additional ion motion with rearrangement of the shell. A theoretical model of this effect is derived and is shown to be in good agreement with molecular dynamics and experimental data. This result rewrites a long standing picture of ion transport as a function of ion size and introduces a new possibility in the search for highly conductive systems.
The ability of smectite clays to incorporate gases in their interlayers is shown to be conditioned by interlayer spacing, depending, in turn, on phyllosilicate layer composition and effective size of the charge-balancing cations. As illustrated by earlier in situ X-ray diffraction and spectroscopic characterization of the gas/clay interface, most smectites with small-size charge-balancing cations, such as Na+ or Ca2+, accommodate CO2 and CH4 in their interlayers only in a partially hydrated state resulting in the opening of the basal spacing, above a certain critical value. In the present study CH4 and CO2 adsorption isotherms were measured for Na- and Mg-exchanged montmorillonite up to 9 MPa using a manometric technique. The process of dehydration of these clays was thoroughly characterized by thermogravimetric analysis and powder X-ray diffraction. A dramatic decrease in specific surface area and methane and carbon dioxide adsorption capacities for fully dehydrated samples in comparison to partially dehydrated ones is assigned to the shrinkage of interlayer spacing resulting in its inaccessibility for the entry of CH4 and CO2 molecules. This observation is direct evidence of CH4 and CO2 adsorption capacity variation depending on the opening of smectite clay interlayer spacing.
The interactions among fluid species such as H2O, CO2, and CH4 confined in nano- and meso-pores in shales and other rocks is of central concern to understanding the chemical behavior and transport properties of these species in the earthâ€™s subsurface and is of special concern to geological C-sequestration and enhanced production of oil and natural gas. The behavior of CO2, and CH4 are less well understood than that of H2O. This paper presents the results of a computational modeling study of the partitioning of CO2 and CH4 between bulk fluid and nano- and meso-pores bounded by the common clay mineral montmorillonite. The calculations were done at 323 K and a total fluid pressure of 124 bars using a novel approach (constant reservoir composition molecular dynamics, CRC-MD) that uses bias forces to maintain a constant composition in the fluid external to the pore. This purely MD approach overcomes the difficulties in making stochastic particle insertion-deletion moves in dense fluids encountered in grand canonical Monte Carlo and related hybrid approaches. The results show that both the basal siloxane surfaces and protonated broken edge surfaces of montmorillonite both prefer CO2 relative to CH4 suggesting that methods of enhanced oil and gas production using CO2 will readily displace CH4 from such pores. This preference for CO2 is due to its preferred interaction with the surfaces and extends to approximately 20 Ã… from them.