Gelation of water-bentonite suspensions at high temperatures and rheological control with lignite addition

Vassilios C. Kelessidis, George Christidis, Pagona Makri, Vassiliki Hadjistamou, Christina Tsamantaki, Athanasios Mihalakis, Cassiani Papanicolaou, Antonios Foscolos

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The effectiveness of lignite addition to prevent gelation of 6.42% w/w water-bentonite suspensions exposed to high temperatures has been studied, using twenty six lignites from various basins in Greece with variable organic and inorganic contents at concentrations of 0.5% and 3.0%. The lignite-free bentonite suspensions thickened considerably when heated at 177 °C for 16 h, as was indicated by a two-fold increase of the yield stress, when compared to samples hydrated only at room temperature. However plastic viscosity did not change appreciably. Full flow curves showed a Herschel-Bulkley behavior of all suspensions. Addition of lignite maintained the stability of the suspensions exposed to high temperatures (177 °C) by keeping the yield stress low and did not affect plastic viscosity. Some of the Greek lignites performed equally well with a commercial lignite product and improvements of 80 to 100% of the stability of the suspensions, compared to lignite-free suspensions, have been found. Lignite addition also lowered yield stresses for the hydrated samples. No specific trends have been identified between the effectiveness of lignites to stabilize bentonite suspensions and their humic and fulvic acids and humins content. However, those lignites with highest humic and fulvic acid contents have maximum stabilization capacity. Similarly, no specific trends have been observed between the stabilization capacity of lignites and their inorganic components such as oxygen and ash content and also with the cation exchange capacity. The effectiveness of the Greek lignites to stabilize bentonite suspensions is very high and the minor differences in the efficiency of the different lignites cannot be attributed solely to any specific component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Clay Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007



  • Bentonite suspensions
  • Gelation
  • High temperature
  • Humic substances
  • Lignites
  • Rheology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Kelessidis, V. C., Christidis, G., Makri, P., Hadjistamou, V., Tsamantaki, C., Mihalakis, A., Papanicolaou, C., & Foscolos, A. (2007). Gelation of water-bentonite suspensions at high temperatures and rheological control with lignite addition. Applied Clay Science, 36(4), 221-231.