Research Article Open Access

Characterization of Egyptian Smectitic Clay Deposits by Methylene Blue Adsorption

Salwa D. Abayazeed1 and Essam El-Hinnawi1
  • 1 Department of Geological Sciences, National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt


Problem statement: The characterization of smectitic clays has been traditionally made using physical and chemical methods which are time-consuming and require costly equipment. Adsorption of methylene blue by these clays has been introduced as a quick and cheap method for the estimation of cation exchange capacity and surface area. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to test the applicability of the methylene blue method for the determination of cation exchange capacity and specific surface area of Egyptian smectitic clay deposits and hence to estimate their content of expansive clays. Approach: The distribution of sand, silt and clay fractions was determined in the studied samples by grain size analysis. The methylene blue test was applied using the halo method for the determination of the optimum adsorption point. Results: A positive correlation was found between the cation exchange capacity of the claystone as determined by the methylene blue value and its clay fraction and between the specific surface area and the cation exchange capacity. Conclusion/Recommendations: It has been concluded that the methylene blue test can be used as a reliable and rapid method for the characterization of smectitic clay deposits and soils containing smectite. These properties are important for engineering and environmental geological assessments of sites for different construction purposes.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 8 No. 12, 2011, 1282-1286


Submitted On: 12 November 2010 Published On: 11 October 2011

How to Cite: Abayazeed, S. D. & El-Hinnawi, E. (2011). Characterization of Egyptian Smectitic Clay Deposits by Methylene Blue Adsorption. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 8(12), 1282-1286.

  • 11 Citations



  • Cation exchange capacity
  • surface area
  • claystone
  • smectite
  • Methylene Blue Adsorption value (MBA)