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Program > Workshop & Technical sessions

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The workshop will take place during one day (June 28th) before the conference begins.
A preliminary planning of the different technical sessions is available below:


Planned workshop

Scope of the workshop:

This workshop will focus on clay mineral catalysis of organic reactions. The tentative titles of the lectures are as follows:

  1. Clays and Clay Minerals as Catalysts
  2. Surface Acidity and Catalytic Activity
  3. Surface Activation and Modification
  4. Organic Catalysis by Clay-supported Reagents
  5. Clay Mineral Catalysis of 'Name' Reactions
  6. Clay Mineral Catalysis of Isomerization, Dimerization, Oligomerization, and Polymerization Reactions
  7. Clay Mineral Catalysis of Redox, Asymmetric, and Enantioselective Reactions
  8. Clay Mineral Catalysis of Natural Processes and Prebiotic Organic Reactions

Benny K. G. THENG
Landcare Research, Palmerston North 4442, NEW ZEALAND

Venue and contributors:
The workshop will take place close to the Conference center of EUROCLAY 2019 (Sorbonne University, campus Pierre & Marie-Curie) during one day (June 28th) for a capacity of 20-30 attendants).
Participation to this workshop is subject to an additional fee (250€), which must be paid during the online registration. Detailed information about the program for this workshop will be communicated soon.
If the workshop is canceled due to insufficient number of participants, the payable registration fee will be fully refunded.

A. Crystallography, mineralogy and modelling

The low hydraulic conductivity and high adsorption capacity of clays and clay-rich rock explains in large part the interest in the behavior of these materials in several important subsurface energy-related applications, including the long-term disposal of nuclear wastes in geological repositories and the storage of CO2 in subsurface geological formations. Clay properties remain also topic of intensive research in the oilfield industry in connection with their swelling behavior, which has an adverse impact on drilling operations. For all above examples, it is necessary to predict gas, water and oil transport properties in clay materials porosity as a function of a range of physical and chemical contexts. Clay transport properties are however not simple to model, as they deviate in many cases from predictions made with models developed previously for “conventional” porous media such as permeable aquifers. This session brings together scientific contributions that involve reactive transport modeling studies on radioactive waste storage, geothermal energy, CO2 and sour gas storage, water injection, and mining of hydrocarbons as well as benchmarking studies for the improvement of confidence in and reliability of simulation tools. By organizing a dedicated session to such modeling we aim to stimulate discussion on the latest developments, new site specific insights, sensitivity studies, software advantages and limitations, and modelling techniques that apply to clay systems.

Christophe TOURNASSAT, Jean-Charles ROBINET

Structural properties and molecular diffusion in clays is of crucial importance in many fields such as agricultural soil science, soil remediation, building materials, nuclear wastes management. Pores distribution in a clay-based material ranges from intra-clay space at the nanoscale, with two-dimensional nano-pores in lamellar clays and one-dimensional ones in clay nanotubes, to multiscale inter-clay pores. A strong experimental and multi-scale modeling effort is required to couple structural analysis and transport at different scales. The session will gather researchers using complementary experimental and multi-scale modeling methods probing, in clay materials, the relationship between confined molecular diffusion and structural organization at various time and length scales.


Despite ample experimental data, e.g., of adsorption isotherms as a function of pH or activities of aqueous species, or dissolution/precipitation rates obtained by bulk solid and aqueous phase chemistry, we still lack detailed knowledge about microscale processes at the aqueous-solid interfaces. For predicting macroscopic behaviour of particle-fluid interactions, mechanistic models require much more basic information about physicochemical boundary conditions, especially for charged particle surfaces, and different questions remain to resolve as: what are the activities of ionic species near surfaces, what is the impact on fluid flow, how does particle morphology influence the interactions? We welcome therefore all contributions, which further our knowledge about such interfaces.

Emmanuel TERTRE, Thorsten SCHÄFER, Helge STANJEK

The naturally occurring nanoporous 1D clay minerals, both tubular (halloysite and imogolite) and fibrous (sepiolite and palygorskite), are attractive because of their economic viability and environmental benefits. Recent researches demonstrate that their composition, surface chemistry and internal cavity loadings can be significantly tuned to adapt to many different needs. Therefore, it is not surprising that nanosized 1D porous clay minerals are attracting attention from researchers worldwide. The proposed session aims at gathering the most active research groups in this field and to share the most advanced results regarding genesis/synthesis, functionalization, properties and uses. Both theoretical and experimental works are welcomed to this session.

Antoine THILL, Lala Setti BELAROUI, Peng YUAN, Faïza BERGAYA

Fe and Mn are common redox-active elemental components of layered minerals (e.g., Fe-rich clays, vernadite, fougèrite), that provide the structure with a redox potential. Surface induced electron transfer reactions may strongly affect the nature of the interactions between mineral surfaces and redox-sensitive metals, metalloids, actinides and organics (e.g., natural organic matter, organic pollutants). A sound description of these redox interactions is a prerequisite to our capacity to describe the fate of redox-sensitive elements and organics in environments ranging from the critical zone to deep underground storage sites. This session welcomes contributions aiming at improving our understanding of these interactions, from the molecular to the macroscopic scales.


Clays and clayey nanoparticles are ubiquitous and significantly impact daily life. To understand the impact of clayey nanoparticles on our environment and health, it is important to accurately characterize the microstructure, composition, particle interaction processes and behavior of clayey nanomaterials. Advances in modern technology have greatly improved quantitative methods of data analyses in the structural characterization, chemical properties, and fundamental processes of clay materials. Significant progress in characterization of complex structures, including both natural and man-made clayey nanomaterials/nanocomposites, and mixed-layered nanomaterials have been carried out through the combination of experimental and computational/simulation approaches.


B. Environment and geological processes

Fracture zones result from the near-surface geological deformation and provide zones of dislocation, differential fluid movement, fluid-rock interaction and weakness. Such zones are therefore of considerable interest to geoscientists who seek to understand tectonic evolution but also to a range of energy, civil engineering, underground storage and waste containment projects. The recent upsurges in nuclear energy, fracking and geothermal activity have demanded detailed characterisation of these features to understand and risk access past movement and fluid circulation in order to predict their future behaviour.
Clay mineral studies frequently form a fundamental part of understanding fracture zones. Isotopic analysis of illite and illite/smectite authigenic species in fault gouges using 40Ar-39Ar, K-Ar or Rb-Sr approaches have commonly been used to determine the last date of fault movement. In addition, hydrogen isotopes can provide information of involved fluid sources. Petrographic and mineralogical research has also revealed the wider role of clay minerals in fault and fracture mechanics on a range of scales from clay-filled joints to tectonic detachments. The reactive nature of clay minerals means that they provide excellent evidence for the nature of historic geothermal fluid circulation and alteration. The low frictional strength of clay minerals means that they are frequently associated with landslides and the creep of major fault systems.
This broad session seeks to explore the most recent advances in clay science to highlight examples of the critical role of clay minerals in fracture zone characterisation and behaviour. We welcome contributions that further our understanding of clay fault development and link fault chronologies, potential reactivation, deformation conditions and fluid circulation.


Clay is a major reactive component of soil and surface water, where it plays an important role in determining the fate of contaminants, such as trace metals and organic pollutants. As a result of the ability of these minerals to adsorb a wide variety of these substances, both the lamellar and porous structures of natural and modified clay varieties (e.g. organically treated, acid activated, pillared, nanocomposites, layered double hydroxides, among others), have long been of interest to understand their diffusion or for remediation purposes. However, several research aspects remain of particular importance, in particular, the synthesis and characterization of new clay materials, the physicochemical behavior of pollutant adsorption in natural environments and the biocompatibility and reusability of the clays/modified clays. This session aims to bring together state-of-the-art analytical, experimental and model case studies revolving around the search to find the most effective unmodified and modified clay minerals for remediating metal and/or organic pollutants and their transport in both Earth surface environments.

Bhabananda BISWAS, Jérôme LABILLE, Benedicte PRELOT

Natural organic matter – mineral interactions are relevant to agriculture, petroleum industry, carbon cycle studies, contamination science, and nanoscience applications. (Clay) soils are the largest terrestrial reservoir of organic carbon. Clay minerals significantly influence the accumulation and stabilization of organic carbon/organic matter. On the other hand, the type, content, and mineral association of organic matter in clay soils significantly influences the soil mechanical properties but also the contaminant transport in porous adsorbing media like soils and geochemical reactions within the Critical Zone. The session will fokus on latest research on important questions like: (i) What are the adsorption mechanisms of organic matter on different (clay) mineral surfaces and what are the mechanisms through which (clay) minerals stabilize organic carbon in soils and sediments? (ii) How mineralogy influences the type of organic matter preserved?; (iii) How does organic matter affect contaminant uptake and dissolution from mineral surfaces (e.g., conservation/degradation of organic pollutants)?; (iv) How does organic matter affect the soil mechanical properties of (clay) soils: How it influences e.g., the porosity, shear strength, and plasticity?; (v) How does organic matter influences geochemical reactions within the Critical Zone?

Michael PLÖTZE

The session focuses on mineralogy and crystalchemisty of clay and associated components of mudrocks, as well as a mutual relationships between clay and non-clay components of these rocks and their fabric. All aspects of science on fine-grained rocks are welcome: fundamental research on sedimentology, paleogeography, paleoclimatology, petrology, mineralogy and geochemistry, as well as applied studies, which combine petrophysical and petrological data useful for the hydrocarbon industry, carbon dioxide sequestration and engineering projects. The session is open for presentations devoted to diagenesis, development and evolution of pore space in mudrocks, and all recently applied microscopic and petrophysical techniques for porosity measurement in mudrocks.

Jean-Francois DECONINCK, Katarzyna GÓRNIAK, Pierre PELLENARD

Clay minerals are major mineral products from water-rock interactions in the Earth crust, including during the early stages of the Earth and other planets. The surface chemistry of clays is of promising interest for the concentration, stabilization, polymerization, and organization of building blocks of life in the primitive Earth. This session calls for studies of clay mineral with relevance to the origin of life on Earth and elsewhere (astrobiology or xenobiology). Contributions on, but not limited to, the following topics are welcome: geological observation or synthesis of clay minerals relevant to primitive Earth surface environments, and planets in the solar system and elsewhere; characterization or simulation of clay mineral structure or surface; interaction between clay mineral surface and organics, biomolecules, nutrients, or microorganisms using experiment and simulation; reactions on clay minerals leading to the increase of molecular complexity.

Jihua HAO, Isabelle DANIEL, Jean-François LAMBERT

The session emphasizes the role that reaction process, evolution in reaction progress and structural reorganisation; and ordering plays in common sedimentary and igneous rock types prior to the transformation into metamorphic rocks. Abstracts should show the broad spectrum of techniques from mesoscopic to nanoscopic scale, from theoretical to applied research in very low grade domains. The main emphasis of the studies will be: (i) Theoretical approach, new methods, and improvements to methodology; (ii) Comparing methods, calibration of methods, and determination of diagenetic and metamorphic grade; (iii) Regional case studies, tectono-metamorphic studies and metamorphic mapping; (iv) Research in hydrothermal, geothermal and hydrocarbon systems.


C. Resources, energy, storage

The qualitative and quantitative characterisation of relationships between the microstructure and the physical properties are crucial to predict the long-term behaviour of geotechnical systems where clayey geomaterials (soils, rocks and geosynthetic materials) are present. We aim to bring together geotechnical/geomechanical engineers, clay scientists and material scientists working on problems related to the characterisation of clayey geomaterials at different scales with a focus on the following topics: (i) Quantitative characterisation of microstructure: imaging/physico-chemical techniques and statistical approaches to characterize the microstructure and the anisotropy of clayey geomaterials; (ii) Experimental and theoretical methods to interpret geotechnical/geomechanical properties in terms of microstructural parameters.

Philippe COSENZA, Myriam DUC, Pierre DELAGE, Christopher SPIERS

High temperature reactions of clay minerals and accessories in clays play an important role for applications like construction materials and molding sands. Thereby, technological and environmental aspects result in an optimization challenge. Understanding of changes in clay mineral structures during thermal treatment and reactivity of heated clay minerals under different chemical condi1ons is therefore mandatory. Only the combination of mineralogical and chemical techniques with construction material testing may provide the necessary information to understand and control thermal activation by several processes and subsequent chemical reac1ons like polycondensa1on reaction of geopolymers. Furthermore, the addition of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) replacing Portland Cement is considered to be the most effective way of reducing the environmental impact of the cement industry and calcined clays are one of the most promising candidates for a new type of SCM. Cementitious binders that incorporate calcined clays attract increasing attention from both an academic and industrial research perspective. However, calcined clays are hardly used as SCM due to the complexity of clay minerals and the ignorance of the underlying reaction mechanism and reaction products. With the session, we wish to promote the dialog between clay scien1sts and engineers.


Photochemistry and optics of clay-based hybrid materials have been developed during last several decades and have contributed to enrich clay sciences. Layered clay minerals and layered double hydroxides have provided two-dimensional templates to accommodate/arrange guest species (e.g. photo-functional dyes) to design unique photochemical/optical properties. Combined with recent progress on the controlled synthesis of hosts materials (e.g. layer charge density) and intercalation/hybridization techniques (e.g. macroscopic ordering of exfoliated layers), the design of photo- and optical functionalities of clay-based hybrid materials has become more diverse and sophisticated. The understanding of the mechanisms for these functionalities has also been enriched. This knowledge then helps researchers who are interested in clays, other inorganic layered materials, and nanomaterials in general. Thus, this research field has gained an increased interest in various disciplines such as materials chemistry, photocatalysis and photophysics.
Topics of this session will be: (i) Photocatalysis, photosensitization and photoinduced redox reactions; (ii) Photochromism and photoresponse; (iii) Luminescence and energy transfer; (iv) Nonlinear-optics; (v) Other photophysical and photochemical phenomena.


D. Functionalized clays, health and cosmetics

The proposed Session is intended to be a forum for the latest research on Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials using clay minerals and related solids as key components. Procedures based on intercalation, casting, layer‐by‐layer, foaming, self‐assembly, sol‐gel chemistry, in situ generation and other emerging procedures are examples for methodology of nanostructured preparation. Ideally, these procedures introduce specific functionality necessary for advanced applications in many different fields from environmental remediation to biomedical engineering.


Layered double hydroxides are 2-D materials able to trigger innovative solutions in many fields. Their complex functionalities can be optimized for applications in novel clean, sustainable and smart technologies that might be used in the construction of the Future Earth. To address these issues, this symposium will cover general topics of layered double hydroxides nanostructures and their nanohybrids and will be focused on: (i) Manufacturing of layered double hydroxides and their hybrid nanostructure; (ii) Characterizations and modelling of layered double hydroxides and emergence of collective behaviours and multifunctionality through nanostructuring; (iii) Applications of layered double hydroxides for applications in nanomedicine, nanoenergy and environmental remediations.

Claude FORANO, Gabriela CARJA, H. Chris GREENWELL

Clay minerals, the main constituents of clays, exhibit layered structures together with different chemical compositions that allow formulating several types of ceramics. Indeed, the diversity of interactions at clay particle interfaces and the physical and chemical interactions upon sintering are key aspects to develop original microstructure organization targeting appropriate properties for use in working conditions. Increasing interest is noted within the scientific community towards the promotion of clay-based ceramics regarding sustainability impacts and the development of innovative hierarchical clay-based ceramics. The present symposium will be concerned with recent trends and achievements crosslinking clay minerals and ceramic processing.


Understanding, controlling, and utilizing the unusual properties and hierarchical structure of “clay colloids” are important issues for fundamental aspects and many applications. Liquid crystal phase formation and unusual rheological properties such as thixotropy and gelation in clay colloids are highlighted as intriguing phenomena in condensed matter physics. Clay colloids added with polymers and other materials are also important research targets. The response to electric, magnetic, and shear field and detailed structural analyses by small-angle scattering are also important topics. Thus, this session aims at deep discussion on the topics related clay colloids and their applications.

Nobuyoshi MIYAMOTO, Josef BREU, Teruyuki NAKATO, Patrick DAVIDSON

As the first artificial material produced by men, the clay-based ceramics played a major role in the development of the human society. The session will focus on the application of various geosciences (mineralogy, petrography, geology) as well as chemistry and physics to the study of ceramic artefacts found in various archaeological sites. The scientists are invited to present the newest results, problems and solutions for a wide range of archaeometric topics, e.g. raw material processing, as well as modelling and firing of various artefacts made of clays.

Corina IONESCU, Elisabetta GLIOZZO

Clays as well as nanoparticles are widely studied considering the wide range of applications in the field of materials science, biology, pharmacy, environment, etc. Clay minerals are materials with unique structure, small particle size and modifiable surfaces, that enable developments for tailor-made physical, chemical and biological functions. In addition, society needs pure and/or well designed clay minerals for various functionalities and applications. To attain this goal, the synthesis of clay minerals and assimilated minerals is an interesting and multiple-subject intersectional field to explore. We would like to invite in the session all the papers dealing with this experimental field of research.

François MARTIN, Sabine PETIT

Clay minerals have been part of human existence since antiquity, and were used as natural nanomaterials for medicinal applications, worldwide. Uses include among (a) Pelotherapy (medicinal treatment of certain conditions with baths or packs of clay on the body surface), (b) use as dietary supplement, (c) adsorbent of toxins, bacteria, fungi and heavy metals, (d) catalyst of beneficiary biological processes, etc. Some of the applications are fully understood as the adsorption of heavy metals in a cation exchange process, or the formation of a protective gel due to specific rheological processes. This session aims to gather new and old ideas in which the versatile properties of clay minerals (natural or specifically tailored/modified) can contribute to health by an enormous amount of possible additional applications- from the classic cation exchange to sensor probes or specific drug delivery carriers.


E. Miscellaneous

Computer assisted teaching with multimedia affords many opportunities to improve learning by clay mineralogy students. Still images, slide shows, power point presentations, “white boards”, and other media can be animated and narrated. A wide variety of approaches can be employed to explain complex concepts or guide laboratory procedures. The relative ease of construction facilitates updating and revision of the materials. Content also can be improved or added by the students thus engaging them in “hands-on” learning. Material prepared by experts can be incorporated without the delay associated with the publication of standard texts.
The goal of this session is to encourage clay scientists to present their “best practices” for the use of multimedia in the teaching of clay science. Presentations may illustrate the use of any media in any variety of applications. Topics may range from molecular dynamic modeling of mineral/water reactions; to crystal structures; industrial testing and resource evaluation; or sample preparation and interpretation by FTIR, XRD, and micro-.beam instruments. Contributions will be published in an online database for access by all members of the clay science community.


This session will include all presentations not coming under one of the specific session categories.

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