The adsorption of aniline (ANL) and p-chloroaniline (PCA) from 0·02 M methanol and chloroform solution on air-dried montmorillonite is determined by the conjunction of several factors: (i) basicity of the solute, (ii) complexing ability, Brönsted and Lewis acidity of the exchangeable cation, (iii) polarity and Lewis basicity of the solvent. The principal adsorption mechanisms, inferred from infrared data, are direct or indirect coordination and protonation of the adsorbate. They take place simultaneously and to a relative extent depending mainly on the exchange cation.
On Fe-, Al- and H(Al)-montmorillonite ANL and PCA give rise to type II complexes, characterised by an intense charge-transfer band in the infrared region and by the formation of radical cations, evidenced by ESR spectroscopy. This oxidation process occurs on heating in air, but with Fe3+ in vacuo also and even at ambient temperature in methanol solution. On Cu-montmorillonite ANL, contrary to PCA, does not give a type II complex; however, radical species are produced in air and in vacuo and their production is enhanced by heating.