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The activation energy of particle aggregation in suspensions is a very important kinetic parameter in a wide range of science and engineering applications. At present, however, there is no theory that can theoretically predict the activation energy. Because the activation energy is often less than 10 (where is the Boltzmann constant and is the temperature), it is difficult to experimentally measure. In this study, a theory for calculating the activation energy is established. Experimental measurements of the activation energy of montmorillonite aggregation were performed with different electrolyte and particle concentrations using the dynamic light scattering (DLS) technique. The validity of the theory was verified by the experiments. This study confirmed that both the method for activation energy measurements by DLS and the theory for its calculation can be applied to suspensions of polydisperse nonspherical particles. The average kinetic energy at the moment of particle collision in the aggregation process was found to be 0.2 , which is less than the instantaneous kinetic energy of a Brownian particle (0.5 ) because of the viscous resistance of the water medium. This study also shows that adsorbed Na + is strongly polarized in the electric field near the particle surface, and the polarization increases the effective charge of Na + from +1 to +1.18.


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