With an amino acid as a buffer, a method is disclosed for producing a proton-exchanged three-dimensional layered silicate material. Additional embodiments include a method for producing a swollen proton-exchanged three-dimensional layered silicate material. This new material is a result of reactive swelling which accompanies one or more major changes of the layer structure. The materials can be further processed such as with exfoliation. The materials may be combined with polymers to produce film membranes such as thin film porous membranes. The membranes are useful in separating gases and as absorbents.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
 This invention was made with support of the United States Government under National Science Foundation Contract CTS-0327811 and Department of Energy Contract DE-FG26-04NT42119. The Government has certain rights in this invention