A variety of applications
Bentonite is a clay material that is quite abundant on earth. It was and is still formed in nature by weathering of Volcanic ashes and subsequent sedimentation. Bentonite properties are determined mainly by the amount and type of smectite-type layer silicates, for example montmorillonite.
These minerals consist of stacks of platelet-like crystals that can fully disintegrate in water and form viscous slurries. They also exhibit a high specific surface area and cation exchange capacity, and can thus adsorb and bind quite a variety of molecules. All these properties, and many more, vary from one bentonite deposit to the other, and they can all be influenced by an appropriate treatment of the clay by various processes.
Careful selection of the right bentonite and the right processing make it fit for a plethora of applications – from edible oil purification,foundry sand binders, and feed additives to drilling fluids.