Functional Minerals

Bentonite based products from food to foundry


Due to its high surface area and strong binding properties, Bentonite is a true all-rounder that enhances a wide range of products and processes in various industries from food to foundry.

As a leading provider of specialty products based on Bentonite, we are fully integrated in the complete value chain: from exploration, mining, processing and refinement to tailored industry and customer specific solutions.

Our global network of mines, secure supply, efficient logistics and unparalleled application service is ready for your needs on 24 production sites worldwide – and looks back on over 100 years of experience.

Clariant’s sustainability approach is an increasingly important aspect for our customers across the globe. Atop of this value chain, sustainability is a strategic pillar of Clariant's business strategy. And it doesn't stop with our products. We are committed to re-naturalizing our bentonite mines, even with a higher level of biodiversity.

To show the complete production process at BU FM, from mining bentonite through to the final product including our re-naturalization commitment, watch the movie examples.

Sustainable mining and production in China

Functional Minerals

Sustainable mining and
production in China

Sustainable mining and production in Europe

Functional Minerals

Sustainable mining and
production in Europe

Andreas Werner
Andreas Werner
Contact Person

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June 25, 2019

Answering foundry priorities & casting trends: LE+ Technology success at GIFA 2019

Clariant’s support for a more sustainable future for foundries is proving to meet or even overachieve BTEX emission limits. At GIFA 2019, Clariant shares real-world success for Low Emission+ Technology (LE+ Technology) in lowering total cost of ownership (TCO), delivering high surface quality castings, and elevating eco-credentials to match casting consumers’ demands. more

September 23, 2019
September 25, 2019
Las Vegas, NV


PACK EXPO Las Vegas is the biggest packaging event in North America this year. You’ll be exploring over 900,000 net square feet of exhibits—the area of about 15 football fields. more

  • Industries

    • Oil Purification

      TONSIL® bleaching earths are the gold standard for efficient and sustainable purification and refinement of edible oils and fats, biofuel feedstocks and technical oils and waxes. more

    • Foundry Additives

      GEKO™ and ECOSIL™ molding sand additives ensure superior quality precision castings and highest foundry productivity. more

    • Desiccant, Oxygen Absorber, and Humidity Indicator Solutions

      Container Desiccants CONTAINER DRI® II, Bentonite Desiccants DESI PAK®, and Oxygen Absorbers Oxy-Guard™ protection against moisture and oxidation. more

    • Filtration and Separation Solutions

      Mining and general applications: INVOQUE® more

    • Civil Engineering

      Natural BENTONIL® and MONTIGEL® drilling additives allow civil engineers to put the most daring tunneling and foundation projects into practice. more

    • Waste Water Treatment

      Das hocheffiziente Fällungsmittel SÜDFLOCK® K2 ermöglicht kommunalen und industriellen Kläranlagen auch die strengsten Umweltauflagen zu erfüllen. more

    • Clay Specialties

      Bentonite-based specialized solutions increase quality and productivity of a wide range industries, from pharmaceuticals and beverages to ceramics. more

    • Paper Additives

      OPAZIL® retention aids and PITCHBENT® pitch control agents improve the reliability and productivity of state-of-the-art paper making equipment. more

    • Detergent Additives

      LAUNDROSIL®, LAUNDROCLIN® and LAUNDROBRIGHT® additives considerably enhance formulation and production flexibility for the ever-more demanding detergent industry. more

    • PVC Stabilizers

      SORBACID® hydrotalcites enable sustainable and environmentally friendly heavy metal free PVC stabilizer formulations. more

    • BTX Catalysts

      Olefin Removal in Aromatic Complexes with TONSIL ® APT and TONSIL ® CO catalysts more

    • Kerosene and Jet Fuel Purification

      TONSIL ® Jet Supreme adsorbents have been establishing an outstanding status around the world. more

  • Cla_Icons_Bentonit_web_300x138px_RGB10

    The TONSIL® CO Jet has long-standing experience in the treatment of kerosene and jet fuel

    Olefin Removal in Aromatic Complexes with TONSIL ® APT and TONSIL ® CO catalysts

    TONSIL® bleaching earths for the refinement of edible oils, biofuel feedstock,

    technical oils and waxes


    GEKO™ and ECOSIL™ green sand molding additives for foundries

    301_139 01 01

    Mining and general applications using INVOQUE®



    BENTONIL® and TIXOTON® bentonite additives for drilling, tunneling and special foundations


    CONTAINER DRI® II and DESI PAK® desiccants for moisture protection of cargo and devices


    SÜDFLOCK® flocculant for municipal and industrial waste water treatment plants


    CLARIT®CERATOSIL® and CERATOFIX® specialty clay additives

    TOXISORB® grades are feed additives for achieving better and safer animal nutrition


    OPAZIL®PRINTOSIL® and PITCHBENT® paper additives for retention and pitch control




    SORBACID® and HYCITE® hydrotalcites for lead-free PVC and PP stabilizers

  • About Us

    Clariant’s Business Unit Functional Minerals is the leading provider of specialty products and solutions based on bentonite and synthetic minerals to enhance products and processes in various industries. Headquartered in Munich, Germany and operating on a worldwide scale, the Business Unit comprises the activities of the former Adsorbents Division of Süd-Chemie. Functional Minerals has fully integrated the complete value chain from exploration, mining, processing and refinement of natural bentonite to tailored industry and customer specific solutions. An experienced management team makes sure that anticipating and meeting customers’ expectations are the top priority for the whole organization.

    • Bentonite

      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.
      BentoniteOk Tet2
    • Exploration

      While bentonite per se is abundant on earth, careful selection of the right bentonites for the individual applications is a crucial part of ensuring uninterrupted supply. To this end our own exploration team of geologists, mineralogists and mining engineers travels the world to find suitable deposits for our customers’ needs.


      Opening Up

      Our application development department, staffed with chemists and scientists experienced in our customers’ applications, tests and approves the individual bentonite grades prior to moving into full-scale mining operations.



      Clariant currently operates 40 bentonite mines, so our customers can rest assured that supply is secured and that mining is fully compliant with international, national, regional and local regulations.

    • Processing & Production

      Bentonite can be processed in several ways to optimize properties for the individual uses. Functional Minerals operates 24 production sites that turn the raw bentonite clay into consistent quality products for a variety of our customers’ applications. The challenge is always to convert a natural product with natural fluctuations of composition and quality into a final product with consistent performance – a challenge that we master day-in day-out for more than 100 years now.

      Acid activation is performed to considerably increase the surface area of the bentonite and create additional acidic reaction sites. This treatment is useful for applications like edible oil refinement and purification of mineral oils and biofuel feedstock.

      Alkaline activation is performed to modify the viscosity and rheology of bentonite slurries. This treatment is useful of applications like foundry sand binders, civil engineering, paper, detergents and many more.

      Some bentonite grades are naturally active and fit for their respective application. In any case, all grades, whether activated or not, need to be dried, milled and classified to specification and pass rigorous quality checks prior to release to customers.

    • Re-Cultivation

      The mines of Functional Minerals are always operated under the prerequisite that the land will ultimately be returned to the land owner in the same or even better state than before extracting bentonite. We thus turn our attention from the beginning to the re-cultivation of mine sites and co-ordinate all activities with local and regional authorities and the land owners. Agricultural land is returned to the same use as before mining without loss of fertility and productivity for the farmer. Forest, abandoned agricultural land and wasteland is re-cultivated to an upgraded level of biodiversity in close co-operation with authorities. This co-operation with all stakeholders of land, be it authorities, local governing bodies and individual owners of property and mining and water rights, ensures sustainability of bentonite supply and living up to the Clariant values.




      Nature gives us so much – we give back

      When we re-naturalize mining sites, we replace and improve natural habitats by planting mixed woodlands and increasing biodiversity, being a good neighbor.

    • Technical Service

      Functional Minerals takes pride in offering unrivaled technical and application services to its customers. Both our development and sales teams consist of members with distinct experience in our customers’ industries and applications, like chemists and foundry, paper, civil and agricultural engineers. Their main focus is to continuously improve and adapt our products and processes to optimize our customers’ total cost of ownership (TCO).



  • IMG_6309_03_RD

    Functional Minerals Headquarters

    Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) GmbH/Clariant SE
    Business Unit Functional Minerals
    Arabellastraße 4a
    81925 München

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