Bentonite is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite. Bentonite is a clay generated frequently from the alteration of volcanic ash, consisting predominantly of smectite minerals, usually montmorillonite. Bentonite deposits are normally exploited by quarrying. Extracted bentonite is distinctly solid, even with a moisture content of approximately 30%. The material is initially crushed and, if necessary, activated with the addition of soda ash (Na2CO3). Bentonite is subsequently dried (air and/or forced drying) to reach a moisture content of approximately 15%. According to the final application, bentonite is either sieved (granular form) or milled (into powder and super fine powder form). For special applications, bentonite is purified by removing the associated gangue minerals, or treated with acids to produce acid-activated bentonite (bleaching earths), or treated with organics to produce organoclays. The different types of bentonite are each named after the respective dominant element, such as potassium (K), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), and aluminium (Al).

The main uses of bentonite are for drilling mud, binder (e.g. foundry-sand bond, iron ore pelletizer), purifier, absorbent (e.g. pet litter), and as a groundwater barrier. Bentonite is used in drilling fluids to lubricate and cool the cutting tools, to remove cuttings, and to help prevent blowouts. Much of bentonite’s usefulness in the drilling and geotechnical engineering industry comes from its unique rheological properties. The bentonite in the flush fluid lubricates and cools the cutting tools while protecting against corrosion. As the drilling fluid generates hydrostatic pressure in the borehole, it hinders fluid and gas penetration. The drilling liquid conveys the drill cuttings to the surface. When the purge pumps have idle periods, the thixotrophy of the bentonite hinders the stone material from dropping back into the drilled shaft.

There are two basic types of Bentonite, Sodium type and Calcium type:

  • Sodium Bentonite: Because of its high absorbency and clumping tendency, Sodium Bentonite is useful as a sealant. It is considered a safe, natural, nontoxic and inexpensive treatment for porous soils. Its swelling capacity gives Sodium Bentonite the ability to bond with soil and create and impenetrable barrier. Sodium Bentonite is also used for mud drilling, clumping cat litter, and as a bonding agent for feeds, medicines and cosmetics. Currently, Sodium Bentonite is being investigated as an absorbing agent to remove E-Coli bacteria from food.
  • Calcium Bentonite: Calcium Bentonite is referred to as “living clay” because of the belief found in many cultures that it is useful as a medicine. The practice of geophagy or “earth eating” is centered on the belief that some clays such as Calcium Bentonite is able to be safely ingested for the absorption and removal of toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. Geophagy is known to have been practiced by some Indigenous peoples of Australia and Africa. The modern alternative healthcare industry uses Calcium Bentonite extensively for internal and external toxin removal that is believed to be based on ion exchange. Consult your doctor if you are considering ingestion of any non-food substance.

Cat Litter:

  • There are many different types of cat litters available, but essentially most of them fall into three distinct categories: clay-based, silica-based, and biodegradable. Clay cat litters are the oldest type of commercial cat litter and are still widely available. Clay is used in cat litters because of its ability to absorb liquid. Traditional clay litter can absorb its weight in cat urine and, because it separates the urine effectively, has some natural odor control as well.
  • However, as clay litter becomes soiled and can no longer absorb liquid, odor can begin to be a problem. Various ingredients such as baking soda and charcoal may be added to the cat litter to help with odor control. The idea of a substance designed to soak up cat urine is nothing new. During the early 20th century, people used everything from ash to sand to address the problem, with varying degrees of success, but cats aren’t all that enamored with these particularly harsh substances, and both have a tendency to stick to feet and fur, which causes cleaning headaches around the home.
  • Foundry: Bentonite is used as a bonding material in the preparation of molding sand for the production of iron, steel and non-ferrous casting. The unique properties of bentonite yield green sand moulds with good flowability, compactability and thermal stability for the production of high quality castings.

Agriculture: Bentonite is used as an animal feed supplement, as a pelletizing aid in the production of animal feed pellets, as well as a flowability aid for unconsolidated feed ingredients such as soy meal. It also is used as an ion exchanger for the improvement and conditioning of the soil. When thermally treated, it can be used as a porous ceramic carrier for various herbicides and pesticides.

Pharmaceuticals: Cosmetics and Medical Markets: Bentonite is used as filler in pharmaceuticals, and due to its absorption/adsorption functions, it allows paste formation. Such applications include industrial protective creams, calamine lotion, wet compresses, and antiirritants for eczema. In medicine, bentonite is used as an antidote in heavy metal poisoning. Personal care products such as mud packs, sunburn paint, baby and facepowders, and face creams may all contain bentonite.

Catalyst: Chemically-modified clay catalysts find application in a diverse range of duties where acid catalysis is a key mechanism. Most particularly, they are employed in the alkylation processes to produce fuel additives.orillon, in Southern France.

Exploration Energies is able to supply Iranian Bentonite (API Standard) at competitive price.


Product : Bentonite – API Standard
Packaging : Jumbo Bags, Bulk
Price : Negotiable
Payment terms : Negotiable, T/T
Delivery Terms : FOB, CFR ASWP
Min order : 25 MT