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  • Bentonite also known as Montmorillonite is an excellent binding agent found in the natural state. Mined in the Kutch district in the state of Gujrat, India has vast reserve of Sodium and Calcium based Bentonite estimated to be 365 million tones
  • The primary mineral in bentonite is called montmorillonite. Montmorillonite is a layered, very 2-dimensional aluminum and silicate mineral, which is usually thought to occur as a series of "stacked cards" called platelets.


  • Fuller's earth is characterised by a high moisture content of up to 40% . Initial processing consisted of crushing and drying prior to being milled to a fine powder. The air swept grinding mills used meanth that ther was some removal of coarse sand particles.
  • Almost all fuller's earth extracted recently in Britain was converted to bentonite. This involved the introduction of small amounts of sodium carbonate (usually 2 to 4%) to the wet clay prior to drying and grinding which converted the Ca-smectite to Na-smectite by cation exchange.


  • The total value of fuller's earth sales in 2004 was estimated at about 2.6 million, but less that 1 million in 2005. Indigenously produced fuller's earth is no longer of economic importance in Britain following the cessation of production.
  • During the last few years the global demand in volume terms has grown at a rate of about 3%, per year. Exported bentonite is mainly used in iron ore pelletizing (36%), in foundries (33%), in civil engineering and environmental applications (21%), in drilling (6%) and as pet litter material (4%). Bentonite consumption for civil engineering and environmental applications shows a significant increase over the last few years, in view of the growing social awareness for environmental protection and rehabilitation.


  • The bulk of the worldwide bentonite products are calcium bentonites, sodium exchanged calcium bentonites, and mixtures of sodium, calcium and magnesium bentonite. These bentonites in their natural state are often used as desiccants, catalysts, vegetable oil processing agents, and as foundry clays
  • Bentonite being used as bonding material in preparation of molding sand provides excellent thermal stability among other features, thereby ensuring a good quality casting.Bentonite can be used in cement, adhesives, ceramic bodies, cosmetics and cat litter. Fuller's earth, an ancient dry cleaning substance, is finely ground bentonite, typically used for purifying transformer oil. Bentonite, in small percentages, is used as an ingredient in commercially designed clay bodies and ceramic glazes. Bentonite clay is also used in pyrotechnics to make end plugs and rocket nozzles, and can also be used as a therapeutic face pack for the treatment of acne/oily skin.

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