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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Fuller's earth is any nonplastic clay or claylike earthy material.
  • Fuller's earth usually has a high magnesium oxide content.
  • In some countries, like the UK, calcium bentonite is known as fuller's earth.
  • Fullers Earth is a a term which is also used to refer attapulgite.
  • It is a naturally mined clay that is considered a chemically inert material.
  • Fullers Earth was awarded its name several hundred years ago when wool textile workers or "Fullers" created a time-saving concoction to remove the dense oils from sheep's wool.

Mining Process

  • In England, fuller's earth occurs mainly in the Lower Greensand. It has also been mined in the Vale of White Horse, in Oxfordshire, England.
  • Ions such as cobalt, nickel, lead and cadmium were adsorbed from waste solutions onto attapulgite surface to analyze the sorption capacity of attapulgite.
  • Weathering of the fulIer's earth clay typically reduces the calcite content and increases the percentage of montmorillonite, resulting in a higher plasticity.
  • The relationships between the mineralogy, weathering and geotechnical properties of the Fuller's Earth formation of the Bath area samples were obtained from four localities.
  • X-ray difiraction studies, determination of refractive indices and chemical analyses point to the identity of the clay mineral constituent with montmorillonite.

Application

  • Fine-grained fuller's earth makes a much larger plume than ordinary dirt, suggesting a larger explosion and allowing a smaller, safer charge to be used.
  • The treatment with fuller's earth effectively reduced the metal content of the liquids.
  • The fullers earth removes acid residues from oil and restores some colour.
  • Detergent materials as wood ashes or soda were used when washing in a large tub in which the fuller stirred the contents with a staff of pole because the alkali damaged the skin of the feet.
  • Fresh bleaching earth is used at different stages in the oil refining process.
  • Fuller's earth (FE), largely consisting of montmorillonite, is recommended for removal of Sulphur mustard(HD) from the skin due to its high adsorptive capacity.
  • Fuller's earth, either the attapulgite-type or montmorillonite-type, is used in pet waste absorbents, oil and grease absorbents, and pesticide carriers.

Market

  • California ranked third behind Arizona and Nevada in non-fuel mineral production, accounting for approximately 7% of the nations’ total. The market value of mineral production for California was $4.6 billion.
  • World bentonite, fuller's earth and allied clays market is forecast to exceed 164 million metric tons.

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