Bentonite is a type of clay that is known for its strong colloidal properties and versatility in a range of industries. It is composed primarily of montmorillonite, a fine particle-sized hydrous aluminum silicate belonging to the smectite group.

Properties of Bentonite

  • One of the unique characteristics of bentonite is its ability to swell when it comes into contact with water, creating a thick, gelatinous substance. It is also highly absorbent and has a high viscosity and plasticity, as well as thixotropic properties.
  • These characteristics make bentonite valuable for use as a binding, sealing, absorbing, and lubricating agent.

Uses of Bentonite

  • Bentonite has a wide range of applications in various industries, earning it the nickname "the mineral with a thousand uses." Some examples of its use include:
  • Environmental protection: Bentonite can be used to prevent the contamination of underground water sources.
  • Construction: Bentonite is used as a binding agent in construction materials such as concrete and cement.
  • Drilling: Bentonite is used as a lubricant and suspending agent in drilling fluids.
  • Personal care: Bentonite is used in the production of personal care products such as facial masks and pore minimizers.
  • Food: Bentonite is used as a food additive to improve texture and stability.

Bentonite in Mining

  • Recently, the Russian company Rosatom claimed that they use bentonite in their mining operations to ensure the protection of underground water sources. However, the Namibian government has rejected the company's request for a mining permit.

Bentonite is a valuable resource with a variety of useful properties and applications. Its versatility and environmentally-friendly qualities make it a valuable commodity in many industries.


Written by IAS POINT

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