Construction and drilling industry
Bentonite is a versatile and very important material in the construction and drilling industry.
Areas of application:
- Soil sealing
- Construction of diaphragm,
- Single and reinforced walls
- Directional drilling (HDD) and vertical drilling
- Pipe jacking
- Geothermal energy
- Shield Tunneling
- Special foundations
- Landfill, backfill and, grouting
- Immobilisation of contaminants
Pet care industry
In the early 1980s, bentonite made a spectacular entry into the pet care field.
Up until that point, cat litter trays had predominantly been filled with non-clumping mineral litter or plant-based products. These types of products are not able to bind odours very well, and wastage is high.
But bentonite cat litter demonstrates excellent clump formation. When bentonite granulate is poured with liquids, the liquid and odour are quickly bound. The great economic advantage of this type of clump formation is that only the moistened litter and solid excrement needs to be removed from the litter tray. The rest remains in the tray and can be used again.
For about 100 years, bentonite has been used for the widespread protein stabilisation and clarification of wine, fruit juices and vinegar. We could therefore speak here of the so-called fining of the drinks. These (special) bentonites are subject to the strict regulations and constraints of the German Wine Act and the recommendations of the International Oenological Codex.
In the beverage industry, both powdered bentonite and its granulated form are used.
For about 10 years, so-called UF variants have been developed for special use in ultrafiltration plants.
Animal feed industry
According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, approximately 25% of worldwide animal feed contains mycotoxins (mould toxins). Specially selected bentonites are ideal for use as what are known as mycotoxin absorbers, especially for the world’s most frequently occurring aflatoxins B1 and ergotamine (ergot). The toxins are effectively deactivated in the gastrointestinal tract, so that they cannot enter livestock’s body, meaning that they are unable to spread their harmful effects there. The Feed Additive Regulation
1831/2003 clearly sets out that no one is permitted to introduce feed additives into circulation, process them or use them unless the appropriate Community authorisation has been issued. The EU Community Register has long permitted bentonite’s use as a binder and flow inducer under category 1m558i. Due to increasing problems with mycotoxin contamination in feed, caused also by the worldwide trade in animal feed, the EU added category 1m558 for mycotoxin absorbers to the register. The types of bentonite that are sold under this category must completely fulfil the demanding requirements of the animal feed industry and the 1m558 guidelines.
Bentonite has traditionally been used as a softener in washing powders, where it is used in both powder and granulate form. And in far lower quantities, coloured bentonite granulates (speckles) are also used in washing powders so as to provide marketing advantages.
Edible oil and mineral oil industry
Bleaching clays, also called fuller’s earth, are highly active clays that are used for refining and bleaching of edible oils (e.g. rapeseed oil, palm oil), fats, wax and mineral oils (production of lubricating oils). Bleaching clays can also be used for recycling used oils.