Introduction of Bentonite
Bentonite is a geological clay material that is mainly made up of a mineral group called montmorillonite. It is usually created from volcanic ash that has been disintegrated by water. Other minerals included in bentonite clay are aluminum, calcium, potassium, and sodium. The predominance of one of these minerals dictates the names of the variants. The two most common variants of bentonite are calcium and sodium. This type of material has so many uses that it has garnered the nickname “the clay of 1,000 uses.”
Application of Bentonite Powder
The bentonite’s expanding ability makes it an ideal binding material, especially in metal castings, where the sand that contains the molten metal can be made from bentonite. The binder used for molding medium sand in the foundry industry has the characteristics of high strength, good permeability and strong sand resistance. The product has high montmorillonite content, high temperature resistance and good thermal stability. It can improve the additionality, reduce the moisture of the sand system, and enhance the strength of the molding sand, thereby greatly improving the surface finish, dimensional accuracy of the casting, reducing the scrap rate, and solving the problems of sand inclusion, scarring, block air hole and sand mold collapse.
Drilling Mud Industry
The drilling mud bentonite has the characteristics of good suspension, thixotropy, small filtration loss, and good wall building performance, etc. It is an ideal basic material for petroleum drilling engineering.
This very high surface area, combined with the cationic charge of the material, makes bentonite ideal for applications requiring adsorption, flocculation and dewatering. In the papermaking process, bentonite is used as a retention aid, pitch and stickies control agent, loop water treatment agent and to dewater sludge.
Bentonite is used as a thickening suspension agent and stability agent in pesticides and fertilizer spraying applications. The role of bentonite in fertilizer:
- (1) Soil improver: After applied to the soil, bentonite can absorb water and swell, change the proportion of solids, liquids, and gases in the soil, loosen the soil structure, and improve the physical properties of the soil. Pollution of the soil environment is an extremely effective soil improver in arid areas. Bentonite has high cation exchange capacity, strong water retention capacity and good cohesion. The cation exchange capacity is an important indicator of soil fertility and fertilizer supply. Bentonite is used to improve the soil. In addition to its strong fertilizer and water retention properties, it can also enhance the buffer capacity of the soil and adsorb harmful elements in the soil.
- (2) Fertilizer conditioning agent: In the production of fertilizers, according to the nature of the fertilizer itself, adding a small amount of bentonite can reduce the moisture content of the fertilizer, prevent the fertilizer from agglomerating, maintain good looseness, and increase the particle size of the fertilizer Degree, is conducive to the transportation, preservation and use of fertilizer. In addition to being used for solid fertilizers, swelling protrusions can also be used as conditioning agents for suspension fertilizers. Suspension fertilizer has many advantages, such as storage, transportation and fertilization process is easy to mechanize, can be mixed with pesticides, herbicides and trace elements, and the quantity and combination are easy to adjust. It is widely used in developed countries and some developing countries. Suspension fertilizer must be added with suspending agent to maintain its stability.
- (3) Carrier of fertilizer: Bentonite as a fertilizer regulator also plays a part of carrier. Bentonite as a carrier can improve the physical properties of the fertilizer and increase the stability of the fertilizer during transportation and storage. Bentonite also has the functions of nitrogen fixation, potassium fixation and fixed organic matter. It can reduce the loss of fertilizer in the soil and control the nutrients in the fertilizer Release, improve the utilization rate of fertilizer, and achieve the effect of promoting the increase of crop yield.
Slow-release fertilizer has the functions of labor saving, safety and long-term effect. The slow-release fertilizer with bentonite as a carrier has the following characteristics:①Increase the compressive strength and reduce nitrogen volatilization;②Control the release of nitrogen in fertilizer; ③Increase crop yield.
- (4) Granulation of fertilizer: bentonite is used as granulation agent of compound fertilizer after dehydration, preparation and grinding. It is used for compound fertilizer granulation. It has the characteristics of fast granulation speed, high spheroidization rate, uniform granules, smooth surface, high granule strength, good water solubility of fertilizers, etc., thereby saving production costs.
Bentonite for metallurgical pellets is a binder for iron ore pellets: due to its strong cohesiveness and high-temperature stability, sodium-based bentonite is added with 1-2% sodium-based bentonite in iron concentrate powder, dried after granulation. After being formed into pellets, the production capacity of the blast furnace has been greatly improved and has been widely adopted by various steel mills. In the metallurgical industry, bentonite is also widely used. Because of its high stability and cohesiveness at high temperatures, it has become an irreplaceable cheap raw material, which greatly improves the quality of the metallurgical industry.
The pet industry also has its uses for the clay, mainly for litter boxes. The moisture from the cats’ waste will be absorbed by the clay, which then turns into clumps and makes for easier disposal. Its cleansing ability also makes it an important ingredient for soaps and detergents, as the clay can bind with the dirt, and it can even make fabrics softer.