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Bentonite is naturally occurring minerals of montmorillonite group with thixotropy, decolorizing and absorbing properties. Chemical name of Bentonite is "Naturally occurring hydrated aluminum silicate (Al2O3. 4SiO2. H2O)".
There are two types of Bentonite viz., swelling and non-swelling types are commonly known in trade. Sodium Bentonite is of swelling type while Calcium Bentonite is non-swelling. Bentonite is believed to have been formed by the alteration of volcanic ash deposited into shallow seas about 100 million years ago.
The Bentonite found in Kachchh region of India is of igneous origin, due to the natural characteristic of these particular volcanic ashes, the chemical composition of this Bentonite is somewhat different from the Bentonite available in the rest of the world. Most of these deposits are of natural sodium Bentonite with higher iron content which gives them their darker color. Due to very fine particle size, this Bentonite shows extra-ordinary swelling capacity and bonding powers. These differences mean that the Kachchh Bentonite finds the most number of uses in various industries throughout the world.