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Bentonite processing technology - from raw materials to products

2024-05-06 Xinhai (198)

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Bentonite, a non-metallic mineral with montmorillonite as its main mineral component, is known as the "universal soil" because of its unique layered structure and ion exchange properties. Bentonite is widely used in various fields of industrial and agricultural production, such as building waterproofing materials, cat litter, casting, drilling mud, etc. This article will introduce in detail the processing technology of bentonite, from raw material crushing to the birth of fine products, revealing the scientific and technological charm behind this magical material.

1. Raw material crushing and preparation

The first step in bentonite processing is the crushing and preparation of raw materials. First, the large pieces of bentonite raw material are broken into a suitable size (generally 15mm-50mm) that can enter the grinding mill through a crusher. The crushed bentonite small pieces are sent to the silo through the elevator to prepare for the subsequent grinding process.

2. Grinding and grading

Grinding is the core part of bentonite processing. The broken small pieces of bentonite are evenly and quantitatively sent into the grinding chamber of the mill through a vibrating feeder for grinding. Depending on the fineness of the product, different types of mills can be used, such as LM vertical roller mill, MTW European version mill, 5X European version smart mill, etc. The ground bentonite powder is classified by the powder selector. Unqualified powder is classified by the powder selector and returned to the main mill for re-grinding until it reaches the required fineness requirements.

3. Fine processing and modification

Fine processing and modification of bentonite are key steps to improve product performance. Among them, sodium modification of bentonite is one of the commonly used processing technologies. Since sodium bentonite is superior to calcium bentonite in terms of process performance, and calcium bentonite dominates the deposit, sodium modification has become an important direction in bentonite processing. Sodium modification mainly involves adding sodium salt (such as Na2CO3) to calcium bentonite to cause an ion exchange reaction to convert calcium bentonite into sodium bentonite. In addition, there are modification methods such as artificial lithiation and acid activation to meet the performance needs of bentonite in different fields.

4. Finished product packaging and application

Bentonite products that have been carefully processed and modified can be used in various fields after packaging. In the field of building waterproofing materials, bentonite can be used as an effective waterproof barrier for waterproofing projects such as basements and roofs due to its good water absorption and expansion properties. In the field of cat litter, bentonite has become an ideal cat litter raw material due to its high adsorption and caking properties. In the field of casting, bentonite can be used as a binder for molding sand to improve the surface quality and dimensional accuracy of castings. In addition, bentonite is also widely used in drilling mud, petroleum industry, agriculture and other fields.

5. Prospects and Challenges

With the advancement of science and technology and the improvement of environmental awareness, the application fields of bentonite will be further expanded. At the same time, the bentonite processing industry is also facing some challenges, such as unstable raw material quality, backward processing equipment, and high energy consumption. Therefore, in the future, the bentonite processing industry needs to increase technological innovation and research and development, improve product quality and processing efficiency, and reduce energy consumption and emissions to meet market demand and environmental protection requirements.


In short, bentonite processing technology is a complex and delicate process, which requires multiple links such as raw material crushing, grinding, classification, fine processing and modification. Through continuous technological innovation and research and development, bentonite will play an important role in more fields and make greater contributions to the development of human society.

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