Attapulgite Clay (Salt Water Clay)


Product Details

Attapulgite is a magnesium aluminum silicate clay of very fine particle size. It is also known as Fullers Earth and is closely related to Sepiolite mineral. Unlike bentonite (or montmorillonite) attapulgite crystals are needle shaped (acicular) rather than flat or flake-like. Like bentonite they disperse well to thicken, suspend and gel suspensions without flocculation problems.

The uniqueness of attapulgite as an industrial mineral is owed to its very high surface area and porosity. Its magnesium silicate structure resembles a brick wall with every second brick missing. This leaves elongated porous channels that are highly absorbent and capable of forming gels when ground to fine powders.

Gelling grades are used as thickening agents in applications ranging from paints to drilling muds, with niche applications in cosmetics and liquid health care products.

In terms of sorbent properties, attapulgite excels over all other clays as a clarification agent for the edible oils industry. The ability of attapulgite to purify is enhanced by thermal treatment to temperatures over 200°C where it develops a surface acidity optimal for mild but effective oil contaminant removal.

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