About Living Clay®
Montmorillonite Clay the Same as Bentonite?
Bentonite and Montmorillonite clays often interchange names and have
similar properties yet vary from deposit to deposit. This
commonality can be confusing when first learning about clays.
it is not a significant difference. They are both Smectites. Most
Smectite clays have Montmorillonite properties. The Montmorillonite
name was actually given to a Smectite clay that was found in the
Montmorillon area of France. Clays are often named after their
location. Bentonite was originally named for Smectite clay found
near Fort Benton
Wyoming. Most Smectites are now
referred to as Bentonites or Montmorillonites. Like Kleenex was the
only tissue for so long that most everyone says, ‘Please hand me a
Kleenex,’ instead of a tissue or by another brand name.
very few true 100% Montmorillonite clays. Some Montmorillonite
properties are found in different percentages in most clays. It has
become a buzz word by association. It is often found in your
Bentonites but also in Illites, Kaolins and Chlorites as well, all
to different degrees.
several references where Bentonite and Montmorillonite are used
This is a definition
Montmorillonite is a very soft phyllosilicate mineral that typically
forms in microscopic crystals, forming a clay. It is named after
Montmorillon in France. Montmorillonite, a member of the Smectite
family, is a 2:1 clay, meaning that it has 2 tetrahedral sheets
sandwiching a central octahedral sheet. The particles are
plate-shaped with an average diameter of approximately 1 micrometre.
It is the main constituent of the volcanic ash weathering product,
Montmorillonite and Bentonite's water content is variable and it
increases greatly in volume when the absorbs water. Chemically
Montmorillonite is hydrated sodium calcium aluminum magnesium
silicate hydroxide (Na,Ca)0.33(Al,Mg)2(Si4O10)(OH)2·nH2O.
Potassium, iron, and other cations are common substitutes; the exact
ratio of cations varies with source. It often occurs intermixed with
chlorite, muscovite, illite, cookeite and kaolinite.
“Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most
effective and powerful healing clays used to treat both internal and
consists of nanometer scale of Smectite clay minerals (mainly
Montmorillonite) and micrometer scale of macro-grains (mainly
quartz). Properties of saturated Bentonite are characterized by
hydrated clay minerals.
is a dark-grey to dark-green clay-rich rock composed of mostly
Montmorillonite, with minor concentrations of cristobalite, zeolite,
and quartz, among others.”
Some other interlacing
names are mentioned in
“BENTONITE and FULLER'S EARTH are the two important naturally
occurring clays of great commercial importance possessing inherent
bleaching properties. They are, therefore commonly called bleaching
clays. They fall mainly under Montmorillonite group containing a
varying amount of attapulgite.”
and Montmorillonite have similar mineral properties. The most
important of which are attributed to the Smectite Family of clays.
The Cation Exchange Capacity CEC and the Specific Surface area of
Smectites are considerable larger than other families of clays being
as they are predominately 2:1 clays. Their absorption capacity is
as much as 8 times greater than other clays. (Surfacing Mining,
2nd Edition, by B. A. Kennedy.)
are natural unless they have been processed or tampered with by
man. Most clays are evolved from volcanic ash that has weathered
for millions of years therefore they qualify as natural. Pure
refers to the cleanliness of the deposit. The surface clays most
likely have been exposed to pollutants and fecal contamination. That
is why you want a subsurface deep deposit of the clay. Look for clay
that has a Microbial Lab Test Report.
clay is also a popular term and can be a Montmorillonite or a
Bentonite. Historically green clays have been known to be the most
popular healing clays and are predominately of the Bentonite or
Montmorillonite clays, though they can be from other families as
well. Green clays are generally from marine life from lakes or
inland seas or rivers that the volcanic ash was deposited into.
to Surface Mining, 2nd Edition by B. A. Kennedy, Bentonite
is clay consisting essentially of Smectite minerals. The term
Smectite is applied as a group or family name and Montmorillonite is
a mineral species name.
answer to the question, are Montmorillonite and Bentonite the same?
No not specifically. Are they similar in properties and abilities?
Yes. Are they used interchangeably and synonymously? Yes.
that’s all I have to say about that subject.
by Perry A~, author of Calcium
Bentonite Clay, Nature's Pathway to Healing.
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