Mined bentonite first is transported to the processing plant and stockpiled. If the raw clay has a relatively high moisture content, the stockpiled material may be plowed to facilitate air drying to a moisture content of 16 to 18 percent. Stockpiled bentonite may also be blended with other grades of bentonite to produce a uniform material. The material then is passed through a grizzly and crusher to reduce the clay pieces to less than 2.5 cm in size.
Next, the cru
shed bentonite is dried in rotary or fluid bed dryers fired with natural gas, oil, or coal to reduce the moisture content to 7 to 8 percent. The temperatures in bentonite dryers generally range from 900буC at the inlet to 100 to 200буC at the outlet. The dried material then is ground by means of roller or hammer mills.
At some facilities which produce specialized bentonite products, the material is passed through an air classifier after being ground. Soda ash also may be added to the processed material to improve the swelling properties of the clay.
Bentonite Beneficiation Plant
Bentonite is a clay-based material derived from the alteration, over geological time periods, of glassy material emitted from volcanoes – tuff and ash. It can also
be derived from alteration of silica bearing rocks such as granite and basalt. The environmental requirements for the formation of the clay, that is the main component
found in bentonite, are only approximately known. Different climatic and hydrological environments together with the different ages and depths of occurrence producesubtle variations in this clay.
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