Bentonite is a colloidal clay mineral, formed by the alteration of volcanic ash. The two most common type of bentonite available in the market are: sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite. Sodium bentonite is often known as swelling bentonite, due to its high water absorption property. Bentonite are employed in various applications such as binding, sealing, and filling. Owing to its properties, it is used in various applications of foundry, cat litter, pelletizing, drilling, construction, paper, and cosmetics. Calcium bentonite is the non-swelling type of bentonite. It is usually activated with soda ash and converted into sodium bentonite. Bentonite is one of the key raw materials used in construction. It has an ability to swell and gel when dispersed in water, which is used in construction, primarily in excavation and foundation works. Rising construction industry is therefore expected to propel the bentonite market during the forecast period, owing to its use in various construction applications.
Bentonite is also used in many foundry applications such as sand casting applications. It is extensively employed as a green sand additive or binder in metal casting applications. Demand for bentonite is projected to increase significantly in the next few years considering the extensive growth of the green sand casting process. Asia Pacific dominates the bentonite market in terms of production and demand. Countries such as China, India, Japan, and South Korea are expected to be the key consumers of bentonite. North America is the second largest consuming region. Bentonite is also used as a major constituent of drilling fluids in oil & gas industry. The sluggish growth of the oil & gas industry has remarkably affected the bentonite market. This trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period.