Bentonite is an absorbent aluminium phylosilicate essentially impure clayconsisting mostly of.montmorillonite There are different types of bentonite, each named after the respective dominantelement such as Potassium (K), Sodium (Na), Calcium(Ca), and Aluminium (Al). Experts debate a number of nomenclatorial problems with the classification of bentonite clays. Bentonite usually forms from weathering of volcanic ash most often in the presence of water. However, the term bentonite, as well as a similar clay called tonstein, has been used to describe clay beds of uncertain origin. For industrial purposes, two main classes of bentonite exist: sodium and calcium bentonite. In stratigraphy and tephrochronology, completely devitrified (weathered volcanic glass) ash-fall beds are commonly referred to as K-bentonites when the dominant clay species is illite.
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