Minerals (Category B)
Sepiolite is a naturally occurring clay mineral of sedimentary origin. It is a non swelling, lightweight, porous clay with a large specific surface area. Chemically, sepiolite is a hydrous magnesium silicate whose individual particles have a needle-like morphology. The high surface area and porosity of this clay accounts for its outstanding absorption capacity for liquids. Sepiolite granules do not disintegrate even when saturated with liquids.
Sepiolite-based rheological additives provide viscous fluids with thixotropic behaviour when they are dispersed in water or other liquid systems. Sepiolite suspensions are stable even in systems with high salt content (high ionic strength) unlike suspensions of other clays, such as bentonite. These properties make it a valuable material for a wide range of applications such as pet litters, animal feed additives, carriers, absorbents, suspending and thixotropic additives and thickeners.