Bentonite Clay: Environmental Properties and Applications, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Bentonite Clay

Environmental Properties and Applications, 1st Edition

By Roland Pusch

CRC Press

360 pages | 220 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781482243437
pub: 2015-06-09
SAVE ~$40.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429159886
pub: 2015-06-09
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Studies the Environmental, Cosmetic, and Pharmaceutical Applications of Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay, of which members of the smectite family of clay minerals are particularly important, has proven to be effective in sealing off wastes from groundwater. Bentonite Clay: Environmental Properties and Applications explores the mineralogy of clays in general and of smectites in particular that represent challenging conditions for geotechnical professionals responsible for earth dam construction, the foundations of roads and buildings, and the long-term isolation of chemical and radioactive wastes. The author, a world-renowned expert on the subject, places special emphasis on the environmental behavior of bentonite clay when focused on the isolation of hazardous wastes and also considers its use in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Based on classical literature and current research and development, this text provides an in-depth introduction to bentonite soil, explains the origin of smectite-rich clays, and pinpoints where they can be found. The book describes the interaction of expandable clay minerals, gas, and fluids, followed by a description of the physical and chemical properties of smectite clay saturated with water or chemical solutions. It also provides relevant findings and conclusions concerning the function of bentonite-based sealing repositories for dangerous waste.

This text:

  • Describes the constitution of smectite minerals as a basis for understanding the behavior of smectite clays and their performance in the isolation of hazardous waste
  • Factors in the longevity of smectite clays in bentonite beds and in the form of canister-embedding buffers in repositories for deep geological disposal of highly radioactive waste (HLW)
  • Covers the design principles for clay seals and considers their function in the isolation of waste and redirecting groundwater flow

Bentonite Clay: Environmental Properties and Applications documents the origin, properties, and characteristics of bentonite and its uses. A resource for researchers, practitioners, regulators, and policy makers, the text examines the use of clay in hazardous waste and nuclear waste management and provides readers with detailed descriptions of related technical solutions.

Table of Contents


Main Issues

Smectite clay—the muddiest type of soft clay

Stress-strain problems

Preparation of smectite clay for sealing purposes

Quality issues

Performance tests


Origin and Occurrence of Smectite Clays: Bentonites

Origin of Smectite Clays

Where Are All These Famous and Magic Clays?

Potential Smectite Resources

Are New Smectites being Formed Today?

Quality of Natural Smectite Clays for Practical Use



Nature of Smectites


The Smectite Family

The Crystal Constitution of Smectites

Chemical Composition of Natural Smectite Clays

Mineral Composition of Natural Smectite Clays

The Role of Clay Particle Charge



Clay-Fluid-Gas Systems


Physicochemical Background

Hydraulic Conductivity

Gas Conductivity

Ion Diffusion

Colloid Transport

Microbiological Filtering

Heat Transport—Thermal Properties

Couplings, Dependencies, and Interdependencies


Physical Performance of Smectite Clay Seals: Prediction and Reality


Application of Concepts of Soil Mechanics to Smectite Clay

The Role and Mechanisms of Consolidation and Creep

Fundamentals of Thermal Conditions and Performance

Evolution of Clay Seals

Clay Microstructure and its Role for the Stress-Strain Behavior of Smectite Clays

Effect of Combined Wetting and Heating of Clay Seals—The Buffer Case

Concepts and Techniques for Isolating Moderately Hazardous Waste

Concepts for Isolating Highly Radioactive Waste

Very Deep Holes

Correlation of Hydraulic and Mechanical Performances of Clay Seals

Concluding Remarks


Chemical Processes Involved in and Longevity of Smectite Buffer

Chemical Stability of Smectite Clay for Waste Isolation

Experimental Evidence

A Summary Respecting Smectite Chemistry and Mineralogy

Concluding Remarks


Processing of Clays and Preparation of Seals


Block Preparation

Clay Liners, Materials, and Principles of Construction

Clays for Rock Grouting

General Aspects on Selection and Use of Smectite Clays for Waste Isolation


Environmental Behavior

Waste Isolation by Use of Clay

VDH—Ostrich Philosophy or a Serious Alternative for HLW Disposal?

Sealing Components

SARC—The Poor Man’s Solution

Borehole Sealing


Pharmacology and Cosmetics

Origin of Life

Interaction of Smectite Clay and Organic Molecules

Interaction of Clays and Organics in Medical Treatment

Sun Protection

Clay in Cosmetology

Summary of Fundamental Properties of Smectitic Creams on Skin


About the Author

Roland Pusch receiveda PhD in soil mechanics in 1962 from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden, and a PhD in geology in 1970 from Stockholm University, Sweden. He was an associate professor in soil mechanics and foundation engineering at Chalmers University of Technology (1967–1974), Sweden, and a professor at the Technical University at Luleå (1974–1982), Sweden. Dr. Pusch’s academic career was paralleled by work in major consulting companies. The author of five books, including Microstructure of Smectite Clays and Engineering Performance (together with R. N. Yong) for Taylor & Francis, he has also published numerous papers.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Chemical & Biochemical