Bentonite desiccants are made of chemically-inert montmorillonite clay that attracts and binds water molecules. This clay is arranged in layers to give the structure a considerable inner and outer surface area for water to bind to.
Süd-Chemie is marketing this for use in the packaging of sensitive pharmaceutical products that would benefit from being stored in a dry environment.
Bentonite is an alternative to silica gel, which Süd-Chemie claims has a lower adsorption capacity in most relevant packaging environments than its product.
Süd-Chemie also cites environmental benefits of using bentonite as opposed to silica gel. The company claims that unlike silica gel production, making bentonite does not require large amounts of energy, water and harsh chemicals.
Also, Süd-Chemie takes its bentonite from deposits in Arizona, US and processes them in New Mexico. In contrast a significant proportion of silica gel is produced in China, which means the environmental damage associated with shipping is higher for customers based in the US.
Mark Florez, Süd-Chemie global marketing manager, said: "We can offer our customers an environmentally friendly packaging component, while simultaneous saving them money.
“It is our goal to provide our customers with high performance products that not only support their sustainable packaging programs, but also combat today’s inflationary pricing for packaging materials."
Süd-Chemie is marketing the technology in its Desi Pak packets and bags and Desi Can canisters.