For industrial use, the smectite clays must be cleared of impurities, usually obtained by acid modification, using a high concentration solution of inorganic acid at temperatures under boiling point. In the present paper, a sample of white bentonite from Paraiba, Brazil, was modified by hydrochloric acid under moderate conditions (90°C, reaction times of 1, 6, 12, 18 and 24hours in close reactor, concentration of the aqueous solution of hydrochloric acid 1.5 M, acid solution/clay ratio of 1g/10mL). The purpose of these attacks is to reduce the concentration of impurities with minimal change in the clay minerals structure. The modified samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (FRX), Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), Stereomicroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Detector (EDS).
Thus,this modified bentonite tends to be a good economic and environmental alternative in manufacturing of products with high added value such as cosmetics and polymer/clay nanocomposites.