Saponite is a hydrous phyllosilicate mineral of the smectite (bentonite) group.

Its name derives from the Greek word sapouni (soap), due to its similarity in feel and texture. Typical bentonites are primary deposits formed in situ by transformation of volcanic ash.

Geohellas’s saponite deposit is situated within a larger continental basin formed during the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene (c.a. 2-3 million years ago).

It is an uncommon bentonite deposit as it is described as a secondary sedimentary bentonite that hosts smectites (nontronite, saponite, Fe-montmorillonite) high in magnesium and iron.

Our saponite is available in a wide range of colors such as green, greenish-beige, brown, brownish-purple, tan and pink. Green color ranges from light green to dark green. Beige color ranges from light beige to reddish-beige.

Geohellas saponite exhibits a very low hydraulic conductivity. This makes it a favorable solution for impermeable clay liners and radioactive waste disposal. The plasticity index (PI) can reach values as high as 300%.

Saponite also exhibits a naturally high-water (250%WW) and oil absorption (50%WO). This is higher than typical bentonites, especially when referring to oil absorption. In addition, Geohellas saponite is lighter than a typical bentonite (0.85-1.00 gr/cm3) due to its formation environment and has a characteristically high swelling ability (ASTM D5890 standard). This makes it ideal for use in clumping cat litter.

Finally, during stirring, water-saponite suspensions demonstrate extremely high viscosity values (4000-6000 cp).

The distinctive characteristics of our saponite deposits have found use in several industrial and consumer applications. Ongoing geological, laboratory and in situ research lead to the development of unique saponite solutions to match common or even the most challenging requirements.