Organoclay is an organically modified phyllosilicate (Bentonite), derived from a naturally occurring clay mineral. The main component of Organoclay is bentonite, a chemically altered volcanic ash that consists primarily of the clay mineral montmorillonite. The bentonite in its natural state can absorb up to seven times its weight in water, after treatment can absorb only 5 to 10 per cent of its weight in water, but 40 to 70 per cent in oil, grease, and other sparingly-soluble, hydrophobic chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Organoclay can be used to remove oil from water, as a component in paint formulations or as a viscosifier for oil-based drilling fluids. It can be used in polymer chemistry as a nucleating agent.