Fuller’s Earth

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs of Mineral Origin

The word Fuller’s earth is derived from the ancient process of cleaning or pulling wool to remove oil and dust particles with a water slurry of earth.


FULLER’S EARTH

 

 

Synonyms

 

Floridin, multani mitti.

 

History

 

The word Fuller’s earth is derived from the ancient process of cleaning or pulling wool to remove oil and dust particles with a water slurry of earth.

 

Source

 

Fueller’s earth is mined in open quarry. It is a non-plastic type of kaolin, containing aluminium magnesium silicate.                                                    

 

Geographical Source

 

It is found in Hampshire, Surrey, Somerset, Dorset, and Glaucestershine.

 

Description

 

It is white to yellowish grey in colour, odourless and tasteless powder. If put into water, it swells and acquires nonplastic texture.

 

Chemical Constituents

 

Fueller’s earth has the following approximate composition SiO2 55%; A12O3 6%; CaO 3.5%; MgO 2.0%, Fe2O3 6%; Water 10% representing montmorillonite 50% and silica 18%.

 

Uses

 

It is used as decolourizer for oils and other liquids, as clarifying and filtering agent and for cleansing of woollen fabrics. Due to absorbent property, it is used in the preparation of dusting powders.

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