Clariant celebrates 40th anniversary of sustainable desiccant manufacturing site in Belen, New Mexcio, known for processing responsibly mined bentonite clay into desiccant packets, bags for industries such as electronics, transportation, food protection

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December 7, 2023 (press release) –

  • The Belen, NM, USA site opened in 1983 and has been processing responsibly mined bentonite clay into desiccant packets and bags for the past 40 years
  • The site has provided innovative solutions for industries such as intermodal transport, packaging, electronics and semiconductors, nutraceuticals and food protection
  • Beginning with Desi Pak bentonite clay desiccants, the site has developed other leading brands such as Container Dri II cargo desiccants, Sorb-It silica gel desiccants, Tri-Sorb molecular sieve desiccants and more

CHARLOTTE, December 7, 2023 - Clariant, a sustainability-focused specialty chemical company, is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Belen, NM, USA desiccant manufacturing site. Beginning in 1983 with Desi Pak bentonite clay desiccants, the site has developed a range of innovative products for varied industries including intermodal transport, electronics and semiconductors, aerospace and defense, packaging, food protection, apparel and textiles, medical devices, and health and personal care.

“This celebration is an opportunity to express our appreciation to our customers, suppliers, employees, and the Valencia County community where the site is located,” comments Ryan Grauer, Head of Sales, Marketing, & Technology, Cargo & Device Protection, Clariant Adsorbents & Additives. “Everything that we have achieved has been the result of our dedicated teamwork and collaboration with our partners. We are grateful to everyone who has contributed to the success of this site.”

Originally established in 1983 as United Desiccants (United Catalysts, Inc., Desiccant Division) by Munich-based Süd-Chemie AG, the Belen site was one of the original tenants of the Rio Grande Industrial Park in Valencia County. Using responsibly mined bentonite from their mine in Arizona, the site has specialized in the processing and packaging of high-grade activated bentonite clay desiccants, which quickly gained wide-spread recognition as a leading solution in military and industrial applications.

Shortly after, in 1989, Clariant Cargo & Device business segment North America (then United Desiccants) acquired Humidial Corporation and their Colton, California, site. As a leading provider and innovator of humidity indicator cards, Humidial offered a valuable complement to the portfolio of desiccants. Today, the combined experience of these companies brings together over 80 years of expertise in the field.

The portfolio includes Container Dri II cargo desiccants, Humitector™ humidity indicators and desiccator plugs, Sorb-It silica gel desiccants, and Tri-Sorb molecular sieve desiccants. Other products include DESVOCANT™ adsorbents, which offer a solution for controlling the accumulation of volatile organic compounds, and Oxy-Guard™ oxygen absorbers (scavengers), which minimize oxygen in food packaging to prolong shelf-life and reduce preservative use. Desiccant Cartridges additionally provide moisture protection for containers, cases, and electrical and optical devices.

Earlier in 2023, Clariant launched the latest innovation in the portfolio, Desi Pak ECO, a responsibly mined natural bentonite clay desiccant in a plastic-free, bio-based package. The desiccant packets are specially designed moisture adsorbing solutions focused on sourcing raw materials and transportation packaging with a lower environmental impact.

“Our desiccant products are designed for any customer in need of moisture protection for their products,” adds Justin Mueller, Head of Adsorbents Americas. “With our decades of experience and worldwide network of state-of-the-art manufacturing sites and support teams, we are committed to delivering quality, reliability, and sustainability in all of our products.”

For more information on Clariant’s range of innovative products for packaging and cargo protection, visit

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