Diatomite (Diatomaceous Earth)

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Diatomite (Diatomaceous Earth)

Diatomaceous Earth also known as D.E., diatomite, or kieselgur/kieselguhr, is a naturally occurring, soft,siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off white powder. It has a particle size ranging from less than 3 micrometers to more than 1 millimeter, but typically 10 to 200 micrometers. Depending on the granularity, this powder can have abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder, and has a low density as a result of its high porosity. The typical chemical composition of oven-dried diatomaceous earth is 80 to 90% silica, with 2 to 4% alumina (attributed mostly to clay minerals) and 0.5 to 2% iron oxide.

Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It is used as a filtration aid, mild abrasive in products including metal polishes and toothpaste, mechanical insecticide, absorbent for liquids, matting agent for coatings, reinforcing filler in plastics and rubber, anti-block in plastic films, porous support for chemical catalysts, cat litter, activator in blood clotting studies, a stabilizing component of dynamite, and a thermal insulator. With its excellent properties, the cost-effectiveness of the Diatomaceous Earth acts as an add-on for the clients.

Application & Usage

  • Paint industry
  • Abrasive
  • Absorbent
  • Rubber industry
  • Ceramic industry
  • Plastic industry
  • Mosaic Tiles
  • Filtration
  • Paper Insulation
  • Fertilizer industry
  • Pigment and Synthetic Pigment industry
  • Pest control
  • Agriculture

Quick View

Particle Size: (µm) 5-100
Typical MOH Hardness: 5 - 6
Specific Gravity: 2.0 - 2.3
Refractive Index: 1.48
Moisture: (max) 0.1 - 9
pH: 6 - 11


Diatomaceous earth is a powder produced from diatomite, a sedimentary rock composed of the skeletal remains of single-cell aquatic plants called diatoms. As one diatom generation is replaced by another over millions of years, the skeletons began to collect on the sea bed and on the bottom of lakes to form diatomite deposits. The remarkably complex skeletons are unusual in that they are composed of natural silica with a high degree of unique structure.

Diatomite represents a very rare occurrence – mineral silica that has an elaborate structure worked by nature into a labyrinth of tiny holes. No other silica source that is mined or chemically prepared has such a structure. The key to the exceptional properties of diatomite lies more in the microstructure – each diatom is peppered with thousands of holes, usually of three distinct sizes, ranging from a few microns in diameter down to submicron diameters. The number and sizes of holes vary with the species.

The combination of the natural silica composition, the overall structure of the diatom particles, and the network of holes in the structure are responsible for the unique properties of these multi-functional mineral products.

The Main Users for Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is dedicated to the purposes of filtration. The relatively inert silica structure with its numerous microspores gives remarkable properties when built into a filter cake for the filtration of liquids. Beer, wine, sugar syrups, fruit juices, antibiotics and industrial chemicals are examples of the number and variety of products that take advantage of the excellent filtering capability of diatomaceous earth for both large and sub-micron particles.

The unique structure displays other useful characteristics, making it the best choice in the manufacture of products such as metal polishes, matt paint formulations and match heads. In the latter application, the diatomaceous earth not only provides the frictional resistance to ignite the match head, but also it slows down the rate of ignition sufficiently to allow enough time for the wood to catch alight.

For the paint industry the key parameter is the size of the larger particles that protrude through the paint film – for these products, a test is run, especially to control this characteristics.

Diatomite is also used in paper, brick, tile, ceramics, plastics, soaps, detergents and other products as a filler.

Diatomite has also found value as an insulating material in high-temperature mechanisms like furnaces and boilers. It has also proven effective as a sound insulator.


Suhal Group believes that good product comes in better packaging. As a result high quality HDPE Bags with liners are used to pack its products. Packing is available in 10-50 Kgs, 500-1000 Kgs HDPE Jumbo Bags with liners or as per customers need and requirements.