a sign that reads diatomaceous earth next to a pile of diatomaceous earth

How Diatomaceous Earth Is Used in Multiple Industries

Diatomaceous earth, also known as DE and diatomite, is a unique type of deposit that consists of fossilized aquatic organisms, diatoms. “It’s a green dirt!” Meaning it is constantly being renewed. It has been mined for decades, has numerous industrial applications, and comes in two main grades: food grade, which is suitable for consumption as food or in dietary supplements. They form a particularly good filter bed and are porous because of their irregular structure and can be used as filters for cooking oil and beverages. Barley, hops, and grape skins that need to be filtered but with a product that is not too expensive, DE is a great option. Once it is all used up, you can take the used filter media to a farm where those nutrients can be utilized there.

The other is Industrial grade, which is inedible, but has many industrial uses. A major component in diatomaceous earth is crystalline silica SiO2, a common mineral found in nature which comprises 26% of the earth’s crust by weight. Filter media for industrial processes and pest control. Food grade diatomaceous earth is used as an insecticide and as an anti-caking agent in the agriculture and food industries. Industrial grade (non-food grade) diatomaceous earth has numerous industrial uses including use in water filtration and as an ingredient in dynamite. Components of diatomaceous earth other than silica are several other trace minerals and small amounts of iron oxide. Three industries that rely on industrial grade diatomaceous earth are the agriculture industry, the pest control industry, and the paint and coatings industry.

Diatomaceous Earth in the Agriculture Industry

Coupled with the correct technology, diatomaceous earth can have a significantly beneficial impact on the physical, chemical, and biological processes of soil, water, and the growth of crops. Therefore, high-grade diatomaceous earth is critical to the success of the agriculture industry.

Diatomaceous Earth in the Pest Control Industry

Most diatomaceous earth is made of amorphous silicon dioxide. The first pesticide products containing silicon dioxide (diatomaceous earth) were registered in 1960 to kill insects and mites. Diatomaceous earth’s sharp, fossilized shards of algae can penetrate the waxy layer of lipids on an insect’s exoskeleton, effectively keeping it from retaining water, thus dehydrating and killing it. Pest control products containing diatomaceous earth are most commonly dusts. Other formulations include able to be wetted powders and pressurized liquids. Currently, there are over 150 pesticide products registered for use inside and outside of buildings, farms, gardens, and pet kennels. Some products can also be used directly on dogs and cats. Diatomaceous earth products are registered for use against bed bugs, cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, spiders, and many other pests.

Diatomaceous Earth in the Paint and Coating Industry

Diatomaceous earth is valued by the paint industry for its:

  • Low density
  • High porosity
  • High surface area
  • Abrasiveness
  • Insulating properties
  • Chemical inertness
  • Absorptive capacity
  • High brightness
  • Natural silica content

These properties allow diatomaceous earth to:

  • Extend primary pigments in paints
  • Add bulk and strength to paints
  • Enhance coating adhesion and durability in paints
  • Ensure batch-to-batch matching of paint color and sheen
  • Increase permeability so paint dries quickly and uniformly

In addition, because diatomaceous earth is chemically inert, it will not react with pigments or binders that are often used in water-based organic coatings.

Noah Chemicals manufactures and offers high-quality diatomaceous earth for use in a wide variety of industrial applications. For more information about how Noah Chemicals can provide your business with the chemicals you need or chemical services, please contact us here or call (888) 291-1186.

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