Facts about Diatomaceous earth, also called diatomite or Kieselguhr
Diatomaceous earth, also called diatomite or Kieselguhr, is a fossilized mineral of vegetable origin. It represents the accumulation of an enormous number of fossil diatoms. Diatoms are single cell plants of microscopic size. There are many varieties that live in both freshwater lakes and saltwater oceans, staying close to the surface where they form part of the abundant plankton. Alive, they are at the base of the food chain. Dead, they leave a tiny skeleton known as a frustules, often of great beauty and intricacy like microscopic jewels.
Whereas most other plants use solar energy to synthesize cellulose for their cell walls, the diatom has elected to extract silica from the water, building for itself what amounts to an elegant, but strong shell with highly symmetrical perforations.
Diatomite or Kieselguhr must be marked with a “Johannes cross” on the bags and are dangerous to human beings. You get stone lungs from the dust. You can get cancer.
In the EU Countries there is a legislation saying: You must change a dangerous product with a less dangerous product, if technical possible.
Thousand of practical uses proves that it is possible to use Perlite filter aid instead of Kieselguhr !.
Facts about: Perlite
Perlite is a hydrated, naturally occurring volcanic rock. Its unique structure consists of numerous concentric layers, similar to the layers on an onion. Its natural colour ranges from light pearl grey to off-white. This distinguishing feature which sets Perlite apart from other volcanic siliceous rocks is that when heated above 1000°C, it expands up to twenty times its original size. The expansion is due to the presence of a few % combined water in the crude ore.
When processed at proper temperatures, the crude ore pops in a manner similar to popcorn. During the material processing, the combined water vaporizes, creating countless tiny bubbles that account for the amazing light weight and other exceptional properties
Perlite Filter Aids are amorphous in their structure, thereby not dangerous to human beings. There are no marking required for Perlite products.
Perlite Filter Aids are available in a full range of grades / permeability’s with corresponding degrees of clarification.
The products are functionally similar to DE filter aids (Kieselguhr), however they typically have bulk densities about half that of DE. (Kieselguhr)
They are produced from inert silicate minerals and thus meet the purity requirements of nearly all applications.
In principle you can use Perlite filter aid, instead of Kieselguhr or diatomite products and substitute without any problems – volume by volume.
You can use Perlite filter aid in every filtration technology.
Only at the very fine particles and grades i.e. less than 0,18 in Darcies it is difficult to process Perlite filter aid in large quantities at this stage.
Filtration is done by volume. This means that any one using Kieselguhr or diatomite today will when changing to Perlite filter aid see a drop in his consumption of at least 30% or more so when changing to Perlite filter aid you automatically save a lot of money in your daily consumption. But seen with an over all perspective you also save in transport costs and energy.
Example: 1 bag of Kieselguhr is around 23 kg. And a similar bag of Perlite filter aid is around 17 kg.
Perlite filter aid is furthermore normally cheaper in price per kg – basis ex-works.
And a final thing. In some countries now the users of diatomite or Kieselguhr are compelled to deposit the waist material on controlled deposits, and have to pay for this. With the waist material of Perlite filter aid, you may deposit it without problems nearly everywhere.
There are deposits and mines in the world of good quality raw Perlite for the next many thousands of years with today’s consumption.
Perlite filter aid is a safe product to use – Kieselguhr is a dangerous product to use !
Perlite filter aid is cheaper in use – and in consumption.