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Diatomaceous Earth is Not All the Same


 Dirt Doctor Weekly Newsletter
Not all Diatomaceous Earth is the Same

There’s a lot of conversation these days about diatomaceous earth. DE is a form of silica. It is a natural material composed of diatom skeletons. Diatoms are aquatic phytoplanktons which are one-celled plants that are responsible for much of the food and most of the oxygen that is consumed on earth. Diatoms represent the major process where silicates from the earth’s crust are recycled. Diatoms absorb silica acid and use it to make porous microscopic shells composed mostly of silica dioxide (SiO2). When these living creatures die, the shells sink to the bottom of oceans, rivers or lakes and accumulate. Over millions of years the sediments become diatomaceous earth deposits. These large deposits are mined, ground into a powder form and sold as natural diatomaceous earth. The untreated amorphous form of natural freshwater DE is a safe, non-toxic natural insect control with several other uses.



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Here is the technical data on the products. Some of this refers back to the photos.

SEM Photos Show the Significant Differences of DiaSource DE 

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is found throughout the World and has very different qualities.  The physical characteristics that make DiaSourceDE more effective can be seen in the scanning electron micrographs.  These SEM's were taken at the University of Idaho's SEM Research Center. The samples were of DiaSource production line product as it comes from the baghouse, ready for shipment.

The Visible and Architectural Differences:

  • The DiaSource deposit contains a greater variety of the Melosira species of freshwater diatoms, with a greater number of pores per diatom.

  • This larger number of pores provides a much greater internal pore volume.

  • Pore volume provides the greater surface area, creating extraordinary absorptive capacity.

Note that the pores in each diatom are unobstructed by clays or other debris. The specifications below show the distinct difference.

  • DiaSource surface area is  69.05 m2/g  (square meters per gram)

  • Average, as stated by the other D.E. products, is 10 to 30 m2/g 



The combination of these factors creates DiaSource’s exceptionally large and fully functional surface area.

  DiaSource Grain Storage Insecticide, with no additives, has demonstrated a better ability to absorb the insect's waxy epicuticle and provides a more rapid extraction of the lipids from the insect's body, thus speeding the kill time due to quicker dehydration.  "All fossil diatoms are porous, and it is this porosity or specific surface (square meters per gram) that confers them their insecticidal value (Ebeling 1971)".

If you have any questions regarding this newsletter or any other topic, join me for my radio show heard in Dallas/Fort Worth on Saturday at 11am and across the country on Sunday from 8 - 11am (CST).  Radio

Naturally yours, 

Howard Garrett
The Dirt Doctor   

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