Due to such characteristics as porosity and high surface area, diatomite is highly absorbent and is very useful in the clean-up of spills in the automotive, industrial, janitorial and waste remediation industries.
In paints, diatomite alters glass and sheen, extends primary pigments, adds bulk and strength, controls permeability and enhances coating adhesion. In plastics, diatomite serves as an antiblocking agent which helps in the separation of plastic parts in manufacturing, and in the separation of plastic bags by the consumer.
The most important use relative of high-quality diatomite is as a filtering media. The naturally occurring fossilized remains of diatoms have innate filtering characteristics due to their unique honeycomb structure. Their filtering qualities are used in beer and wine making, pharmaceutical manufacturing, motor oil processing, and to filter swimming pool water. For almost 100 years diatomite has been the workhorse of food and beverage processing. Almost every shelf in the grocery store contains a product which has been filtered by diatomite.
Soil Amendments: When diatomite is incorporated into soil, it serves to reduce compaction, and increase water and air permeation. It also increases plant available water, firms soggy soils, loosens hard to work soils, provides better drainage, aids in nutrient transfer, and improves root growth. In such applications as golf courses, and other landscaped areas it helps absorb and hold water, reducing the amount of water used.
Natural Insecticide: When insects come in contact with diatomaceous earth, it absorbs their protective wax coating and their shells are damaged by the glassy diatoms. This combination causes them to die by dehydration. There is no survival and no built-up immunity as there is with chemical insecticides. Also, it does not break down as chemicals do.