The Use of Diatomaceous Earth as Filtering Aid in a Variety of Industries

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Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock composed of fossilized diatoms—a type of single-celled algae that lived millions of years ago. Due to its high porosity and abrasive nature, DE is used as a filtering aid in various industries. It serves as a filtering agent for numerous consumable items commonly used daily, including oils, fruit juices, syrup, sugar, honey, wine, beer, and others.

The honeycomb-like structure and diverse shapes of diatoms enable diatomaceous earth to filter effectively. The tiny pores within and between their cell walls are so minute that they efficiently trap suspended solids, bacteria, clay particles, and even some viruses from liquids, resulting in cleaner liquids with significantly lower levels of contaminants and solids.

Keep reading to explore the use of diatomaceous earth as a filtering aid in different industries.

Food and Beverage Industry

Diatomaceous earth is widely used in the food and beverage industries to filter liquids such as beer, wine, fruit juice, sugar syrup, and vegetable oil. In this industry, DE is added to the liquid to be filtered and passed through a filter medium to remove impurities such as yeast, bacteria, and solids without affecting the color, flavor, or body. It is preferred in the food and beverage industry as it is a natural and safe alternative to synthetic filtering aids.

Pharmaceutical Industry

The high surface area of DE allows for a high degree of adsorption of impurities and helps filter antibiotics, vitamins, and other medicines. DE is inert and does not react with pharmaceutical chemicals, making it a suitable filtering aid in this industry.

Water Treatment

DE is beneficial in removing impurities such as algae, bacteria, and suspended solids. The porosity of DE allows for a high surface area, which enhances its ability to trap impurities. Additionally, DE is non-toxic and safe for human consumption, making it an ideal filtering aid in the water treatment industry.

DE is also used in swimming pools as a filtering aid to remove impurities such as dirt, debris, and bacteria. DE’s abrasive nature helps trap impurities and maintain the pool’s cleanliness, providing good clarity and improved oil absorption. It is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and safe for swimmers, making it a popular choice for pool owners.


DE is also used in agriculture as a natural insecticide and to improve soil quality. DE acts as a natural pesticide by dehydrating insects and disrupting their outer protective layer when applied to crops. Additionally, DE is rich in silica, a mineral beneficial to plant growth and development.


DE filters are commonly used in oil filtration systems in the automotive industry. The filter media is typically coated with a layer of diatomaceous earth, which traps and removes impurities from the oil. This helps ensure the engine is properly lubricated and protected from wear and tear.

Diatomaceous earth filters are also used in other automotive applications, such as the filtration of air conditioning systems and in the production of brake pads. In these applications, the filters help remove contaminants and improve the system’s overall performance.


DE is a versatile and natural filtering aid that has been used in various industries for decades. Its high porosity and chemically inert properties make it popular for filtration in various applications. Find out how you can use DE for your sector from Qemi International. We offer high-quality DE products to match your specific needs. Contact us today for more details.