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Semptember 17, 2017 Weekly Geology Guest, Bentonite-Diatomite=Fuller’s Earth

September 17, 2017
Greetings from the Bluff Park Back Porch, way up yonder on Shades Mountain (1,109′) in Alabama:
 
 
For the next several weeks we will delve into Industrial Minerals, While they are not glamorous, they are terribly important to our modern way of life. 
 
 


Typical examples of industrial rocks and minerals are limestone, clays, sand, gravel, diatomite, kaolin, bentonite, silica, barite, gypsum, and talc. Some examples of applications for industrial minerals are construction, ceramics, paints, electronics, filtration, plastics, glass, detergents and paper.

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BENTONITE
Bentonite is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite.
Bentonite usually forms from weathering of volcanic ash.
The main uses of bentonite are for drilling mud, binder (e.g. foundry-sand bond, iron ore pelletizer), purifier, absorbent (e.g. pet litter), and as a groundwater barrier.[2] As of around 1990, almost half of the US production of bentonite was used for drilling mud.[2]”

>    Ref.  Wikipedia

Bentonite used as cat litter.  2011.  F Ceragioli
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DIATOMITE
“Diatomaceous earth ( /ˌd.ətəˌmʃəs ˈɜːrθ/), also known as D.E., diatomite, or kieselgur/kieselguhr, is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder.
 
Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled protists (chrysophytes). It is used as a filtration aid, mild abrasive in products including metal polishes and toothpaste, mechanical insecticide, absorbent for liquids, matting agent for coatings, reinforcing filler in plastics and rubber, anti-block in plastic films, porous support for chemical catalysts, cat litter, activator in blood clotting studies, a stabilizing component of dynamite, and a thermal insulator.”
>    Ref.  Wikipedia

Diatomaceous earth, also known as diatomite or kieselgur, as viewed under bright field illumination on a light microscope. Diatomaceous earth is a soft, siliceous, sedementary rock made up of the cell walls/shells of single cell diatoms and readily crumbles to a fine powder. Diatom cell walls are bivalve, i.e. made up of two halves, and are made up of biogenic silica; silica synthesised in the diatom cell by the polymerisation of silicic acid. This sample consists of a mixture of centric (radially symmetric) and pennate (bilaterally symmetric) diatoms. The primary uses of diatomaceous earth are for cleaning (scouring), filtration, heat-resistive insulation and as an inert absorbent substrate. One of the most famous uses was by Alfred Nobel who developed dynamite; a mixture of diatomaceous earth and nitroglycerin. This image of diatomaceous earth particles in water is at a scale of 6.236 pixels/μm, the entire image covers a region of approximately 1.13 by 0.69 mm.  2016.  by Zephyris
https://bluffparkbackporch.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/50343-dscf8750.jpg
Diatomite layers over clay and under sands. Diatomite is formed by the accumulation of diatoms, a single-celled organism with a silica structure. Diatomite signifies a quiet lake environment will little sediment input as it takes a long time for the diatoms to accumulate.

https://washingtonlandscape.blogspot.com/2010/10/across-columbia-crest-from-prosser-part_15.html

A sample of food-grade diatomaceous earth.  2013.  SprocketRocket
Diatomaceous Earth Filter Aids
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Fuller’s Earth
“Fuller’s earth is any clay material that has the capability to decolorize oil or other liquids without chemical treatment.[1][2] Fuller’s earth typically consists of palygorskite (attapulgite) or bentonite.[1]
Modern uses of fuller’s earth include absorbents for oil, grease, and animal waste (cat litter) and as a carrier for pesticides and fertilizers. Minor uses include filtering, clarifying, and decolorizing; active and inactive ingredient in beauty products; and as a filler in paint, plaster, adhesives, and pharmaceuticals.[1]
 
>    Ref.  Wikipedia
 
https://i1.wp.com/www.top10homeremedies.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/top-10-benefits-of-fullers-earth-opt.jpg

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List of Industrial Minerals
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Editors Note:  It is the intent of this site to keep this discussion as simple as possible, so as to educate the interested general public and not to discuss with the geology crowd the latest geologic theories and nuances.  Thanks, R
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“No copyright infringement intended.
The rights belong to their respective owners”
 
Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
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Author’s Request:  If you see any pictures that you know the source and photographer, let me know immediately.  Thanks!  R

Images have been searched by TinEye Reverse Image Search.  http://tineye.com/
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We will now start down the Industrial Mineral dusty trail and continue with Borates.
 
 
 
Enjoy the adventure!
 
Thanks,
 

R
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