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Diatomaceous earth

Designation (also Bergmehl, celite, diatomaceous earth, siliceous earth, white earth) for a whitish, powdery substance consisting mainly of skeletons of fossil algae (diatoms = diatoms). The mostly unicellular diatoms lived with about 10,000 species in fresh, brackish or salt water. The substance has many uses, for example in the production of toothpaste, car tyres and (with nitroglycerine) dynamite. Its highly porous properties make it particularly permeable to liquids and therefore excellent as a filter aid in the filtration of wines. It also serves as an inert agent (carrier) when silver chloride is used. A chemically related substance is silica sol, which is used in winemaking for degumming grape must and fining wine.

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