Minerals in the Spring: How They Play a Part This Season
When you think of springtime, you probably imagine breezy days, flowers in bloom, and an abundance of sunshine. What’s probably at the bottom of your list? Minerals. But, did you know they play a part this season? Learn about how you might use minerals this spring—without even knowing it!
Minerals in the Spring: How They Play a Part This Season
Pack a Picnic
Diatomaceous earth and vermiculite are essential for picnicking. In fact, you might not be able to have your favorite picnic foods without them!
Diatomaceous earth: When you grab plastic wrap to seal your potato salad or fresh cut fruit, you might be holding a product made with help from diatomaceous earth acting as an anti-blocking agent. Anti-blocking agents, as the name suggests, reduce the blocking force, providing a microscopic, rough barrier that minimizes the contact between adjacent plastic film surfaces, preventing the frustration of plastic wrap sticking to itself, wrinkling, and becoming utterly unmanageable. While there are a variety of options on the market, the best choices have low hardness, adequate adsorption properties, a low yellow index, and are bright. Diatomaceous earth is a top choice as an anti-blocking agent because it is:
- Chemically inert
- High brightness
- Insulative properties
- Irregular particle shape
- Strong frustules
- Maximum void space
Vermiculite: Chips and other snack foods are a must-have at your barbecue and picnic, meaning vermiculite is, too. Vermiculite can be used as a gas barrier to prevent contact between the contents of a package and contaminates like gasses, odors, and pollution. The most common chemicals and compounds targeted for keeping out of packaging are oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, aromatic hydrocarbons, residue, odor, flavors, smoke, environmental contaminants, and more. Gas barriers are intended to maintain the quality of the product, including:
- Keep gas inside the package
- Keep moisture in the package to prevent the contents from dehydrating
- Prevent moisture from entering the package
- Keep perfume or flavor inside the packaging
- Keep undesirable odors or flavors from entering or leaving the packaging
Unformulated MicroLite is simply vermiculite and deionized water. This water-based vermiculite dispersion is used to coat flexible packaging films. The high aspect ratio platelets are ideal in the formulation of nanosized layers, forming a tortuous path barrier for gases like oxygen. MicroLite’s existence in this application can create 100 to 1,000 times improvement in gas barriers! This is imperative for common films like polyethylene plastic, polypropylene film, polyester, and polyethylene terephthalate, which have poor gas barrier properties.
Enjoy Your Favorite Beverages
With the warming weather, it’s time to enjoy your favorite cold bereages again, and you might not have the same experience without diatomaceous earth for filtering beer. Beer filtration removes yeast, tannins, and some large proteins that eventually settle to the bottom of a barrel, can, or bottle. While safe if consumed, there are a few problems with leaving beer unfiltered in cans or bottles, like changing the taste of the beverage or a hazy appearance with particles in every sip.
Although there are plenty of newer filtration technologies available to brewers today, diatomaceous earth remains the constant go-to beer filtration aid for many breweries, large and small. As all brewers know, filtering beer is challenging, and using the wrong filter aid can potentially change the taste and look of your beer. Some benefits of filtering beer with diatomaceous earth include:
- Diatomaceous earth is completely natural and a mechanical—not chemical—filtration method.
- It has a high solids holding capacity, allowing for much longer filter cycles (and more solids to be removed) than what would be possible with other filtration methods.
- You can use it to positively change the characteristics of your brew! It’s easy to adjust the filtration and flow, so you have yet another way to fill your beer with a unique personality. It leaves the artistry to you, not the limitations of your filtration method.
Grow Healthy Plants
Minerals can help make your springtime hobby more fruitful! For decades, agronomists and horticulturists have been using perlite and diatomaceous earth to help their plants grow better. Now, it’s easier than ever for even casual growers to grow great. Our team of engineers, operations personnel, and agronomists have utilized these very minerals to develop a patent-pending, 3-in-1 soil amendment offered by our first-ever direct-to-consumer brand Harvest Hero. The innovative Enhanced Perlite Mix features a unique, proprietary blend of perlite, diatomaceous earth, and essential nutrients that support growth for a variety of plants.
One of the most important benefits of expanded perlite is that it provides space for both air and water within a soilless mix. It retains water in three ways: in between individual grains, in channels leading to the cores of the grains, and on the highly irregular surfaces of each particle. This naturally occurring mineral also maintains consistent aeration and drainage for plant roots, prevents compaction, will not decompose over time and deplete soil nitrogen, has a neutral pH, and is free from weeds.
Diatomaceous earth is a near-pure sedimentary deposit consisting almost entirely of silicon dioxide, one of the world’s most abundant elements. Plant Available Silica (PAS) is translocated to the plant’s cell wall, improving structural integrity to help combat abiotic plant stressors like unfavorable weather, promoting the resilience of young plants.
Prepare Your Pool
It might not be warm enough for the pool yet, but you’re probably thinking of this year’s plan to get it ready. Diatomaceous earth has a very small particle size, a high porosity, and crystalline structure, making it an excellent filter media for many applications from food and beverage products to pool water. When it comes to pool filtration, it is one of the most efficient on the market because it can trap particles down to the micron-level and keep the water healthy and looking crystal-clear.
Dicalite’s industry-leading swimming pool filter powder is classified as Flux-Calcined Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous Earth swimming pool powder can remove particles up to 10 times smaller (3-5um) than what a typical sand filter will remove (25-40um). It is used to remove impurities at a very high filtration flow rate, getting rid of algae, amoeba, bacteria, and other foreign matter quickly and thoroughly.
Choose Dicalite Minerals in the Spring
Diatomaceous earth, perlite, and vermiculite are all helpful minerals in the springtime while you are planning your fun, but they are found in products you use year-round! There are so many touchpoints in our lives, from cosmetics to oil filtration to construction and beyond. Use our product finder to help you discover how the unique mineral offerings at Dicalite Management Group can help improve your products and life. You can also call us today at 866-728-3303 to speak to one of our mineral experts.
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Our blog offers insight and information about new and exciting uses for perlite, diatomaceous earth, and vermiculite deriving from years of research and application. From passive fire resistance to mineral depth filtration, by subscribing to our mailing list, you will receive the latest information surrounding the Dicalite, Dicaperl, and Specialty Vermiculite brands and products.