Diatomaceous earth is a powder produced from diatomite, a sedimentary rock composed of the skeletal remains of single-cell aquatic plants called diatoms. As one diatom generation is replaced by another over millions of years, the skeletons began to collect on the sea bed and on the bottom of lakes to form diatomite deposits. The remarkably complex skeletons are unusual in that they are composed of natural silica with a high degree of unique structure.
Diatomite represents a very rare occurrence – a mineral silica that has an elaborate structure worked by nature into a labyrinth of tiny holes. No other silica source that is mined or chemically prepared has such a structure. The key to the exceptional properties of diatomite lies more in the microstructure – each diatom is peppered with thousands of holes, usually of three distinct sizes, ranging from a few microns in diameter down to submicron diameters. The number and sizes of holes vary with the species. The combination of the natural silica composition, the overall structure of the diatom particles, and the network of holes in the structure are responsible for the unique properties of these multi functional mineral products.