Sustainable Materials – Diatomite

Diatomite. What is it?

Diatomite (also known as diatomaceous earth) is the resulting fossilized remains of diatoms which are a single-celled algae. Such process takes hundreds of millions of years to form the fossilized material.

Diatoms grow in almost any environment that contains water and sunlight, and they are found in fresh and saltwater. Diatoms are considered to be one of the most important groups of organisms. At some degree, the rest of aquatic life depends on their existence.

Material Application.

We have used diatomite for thousands of years, the Greeks used it in pottery and brick 2,000 years ago. In many industries, diatomite is very valuable because its insulating properties, absorptive capacity, and high porosity. Thanks to such characteristics, diatomite is vital in the manufacturing process of thousands of products (see Enkel Eco-Coasters which are made of 100% diatomite, they are durable and have a high degree of absorption). Diatomite is so absorbent and resistant that it is used at industrial level to absorb spills in machinery.



 Enkel Eco-Coasters (100% diatomite)

Good for the Environment.

Diatoms have a beneficial effect to the environment; they use carbon dioxide and water in photosynthesis to produce carbohydrates with carbon and hydrogen. Such process is powered by the natural energy of the sun. Oxygen is produced as a by-product and then is released to the environment. In fact, about 60% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced in the ocean. This vast amount of oxygen is largely created thanks to the diatoms’ activity. Diatoms are completely sustainable; they constantly generate and reduce carbon dioxide as much as all rain-forests in the world combined!



So, diatomite is very valuable to manufacturing, and sustainable to the environment. This combination is key for a green future. We need to explore and adopt materials that are positive to our industries and to our world. It is key to understand and learn about what we buy—and what we sell. We tend to appreciate products that use such fascinating materials because we think about their past, and how powerful and important they are to us and to our world (think about the diatomite that takes millions of years to form and how it rejuvenates the environment). At Enkel, we focus to sell products made of materials that are sustainable and to achieve the lowest possible impact to the environment. The task is difficult, but thanks to resources such as the diatomite, home products can be sustainable and less damaging to nature.