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Natural air drying of diatomaceous earth
AuthorWheeler, Alfred H
Mining and Metallurgical Engineering
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The fact that diatomaceous earth dries in air has been known and used for some time (1) (2). Research in the literature showed that no work had been done on natural air drying, probably because only semi-quantitative results can be obtained due to the large number of variables (3). The purpose of this investigation was to get semi-quantitative results on the rates of air drying of diatomaceous earth under operating conditions. Once these data are known the problem of stockpiling dry D. E. (diatomaceous earth) during the summer for use in the winter can be approached with a more scientific attitude. The reason for stockpiling dry D. E. for use in the winter is that a high percent of moisture in the D. E. adversely affects the milling process. For greatest efficiency a supply of material with a uniform moisture content, preferably as low as possible, is desired. A uniform, moisture content would allow the plant to process a known amount of D. E. each day, permitting stable production. As all the material is dried In a rotary dryer, a low percentage is desired for two reasons: (1) less heat Is required per ton of D. E., thus saving fuel, and (2) more material per hour can be passed through the dryer, allowing greater production. Another important fact is that air dried diatomaceous earth has better milling properties; also it is whiter than the heat-dried material. At present the percent of moisture runs higher on occasion than is desirable from an operational standpoint (1).
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