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Safely Processing Fragile Diatomaceous Earth via Air Classification

HANOVER, MA – Preparing diatomaceous earth (DE) for uses including pool filtration and in the filtration process in beverage creation present several challenges for its producers. One producer wanted to confront these challenges directly by finding a manufacturing solution that was capable of removing contaminates from the sourced DE without causing damage to their delicate product. The solution came in a two-step process featuring air classifiers from Sturtevant based in Hanover, Massachusetts.

Sturtevant is a manufacturer of particle size reduction and air classification equipment including the two air de-shutterstockclassifiers ultimately utilized by the DE producer. Sturtevant worked closely with
the DE producer to understand the material and its fragile, porous nature which can make the process of removing contaminates difficult. Relying on data from testing, Sturtevant proposed using the Whirlwind Air Classifier in the first step in removing contaminates from diatomaceous earth, primarily silica, followed by another process in the SuperFine Air Classifier which has more blades and operates at higher speeds allowing it to remove smaller pieces of contaminates. Both air classifiers were capable of removing contaminates, starting at 20-40 mesh with the Whirlwind Air Classifier, without damaging the low density diatomaceous earth.

Joe Muscolino, Senior Product Manager with Sturtevant, knows that every application presents it own unique challenges and requirements and that finding a correct solution means working closely with the customer to understand their goals, materials, and collecting data to determine the best machine, or machines, for their process. Joe Muscolino explains that “working with diatomaceous earth brought up concerns not always typical for our air classifiers but projects like these allow us to continue innovating and evolving.”

About Sturtevant

Sturtevant Inc. is the leading family-owned manufacturer of material processing equipment including its patented Micronizer® jet mill which produces sub-micron sized particles, Powderizer® an air-swept impact mill with integral classifier, Simpactor® and Infestroyer®, centrifugal, pin-type mills and three types of high performance air classifiers that separate fine and coarse particles with precision and accuracy.

For more information, check out our Whirlwind Air Classifier product pageSuperFine Air Classifier product page, or please contact the company at 1-800-992-0209 or email sales[at] or visit You can also follow Sturtevant Inc. on Facebook and Twitter.

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