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Using Air Classification to Safely Process Fragile DE


Safely Processing Fragile Diatomaceous Earth Via Air Classification

Preparing diatomaceous earth (DE) for uses including pool filtration and in the filtration process in beverage creation present several challenges for its producers. Sturtevant’s 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 classifiers 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 impact mills and three types of high performance air classifiers that separate fine and coarse particles with precision and accuracy.

Time-Tested – Proven Success

Founded in 1883, Sturtevant was an early pioneer in size reduction, jet milling, micronization and air classification. The company introduced early versions of the jet mill and air classification systems. Sturtevant custom engineers its mills to suit the widest range of applications, extending beyond the traditional mineral processing markets into chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, pigment, food and aggregate industries.

Article Courtesy of Sturtevant