Diatomaceous Earth: Scanning Electron Microscope of ‘Chromosorb P


DIATOMACEOUS earth, as mined in Lompoc, California, and other sites in the south-west United States, is made up of the siliceous skeletons of diatoms which lived in the Miocene and Pliocene periods. The mined diatomite is crushed, blended, pressed into brick and fired at 900° C for use as high temperature insulation. When ground, this material, known as ‘Chromosorb P’ (Johns–Manville Corp.), is sold as a support for the liquid used in the gas chromatographic separation of organic compounds. Some of the diatom skeletons were found to be intact after this rigorous treatment. It has been estimated that as many as 10,000 species of diatoms may be found.

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BENS, E., DREW, C. Diatomaceous Earth: Scanning Electron Microscope of ‘Chromosorb P’. Nature 216, 1046–1048 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/2161046a0

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