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ISOLITE

Isolite (pronounced ee-so-lite) is diatomaceous earth combined with natural binders, extruded into uniform granules and rotary kiln fired at 1000 C (1800 F). The result is an extremely stable porous ceramic which will not break down or migrate in the soil. Its major component is diatomaceous earth which is chemically inert to soil chemistry. Kiln Dried, its bulk weight is approximately 850 pounds per cubic yard or 32 pounds per cubic foot.

Porosity is 74%; Chemical Composition, SiO2 78%; Al2 O3 12%; Fe2O3 5%; All other chemicals present equal less than 5% (CaO< 2.0%, MgO, K3O, Na2O and TiO2); Pore Size: .1 to 1 micron; Pore characteristics: continuous, open-ended, and interconnecting (no dead-end pore space); Bulk Density: 0.7 g/cc (compared with l.2 g/cc for fired clay, and 1.4 g/cc for soil.) Particle Density: 2.27 (compared to 2.56 for sand); Cation Exchange Capacity: 2 meq/100g; Electrical Conductivity: >0.5 mmhos/cm (Isolite has no interaction with sodium and is not a significantly charged particle).


One gram of Isolite has the equivalent of about 17 sq. feet of surface space (Specific Surface Area: B.E.T. method -- 4.6m2 /g) which according to EPA researchers, can accommodate up to 500,000,000 microorganisms. Typically, Isolite sizes CG-1 or CG-2 are used in the fracturing process and in “green industries”. CG identifies it as an uniform ceramic granular and the number refers to diameter in millimeters.


Isolite was first tested as a proppant in hydraulic fracturing by EPA Researchers in April, 1995, at their laboratory facilities at Center Hill in Cincinnati, OH, and as a combined proppant and microbial carrier in June, 1995, at the Denver Federal Center. (Foremost Solutions’ first BioLuxing patent using Isolite was issued in July, 1996). In November, 2000, the EPA Researchers added Solid Oxygen Source (slow releasing oxygen) pellets into the Isolite slurry. All three of the demonstrations were evaluated and highly praised publicized via EPA’s Technology Transfer means by the Research team.


Isolite fractures have an indefinite lifetime. On a test field site high in a Colorado Mountain town, 10 years after a BioLux was installed, the fracture was still capable of being recharged.

For Remediation

 

Environmental cleanup using BIOLUXing™ -

This method is applied to the diatomaceous earth products containing a large quantity of fossil shells with pores. Firebricks or grains of the diatomaceous earth are fired at high temperature for water and oil absorbency, water retentivity, moisture control liability, and thermal insulation efficiency. The porous grains also work as a carrier for microbes and catalytic agents. Technologies for making porous products and controlling its porosity bring in a great versatility of functions and high performance to the ceramic fiber products. Isolite™, a special porous ceramic pellet that is used as the preferred and very effective biocarrier for microbes. Foremost Environmental Solutions received an in situ bioremediation patent in 1996 taylored around the characteristics of Isolite. The technology is called BIOLUXing as it enhances BIOremediation by creating a LUXurious treatment environment for the microbes to degrade the contaminants and convert the toxic soil and groundwater to beneficial carbon dioxide and water, in situ, or, right in place. This method eliminates “dig and haul” or “pump and treat” time-consuming hassles, safety issues and added expenses. The porous ceramic pellets creates preferential pathways in tight soils for the contaminants to come into contact with the microbes. The Isolite also serves as the permanent proppant for the fractures. The Isolite is usally pre-inoculated with selected microbes and/or nutrients with other treatment amendments as it is pushed through the mixer by the hydraulic auger pumping system with control of both volume and pressure. The selected slurry is pumped down prepared bore holes to create “pancake like” fractures that form circular treatment sheets about 40 feet in diameter and about ½ inch thick.

 

 

For Greening

 

Features -

Isolite CG is a uniform grains of diatomaceous earth calcined at high temperature exceeding 1000º. The porous grains have superior permeability, retain the air, water and nutrients, help cultivate bacteria to improve over-all physical conditions of the soil, for healthy growth of plants and turfs

 

Kinds -

CG-1 (1mm), CG-2 (2mm)

 

Applications -

1. Golf courses and Greens

2. City parks and athletic fields

3. Landscaping soil F 3. Foundation of roof-top gardens

4. Farming soil

5. Home gardening

6. Environmental cleanup using bioremediation, 

7. Nurseries

8. Lawn farms

9. Tree Farms

10. Enhanced or constructed wetlands

11. Filtration of air and water

12. Horse arenas

 

For Wetlands

 

ISOLITE is used as a support for the immobilization of enzymes and microbes, for filtration and separations, and as biosensors. ISOLITE is manufactured from diatomaceous earth silica, has important physicochemical parameters, and has recently been applied to biotechnology.

 

Physiochemical Properties -

The most important physical parameter to be considered in the use of ISOLITE is the biocompatibility of it with the biocatalyst. The chemical nature of the ISOLITE composition must be such that the proteins or cells which are bonded to the surface are not inhibited, denatured, or poisoned by the support. Some of the unique advantages of ISOLITE are the pore morphology. Pore morphology can be defined as the diameter, volume, and tortuosity of the pores. Pore morphology has a direct effect on the surface area available for bonding bioactive proteins, the diffusion coefficients of gas and liquids within the pores, and the apparent activity exhibited by immobilized biocatalysts, affinity ligands, and cells. This is the most important quality of ISOLITE. ISOLITE has an advantage over some of the other conventional porous- glass and ceramic supports in that the unique diatom skeletons contain submicrometer porosity which allows the ISOLITE to “breathe.” The effect makes ISOLITE less prone to diffusion-limited phenomena by allowing the permeation of nutritional oxygen into the deepest pores.

 

Pore Morphology -

ISOLITE’s median pore size is 1.3 µm. The median pore diameter implies that there are just as many pores larger and smaller than the median pore. For immobilized cells, both pore diameter and pore volume are critical factors in selecting a support material. Pore volume is important because it controls the number of cells that can be immobilized within the support. In other words pore volume controls the amount of biomass present within the biocatalyst support, which in turn controls the ultimate efficiency of the engineered system in which the support functions. The radius or wall thickness of ISOLITE becomes critical because this dimension controls the diffusion-path length for nutrients and reactants to be transported to the

bioactive cell or protein. Protein diameter and shape also determine the interstitial void volume for packed-bed reactors. Interstitial void volume affects the permeability of the bed and the pressure drop through the bed at a given flow rate. Both of these factors are important in the design and operation of a wetland system.

 

Mechanical properties of ISOLITE are critical in the design and operation of a wetland because they determine how materials can be used and the expected life for the ISOLITE. Important mechanical properties include crush strength, abrasion resistance, and flexure strength. For fluidized-bed reactors, particle density and attrition resistance are the most important mechanical properties. ISOLITE has a particle density of 2.27 grams/cm³.

“Why are microbes important?” Microorganisms are living cells that are able to metabolize other chemical compounds and, as a consequence, produce useful products such as enzymes, hormones, chemical intermediates, or finished products. They are used principally in the fermentation of chemical products and in waste treatment.

Another application for ISOLITE is used in aquariums to immobilize Nitrosomonas and Nitrobactor microorganisms for the removal of ammonia. As little as 0.5 ppm ammonia is lethal to some types of aquatic life.

 

Extruded ISOLITE -

Extruded, and kiln-fired ISOLITE is used in packed-bed reactors for biologically treating contaminated aqueous streams. Smaller sizes of ISOLITE are used where some fluidizing is necessary and in applications where the waste stream has a high organic content or high biological oxygen demand. Many advantages are to be had when using extruded cylindrical- shaped ISOLITE to immobilize microbes. These include higher liquid throughput due to less pressure drop, less biomass fouling, less attrition, and easier operation.

 

Comparison Chart


Soil Amendment
Weight of Water (Grams) held per liter of soil amendment at saturation
Amount of Water Remaining (Grams) remaining after 61 days of no watering
Isolite
449
107
Perlite
671
48
Fine Sand
321
0
Coarse Sand
271
0
Pumice (7 mm)
258
31
Pumice (20 mm)
192
0
Peatmoss
428
12
Bark Composts
394
19
Expanded Shale
254
27
Vermiculite
645
59
Calcined Clay
490
300***


Consistent moisture levels translate to consistent soil temperatures
*** The water held in the pores of calcined clay are held very tightly and is not available to the plant. This material will not dry down quickly because of the capillarity of the very tiny internal pores.

Note: After 61 days, ISOLITE held more plant available water than any of these other materials. Additionally, because ISOLITE is inert, stable, and does not shrink or swell, the distribution of micro (capillary) versus macro (non-capillary) pores remain predictable and consistent.
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