Diatomaceous earths may resemble the forms of the charcoals. The earths are primarily filter aids, precoats or adsorbents, the function of the filter medium being secondary. Fuller's earth and clays are used for decoloring applications; diatomaceous earths are used for clarification. The adsorbtivity of diatomaceous earth works in the same fashion as activated carbon, but isotherms (affinity) for many chemical species like the hydrocarbons is weaker. For this reason, activated charcoal or carbon is much preferred in wastewater treatment applications expecially when taste and odor issues are priorities.
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