Diatomite releases silica during spirit filtration

Article English OPEN
Gómez Benítez, Juan ; Gil Montero, María Luisa Almoraima ; De la Rosa Fox, Nicolas ; Alguacil, Marcos (2014)
  • Publisher: ELSEVIER
  • Subject: Diatomite | Filtration | Filter Aid | Spirit | Brandy de Jerez | Silica | Calcium

The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether diatomite is an inert filter aid during spirit filtration. Surely, any compound with a negative effect on the spirit composition or the consumer’s health could be dissolved. In this study different diatomites were treated with 36% vol. ethanol/water mixtures and the amounts and structures of the extracted compounds were determined. Furthermore, Brandy de Jerez was diatomite- and membrane-filtered at different temperatures and the silicon content was analysed. It was found that up to 0.36% by weight of diatomite dissolved in the aqueous ethanol and amorphous silica, in the form of hollow spherical microparticles, was the most abundant component. Silicon concentrations in Brandy de Jerez increased by up to 163.0% after contact with diatomite and these changes were more marked for calcined diatomite. In contrast, reductions of more than 30% in silicon concentrations were achieved after membrane filtration at low temperatures.
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