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A mineral is a naturally occuring, homogeneous, solid with a crystalline atomic structure. Crystallinity implies that a mineral has a definite and limited range of composition, and that the composition is expressible as a chemical formula. Some definitions of minerals give them as inorganic materials, however both diamonds and graphite are considered minerals, and both are primarily comprised of carbon, which would make them organic. So this leads me, as an engineer, to believe that mineralogists do not have a good, precise definition of a mineral, but rather a loose definition. The definition above, is the most inclusive and would include all substances currently described as minerals. The key items that make something a mineral are occurring naturally, and the definite crystal structure, that is expressible as a chemical formula. Rocks that do not meet this criteria are referred to as amorphis - not having a definite structure or expressible as a chemical formula. Some elements that occur naturally and are minerals are arsenic, bismuth, platinum, gold, silver, copper, and sulphur.

THE DEFINITION OF ORGANIC: Organic chemistry is the study of those substances containing carbon in combination with hydrogen (H), and a few other non metals, namely oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S) and the halogens (F2, Cl2, Br2, and I2).




Diatomaceous Earth is a silica hydroxide sedimentary rock , is amorphous, (which means it does not have a definite crystalline structure and is therefore not a mineral) is a porous, earthy chalk like mineral, composed primarily of the remains of silica skeletons of diatoms. It has a hardness near 1, it will float on water, is white gray, or a off-white in color, and can contain water in the 3 to 13 percent range. The typical chemical composition of diatomaceous earth is 86% silicon, 5% sodium, 3% magnesium and 2% iron.

The most common use of diatomaceous earth is as a filter medium. It has a high porosity, because it is composed of microscopically-small, tube like, hollow particles. Other industrial uses of diatomaceous earth is as a filler for paper, paints, ceramics, soap and detergents.