This substance is a granular form of silicon dioxide. It has the appearance of glass and is somewhat porous. It is made synthetically from sodium silicate. Silica gel is a dried form of nano-porous micro-structure suspended in a liquid. It doesn’t produce any odor, and it is usually off-white.
The primary application of silica gel is as a desiccant, which means that it absorbs liquid in the air to create a state of dryness. Usually, the gel is contained in a small paper packet to prevent odors and humidity that could otherwise ruin a product. As such, the substance can be found in a variety of industries, including food, vitamins, and electronics. Anything that could be adversely affected by moisture and humidity can benefit from silica gel.
If ingested, this substance can be mildly toxic, but it is otherwise stable in the air and can be handled without protection. It is not flammable nor will it emit any fumes or vapors.