What You Need to Know About Oil Spill Absorbent Products

May 25, 2017   /   byArs Lexis  / Categories :  In Focus

An Oil SpillOil absorbent products are must-have tools in industrial settings. They help clean up potentially harmful or flammable materials, and prevent pollutants from entering waterways. There are different types of oil absorbent products available.

What kinds of absorbents are available?

Oil spill absorbent products come in different forms with multiple applications. Oil spill products are available as pads, socks, pillows, rolls, booms, and others.

Remember that each of these products have different applications. For instance, pillows are useful for stopping spills in hard to reach places, such as under an engine or a machine. Booms float on water and contain oil spills in one area.

What are they made of?

Materials used for oil spills fall into three distinct categories. This includes organic or natural, natural inorganics, and synthetics.

Organic materials come from nature. They are carbon based and are usually collected from plants or animals. Some examples of organics include sugarcane pulp, corncobs, and even feathers. These can be incinerated after use.

Natural inorganic materials, on the other hand, cannot be disposed of through incineration. Examples of these materials include volcanic ash, clay and sand.

Synthetics are manufactured materials, which may include materials such as nylon and polyethylene. They can repel water, while simultaneously absorbing large amounts of oil.

How do oil spill absorbent products work?

There is a complex amount of molecular physics that goes on behind oil absorbent products. When it comes to synthetic materials, there is interplay between the density of the fibres and their interaction with fluids. Lighter fluids, such as water, get repelled, while oil gets absorbed. This is because the molecules in the oil cling to the fibres in the absorbent.

How much oil can these products absorb?

The rates of absorbency vary from one type of material to the other. Natural organic materials can usually absorb between 3 to 15 times their weight. Natural inorganic materials can absorb between 5 to 20 times their weight, while synthetics can absorb up to 70 times depending on their quality.

Absorbents vary greatly. Generally, the best choice for cleaning oil spills is to use a material that is especially made for absorbing oil. Synthetic oil spill absorbents are therefore one of the most effective because they were engineered for the job.