Absorbents or Sorbents are a variety of materials used to soak up and remove oils and chemicals. Three types of absorbent exist;
Organic absorbents are generally considered to be the kindest to the earth and are manufactured from sustainable sources such as cellulose, sawdust, wood, straw, coir etc.
Some organic absorbents can be by-products from industry such as saw dust. Whilst these absorbents have good absorption properties, they are usually in loose lightweight form which tends to be a problem outdoors due to the effects of wind. Organic absorbents unless treated will also absorb water. One of the best organic absorbents available is ISOL8 pictured below which is manufactured from coir.
Synthetic absorbents are man made materials such as polypropylene, polyethylene etc.
Synthetic absorbents, in particular polypropylene make up the bulk of the popular absorbents widely used throughout industry today and can be manufactured in a variety of forms, which include Absorbent Pads (Sheets), Rolls, Cushions (Pillows), Socks and Booms. Other specialised forms include Oil Absorbent Sweeps and Absorbent Drum Toppers.
Synthetic absorbents can easily be treated making them oleophillic (oil attracting) as well as hydrophobic (water repellant). These oil absorbents are therefore ideal for removing oil from the surface of water especially in the form of oil absorbent booms.
These types of absorbents are considered the strongest and can be used multiple times. These types of absorbents can also be treated to be used on hazardous chemicals such as acids. The main disadvantage is they are not biodegradable.
Inorganic absorbents are materials from non-sustainable sources which include clay, sand, peat etc. Inorganic absorbents such as clay granules have very low absorption rates compared to their organic and synthetic counterparts, other disadvantages can include a danger to users (Potters Rot) caused by dust inhalation.
Absorbents are usually then classified into three distinct types
Oil, Chemical and Maintenance.
Oil only absorbents include pads, booms, cushions, rolls and socks. The oil only absorbents are hydrophobic which means they will not absorb water or water based fluids. Oil only absorbents can be used to remove oil from the waters surface and will float indefinitely on water to full saturation. Manufactured from strong polypropylene fibre which resists tearing and disintegration.
Colour Coded white
Click here to see our full range of oil absorbents
Maintenance absorbents include land booms, cushions, pads, rolls and socks. Maintenance absorbents can be highly absorbent and are manufactured from high tensile strength polypropylene fibres. Maintenance absorbents are suitable for use with water, oil, coolants, cutting fluids, non-aggressive chemicals and solvents.
Colour coded Grey
Click here to see our full range of maintenance absorbents.
Chemical absorbents include land booms, pads, rolls and socks. chemical absorbents are manufactured from strong polypropylene material which will not break down when used with hazardous liquids. Bright yellow in colour, they are easily recognised in case of emergency. Also known as universal absorbents for being able to absorb virtually any type of spill which is useful in the event of an unidentified spillage.
Colour coded yellow
Click here to view our complete range of chemical absorbents