Anything that can soak up liquid is called a “sorbent.” A material or thing must be absorbent for it to be able to take in liquids.
To make absorbents as effective and safe as possible, they undergo a special treatment process. Because they are not corrosive or cancer-causing, these sorbents are secure and don’t pose any health risks. All specialty oil sorbents are safe for use in the workplace and have undergone extensive testing. Sorbents are cost-effective from when you buy them until you throw them away. They require no special attire or training, are mobile, and take up little space.
Using, getting, and getting rid of sorbents is easy and cheap. You don’t need any special tools or a lot of training to use them; they’re small and easy to move.
As per the industry and safety code, Absorbents are manufactured in 4 different colours.
Oil – White/Blue
Oil Absorbents are the only things that can clean up sorbents oil spill, diesel, and solvents ( also called hydrophobics ). As their name suggests, oil absorbents are made to soak up oil spills.
Chemical/Hazmat – Yellow
Chemical absorbents can soak up many different kinds of chemicals and acids. The molecules of these sorbents are made so that they attract water.
Universal/Maintenance – Grey
Universal sorbent for oil spill cleanup, whether oil, coolant, solvent, or water. These are very hydrophilic, which means that they like water a lot. You can choose a wide range of oil sorbents, such as pads, oil sorbents socks, pillows, booms, loose particles, oil sorbent roll, oil sorbent sheet and spill kits, to make your workplace safer and cleaner—selling pads, socks, and pillows that soak up water made from chemicals and universal sorbents.
What Are the Different Types of Sorbent Materials?
Sorbents can be manufactured from three types of materials, which are as follows:
Natural organic sorbents: Natural organic sorbent in oil spill response include peat moss, straw, hay, sawdust, crushed corncobs, feathers, and other carbon-based items that are easy to find. The amount of oil that natural sorbents can hold is up to 15 times their weight. Some organic sorbents sink because they soak up oil and water. Many organic sorbents, like sawdust, are messy and hard to collect once they have been sprinkled over water. Flotation devices, like empty drums tied to absorbent bales of hay, can help with the sinking problem, and you can use mesh to catch the loose particles.
Natural inorganic sorbents: In nature, you can find inorganic sorbents like clay, perlite, vermiculite, glass wool, sand, and volcanic ash. They can soak up to twenty times their weight in oil. Inorganic sorbents are cheap and easy to find, just like organic sorbents. These sorbents are not applied to the water’s surface.
Synthetic sorbents: Synthetic sorbents that humans make include plastic-like materials like polyurethane, polyethene, and polypropylene, which are designed to soak up liquids through their surfaces. There are numerous varieties of synthetic sorbents. Cross-linked polymers and rubber compounds are two common ones. Many synthetic sorbents are very good at soaking up oil (up to 70 times their weight).
How Do Oil Sorbents Work?
Sorbents include absorbents, adsorbents, and sorbents (a combined process known as sorption). Both “adsorption” and “absorption” refer to distinct processes. Therefore, it is vital to distinguish between them:
Something soaks into an absorbent medium. It gets taken up by that medium because of capillary action, like how a straw soaks up water. An absorbent will grow by at least 70% when saturated with oil.
The process of molecules, atoms, or ions sticking together on the surface of an adsorbent is called adsorption. As if dust were sitting on a table made of glass. Absorbents don’t swell more than 50% when they soak up oil.
Besides these, two other features of oil sorbents are crucial to understanding.
Oleophilic: meaning to attract oil.
Hydrophobic: meaning to repel water.
Combining these qualities gives you excellent sorbents for cleaning oil spill, even more so when oil leaks into waterways. Using a vacuum or skimmer to help get oil off the water’s surface.