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  • Herbert Mack

Everything You Need To Know About Absorbents



The first thing you need to know about any spill kit are the sorbents. Sorbents can be either natural organic, natural inorganic, or synthetic. Natural organic sorbents include peat moss, sawdust, feathers, and anything else natural that contains carbon. Natural inorganic sorbents include stuff like clay, sand or even volcanic ash. Synthetic sorbents are man-made, and include substances like polyethylene and nylon. Sorbents are available in the Universal, Oil-Only and Hazmat categories that specifically deal with acids, bases, mercury and battery acid.


Universal Sorbents absorb all types of water-based and oil-based liquids. They are ideal for use in factories where there are many different liquids such as cutting fluids, solvents, lubricants and coolants.


Oil-Only Sorbents absorb all oil-based liquids and repel water. These sorbents will actually float on water and absorb only the oil. Use these sorbents to absorb oils such as lubricants, fuels, mineral oil and vegetable oils. Regarding oil absorbents, it worth to take not that they fall into three overall categories: natural organic, natural inorganic, and synthetic. Natural organic oil absorbents are made of materials found in nature that are carbon-based. When deciding what type of oil absorbent to use, oil type, sorbent characteristics, and environment must be taken into account. Oil absorption rates are higher with lighter weight oils, while heavier oils are more likely to adhere to the external surface by means of adsorption.


Hazmat Sorbents are specifically designed to absorb aggressive fluids such as acids and bases. It is recommended that you use hazmat sorbents when the liquid is aggressive or unknown. They are ideal for use in laboratories or other areas where aggressive fluids are present. Hazmat sorbents are yellow in color which is highly recognized as the universal “caution” color.

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