Stock Up On Sorbents Appropriate For Your Spills

A Haz-Mat yellow sorbent pillow on top a Oil-only white sorbent pillow stacked on a grey gerneral purpose sorbent pillow

In a facility that uses machinery or has hydrocarbon fuels on-site, leaks and spills are inevitable - even if you properly operate and maintain your equipment and safely store gasoline, propane, and diesel fuels. To prepare for spills whenever they occur, you should have the proper sorbents on hand to take care of the problem.

Buy Sorbents To Fit Your Application

When spills occur, the solution cannot be a "one-size-fits-all" approach, as spills vary in their composition and in their reaction to being picked up. As a result, you need products that are either absorbent or adsorbent. The difference is that absorbent products soak up spills and assimilate them into the sorbent product, while adsorbent spills cling to the surface of the liquid. Spills tend to be one of the following:

  • Universal, consisting of water-based chemicals and solvents. These spills require absorbent products that often contain cellulose.
  • Oil- or petroleum-based, which require oil-only sorbents with adsorbent properties that will only attract oil while repelling water.
  • Chemical, with high concentrations of acids or bases that corrode surfaces, which require special synthetic sorbents that withstand corrosion.

You may need to have a variety of products on hand to deal with different types of spills.

What Shape Of Sorbent Do You Need On Hand?

In picking the right sorbent, it is important to match the form of the sorbent with your usage. The products come as pads and rolls, pillows, socks, and in loose form.

  • Pads and rolls, commonly used on aisles and walkways or underneath equipment to absorb incidental leaks and spills, are made for extended use.
  • Pillows, available in different materials appropriate to various kinds of spills, are rectangular sorbents designed for medium sized spills.
  • Booms, available in many lengths and widths, are cylindrical units used for spill control, cleanup, and containment. When connected together, they can act as a large spill barrier for water.
  • Socks or mini-booms are cylindrical sorbents that come in different lengths and widths. Often placed around machinery, they are commonly used to catch all types of spills by maintenance departments.
  • Loose sorbents are organic or synthetic particulates spread on a small spill or to suck moisture from small cracks and crevices or even dry soil. Maintenance staffs often use loose sorbents after washing floors to remove the oil sheen from them.

You should have a variety of sorbent products on hand in different sizes to accommodate any spills that may occur.

What Else To Consider When Stocking Up On Sorbents

When purchasing sorbents, you must consider several factors in order to meet governmental regulation.

  • Application: Since different sorbents are required to take care of different kinds of spills, you should have a variety of products on hand.
  • Capacity: When sorbent materials are saturated, the contents can leak out during disposal unless you have enough of them on hand to eliminate the problem. Most states and cities require that you calculate sorbent capacity so that you always have enough product on hand.
  • Storage: When you buy spill control kits, the products are packed in their own container to protect them. You should keep other sorbents in a cool, dry, dry location to keep them ready to use. Oil-only sorbents can deteriorate in the presence of sunlight.
  • Disposal: Disposing of sorbents depends on the type of liquid they contain. While some can be burned on site, those containing oil or chemicals need proper hazardous waste removal. There are often city and state regulations in place for disposal of used sorbents.

Pro-Sorb Solutions stocks a wide range of types and sizes of servant products to ensure that you have them on hand when you need them. For information or to order online, check our website or call us at 619-884-5823.

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