Sunday, 6 March 2011

Spill Absorbents Uses and Tips

By Travis Zdrazil
Spill absorbents are your first aid to oil spills. Just like you have band aids and cotton balls in your first aid kit, spill absorbents are your immediate solution for oil spills. These are valuable safety tools that can save you from paying fines and damages.
Spill absorbents are made with fibers to absorb and contain the oil spill. There are 2 basic types of spill absorbents. These are oil spill absorbent booms or socks and oil spill absorbent pads. They complement each other. Once the boom has contained the oil spill, the pads makes it faster to absorb the oil spill. These spill absorbents are both essential in addressing large oil spill accidents.
Absorbent Booms
In terms of first aid kit, booms are like your band aids. Oil spill absorbent booms have both containing and absorbent qualities. But it is primarily used as a tool to contain the oil spill in a specific area. Basically, it stops the oil from spreading by forming a barrier around the oil spill. Booms can be linked together. These chains are made up of sections of single booms that are available with a diameter of 5" to 8" and in lengths from 10 feet to 20 feet. It is commonly connected by carbon metal hooks. The tubular shape makes it possible to cover larger areas than absorbent pads individually. Their bright white finish makes it easier to determine if they need replacement. In large water areas, it is usually held together by two vessels to form an enclosure. On land areas, they can be placed around the contaminated area. It serves like a wall to prevent the oil from leaking further.
How to use oil absorbent booms:
1) Scan the affected area and determine how many sections you are going to need.
2) Connect together the number of sections needed.
3) Place the booms in the water.
4) Enclose the oil spill.
a. In waters, let it float around the edge of the oil spill.
b. On land, contain the oil spill from reaching drainage, holes, and most important any body of water.
Absorbent Pads:
They act like cotton as a first aid measure. They absorb the oil from the environment upon contact. The absorbency of the pads makes it great choice for the cleanup of oil spill. There are varieties of absorbent pads in terms of purposes. Different pads are designed to target specific types of contaminants. You must choose from pads that are made to be used for water based spills. They are generally white and will not sink in water. They repel water and absorb hydrocarbons only. Some absorbent pads are constructed to have anti-static qualities that prevent sparks to ignite a fire. There are also some absorbent pads which are designed to provide protection for the user. These last two types of pads are more convenient to use around small spills and not on spills on large bodies of water.
How to use oil absorbent pads:
1) Scatter the absorbent pads on the spill after the booms are in place to contain it.
2) Make sure to cover as much surface area as possible.
3) Remove heavily saturated absorbent pads, on water usually long handle hooks are used.
4) Replace the saturated pads with new absorbent pads as needed.
5) Continue this process until it completely absorb the oil spill.
Be sure to dispose of all absorbent material based upon Federal, State and local regulations.
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