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Absorbents for a Spill Kit

May 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 177

Absorbents are crucial components of a spill kit. No matter if such a kit is needed to clean up a large-scale environmental disaster or a chemical spill inside a laboratory, absorbents assist with containing the substance and picking it up. But, just as not every spill kit is identical, neither are all absorbents inside it. For all types of spill kits, which absorbents can you expect to find?

Mats are a common form of absorbent. With unlimited size options, mats, which cover pads and rolls, are designed for liquids covering a large surface area. The full size of material can be rolled out and torn off, and once applied on top of the spill, it absorbs the liquids. As a measure to combat possible spills, absorbent mats can be added to walkways or underneath sprays or machines.

Pillows have a similar use as mats. Also designed for liquid spread out over a large area, these absorbents hold a large volume of liquid.

Socks are another type of absorbent. Designed for peaks, drips, or spills, they prevent the substance from spreading further and absorb it in the process.

Aside from mats, pads, and socks, absorbents come in loose form. As loose particles inside a bucket, this absorbent is sprinkled over the liquid and absorb it, turning the substance into a gel that can be easily scooped up after the process.

Aside from physical design, color denotes an absorbent's use. These spill kit components can be used with flammables, such as gas, solvents, and oil; acids and caustics; oxidizing substances; water-based liquids and contaminants, including sewage and waste; and petroleum-based substances. However, not all absorbents are designed for all types. To know which spill kit to use, white indicates oil-only uses; these absorbents repel water while taking in an oily substance. Yellow or pink indicates a universal or hazmat use; if a spilled substance is unknown, opt for the hazmat absorbent to be safe.

In many cases, more than one absorbent is needed in spill cleanup, and kits come equipped with the appropriate items. For instance, if a chemical spills in a laboratory, individuals in charge of cleanup will surround all drains and openings with socks to prevent the substance from entering the water supply and contaminating the environment. Yet, at this point, the spill is contained but not cleaned up, and a mat, pillow, or loose absorbent may be applied to absorb the substance. As soon as the absorbents are saturated, contain it inside a pail, drum, or liner and label it for disposal.

Source: EzineArticles
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