What are sweep-off absorbents made of?

There is a range of materials where sweep-offs can be made from. Since they are commonly in the form of granules, they are also referred to as granular absorbents.
  • Corn Cob: a biodegradable material that can absorb oil, water, and even antifreeze.
  • Kitty Litter: the same granular material for absorbing cat urine. It can contain conventional clay or silica-based diatomaceous earth dust. However, kitty litter is abrasive and might leave residues that are hard to sweep off.
  • Peat Moss: also known as sphagnum, this hydrophobic absorbent granule is the preferred material for cleaning up oils. Four cubic feet of peat moss can absorb up to 32 gallons of oil.
  • Coir: a highly absorbent, eco-friendly material derived from coconut husk. It can clean up fuel, acid, and other hazardous liquid spills. Coir absorbents are more absorbent than absorbents made from corn cobs.
  • Recycled Paper Fibers: A more economical alternative to coir and corn cob, however, paper absorbents must not be used to clean up aggressive fluids like hydrochloric acid.

The material provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional/legal advice or substitute government regulations, industry standards, or other requirements specific to any business/activity. While we made sure to provide accurate and reliable information, we make no representation that the details or sources are up-to-date, complete or remain available. Readers should consult with an industrial safety expert, qualified professional, or attorney for any specific concerns and questions.


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