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.


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