When choosing the right absorbent to contain your oil spills into the environment, price should be the last determining factor. Far to often, companies choose the cheapest absorbent to meet their need for responding to a critical situation like an spill. Cheap rarely mean the best in anything, unless it’s all that you can afford. Good is never associated with the word cheap, as it simply indicates that something has low quality. When looking at spill response options, quality is important.
The word quality is almost always associated with something that is good. Quality products may cost a little more to buy in “the short game”, but in the “long game”, they will save you money. The savings that a quality product gives you, is called “value” or “realized cost”. Cheap products have a “perceived value”, which means that they cost less to buy, which is the perceived value. Other than the cheap price, there probably isn’t a real value, other than you spent money and now have something.
What you NEED and what you WANT in an absorbent are two different things
When you decide that you NEED and absorbent for an oil spill, you have fulfilled your first buying requirement, the NEED. Now you have to make a decision on which absorbent to buy, which is the WANT. What do you WANT in and absorbent? This means we have to take a look at the many issues surrounding your requirements. Choosing the right absorbent includes the type of oil, where do your spills occur, how big are your spills, how often do you have spills, how quickly do they need to be recovered, how do you dispose of the used absorbent, how many workers do you have to respond, what are your storage capabilities just to name a few.
The perceived value of a clay-based adsorbent
For many years, choosing the right absorbent was limited to “kitty litter” or “clay” absorbent has been the standard in the spill control industry. Clay absorbents are just small stones comprised of clay minerals and is very similar in construction to “kitty litter”. Clay-based absorbents can be found for as little as $8.00 for a 40 pound bag, which seems like a good value. It’s a lot of weight for only $8.00, so “it’s a good value” or “is it”? If you think that a bag of gravel for $8 is a good deal, just think about using gravel to absorb anything? When was the last time you spilled something on the floor and you went and grabbed a shovel full of rocks to clean it up? Probably never, so why does this $8 bag of gravel sound like a good idea? Probably because of the cheap price, it’s only $8.
Consider for a minute the absorbency of gravel. Have you ever said to yourself, “I really wish I had some gravel to dry myself-off with”? Probably not, so why does it sound like a good idea now? Maybe if you only have $8.00 and you nee an absorbent material to cover a spill, but that is all you can really do with it. Clay absorbents will not “absorb”, they can only “adsorb”. Adsorb is using the surface area of the stone to accumulate the liquid of the spill, (through adhesion) often only a few molecules thick. In essence, clay-based ADSORBENTS are not really effective for controlling or recovering spills.
The realized cost/value of Oil Sponge
If you have a spill prevention plan, make sure Oil Sponge is a part of it. Far to often companies choose the cheapest absorbent to have on hand for containing spills into the environment. Oil Sponge may cost a little more initially, but the savings by using Oil Sponge absorbents over other absorbents is very significant. It is the benefits after the purchase that determine the realized cost/value of a product.
Always be sure to research a product before buying it. Clay sells for around $8 a bag commercially and Oil Sponge sells for around $34, so clay absorbents wins the initial pricing battle. Oil Sponge absorbs up to 8 times more oil than a clay absorbent, so Oil Sponge wins the absorbency battle (however clay doesn’t actually absorb). The realized cost of clay absorbent to equal the absorbing capabilities of Oil Sponge is $64 for clay and $34 for Oil Sponge, so Oil Sponge wins the realized cost battle.
Consider the disposal costs for 800% more used absorbent, the labor involved to deploy, absorb and recover 800% more clay product. The “realized value” is in favor of Oil Sponge. We have not even taken into consideration of the warehousing and transportation of clay absorbents and Oil Sponge is the clear winner of the cost/value war.
The reason Oil Sponge Absorbs so much
The high capacity absorbency of Oil Sponge lies in its construction. Oil Sponge is primarily constructed of a reclaimed cellulose material where the entire fiber is used in the absorption process. Unlike clay that can only use the surface area to attract the spill, Oil Sponge uses the full absorbing power of the base material. The uniqueness of Oil Sponge over similar products lies in its technology and formulation. Because of the composition of Oil Sponge, it will not leach into the environment, up to saturation, which is very important in recovering a spill into the environment.
Oil Sponge premium absorbents (AB and AB+) have an added ingredient that reduces “dusting”. A dusty product can be a problem with similar high-capacity absorbents. Oil Sponge AB+ contains an active culture package.that helps restore the soil and degrade a broad range of hydrocarbons within the spill. Other similar absorbents claim that they have “indigenous bacteria” in their product, but what does that really mean? This means that any bacteria, good, bad or other may be contained within that particular absorbent. It does not mean that they have “added” any beneficial bacteria or even know what species of bacteria are in their absorbent.
Oil Sponge AB+ contains a specific, broad spectrum, formula of active cultures/bacteria to help degrade a wide variety of hydrocarbon chains. To assist the bacteria, we have also added a nutrient package to help restore the environment with the required nutrients, to stimulate plant growth, which also allows the bacteria to be more productive and effective.
Packaging is also very important when using an absorbent in the field. Our Oil Sponge bags are of a “rough-duty” construction, which will hold up to all but the tough conditions. Made with a “rip-stop” inner liner that prevents small tears and holes from destroying the whole bag. The rugged construction enables the empty bag to be used to contain any “used” or “spent” absorbent. This further reduced the need for immediate or additional, containment.
Oil Sponge Absorbents, where NEED and WANT intersect
You need an absorbent, you want something that is fast, easy to use, cost effective and maybe even some bio-remedial qualities, then Oil Sponge is what you should buy. There simply isn’t a better absorbent on the market today and there hasn’t been for the the last 25 years. If you have spills that you need to contain, whether big or small, Oil Sponge is your answer. Contact one of our authorized Oil Sponge distributors today or contact us directly with any questions that you might have.