Absorbent product aids Gulf spill cleanup
Gulf Breeze, Fla., relied on MOP (Maximum Oil Pickup) 201 bulk loose sorbent to absorb oil from the 2010 Gulf oil spill. The city distributed the sorbent to waterfront landowners to help prevent and minimize spill damages to beachfront property.
MOP 201 is an aggressive oleophilic and hydrophobic (oil-attracting and water-repelling) sorbent made from recycled and fully biodegradable materials, and is manufactured using small-scale hydroelectric green energy. Bath, N.H.-based MOP Environmental Solutions produces MOP 201.
“One container of MOP sorbent can contain up to 75,000 gallons of oil in four hours. It would take about 23,000 booms to get the same results,” said MOP Environmental Solutions CEO Charles Diamond. Crews used a boat skimming process on the Gulf Spill. In the process, “boats tow nets filled with the MOP sorbent through the oil, capturing far more oil than conventional skimmers in much less time. The process is easily and inexpensively scalable by simply adding more boats and nets to the process. In just one day, hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil can be contained,” Diamond said.
Responding to the Gulf oil spill is a long-term effort, said Wayne King, MOP Environmental Solutions’ vice president of communication, business development and innovation. “We are increasing production in response to the Gulf Spill, which we anticipate will take up to a year or more. We are also planning on increasing demand because of our cradle-to-cradle green niche market.”
According to the company, the sorbent is safe for the environment, including birds, animals, and aquatic life. The product can be used in a variety of terrain, including marshlands and beaches. It is rapidly deployed at over 150 mph using the manufacturer’s MOP-Cannon and removed using the firm’s MOP-Vac. MOP is applied on the surface or below water where it floats up and locks in oil, neutralizing all potential harmful effects of the spilled oil. The product recovers oil under all weather conditions. The sorbent’s recovery process enables reusing of retrieved oil.
The product picks up to 30 times its own weight in oil, without absorbing water, according to the manufacturer. The sorbent restores traction on slippery surfaces. The sorbent is suited for a variety of applications and markets, including:
- Direct to consumer — the sorbent captures leaks and spills from auto, RV, motorized home equipment and used cooking oils.
- Commercial and industrial — Manufacturers and other companies that operate machinery can find uses for the sorbent.
- International spill response — the sorbent minimizes damages from oil spills on land or water.
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