Motor Oil / Diesel Fuel Adsorption from Water

To determine the degree of usefulness of Adsorb-it media as a sorbent for use in the removal of petroleum hydrocarbons from water after accidental spills or releases, and to determine its efficacy as compared to other well-known sorbents, we used the following test.


Adsorb-it and a granulated Reactive Polymer were tested to compare the uptake of a motor oil / diesel fuel mix from water. 200 ml of water and 10 grams of a motor oil / diesel fuel mix were added to pre-cleaned sample containers. Pre-weighed samples of sorbent, ranging from 0.25 grams to 8 grams, were added to each container and allowed to sorb. The sorbent was then removed and the contents of each jar were analyzed to determine the weight of motor oil/diesel fuel remaining. The graph below illustrates the results.



Addition of 0.5 grams of Adsorb-it® sorbent material removes more than 96% of the oil/fuel mix. The Reactive Polymer requires 8 grams to achieve the same results. With the addition of 0.25 grams the Adsorb-it® material reaches saturation, but removes more than 32 times its weight of the petroleum. The saturation point for the Reactive Polymer occurs at approximately 3.6 times its own weight in oil.

The Adsorb-it® sorbent adsorbed the oil almost immediately on contact, while the Reactive Polymer sorbent required several minutes before its maximum saturation was reached. When small amounts of the granulated Reactive Polymer were added, removal of the saturated material was difficult because the material did not clump or mat together. The Adsorb-it® sorbent was cohesive and easily removed.

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