Perlite, the generic name for naturally occurring siliceous volcanic rock is heated to a suitable point in its softening range, to expand four to twenty times its original volume. The resultant light weight product is a white granular material that handles and pours easily. It provides a quick, inexpensive method for efficiently acting as the first line of defence for any spill, hazardous or toxic.
- Easily applied
- Easy settling
- Settling and coagulating
As a sorbent (insoluble materials) it is used to recover liquids through the mechanism of absorption, or adsorption, or both. Absorbents are materials that pick up and retain liquid distributed throughout its’ molecular structure causing the solid to swell (50% or more). The absorbent must be at least 70% insoluble in excess fluid. Adsorbents are insoluble materials that are coated by a liquid on its’ surface, including pores and capillaries, without the solid swelling more than 50% in excess liquid. To be useful in combating oil spills, sorbents need to be both oleophilic (oil-attracting) and hydrophobic (water-repellent).
Natural inorganic sorbents such as perlite can adsorb from 4 to 20 times their weight in oil. The characteristics of both sorbents and oil types must be considered when choosing sorbents for cleaning up oil spills:
Rate of absorption – The absorption of oil is faster with lighter oil products. Once absorbed the oil cannot be re-released. Effective with light hydrocarbons (e.g. gasoline, diesel fuel, benzene).
Perlite can be used to control and clean up liquid spills. The product may also be utilised to provide rapid deodorisation and dehydration of animal waste liquids. Perlite is also recommended as an absorbent media in enclosed containers for disposal of liquid toxic waste substances.
- Inorganic – AUSPERL Perlite is inorganic and therefore is rot, vermin and termite resistant and non-combustible with a fusion point of approximately 1260°c.
- Flow ability – AUSPERL Perlite consists of granules that are free flowing allowing the product to be poured or swept onto most spills.
- Application – May be easily applied without special training equipment or training.