In an environmental approach to an environmental application, Wisconsin-based Sellars has launched EverSoak Oil Only Pads, sorbents made with 80% cotton and carry the Cotton Incorporated Absorblent trademark. The new technology uses a by-product of the cotton ginning process to create a sorbent that is up to 50% more effective than polypropylene alternatives and using a renewable cotton resource.
“We wanted to create a sorbent that not only performed better, but that was better for the environment in production as well as purpose,” said John Sellars, executive vice president of marketing. “Cotton proved to be the ideal source material.” Available as pads, rolls and split rolls, the EverSoak Oil Only products with the patent-pending Q-CEL technology are high-performance sorbents for oil-based spills large and small.
Mr. Sellars points to the environmental gains U.S. cotton production has made over the past 25 years in reducing its water consumption and reliance on pesticides as tipping the scales in cotton’s favor as a source material. But the Sellars product goes one step further by using a ginning by-product, rather than the long staple fiber used in textile and most other nonwoven products. “Using cotton staple can be expensive and generally entails a scouring and bleaching process,” acknowledged Mr. Sellars. “We wanted to get around that by using cotton linters.” Linters are short fibers that remain on the cottonseed after the ginning process removes the longer staples.
The challenge for Sellars, which has been in business for 24 years, was that no machinery existed that could transform the raw linters into a sorbent-friendly material. But Sellars had a novel solution. “Since there was no machine that could run the linters, we decided to design and build one ourselves.”
The EverSoak Oil Only Pads are both hydrophobic and oleophilic, soaking up oil, but floating on the surface of water, which makes them uniquely suited to neutralizing the damage of oils spills and spills of oil-based chemicals on water.