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What is the difference between biodegradable and polypropylene absorbents?

There are numerous types of absorbents available, some are synthetic, others organic or a mix out of the two. The synthetics are plastic based and made of polyurethane, polyethylene, or polypropylene. The mix often includes an outer layer of plastic and an inner layer or biodegradable materials, such as moss, feathers, or corn cobs. Yet, the issue with both of these types is that they contribute to the use of single-use plastics, are difficult to recycle and break down to microplastics that never fully decompose.


Therefore there are also organic absorbents that can absorb all types of liquids, including oil, these are called universal and do not contribute to plastic waste. However, Green Boom is the only company that can produce 100% biodegradable and organic absorbents, that only absorbs oil. It is certified by the USDA biobased, TUV Germany and is biopreferred. With environmentally friendly oil absorbents the enormous issue with the hazardous plastic waste is eliminated. But there are more differences than just biodegradability between Green Boom and traditional polypropylene absorbents.


The Green Boom absorbents have a tough UV protected skin that shapes to uneven surfaces and can withstand very rough environments. The risk of ripping is therefore much less than with traditional absorbents. Furthermore, if a polypropylene boom rips, for example in a lake, the plastic inside would spread with the currents or wind, meaning that you no longer only have to clean the oil spill but also collect the small pieces of floating plastic. The same goes when for example using mats, it is not seldom that one gets lost and resources have to be put to trace it down to not pollute the wildlife. If a Green Boom absorbent boom, pillow or sock would rip, or a mat gets lost, the skin and filler is biodegradable and would not harm the environment.






Picture of the plastic parts that spread when a polypropylene boom rips







Another difference is that all of the Green Boom products are made in-house in our manufacturing facility in Norcross, outside of Atlanta and the materials are sourced from local farms. This ensures a tight supply chain that can supply your needs fast. Due to this, we can also customize all of our products to be the most effective for your operations. For the flammability specifications of Green Boom, the heat tolerance is very high with an ignition at ~760F or ~400C and will not melt as polypropylene equivalents. In case of fire or heated equipment, the Green Boom products remain stable and would not create any toxic fumes or other byproducts. One can additionally reuse the Green Boom absorbent several times and reclaim the spilled oil.


But let's also discuss some points that are not different from polypropylene. Firstly, you can use the Green Boom products just as you have done with traditional sorbents, no matter the size of the spill or location. The only difference is that you now have different options on how to dispose of the waste. The same thing goes with price. Green Boom is priced competitively whilst in addition making you save money on disposal costs. Depending on the state and country, the costs to dispose of hazardous materials can be up to $5 per boom. As Green Boom is made of 100% biodegradable materials, it does not have to be sent to landfill, but instead be handled on your facility to create a completely waste free spill cleanup. Another similarity is the absorption capacity and how much each product can hold, this is comparable to polypropylene.


To conclude, the difference between Green Boom and traditional polypropylene absorbents is that ours are 100% biodegradable and leave no waste. Also the durability, customization, heat resistance, and that one can reuse the product and the oil are several of the advantages of using Green Boom. This, whilst still having a comparable price, even when not including the cost savings that can be made on disposal.



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