Sorbents Plus LLC is a Houston-based company focused on providing the Gulf Coast with reliable, cost-effective, quality products. Its goal is to offer clients turnkey solutions for emergency oil spill response, oil exploration and industrial chemical cleaning. The company’s team has more than 23 years combined experience in the spill response supply industry.
“We choose the manufacturers we represent very carefully,” said Angela Snell, co-founder of Sorbents Plus. “Not only to ensure the product lines are the best in the industry but that they also meet the standards of customer service we provide in our region. Our main manufacturer is NPS Corp., manufacturer of Spilfyter®. Their product line is unmatched in the spill control industry. Consistently on the leading edge of new and innovative products that are rated highly by top oil exploration companies such as BP.”
Leo Guidroz has worked as technical advisor for big companies like BP for more than 25 years. As he studied the products used during the Deepwater Horizon spill, he discovered there were serious concerns regarding the real effect of conventional sock-in-net sorbent booms.
“In the early stage, when the oil was thin, regular booms worked fine, but later when the oil had been floating around for days, by the time it reached the shoreline, the thin parts of the oil had vaporized away, leaving this thick viscous material,” said Guidroz. “When that came in contact with the booms, it just coated the surface of the booms. They look like they are saturated, but they are not.
“A boom 15 centimeters in diameter would only have about 2 centimeters of saturation, so they would not do their job — and we did not get enough value. The spill response teams would go out and think their booms were fully saturated, which of course creates a lot more work.
“The NPS booms have what I call ‘French fries’ inside it — polypropylene strips of the right size so they wouldn’t escape the mesh. By having this entanglement of strips, the oil was allowed not only to contact the outside but also find its way to the core of the sorbent boom. So, in my opinion, this made it a much better value product.
“The majority of sorbent booms out there are pulpy, like bags of shredded cotton swabs blown into socks. NPS is one of the few companies that have the productions facility to produce booms in this French fries fashion. The NPS boom costs less in waste disposal and also allows the oil to get to the core.
“If you go to BP’s warehouse in Memphis, you will find a lot of the surplus are other manufacturers’ products, and you will not see a lot of NPS products because they were all put to use — a good testimonial in itself, since the guys realized it was more efficient.”
Guidroz believes people need more training in product knowledge. Although he would rather see competent experts with bad products than the opposite — since experts would improvise and make things work — it is essential that hands-on experience of products is established in organizations handling oil spills.
“It was not just with the sorbent materials I saw this,” said Guidroz. “The people in the field weren’t utilizing it properly. They just didn’t have any experience to set it up — how to use the currents and the wind properly.”
Different equipment works differently depending on the properties and circumstances of a spill. One piece of equipment can be perfect, but under a different set of circumstances it may not work at all. It all has to be both effective and economically feasible.
Sorbents Plus stocks Spilfyter booms and the full Spilfyter line of spill control products in Houston and Louisiana. A service-driven company backed by quality products gives it the edge on its competitors. Sorbents Plus also provides a wide array of specialty biodegradable cleaners, including general purpose and solvent cleaners, corrosion inhibitors and oil field products.
“When you want a company that can give you a full turnkey solution to spill control, call us and let our products work for you and our environment,” said Snell.
For more information, visit www.sorbentsplus.com or call (832) 392-1361.