IDENTIFICATION & LOOSE PACKED TERMINOLOGY.
We do not print the 2 and 4 cubic foot measurement on the bag because the Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada stipulates that, if printed, it has to be an exact measurement of the contents. Not one company in todays peat moss industry can guarantee that their 2 and 4 cubic foot bags hold that exact amount; not those that sell Compressed and Compacted peat moss or hydrocarbon peat absorbent!
We can guarantee, and indicate on our bags, that 4 and 8 cubic feet of Loose packed Spill-Sorb is Double Compressed and Compacted into the (2 and 4 cubic foot) bags. Why? Because, very simply, the 4 and 8 cubic feet of Loose Packed Spill-Sorb is a measured amount, and at 2,200 PSI (pounds per square inch) the Verville Bagging Press will more than compress the loose peat to at least ½ the loose measurement.
Please note: When we compact the peat we are simply taking air out of the loose peat volume, not volume out of the peat!
We also stipulate that the Hydrocarbon Capacity per Bag is 25 and 50 US Gallons, and 100 and 200 Litres, and 800% By Weight. This also stipulates that this refers to the Note Absorption Rating section on back cover. These are factual test representations but, please know and understand that outside temperatures and the viscosity's of the hydrocarbons and chemicals to be absorbed will vary the amount of Spill-Sorb that will be necessary to fully absorb each spill. If it is lighter than 904 Bow River Alberta Crude (Specific Gravity of 0.904) you will generally need to use more Spill-Sorb; if heavier you will need less absorbent.
Of note: Pure water has an SG of 1.0 (one).
2. FILLING THE SPILL-SORB BAGS (Example used is 4 cubic foot).
The Spill-Sorb sphagnum peat moss is harvested by vacuum from selected bogs which have previously been drained and cultivated. Our selected bogs contain only Von Post scale 1, 2, & 3 quality sphagnum peat moss. The Von Post scale goes up to 10 at which point the peat is quite dirty and not acceptably fibrous. Our peat absorbent is ±97% pure organic sphagnum with a minimal content of minerals holding the balance. The Ph factor is from 4.5 to 5.
The harvested peat is then mix blended, screened, heat sterilised, then hot air dried to a moisture content of 10% or less. It is then screened again and air-pumped into an overhead silo. From there it is measured into an 8 cubic foot/0.227 cubic metre (227 litre) container and this measurement is fed into the empty peat bag. The peat absorbent is then compressed at 2,200 pounds per square inch into the 4 cu. ft./0.1135 cu. metre. (113.5 cu. litre) bag, which is then sealed.
Being organic, 30,000+ years old, and having been cultivated, harvested, processed, and dried, each peat fiber will not be of the same length, width, weight, and size. Mix-blending the peat after harvesting affords us the greatest ongoing consistency.
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3. WEIGHT & ABSORBENCY MEASUREMENTS USED.
Although the recognised absorbency, and therefor weight rating, is about 9 lbs./kilos of water for every 1 lb./kilo of peat, some of the better sphagnum mosses can absorb up to 14 lbs./kilos of water per lb./kilo of 100% pure dry peat. The Spill-Sorb sphagnum is harvested from the Fison bogs in Parkland County, northern Alberta; noted to be home to the finest and purest of sphagnum peat mosses in the world. All the weights and absorbency measurements we have used in this report, excepting for those tests that we have physically performed, use the lesser of the 1:9 absorbency ratio rather than the l:14 ratio.
4. BAG WEIGHTS PER CUBIC FOOT.
In the bog 1 lb., or 1 kilo, of 100% dry peat will hold 9 lbs., or 9 kilos, of water in its capillaric fibers. At 10% moisture content 1 lb., or l kilo, of peat will hold 0.43 1bs, or 0.43 kilos of moisture (not 1/9 of 9 lbs. being 1 lb., or 1/9 of 9 kilos being l kilo, as you may suspect). This therefore shows that the moisture content in our peat absorbent will increase by approximately 21 times when saturated. However at 5% moisture content it will absorb over 36 times its moisture weight and conversely at 16% moisture content it will only increase by about 13 times the weight of the moisture held in the peat. Dont get misdirected here; the above refers only to the amount by which the moisture content itself is increased and multiplied by when 100% saturation of the peat is realized.
Ideally 10% moisture content of our 4 cubic foot/0.1135 cubic metre (l13.5 litre) compressed bag will contain 0.110 kilos of peat absorbent per litre volume measure of Spill-Sorb (i.e. 0.077 kilos pure dried peat holding 0.033 kilos of moisture = 0.11 kilos or the equivalent of 0.11 litre measurement of Spill-Sorb). This multiplied by the original loose content fill of 227 litres of absorbent loaded into the bag will total 25 kilos ((0.077 + 0.033)×227=24.97 kilos) of weight per compressed 4 cu. ft./0.1135 cu. metre (ll3.5 litre) bag. The imperial weights comparison looks too complex; suffice it to say that the 4 cubic foot bag should weigh 55 lbs. when 8 cubic feet of loose Spill-Sorb has been double compressed and compacted into it.
If the moisture content is higher, it will weigh more than 55 lbs. or 25 kilos. If it has less than 10% moisture content the bag weight will drop accordingly. Remember all sizes, weights, and the bulk density of each peat fibre is variable, we do not, nor can we, guarantee a weight to less than a nominal percentage per bag.
5. ABSORPTION CAPACITY PER BAG.
At a ratio of 0.035 lbs., or 0.077 kilos, of l00% dry peat with 0.015 lbs., or 0.033 kilos, of moisture content the percentage of dry peat available for external use is 94.1% (of interest the factorial percentage of moisture removed from the saturated peat is 95.2%!).
We know that one bag of Spill-Sorb will minimally absorb 465 lbs. or 55 US Gallons, or 210 kilos (or 210 litres) of water when saturated (0.110 kilos/litres × 227 × 9 × 94.l% = 211.47 kilos or liquid litres of measurement). Tests have proven that one 4 cubic foot compacted bag of Spill-Sorb will regularly absorb 50 US gallons, or 200 litres, of Bow River Alberta crude oil at temperatures of from 57 to 64°F, or 14 to 17°C. Spill-Sorb Canada Inc. has set this measurement as their foundation absorption rate. Bow River crude has a specific gravity of 0.904 and weighs 392 lbs./178 kilos per 54 US gallon/204 litre drum.
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Specific gravity, and similarly kg per M³, bbl per Mg(1,000 kg.= 1 tonne), kg per drum (204 litres), lb. per gal. (Imperial), and lb. per gal. (US), are all directly related to the absorption capabilities of dried peat with hydrocarbons. The higher the SG and weight per litre the better the Spill-Sorb absorption rate. The lesser the SG or weight per litre of the hydrocarbon, the lesser the absorption factor of the peat absorbent. Residual fuel oils, greases, and paints will require less than a 4 cubic foot bag of compacted Spill-Sorb to absorb 50 US gallons/200 litres of spill while more than one bag will be required to absorb an equal amount, yet of lesser weight and SG, when aviation, auto, or diesel fuels are to be absorbed.
6. COMPACTED SPILL-SORB MEASURE.
Gallons or litres of hydrocarbons absorbed are directly related to the loose packed capacity fill of the peat absorbent prior to being compacted. When 8 cubic feet/0.227 cubic metres (227 litres) of loose dried peat absorbent is compacted to 4 cubic feet/113.5 cubic metres (227 litres) and then reopened, whether it is hours or months later, the peat will not spring or surge back to its original 8 cu. ft./0.227 cu. metres. (227 litre) measurement. When loosened prior to being distributed on spills it will usually measure 5.3 to 5.6 cu. ft. or 0.150 to 0.160 cu. metres. (150 to 160 litres).
Remember, when we compact the peat we are simply taking air out of the loose peat volume, not volume out of the peat! If you placed the contents into a roller-tub clothes dryer for several minutes then it will spring and surge back to 8 cu. ft. or 0.227 cu. metres. (227 litres) of cubic measurement. i.e. It will aerate and fill the fibrous pores with air. The absorbency capabilities of Spill-Sorb does not deteriorate from being compacted unless the fibers have been permanently and irreversibly crushed in the process. The only time this happens is when the peat has been charred in the drying process, and or, has been dried to too low a moisture content level. The peat would then turn to a fine black powder.
When the pores are sealed, or the peat turns to ash, then it is like our competitors products; it becomes an ADsorbent, not an ABsorbent. In the case of Spill-Sorb the integrity of the peat fibers are maintained throughout the air drying and Goodwin patented Cyclonic Vacuum Heat Treatment Process where the drying fibers residence time throughout the drying chambers is exactly controlled and monitored until such time as the correct moisture content is attained.
And finally, the only reason we compact Spill-Sorb is to save us all monies on freight costs. This saving, or not paying for loose product to be shipped, is easily calculated; it is 50%!