Oil wreaks serious damage on the environment. That’s why new ways to protect the environment from oil spills and oil containing storm run-offs are a high priority. Find out more about one of the newest materials, X-TEX, commonly found in high quality storm water filters, that can be used in many ways to protect the environment.
What is X-TEX?
It’s a lipophilic material or media, which means it attracts and absorbs oil. It is made out of recycled synthetic fibers. Those fibers are shaped into a lightweight mesh-like fiber mass that has an enormous surface area along with interstitial spaces. This combination of features gives X-TEX its outstanding absorbent qualities and makes it a high performance filter material. It is used in filters as well as in the form of rolled fabric, which can be used as a geo-textile.
More importantly, the material’s absorbent qualities are all the more valuable because it attracts oil while allowing water to flow freely. This makes it particularly effective for removing oils and other hydrocarbons from water. It can absorb not only petroleum, but also animal and vegetable oils, which makes it an excellent tool for removing spills.
However, because it allows water to pass through while absorbing any hydrocarbons and oils, it is ideal as a filtration medium for a variety of applications. Because of its huge surface area and its interstitial spaces, it can filter out and absorb a great amount of the targeted substances.
How else can X-TEX be used?
X-TEX can be incorporated into other water filtering materials as a supportive compound. Those other materials include for example certain zeolites, zero-valent iron filings, and activated carbons. In fact, it can be specially “conditioned” to attract specific chemical compounds.
It tends to form into cohesive “wads” or mats. This feature makes it the ideal medium for filter devices and other applications because it can be shaped to fit as needed.
What about cost?
Of course, the cost of environmental pollution is tremendous and so cost may not be the most pressing issues when it comes to effective clean-up and especially preventive tools.
Yet considering that X-TEX can filter and absorb about 20 times its own weight of hydrocarbons, it is actually quite cost effective, especially when compared to some of the more traditional filtering media.
Not only that, but between 85% and 90% of the absorbed oils can be reclaimed, which allows the media to be reused. This makes it environmentally friendly in a way that traditional absorbents are not. In addition, it will not leach harmful substances into the environment. And when it is burned, it will produce only minimal ash or residue.