Fibertect Cotton-Soaking (CS), a three-layer flexible, inert, nonwoven, non-particulate decontamination system that has been proven to be successful in absorbing and adsorbing chemical warfare agents, may now prove useful in recovery efforts in the British Petroleum (BP) Deepwater Horizon disaster and other oil spills of similar size and severity.
Fibertect CS was developed by Texas Tech University's The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) Associate Professor Seshadri Ramkumar and is manufactured by Hobbs Bonded Fibers for First Line Technology.
As of May 29, Fibertect CS is officially approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. And Tuesday (1 June) the Fibertect CS technology was featured on CNBC's Power Lunch as a plausible solution to the BP Oil Spill.
The three layers of material consist of a top and bottom fabric with a center layer of fibrous activated carbon that is needle punched into a composite fabric. The top and bottom layers provide structural coherence, improving mechanical strength and abrasion resistance while the center layer holds volatile compounds, like oil.
Ramkumar said according to documented research published by many scientists, raw cotton can absorb up to 20 times its weight. But when chemically modified the material can hold more than two to three times that amount. And unlike synthetic materials like polypropylene that are currently used in many oil containment booms, Fibertect® made from raw cotton and carbon is biodegradable.
“Fibertect has already proven to be effective in the bulk decontamination of chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals, but our proposal here is to use it to aid in the clean-up efforts in the Gulf,” said First Line Technology President Amit Kapoor.
“Fibertect allows for a green, environmentally safe, biodegradable technology that is perfect for the expanding effort to protect and decontaminate coastal lands and wildlife. We welcome the opportunity to work with the government, BP, or other oil companies in a joint effort to defend and preserve our planet”, he added by saying.