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Frequently Asked Questions

A sorbent is a material used to absorb liquids and/or gases through mechanisms of absorption and/or adsorption.

CorkSorb can virtually be use to absorb all kinds of oils, hydrocarbons, organic solvents and products like (e.g. gasoline, cleaning agents or solvent based inks). CorkSorb is not suitable for being used on spills of water based and highly basic products.

Os produtos CorkSorb não são apropriados para absorção de água nem de produtos de base aquosa devido à sua característica intrínseca de hidrofobicidade. Esta característica da cortiça permite que o produto CorkSorb seja usado para utilizações selectivas de absorção de óleo, quando ocorrem derrames em meios aquáticos ou em pavimentos molhados. Numa situação destas, um absorvente universal (que também absorve água) ficará saturado com água e terá portanto uma má eficiência de absorção do líquido derramado.

Os produtos CorkSorb flutuam mesmo após saturação, devido à sua estrutura de células de ar e baixa densidade. Estas características tornam os produtos CorkSorb particularmente adequados para tratamento de derrames em ambientes aquáticos ou em condições de chuva.

CorkSorb products are essentially constitute by cork, the bark of Quercus suber L.. The extraction of cork is a highly regulated activity. An adult cork oak is debarked every nine years without damaging the tree. The cork oak forests are a part of an important ecosystem, renowned by several environmental international institutions. The cork forests are a habitat of many animals, some of them, endangered. The cork oak forests are also responsible for the capture of high amounts of carbon dioxide contributing for the reduction of the greenhouse effect.

CorkSorb was designed for being a safety tool, totally suitable for dealing with dangerous situations like the absorption of flammable products. CorkSorb is certified by an EU notified body reporting to be suitable for product cleaning up fuel spills in ATEX areas. The granulometry of our granular products was carefully selected in order to avoid the concentration of powder in air and consequent explosive atmosphere. CorkSorb is supplied in paper bags or corrugated paper boxes in order to avoid accumulation of electrostatic energy.

There are some slight differences on the sorption capacity of CorkSorb depending on the oil to be absorbed. These differences are mostly related with the density and viscosity of the oil. We are available to perform some tests with oils of our customers.

CorkSorb has an absorbent capacity that may change between 3.5 and 6.5 (l oil/kg absorbent). The absorption capacity is related with the type of cork material and the quantity of cork material present on the final product.

The cost coming from the treatment of the spills is influenced by:

1. Cost of the absorbent
2. Absorption capacity of the absorbent
3. Cost of the residue generated by the absorption of the spill.

A higher capacity of the products absorption will reduce the consumption of absorbent and the amount of waste generated, being a crucial factor on the final cost of the spill cleaning process.

CorkSorb is a sorbent that effectively eliminates the oil from the environment while the dispersant reduce the particle size of the pollutant but does not eliminated it. Using CorkSorb the pollutants will be effectively removed from the environment for later treatment.

CorkSorb is made of cork powder or granules. This material is extensively used for the production of stopper of bottles of wine. The product is FDA approved for contact with food products.

CorkSorb is made of cork. Cork duo to its porous structure of closed cells, cork present low density and kept it after absorption.

Cork is the bark of the oak tree (Quercus suber L.) which is periodically extracted from the tree, usually every 9-12 years, in order to achieve good quality cork and healthy trees. Quercus suber L., is the botanical name for a kind of slow growing, evergreen oak that flourishes only in specific regions of the Western Mediterranean region (Portugal, Spain, South of France, part of Italy, North of Africa) and some regions in China.

A cork oak tree may have an average of 16 harvests during a life time, around 150 and 200 years. The first harvest happens after 25 years and after that every 9 years, at least.

CorkSorb is made of cork obtained from cork oak forests sustainably managed and fulfilling all the legal requirements. CorkSorb contribute to a balanced cork oak forest ecosystem, habitat for a series of animal species, some of which are endangered, as the Iberian lynx, the black-winged kite, the black vulture, the imperial eagle and the black stork.

There is enough cork in Portugal to meet demand for the next 100 years. Under a large-scale re-forestation program funded by the EU the forests are growing by 4 per cent a year. High quality cork oak forests in North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco) are being brought into commercial production. Most importantly, the introduction of high quality technical corks is allowing much better utilisation of the cork resource.

Cork oak forests make a substantial contribution to the economy and ecology of several Western Mediterranean countries - Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

With around 730,000 hectares, Portugal has a third of the total land under cork oak forests; these forests represent 23 per cent of the country’s forested land. Portugal accounts for over half of global cork production. There are over 2.2 million hectares of cork oak forest.

As florestas de montado estão disseminadas em algumas regiões do Mediterrâneo com influência do Atlântico, em particular, Portugal, Espanha, sul de França, Itália e norte de África. Existem ainda algumas florestas de montado em regiões da China.

Cork has a very high oxygen index value, resulting in high resistance to fire propagation. During combustion, because no fusion of material occurs, in particular suberin, cork main component, fire propagation is very slow. Cork is composed almost exclusively of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and therefore no toxic fumes are produced.


There are numerous applications of CorkSorb: any type of oil spills, oil, organic solvents or compounds spills, that may occur in different activities.

more about applications