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Oil absorption

A process of oil penetration inside the porous absorbent materials.


Insoluble material used to absorb oil (or other liquids or gases) through a mechanism of absorption and/or adsorption.

Natural inorganic absorbents

Absorbent materials (see absorbents) usually consisting of clay, perlite, vermiculite, glass wool, sand or volcanic ash.

Natural organic absorbents

Absorbent materials (see absorbents) usually consisting of cork, peat moss, straw, hay, sawdust, ground corncobs, feathers, and other carbon-based products.

Synthetic absorbents

Absorbent materials (see absorbents) usually consisting of foams of polypropylene, polyurethane or polyethylene.


A process where the oil is attracted to and stick to the surface of the sorbent material, without penetrating its surface.


Hydrocarbons characterized by unsaturated ring structures of carbon atoms. Commercial petroleum aromatics are benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX).


Floating barriers that delimit the oil spill and avoid it's spreading.


The capability of a material of being decomposed by a natural biological process.


The use of microorganisms to enhance the degradation of hydrocarbons and other types of chemicals.


They constitute a fraction of the cork composition that contributes to the impermeability of cork to water.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's)

A family of chemical compounds found in oils and organic solvents; VOC's evaporate quickly and can cause adverse health effects.


Vegetable tissue from the bark of Quercus suber L. (from the same family of oak), designated like cork oak. This material is the source of raw materials for the cork industry.

Amadia reproduction cork

Cork obtained from the third harvest of the cork oak (at least after 18 years of the first one). It is remover cyclically every 9 years and posses a uniform thickness layer with few fractures of low deepness. This cork may be used to produce stoppers.

Virgin cork

Cork from the first harvest of the trunk and branches of the cork oak. It presents an irregular structure making impossible its use for stoppers. Most of the times is used to prepare agglomerated cork.

Second harvest reproduction cork

First reproduction cork or second harvest, at least 9 years after the first one, presenting some irregularities so impossible to be used for stoppers and consequently used to prepare agglomerated cork.

Oil spill

Release due to human activity of hydrocarbons into the marine or terrestrial environment.

Dispersant - dispersing agent - emulsifier

Chemicals that are used to break down spilled oil in small droplets.


The branch of toxicology concerned with the study of toxic effects, caused by natural or synthetic pollutants, to the constituents of ecosystems, animal (including human), vegetable and microbial, in an integral context.


A stream of water flowing out from an industrial plant or natural structure.

Cork granules

Cork fragments obtained by drilling and shredding of cork, with dimensions that may goes from 0,25 to 8 mm. Cork granules may be classified according to their size and bulk density.


An organic compound totally consisting of hydrogen and carbon. The majority of hydrocarbons found naturally occur in crude oil.


The physical property of a compound or material that is repelled from water.


Material that can be easily ignited.


Component of cork (19-22%, by weight) that, with the polysaccharides, confers rigidity to the cork’s cell walls. If this component was taken out, the cork cells would collapse.

Petroleum oils

Also called crude oil, a flammable liquid, composed by a complex mixture of hydrocarbons and other organic compounds.


The physical property of a compound or material that has a stronge affinity for oils, absorbing them selectively.

Cork oak

Tree from the Fagaceae family, which may reach, on adult stage, 8 to 10 meters height. The leaves are 4 to 7 cm long, weakly lobed or coarsely toothed, dark green above, paler beneath, with the leaf margins often down curved. The acorns are 2 to 3 cm long, in a deep cup fringed with elongated scales. The scientific name of this tree is Quercus suber L.


Devices used to remove oil from the water’s surface.

Oil retention

Amount of oil entrapped inside the sorbent.

Vapour pressure

The higher the vapour pressure, the more flammable vapour is evolved from a free liquid surface at a given temperature.

Contingency plan

A document describing a set of procedures and advises for dealing with an oil spill episode.

Non-petroleum oils

Non-petroleum oils include synthetic oils, such as silicone fluids, Tung oils, and wood-derivative oils, such as resin/rosin oils, animal fats and oil, and edible and inedible seed oils from plants.

Hazardous Substance

Any biological agent and other disease-causing agent which after release into the environment and upon exposure, ingestion, inhalation, or assimilation into any person will or may reasonably be anticipated to cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutation, physiological malfunctions or physiological deformations in such persons or their offspring.

Rate of sorption

Time spent to sorb the spill oil. Dependent on the density and viscosity of the oil to be sorbed.

Surface tension

The attractive force exerted upon the surface molecules of a liquid by the molecules beneath the surface. When oil is spilled on water, this tension makes the oil behave as a continuous sheet that is difficult to separate or break up.


The resistance of a fluid to flow.


The Corksorb products are absorbents designed to deal with any kind of hydrocarbons, oils, solvents and organic compounds spills.

see products Corksorb