DoD Sustainable Products Center

Biobased Sorbents

Demonstration Overview

The STED Program is currently demonstrating biobased sorbents for use in maintenance, emergency response, and other operations at Department of Defense (DoD) Installations.

Sorbents have been designated for Federal procurement preference by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Program.  The BioPreferred Program defines sorbents as

“Materials formulated for use in the cleanup and bioremediation of oil and chemical spills, the disposal of liquid materials, or the prevention of leakage or leaching in maintenance applications, shop floors, and fuel storage areas.”

The BioPreferred Program established a minimum biobased content of 89 percent for sorbents.

Sorbents used for oil and solvent clean-up or animal bedding have also been designated for Federal procurement preference under the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG).  The accompanying Recovered Material Advisory Notice (RMAN) established various minimum recycled content levels based on material type.

Whereas most traditional sorbents utilize non-renewable resources such as mined clay or polypropylene (derived from fossil fuels), biobased sorbents utilize renewable plant resources.  Unlike most clay sorbents, they do not pose a risk of silicosis from long-term exposure.

The biobased sorbent products participating in this demonstration meet both the biobased and recycled content requirements above.  Before these biobased products are utilized by the Military Departments and DoD Components, their performance must be proven to meet DoD requirements.

Demonstration Products*

The following biobased products are currently being demonstrated:

  • Nature’s Broom Absorbent Loose by Delta Absorbents of America
  • Delta Absorbents Absorbent Dry Sweep Granular by Delta Absorbents of America
  • Delta Absorbents Absorbent Pillow and Absorbent Containment Case by Delta Absorbents of America
  • Delta Absorbents Oil Only Absorbent Pads by Delta Absorbents of America
  • Delta Absorbents Universal Absorbent Pads by Delta Absorbents of America
  • Nature’s Broom Absorbent Sock by Delta Absorbents of America
  • Delta Absorbents Armorer Mat with Recycled Content Biobased Pad by Delta Absorbents of America

*Mention of or referral to commercial products, services, and manufacturers herein is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by, nor the official policy or position of, the Department of Defense (DoD), any of its Components, or the U.S. Government.

Demonstration Sites

Field demonstrations of these products were performed at the following DoD installations and co-located federal facilities to evaluate their performance in Military operational environments and to raise awareness of biobased product availability:

  • Anniston Army Depot (ANAD)
  • Redstone Arsenal
  • Fort Benning
  • Edwards Air Force Base
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM)
  • Fort Irwin/National Training Center
  • Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) Twentynine Palms
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Armstrong Flight Research Center

Demonstration Details

Installation personnel are provided a supply of the products and asked to provide feedback on the product performance. The participating end user activities within the listed installations found the biobased sorbent products to be acceptable alternatives to their currently used sorbent products (typically clay-based sorbents and polypropylene pads).  Due to the increased absorbency of the biobased products, participants found an overall reduction in the amount of sorbent required for cleanup, resulting in an up to 60 percent cost reduction over the current method of oil spill cleanup.  Participants also found the increased absorbency of the biobased products resulted in reduced waste generation.  This absorptive efficiency, combined with the lighter weight of the biobased sorbents compared to clay, supports lower associated disposal costs where the cost of disposal is based on waste weight or volume.

As a result of this demonstration and installation requests for these products, the General Services Administration (GSA) established the following National Stock Numbers and Multiple Award Schedule for the demonstrated sorbents:

Demonstration Product National Stock Numbers

NSN / Container Size
7930-01-702-9663 / Nature’s Broom Absorbent, 4LB Pouch
7930-01-702-9662 / Nature’s Broom Absorbent 0.9 CF Bag
7930-01-702-8838 / Nature’s Broom Small Spill Kit (containing 4LB Pouch)
7930-01-702-8837 / Nature’s Broom Absorbent Sock
7930-01-702-8835 / Nature’s Broom Absorbent Pillow
7930-01-702-8836 / Containment Case for Absorbent Pillow
7930-01-701-3322 / Dry Sweep Absorbent, 0.8 CF Bag
7930-01-702-9050 / Dry Sweep Absorbent Mats
7930-01-702-8834 / Oil Only Pads
7930-01-703-0271 / Universal Pads

Demonstration GSA Schedule

Multiple Award Schedule 47QSWA22D0046

For more information regarding the biobased sorbent demonstration, please Contact Us.

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