Two years ago, during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the unrealized idea of a quilted blanket containing C.I.Agent Solidifying Polymers for oil retrieval and containment on water resurfaced. Now two years later through the diligent efforts of the C.I.Agent Solutions R&D team and Dr. Gupta, Ph.D. and independent consultant with extensive expertise in fibers, nonwovens and other textiles, the product has become a reality.
Patent-pending C.I.Agent Agent-Q has C.I.Agent polymer granules embedded between layers of high-strength, lightweight hydrophilic spundbond nonwoven fabric that are quilted together via ultrasonic bonding. One square meter (m2) of fabric holds 350 grams of C.I.Agent, a blend of USDA food-grade polymers that are non-toxic, non-corrosive, non-carcinogenic, and non-hazardous, that encapsulates hydrocarbons into an inert rubber like mass that floats. Water flows freely through one layer of Agent-Q at a rate of 400 gallons per minute per m2 as the oil is captured by the polymer granules.
Initially developed as an oil spill response solution, C.I.Agent Agent-Q is also an excellent filtration media, where an end user can install an Agent-Q filter in a containment system and leave a valve open to allow water to process through and not back up in the containment area. Agent-Q will process oil sheen and if multiple layers of Agent-Q are used, they will create total stoppage of a hydrocarbon substance. Currently C.I.Agent Agent-Q is being used in C.I.Agent Scuppers, C.I.Agent Sheen Boom, and C.I.Agent Drip Pad.
With the great flow rates that have been achieved with C.I.Agent Agent-Q, the company plans to use it in other existing products for our secondary containment, water filtration, stormwater and emergency response markets. Other promising opportunities include providing it to original equipment manufacturers for products such as pleated filters.
UPDATE: Patent No. U.S. 8,986,822 B2 for Agent-Q, also known as an “OIL IMPERVIOUS DEVICE WITH HIGH WATER FLOW RATE,” was officially issued on March 24, 2015. Click here for more info.