Known more commonly as 'absorbents' the RP18 oil adsorbent fabric is a strong, durable and highly effective cleaner for oil spills in emergency spill response as well as general applications as outlined below.


  • Floats on water.
  • Retains more than 20 times its own weight.
  • Is reusable.
  • Can be used to adsorb animal, mineral or vegetable oil and floating chemicals.
  • Can be used as a filter.
  • Under independent, rigorous test conditions, performs better than all other adsorbents.

General Description

RP18 was developed in 1986 by OPEC to replace other polypropylene sorbents that were of inferior quality and difficult to use. OPEC realised that conventional adsorbents did not provide adequate prolonged use and something more durable and better adsorption was needed. RP18 is a specially designed, stitch bonded, polypropylene material that is extremely strong with extraordinary adsorption characteristics.

The superior characteristics of RP18 to other adsorbents were tested and documented by a representative of Lloyd’s Register in 1988. To view this document click here.

The product is sold in long rolls which can be perforated or un-perforated depending on the desired usage.

 Standard Product Range




46 cm (18”)

46 m (150’)

Perforated @ 46 cm intervals

46 cm (18”)

46 m (150’)


92 cm (32”)

46 m (150’)

Perforated @ 92 cm intervals

92 cm (36”)

46 m (150’)


Ancillary equipment is also available such as hand wringers fixed on open-topped drums, (for re-use of the product) and various wall and floor dispensers.
NOTE: The reusability of RP18 means greater cut downs on procurement and hazardous waste disposal costs.

General Applications

Many users in such industries as petroleum, water treatment, vehicle repair, engineering and general industry have benefited from using RP18 adsorbents.

Not only does RP18 ensure a safe, clean working area, it also reduces the possible damaging effects of pollution.

Unlike many other types of adsorbent material, the OPEC product is able to deal with many more substances in addition to the range of hydrocarbons.

Liquids, such as acids and alkalis are dealt with in the same no-nonsense fashion.

Simply place the RP18 on the spilt liquid and it is almost instantly adsorbed.

Alternatively, position the OPEC RP18 adsorbent where there is likely to be a spillage and the substance will permeate the material, leaving the surface underneath clean, vastly reducing the possible damaging effects of discharge of chemicals.

Disposal of RP18 by incineration produces a very low ash content.
RP18 is also the main component of the Emergency Spill Kits and Tanker Spill Kits.

The fibre used in the manufacture of RP18 is the main component for OPEC’s range of ‘Sorbent Booms’, which are used in emergency spill clean-up operations.

 Special Applications

RP18 has been used for many special projects including:


N.B. The information contained in this entry is provided by the above supplier, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher