October 25, 2019
November 11, 2019

Biopad Oil Absorbent Pads for Railroads

The Origin of Biopad

We produce our biodegradable oil absorbent, Biosorb, from the core fiber of a plant we grow in the Mississippi Delta. As we began to increase production of our granular absorbent using one half of this fiber, the other half of the plant was being stacked inside our warehouse. This part of the plant is the bast fiber, and up until five years ago we weren't using it.
Eventually, a customer's request resulted in an ingenious idea.

Biodegradable Pads for the Railroad

Biopad came to fruition around 5 years ago when Kengro President Brent Brasher was approached by a railroad company in California, where environmental laws require more preventative action regarding oil spills. They were seeking a biodegradable oil absorbent pad that could be used to line railroad tracks, so that falling oil would never hit the railways. A pad of this sort would also meet environmental regulations and theoretically require less maintenance and disposal costs.

Birthed soon after was Kengro Biopad. Biopad is a biodegradable absorbent pad that can hold up to 6 times its weight. Microbes inherent to Biopad are able to process and degrade oil, unlike any polypropylene or geotextile mat. Kengro's first size of Biopad offered was a 59 inch wide by 50 foot long mat that fits perfectly between railroad tracks!

Since the mat can last until fully saturated, or for around two years before degradation begins, it is perfect to leave in place wherever falling oil should be caught. The idea is that these can be left out and unattended for long periods of time, resulting in an incredibly low maintenance product.

Biopad Project in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana

Recently, Kengro teamed up with Complete Environmental and Remediation Company, LLC of Mississippi in applying our railroad mat along railways in a few Southern states. The railroad company was previously using a geotextile mat of sorts. This geotextile mat seemed to be allowing oil to pass through and touch the rocks underneath, so the company wanted to explore and field test other mats available on the market.

Enter Biopad, a product that absorbs oil and diesel on contact, is water resistant, and can absorb around 6 times its weight.

Biosorb is placed as first layer of protection

First, Kengro Biosorb was placed along the railroad as the first level of protection.

Biopad is layered on top of Biosorb for a second layer of protection

Next, Kengro's 59" Biopad Railroad mat was placed in between rails.

Biopad rolls easily out onto the tracks

What Are the Benefits of Biopad?

  • Ability to Biodegrade
  • Puncture and tear resistant
  • Easy and quick installation
  • Prevention of spills rather than reaction
  • Incredibly low disposal costs
  • Longevity in the field
  • Versatility--can be used for many different functions.

This article was written by Alexandra Brasher, pictures provided by Complete Environmental Products.