Test your absorbent granules knowledge with our fun quiz

Our quiz about absorbent granules has been designed to help you to stretch your knowledge and be prepared to deal with any spillages that occur in your workplace.

In answering these questions, you will discover just how much, or how little, you know about absorbent granules – but be warned; although it’s a multiple choice quiz there may be more than one right answer… or there may be none at all. Don’t cheat by scanning down to the answers first; do that and you won’t know what you didn’t know.


1. Absorbent granules can be made from materials containing which of the following?
a) Celluloid
b) Cellulite
c) Cellulose

2. Spill-Aid is the best-selling super absorbent in the UK, because it can be used to absorb all liquids of any viscosity, with one exception, from any surface. Which of the following is the exception?
a) Hydrofluoric acid
b) Hydrochloric acid
c) Hydrocyanic acid

3. Which of the following is a kind of clay used to make an absorbent granule product?
a) Kryptonite
b) Bentonite
c) Attapulgite

4. A 10g sachet of body fluid absorbent granules is enough to soak up how much blood, urine, vomit or saliva?
a) A litre
b) A pint
c) Half a pint

5. True or false: When absorbent granules have done their job, they can safely be swept up and dumped in the nearest waste bin.

6. The Health and Safety Executive recommends having absorbent granules to hand in case of spills when handling petrol and diesel on garage forecourts, especially during incidents when diesel has been pumped instead of petrol, and vice-versa. How many of the latter incidents take place in the UK each year?
a) Less than 10,000
b) More than 100,000
c) More than 150,000

7. Naturally-occurring organic materials used in the manufacture of absorbent granules are found in the greatest proportion in which of the following?
a) Cotton
b) Wood
c) Maize

8. Spill Control Centre offers a wide range of absorbent granules for a variety of applications. Which of the following statements about them is not true?
a) They are all fire retardant to BS 476 Part 7
b) They are all chemically inert
c) They are all equally effective on any spill

9. Ten litres of which of the following will absorb the most?
a) XR70 Industrial cellulose granules
b) XR60 industrial clay granules
c) XR85 construction clay granules

10. Apart from being effective absorbents, which of the following is true for most of the absorbent granules offered for sale by Spill Control Centre?
a) They are backed up by friendly and knowledgeable sales advisors
b) They can be delivered free
c) They’re part of a comprehensive range of spill control products ideal for keeping your workplace unhindered by spills at all times

Absorbent Granules


1. C. Cellulose, a chain of linked sugar molecules found in plants. Celluloid is considered to have been the first plastic, with the name registered in 1870; Cellulite is subcutaneous fat that causes dimpling of the skin.

2. A. Hydroflouric acid. This will eat through almost anything, including glass and metal, so storing it can be a bit of a problem. It is a valuable tool in etching glass, cleaning stainless steel, and preparing silicon wafers for use in silicon chips. Storage is in special plastic bottles.

3. B and C. Bentonite and Attapulgite are chemically similar, but have names derived from their source. The former was named by Wilbur C Knight in 1898, after Benton shale found near the Rock River in Wyoming. Attapulgite is most commonly found in the south-eastern USA. The name comes from the town of Attapulgus, Georgia, where the mineral is surface mined. Kryptonite is pure fiction; part of the Superman story.

4. A, B and C. 10g of granules can absorb a litre, so it naturally follows that the same amount can also soak up the two smaller quantities. These granules are best supplied with other equipment, such as PPE, as part of a body fluid spill kit, allowing employers to extend their duty of care to whoever is cleaning up the spill.

5. False. Absorbent granules are chemically inert, so although they have soaked up what’s been spilled, the properties of the spilled liquid have not been changed. Used granules should therefore be disposed of in the same way that the spilled liquid ought to have been disposed of, in clearly-labelled bags.

6. B. More than 100,000. The HSE believes the number to be about 120,000, or more than 325 a day.

7. A. Cotton. The material in question is cellulose, which makes up about 90% of cotton, making it the obvious choice for towels.

8. C. Although many of the products are very versatile, they are not all equally effective on every spill. Our product pages contain details of each one’s suitability for your kind of spill.

9. C. The XR85 granules. Ten litres of these will absorb six litres of spill, as against five litres for the XR60 and four for the XR70. (However, don’t write the XR70 off; it’s extremely effective on interior oil spills, light and easy to handle, and its cost works out at just 83p per litre of oil absorbed). Factors such as physical structure and suitable location need to be considered in the purchase decision when working out which is the most effective option.

10. A, B and C. Spill Control Centre is the home of an extremely comprehensive range of spill control products, of which absorbent granules, in all their forms, are just a small part.

Picture: © Dtfoxfoto | Dreamstime.com

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