Open-Cell Foam Products for Detection/Removal of Oil and Contamination from Water

AquaFlex’s products are all based on Scott Smith’s patent pending technology for the simultaneous detection and removal of oil and related contamination from water. Essentially AquaFlex technology is based on an open-cell foam membrane that traps water contaminants that may otherwise remain undetected. Like a sponge, the flexible elastomeric foam acts like a capillary network similar to the alveoli of the human lungs; the Open-Cell foam absorbs contamination and exhales clear water, one drop at a time. The trapped contaminants are collected and can be analyzed by independent laboratories.

Note that none of AquaFlex’s Open-Cell foam products can be used in applications that require portable water or drinkable water. These products are designed to be used in non-potable applications including (but not limited to) industrial chemical and oil spills, where it is important to test water for detection of harmful toxicants, bacteria and chemicals, while substantially removing more than 80% of the oil and/or chemicals spilled in the water.


In the larger Eelgrass configuration, the Next-Generation Open-Cell foam surface is designed specifically for fast moving currents of streams, rivers or oceans. The larger surface area (of 900 to 3600 square feet) maximizes contact with the water to remove oil and more than 50 different toxic chemicals before they can impact the shoreline or travel downstream. The Next-Generation Open-Cell foam material and the unique configuration of the Eelgrass provide greater absorption than traditional polypropylene fiber booms.

Eelgrass captures contaminants in a manner that facilitates more detailed lab analysis. With oil spills, a variety of chemical dispersants are also used in the cleanup effort. These chemicals need to be removed with the oil. They also need to be analyzed, to time weight average exposure over time, which provides metrics to measure the effectiveness of the cleanup effort.

Environmental Indicator

The AquaFlex Environmental Indicator is a highly sensitive water-quality tester that’s used to identify more than 50 different contaminants in water. Submerging the Open Cell Foam Indicators in water enables sampling at multiple levels – including the top, middle, and bottom of the water columns. Collected samples are sent to independent and accredited labs for testing, and comprehensive reports describe exactly what has been found in and removed from the water.

Steps in the process include:

Deployment – at multiple depths for more comprehensive collection versus standard grab methods.
Specific retrieval techniques are used to detail coordinates and create a documented chain of custody..
Pieces of the Indicator are cut and placed in sealed and iced containers, where they protected from sunlight and transported to accredited laboratories for analysis.
Retrieved samples are sent to independent, accredited labs, where they ate tested for up to 50 different chemicals. Comprehensive reports are peer reviewed by various scientists and toxicologists.