The Secret Life of Superabsorbent Polymers: Filtration

Superabsorbent Polymer Filtration

Clean fuel performs better than dirty fuel. Dirt, dust, and grime can get into your fuel and really gum up your vehicle’s engine. That’s simple enough to understand, but did you know that water is also considered to be a very dangerous contaminant of fuel?

When water gets into a vehicle’s fuel supply, the vehicle will noticeably sputter or stall. This is due to diluted fuel reaching the fuel injectors or carburetors, pumping the vehicle’s engine with a weakened power source. This is just the beginning. Did you know that it can do irreparable damage to your vehicle? Even a small amount of water in your fuel tank can ruin the electric fuel pump, clog up the fuel lines, rust the interior of the tank, and cause fuel injector tips to explode.

The stakes are even higher with jet fuel. Water separates from jet fuel; and once the aircraft is in flight, the lower temperatures of the upper atmosphere can cause those separated water droplets to freeze. These frozen water droplets can block fuel intake lines, resulting in malfunction or even a crash.

Related article: Superabsorbent Polymers in Meat Packaging


Superabsorbent Polymers in Filtration

So how do we prevent water from entering our fuel supply and possibly causing one of the problems listed above? There are several methods, but one of the most simple and cost-effective solutions is using a filter. Below is an illustration of a basic filter.

Filter DiagramImage: Deconstructed view of a fuel filter

The yellow part labeled “Filter Media” is just that: a porous, paper-like substance that is designed to catch any solid particles above a certain size that are deemed harmful. This filter media can also be constructed using superabsorbent polymers impregnated in the media to catch any free water in the fuel that is pumped through it. Since superabsorbent polymers do not absorb fuel, the fuel itself will pass through the filter undeterred.

Learn more about Superabsorbent Rolled Goods
Keeping with the theme “Secret Life of Superabsorbent Polymers”, this is definitely one of its more “behind-the-scenes” uses. But we are willing to bet that the next time you are filling your car up with gas, or sitting in an airplane about to take off, fuel filtration might cross your mind.

Superabsorbent Polymer Fuel Pump

Gas filtration is just one of many superabsorbent polymer uses. Keep following this series to learn more surprising ways these superabsorbent polymers play a large part in your everyday life.

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