Frequently asked questions – Absortech desiccants

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Absortech desiccants CTU Code-compliant?

The CTU Code is the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units. The publication includes information on all aspects of loading and securing the cargo in containers. The CTU provides guidance for those who pack and secure cargo, and for those who receive and unload the cargo.

In Annex 3 of the CTU Code, there is information about the prevention of condensation damage. It warns about the risks for the cargo of relative humidity of 40% or more for ferrous metal cargo, or relative humidity of 75% as a risk of mould growth for many commodities, such as wood, food or textiles.

The Code from the International Maritime Organization warns about the importance of controlling the moisture content of the cargo. As well as discussing the suitability of introducing desiccants into the containers to reach a “container-dry” or relative humidity inside the container under 60%, a condition that provides a safety margin against variations in temperature and humidity that could cause condensation.

Absortech desiccants are effective at keeping the relative humidity inside a container at safe levels for the cargo. And therefore, they comply with the statement of the CTU Code.

You can read more about the code here.

Are the desiccants DIN 55473 and/or MIL-D-3464 compliant?

The purpose of the standard DIN 55473 of Auxiliary means of packaging and MIL-D-3464 is to create a standard for adsorptive desiccants in bags, like clay, silica gel or alumina gel.

The industrial standard DIN 55473 and MIL-D-3464 provides criteria for the evaluation of the efficiency of desiccant bags and states that the desiccants shall not be deliquesced to liquid. The standard also defines what a “desiccant unit” is for a desiccant based on the amount of water it can adsorb.

As we explain in our Insight “Silica gel desiccant for moisture absorption: things you need to know”, Absortech desiccants are made of calcium chloride and reduce the moisture available in the environment via absorption. Absortech desiccants are not adsorptive desiccants and therefore, the standards DIN 55473 and MIL-D-3464 does not apply to our desiccant bags

Are Absortech desiccants compliant with the US FDA regarding contact with food?

The FDA, the US Food & Drug Administration, regulates food additives among other things. According to FDA regulations, a food additive is a component of a food contact article that is reasonably expected to migrate to food. Food additives are subject to the premarket approval requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and need to be FDA-compliant.

Our moisture absorbers do not represent a food additive and therefore, Absortech desiccants are not subject to the FDA’s food additive regulations and will not require an FDA clearance.

Our desiccants can be used safely to protect packed food, and other agricultural commodities in sacks or bags, from moisture damage. Read more here.

Are our desiccants REACH-compliant?

REACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals.
To comply with the requirements in REACH (EC) 1907/2006, and to produce and supply REACH-compliant desiccants, Absortech has REACH-registered calcium chloride (CaCl2). Absortech reg. no at ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) is: 01-2119494219-28-0096.

We also declare that, to the best of our knowledge, all products that are manufactured and supplied by Absortech Group do not contain any Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), identified in the REACH Candidate list or Annex XIV, in a concentration equal to or above 0.1% weight by weight (w/w). Neither are there any restrictions in the REACH Annex XVII that are applicable to the above-mentioned products.

Are our desiccants RoHS-compliant?

The directive RoHS 2015/863 restricts, with some exceptions, the use of several hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment.

Any packaging material, including desiccants, that is discarded after a product purchase is not considered a part of electronic equipment, so it does not fall within the scope of the RoHS directive. Therefore, desiccants and moisture absorbers do not need to be RoHS-compliant as they are not part of any electronic or electrical equipment.

Are Absortech desiccants DMF-free?

Dimethylformamide (DMF), more precisely N,N-dimethylformamide (CAS 68-12-2), is an amide of formic acid and is used as a polar organic solvent. The main customers for this chemical are the manufacturers of artificial leather, but it is also used in the production of polyacrylonitrile fibers, in special varnishes and paints and in plastic coating (polyurethanes). DMF – like dimethylacetamide (DMAc) and N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) – is classified as toxic to reproduction by EU harmonization (category 1b, H360D: may cause harm to the unborn child), and the substance may also irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract.

DMF is thus a CMR substance (Carcinogens / Mutagens / Reprotoxic) and was therefore included in the SVHC Candidate List (Substances of Very High Concern) on 19 December 2012, and proposed for inclusion in REACH Annex XIV (Authorisation List) in ECHA’s 5th Recommendation List in February 2014.

Absortech confirms that our desiccants are free from DMF and other substances listed on the SVHC list.

How to dispose of used desiccants?

Information about the disposal of our products is included in the Product Sheets of our AbsorRange™. There you will find our recommendations to minimize your environmental impact and detailed information about which desiccant parts can be recycled or reused. The plastic parts of our desiccants are usually made from recycled plastic and are easy to disassemble for recycling. Non-woven parts can also be recycled.

The disposal of calcium chloride desiccants depends on local disposal regulations and national authorities. Because calcium chloride is classified as hazardous to health (can cause serious eye irritation, H319) in some regions, it may be handled as hazardous waste in these regions.

Read here the disposal considerations for calcium chloride according to the European Chemicals Agency. You will find more information about waste handling in Section 13 of the Safety Data Sheets, available upon request, and you can contact your local disposal authorities for further information.

Are Absortech desiccants hazardous or toxic?

Absortech desiccants are made of calcium chloride. Calcium chloride is not classified as hazardous to the environment but classified as H319 (can cause serious eye irritation) according to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. The classification as hazardous to health impacts the way our products must be disposed. You will find more information about how to dispose of used desiccants here.

All our products follow regulatory requirements on hazard communication. Warning labels are printed or attached to our products and packaging to warn users about the risks associated to its use and inform about the precautionary statements.

You will find more information about calcium chloride hazards, composition, handling and storage in the Safety Data Sheets that you can request on our product pages.

How much desiccant to use?

The quantity of desiccant needed to prevent moisture damage during shipment of a container will vary depending on various factors such as shipment time, climate conditions, air volume in the container, cargo type, type of packaging used, etc.

Absortech includes general dimensioning recommendations for 20-foot and 40-foot containers in each product sheet, but specific assessment is required to calculate the exact amount and type of desiccant you need.

What is the shelf life of a desiccant product?

The shelf life of our desiccant products is three years from the production date printed on the packaging label. It is recommended that the desiccants are kept in the original packaging supplied by Absortech at a storage temperature range from 5 °C to 25 °C (41 °F to 77 °F).

If Absortech original packaging has been open but all the desiccant’s units have not been used, we recommend to make the packaging as airtight as possible following the instructions available at the end of our installation videos.

Can I reuse an Absortech desiccant?

Absortech desiccants are intended for single use, hence they cannot be reused. However, to minimize the environmental impact of your desiccant solution, Absortech offers to their customers the Return-to-Reuse program. The program is only available for some types of container desiccant. By joining R-to-R, your desiccants can be partly recycled and partly reused in new desiccants. Learn more about this program here.

In which temperature range do Absortech desiccants work?

The operational temperature of our container and in-box desiccants is from -20 °C to 70 °C (-4 °F to 158 °F).

What is the absorption capacity of Absortech desiccants?

Absorption capacity for a desiccant depends on the concentration of the calcium chloride (the higher concentration of CaCl2, the higher the absorption) and the mix with starch. AbsorGel® container desiccants use 94-97% CaCl2 with an optimized mix of modified starch to reach as high an absorption as possible. Absorption capacity is often measured in how much moisture the desiccant can absorb in relation to the desiccants original weight (weight of the absorbing agent). For example, if a 1 kg desiccant can absorb 1 liter of moisture it has absorbed 100%. To validate absorption capacity, it is common to use a climate chamber with a set temperature and a relative humidity which makes sure that the desiccant has a constant feed of available moisture. Normally, 90% relative humidity and 30 °C for 30 days is used, but this may vary. The higher relative humidity, temperature and number of days the test uses, the higher the absorption capacity will be. Absortech desiccants are among the top performers on the market with absorption over 300% in a climate chamber with rH 90% and 30 °C for 30 days, and can perform even better if these three factors are exceeded. Click here to read more about this subject.

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