H YPOTHESIS The prediction for the results of this experiment are that if paraffin wax, oil absorbing polymer, wool, kitchen sponges, human hair, hay, and recycled cellulose are used to clean-up an oil spill, then the oil absorbing polymer will be the most effective absorber because it is designed to absorb oil.
P ROCEDURE 1. Collect materials required to simulate oil spill 2. For the first set of tests 400mL of water and 50mL of Mystery Oil were placed in a beaker 3. Different amounts of the absorbing material were weighed and their weight was recorded 4. The set amounts of the material were placed in the beaker with oil and water and were stirred to simulate waves and ocean turbulence. 5. The materials were then removed from the beaker and weighed after soaking to measure how much liquid they absorbed.
6. Materials were then placed in cups and were set aside to evaporate the water. 7. The next day materials were weighed again to record a more accurate measurement of how much oil was absorbed. All data was recorded. 8. The recorded data was used to calculate absorbency ratios and oil retention. Graphs were made using the absorbency ratio values.
White/yellow solid at room temperature Melting point = ˚C Odorless Derives from oil, so recombines when melted and mixed Paraffin Wax:
Collected from Oregon sheep It is oily, soft, tan, and fluffy When the wool hit the oil spill, the oil adsorbed* to the wool immediately *Sticking to a surface but not soaking into it Collected from Dr. Skip’s head The hair was healthy, vegetarian-fed, soft, brown with strands of grey, and short locks The hair acted similarly as the wool but it did not collect as much oil Wool:Dr. Skip’s Hair:
A mixture of natural grass which is later cut, dried, and stored When the hay hit our team’s “oil spill” it didn’t soak up the oil as well as we predicted A composite made of recycled material Similar to shredded cardboard The cellulose soaked up some oil pretty well It also trapped the oil well, too Hay:Recycled Cellulose:
Hydrophobic Good absorbency ratios. Creates a chemical reaction with the oil turning it to a gel. This gel is often used to make asphalt after oil is absorbed. Regular kitchen sponges Designed to absorb water and other solutions but not hydrophobic. Absorbed more water than oil. Oil Absorbing Polymer:Sponges:
Used to dissolve waxes and build ups in car engines Contains dry cleaning materials Insoluble in water Boiling point of 172 o C Density of.830g/mL at 25 o C Rages from solid to liquid Properties vary depending where the oil comes from Processed into many different products Some particles have the same density of water but most are lighter therefore it floats Mystery Oil:Crude Oil:
B IOREMEDIATION This week, using bioremediation, we used two fresh samples of soil to grow naturally occurring oil eating bacteria. We qualitatively observed oil eating bacteria after incubating the agar plates for several days. GOAL: To grow oil eating bacteria to help clean-up the Gulf spill
C ONCLUSION According to our data, wool had the greatest absorbency ratio, which should therefore indicate that wool is the best oil clean up material, but our observations proved different. If we based results off of our observations, the wax was the most efficient because it removed more oil from the water than any other material. E RROR A NALYSIS Non evaporated water Our scales were only accurate to a tenth of a gram
A CKNOWLEDGEMENTS Our Mentors: Audrey Oldenkamp Stephanie Silliman Others: Dr. Skip Dr. Kelly’s Lab Alia Mulder-Rosi Our counselors