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how clean oil spills in water

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on 11 February 2014

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Transcript of how clean oil spills in water

how clean oil spills in water
science fair

- Hydrogel or Slush Powder
- Motor Oil
- Water
- Spoon
- Clear Plastic Cup

Process for the Oil Spill Science Experiment
1) Pour water into the cleat plastic cup until its about 1/2 way full.
2) Begin adding the motor oil until you have a nice oil slick on top of the water.
3) Note what occurs when the oil comes is added to the water?
4) Take a spoon and start sprinkling some Hydrogel / slush powder onto the top of the oil slick
5) Wait a few minutes and watch what happens to the oil.
6)Take a large spoon and scoop out the oil now that is has transformed from a hard to handle liquid
into an easy to scoop solid.

The Science Behind the Oil Spill Experiment

Water Gels are super absorbent polymers. Polymers are long chains of molecules that are linked
together. Things made of plastic are polymers. Water Gels can absorb up to 1000 times their weight
in water. Common uses for water gels or Hydrogels is in baby diapers. Other uses include farming
where it is mixed into the soil to allow for better water retention. There are other polymers out there
which are specifically made to absorb oil or hydrocarbons.

Oil Spills

An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human
activity, and is a form of pollution. The term often refers to marine oil spills, where oil is released into
the ocean or coastal waters. The oil may be a variety of materials, including crude oil, refined
petroleum products (such as gasoline or diesel fuel) or by-products, ships' bunkers, oily refuse or oil
mixed in waste. Spills take months or even years to clean up. Oil also enters the marine environment
from natural oil seeps. Most human-made oil pollution comes from land-based activity, but public
attention and regulation has tended to focus most sharply on seagoing oil tankers.

Environmental Effects Of Oil Spills

The oil penetrates up the structure of the plumage of birds, reducing its insulating ability, and so
making the birds more vulnerable to temperature fluctuations and much less buoyant in the water. It
also impairs birds' flight abilities to forage and escape from predators. As they attempt to preen, birds
typically ingest oil that covers their feathers, causing kidney damage, altered liver function, and
digestive tract irritation. This and the limited foraging ability quickly causes dehydration and metabolic
imbalances. Hormonal balance alteration including changes in luteinizing protein can also result in
some birds exposed to petroleum. Most birds affected by an oil spill die unless there is human
Marine mammals exposed to oil spills are affected in similar ways as seabirds. Oil coats the fur of
Sea otters and seals, reducing its insulation abilities and leading to body temperature fluctuations
and hypothermia. Ingestion of the oil causes dehydration and impaired digestions.

Because oil floats on top of water, less light penetrates into the water, limiting the photosynthesis of
marine plants and phytoplankton. This, as well as decreasing the fauna populations, affects the food
chain in the ecosystem.

A sheen is usually dispersed (but not cleaned up) with detergents which makes oil settle to the
bottom. Oils that are denser than water, such as Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), can be more
difficult to clean as they make the seabed toxic.
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