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Question:
I am a freshman in high school and I am doing a project on oil spills. I have read many articles about different methods used over the years to clean up oil. I have to do some kind of experiment to go along with my research. I do not live near the ocean, and I am having a hard time figuring out what to do. I thought of getting small plant for an aquarium and showing the effects of oil on them but that seems so obvious. Any ideas or suggestions?



Replies:
Actually the aquarium idea is not too bad - one problem with oil is that if it is not scooped up it eventually sinks. You could have four or five fishbowls, or just clear glass jars, and in each one try a different method for oil-spill clean-up: skimming the surface, adding a surfactant (dish detergent will do), burning (be very careful!), or just letting it sit until it sinks - which may take a while. Observe the results and try to explain which method you think is best and why.

Mortis



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