Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Oil and water in an oil spill
Name: Beth A Barry
Status: Other
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
How do you separate oil from water in an oil spill? How long does the oil remain in the water?



Replies:
Have you not ever heard the expression "oil and water do not mix?" Well, it is true! It is not hard to separate the oil from water in a spill because the oil floats in a layer on top of the water, and can be scooped up with machines called "skimmers." A bigger problem is how to keep the slick from spreading out over the water's surface, so clean-up crews try to keep it contained with floating walls called "booms." If the oil cannot be scooped up right away, it will slowly become saturated and sink to the bottom. If the sea is too rough for booms and skimmers, there is not much that can be done about cleaning up the spill.

Mortis



Click here to return to the Environmental Science

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory