We've been learning about the terrible effects of oil spills on the ocean, and how it effects birds, sea creatures and the environment.
We did an experiment to test which product and process was the BEST at getting oil off water.
Oil doesn't mix with water. It tends to sit on the TOP.
Using 4 different cups, all with oil and water in them, we tried ...
1. skimming the water off with a spoon. It took ages, and it didn't get rid of all the oil.
2. absorbing oil with cotton balls. It was more effective than the spoon, but it soaked up a lot of clean water with it.
3. solidifying the oil with cornflour. What a disaster! This didn't work at all! The cornflour sunk to the bottom and made the water cloudy and murky. This would be TERRIBLE for fish!
4. Putting detergent in to disperse the oil. Wow! The oil moved right away from the dish washing liquid to the side of the cup. But it didn't get rid of the oil.
We tried stirring the detergent in. This just broke up the oil into smaller balls of oil, and made some sink into the water. This wouldn't be useful in the ocean!
So in conclusion, the BEST process was ABSORBING with cotton balls.
We recorded what we observed, making notes of the problems we had.