mimi9000
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:08 am
Occupation: Parent

Cleaning Up Oil Spills science experiment idea

Postby mimi9000 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:41 pm

Hello!

My 4th grader has to do a science project using the scientific method and likes both the "Goo Be Gone" and "Can Nanotechnology Clean Up Oil Spills" projects. I'm wondering if the two can be combined so that he tests which is more effective at cleaning up oil: sorbents or ferrofluid.

However, one experiment uses vegetable oil and one uses mineral.

Ideally, he'd try to clean up motor oil using sorbents and ferrofluid -- but is it possible to buy or make ferrofluid with motor oil as the base?

Before we get too far into this -- Is this too convoluted a project?

Any advice is appreciated!

allisontu
Former Student Expert
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:34 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Cleaning Up Oil Spills science experiment idea

Postby allisontu » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:00 pm

Hi,

This sounds like a great project! It's an interesting and relevant topic, and your son will certainly learn a lot.

The ferrofluid does not necessarily need to have motor oil as its base. As long as the ferrofluid's carrier liquid (often mineral oil) mixes well with the motor oil, the experiment should work. You may want to do some preliminary testing to confirm whether or not mineral oil-based ferrofluid would be effective.

If not, here's a link that gives the procedure to make motor oil-based ferrofluid.
https://fear-of-lightning.wonderhowto.c ... e-0132750/

Hope this helps,
Allison

mimi9000
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:08 am
Occupation: Parent

Re: Cleaning Up Oil Spills science experiment idea

Postby mimi9000 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:20 pm

Hi Allison,

Thanks so much for your reply! Very helpful.

If a mineral-based ferrofluid could work I might buy some because the idea of heating up ammonia makes me a little nervous.
Might this work?
https://www.amazon.com/CMS-Magnetics-Ma ... ferrofluid

If no, I'll make some using the link you kindly provided.

Thanks again for your help!

allisontu
Former Student Expert
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:34 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Cleaning Up Oil Spills science experiment idea

Postby allisontu » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:41 am

Hi,

Before purchasing anything, I would recommend mixing some motor oil and mineral oil together to make sure they mix well. As long as they do, a mineral-oil based ferrofluid should work.

As long as the two oils mix together, I think the ferrofluid from your link will work well.

Hope this helps,
Allison


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