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Goo-Be-Gone: Cleaning Up Oil Spills Project

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:27 pm
by reshmamohindra
My daughter (3rd grade) is interested in this project for her science fair. We have a few questions:
1. Is it ok to use motor oil to make it more "real" or is it advisable to stick with vegetable oil?
2. In order to save time, should we use multiple coffee filters instead of washing the filter after each reading? What size should we get?
3. Can we parallel process all four sorbents at the same time?

Moderator note: I see that you have posted this same question in the Physical Sciences forum. That's a good idea since those experts might have the answers! However, Science Buddies requests that you not post the same question in more than one forum. To help facilitate finding experts, I have cross-posted this question in both forums, and removed your second post. Thanks for your patience - the experts here are all volunteers and visit the forums at scheduled times.

Project directions: ... #procedure

Re: Goo-Be-Gone: Cleaning Up Oil Spills Project

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:12 pm
by EmmaGriffiths
Hi Reshma,

I’m happy to hear about your daughter’s interest in this project! It’s definitely important to start thinking about the environment at a young age.

I’d stay away from using motor oil, which can be very dangerous if ingested. For a younger student, vegetable oil should get the job done with minimal risks.

I don’t see why multiple filters would be a problem, but if you use multiple different ones, be sure to use identical filters so the results are more accurate. I do encourage you to stick to reusable models (which are more eco-friendly). As for the size, I don’t think it matters as long as you are consistent. The ones I have seen online are generally the same size, give or take an inch or two.

As for your last question, I’d say that you can carry out the procedure however you see fit, but remember that your results may be effected depending on how you change the given directions. I wouldn’t test all four in the same cup at the same time, but there is no problem with testing all four in separate cups at the same time.

Thank you so much for your patience, and good luck with your project!