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How does detergent affect the oil absorbency rate of Polypropylene Pads? Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

The purpose of this experiment is to investigate how various detergents affect the absorbency rate of polypropylene pads.

Hypothesis

Detergent decreases the ability of polypropylene pads to absorb oil spills.
 

Scientific Terms

Polypropylene, polymer

Background

What is Polypropylene?

Polypropylene is a durable type of plastic that can withstand wear and tear. It is widely used in the manufacture of packaging materials, food containers, roofing materials, loudspeakers, furniture, piping and other forms of products that require durability and strength. It is a strong material and it is generally resistant to many chemicals, acids and bases.

Here, polypropylene is used to make oil-absorbent sheets which can be used to soak up oil spills and leaks.

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Complexity level:
6
Project cost ($):
30
Time required:
15 minutes preparation time, 15 minutes to observe
Material availability:
Polypropylene pads should be available at hardware shops. If not, students can purchase it in bulk from the supplier. Detergents are available in almost supermarket. Engine oil is available at nearby petrol kiosks and in some supermarkets/hardware stores.
Safety concerns:

Teacher supervision required. Beware of highly flammable oils. Gloves and safety goggles should be worn at all times for safety reasons.