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Soil contamination by hydrocarbonsFeatured science projectScience project video


Our hypothesis has been proven to be true. Oil absorbing polymers can effectively rehabilitate soil contaminated with motor oil and render the soil suitable for growth. Green beans will geminate in the rehabilitated soil that has been treated with oil absorbing polymers.

The beans in the contaminated soil had difficulty germinating. Using the oil absorbing polymer, we were able to remove some of the motor oil from the soil, and this resulted in more beans germinating.

The presence of contaminants also affects our ecosystem because the soil chemistry and pH is altered. These changes will eventually affect the population of flora and fauna in the region. Efforts including the excavation and aeration of the soil, are being made to rectify this problem. Microbials  are  also used to digest certain organic materials in the soil, to speed up the rehabilitation process.

Also consider

Try to repeat this science fair project this time using different types of contaminants like pesticides or grease.

The science project experiment can be repeated to monitor the growth rate of certain species of plants in contaminated soil, to ascertain which species are more hardy


Soil contamination -

Soil contamination -

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 10 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements. Discard the motor oil properly. Do not allow the motor oil to come into contact with bare skin.