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General Environmental Science Science Fair Project

Retaining Soil Moisture with Vegetable Oil

Retaining Soil Moisture with Vegetable Oil | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
Have you ever wondered how to keep soil moist? In this project, you'll find out if vegetable oil can help! You'll measure the amount of water that evaporates from soil with and without vegetable oil.


The hypothesis is that applying a layer of vegetable oil to the surface of soil helps in retaining moisture in the soil.

Method & Materials

You will separate 20 cups into 4 groups, mix 2000g of dry soil with 500ml of tap water, and spray 5ml of oil onto the soil in the cups marked as corn oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil.
You will need 20 plastic cups, 3 spray containers, 1 bottle of corn oil, 1 bottle of sunflower oil, 1 bottle of canola oil, 2000g dry soil, 500ml tap water, 1 digital weighing scale, 1 pail, and 1 black marker pen.


The results showed that the amount of water that evaporated from the soil sprayed with the vegetable oils was less than the amount of water that evaporated from the soil without any oil added. There was no significant difference in the amount of water lost from the cups containing different types of vegetable oil.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting because it shows how vegetable oil can be used to help retain moisture in soil, which is important in dry areas where the amount of rainfall is small.

Also Consider

Consider repeating this science project using different types of soil like sand or clay. Also, modify the experiment to evaluate the impact of different conditions such as temperature and humidity, on the rate of moisture loss.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!

Related videos

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