Oil Spill Clean Up Simulation

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Oil refinery on Mississippi River

ERN Item Type: 

  • Classroom Activities


University California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN)


"Nano sand" is a product that was originally invented to help clean up oil spills in water. Since the "nano sand" is hydrophobic, it does not let water molecules pass through. It does, however, let oil molecules pass through. When oil-contaminated water is exposed to "magic sand," the oil passes through and leaves clean water behind. In this activity, students will construct a model of an oil-spill cleanup.

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