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Why do oil and water not mix?

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1. Describe the physical properties of oil and water. Discuss why they do not mix.

2. Describe the chemical composition of crude oil and how your simulation mimics an oil spill.

3. Describe at least 4 methods that could be used to attempt to separate the oil and water at home. Based on the four methods postulate which method would work better than the others.

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Solution Preview

There are five basic properties of every liquid.

1. Surface tension:
Water has a high surface tension. This is the ability of a substance to stick to itself. Similarly, oil also has high surface tension. Molecules of oil tend to come closer when spread in water.

2. Heat capacity:
Water has an extremely high heat capacity, which is the ability of a substance to absorb ...

Solution Summary

The age old question of oil and water mixing is answered in this detailed solution.

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