Public Lab Research note

can a surface sheen be collected for oil testing?

by mathew | April 07, 2015 23:54 07 Apr 23:54 | #11752 | #11752

image by by Cesar Harada CC-BY-NC-SA

Can an oil slick be picked up off the surface and concentrated in to just oil? I did a suggestive early experiment using PIG Mats, a cheap oil-only absorbent mat for industrial usage. They are made of non-woven polypropylene.


I poured a little vegetable oil on top of a small container of water, and then swished a piece of the PIG Mat around. It picked up the oil but not the water, as advertised.


I was able to wring the oil back out of the mat.


Will this work with crude on an ocean surface? Maybe! Any thoughts on how to run a test ethically are much appreciated!


Did it help to let the water evaporate before wringing?

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