What Are Some Techniques to Separate Oil From Water?


Quick Answer

Using absorbent materials to soak up oil, freezing the emulsion and adding oil-eating bacteria are methods of separating oil from water in emulsions. Adding salt can speed the natural separation of oil from water.

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Full Answer

A polypropylene pad, which can be found at auto supply stores, is an absorbent material that soaks up oil rather than water and can be placed in an emulsion to separate the oil and water. Freezing an emulsion makes water less dense, thereby causing the denser oil to separate from the water and settle at the bottom of the container. Pseudomonas, a bacteria, eats oil but must be used with care since the bacteria may cause infection.

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