How do you separate oil from water?


Quick Answer

To separate oil from water, add a solution of soluble ionic salt to the solution. Distillation, which involves boiling and condensing the water, is another option, as well as partially freezing the oil and water combination and discarding one-fourth to one-third of the unfrozen water.

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Full Answer

Oil spills are one example of when the separation of oil and water is necessary. This typically involves separation through membrane-based filtration systems. Shortcomings of these devices include loss of effectiveness over time and the inability to separate all types of oil and water mixtures. Due to their pumping nature, these systems are also energy intensive.

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