Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Chemistry of Crude Oil

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been dominating the news, so we thought it was worth covering on The Periodic Table of Videos.

The only problem was getting our hands on some crude oil.

After asking around, we finally got our hands on a few samples thanks to the kind folk in chemical engineering.

And we made these two videos.

First, Professor Martyn Poliakoff talks a bit about oil and what happens when it comes into contact with water.

The second video features more from The Professor, plus Sam Tang showing how she "simulates" crude oil spills during some of her school visits.

What didn't come across in the video was the powerful smell of crude oil... for some reason I didn't think it would have such a strong odour (quite similar to petroleum, obviously).

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