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Q & A: oil and alcohol

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Most recent answer: 07/09/2009
Q:
Do you know of a liquid that does not mix with vegetable oil and floats on top of vegetable oil? (I know that oil floats on water and does not mix with the water.) Detergents will not work with my experiment, so I need another liquid besides detergents. Thank you.
- Michael
Austin, Texas
A:
I believe that at room temperature vegetable oil is only slightly soluble in ethanol, which is less than 80% as dense as water. Most oils are more than 90 % as dense as water. So unless you need to warm things up, ethanol may work.

Mike W.

(published on 07/09/2009)

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