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Corncob (Zea Saccharata) on Its Natural State an Effective

Crude Oil Adsorbent than Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Coir


Fibers

Alija May P. Apego


IX Curie

Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of


Research 2

Agusan National High School


A.D. Curato St., Butuan City

Mrs. Marie Lou S. Paler

January 2016

ABSTRACT

Oil spills are currently destroying bodies of water


where marine lives are at stake.

Oil spills are liquid

petroleum hydrocarbon released to different bodies of water


due to unintentional and negligent release of used gasoline
solvents

and

crankcase

lubricants

by

industries

and

individuals.
Corncobs,

crude

oil,

and

required for the experiment.

saltwater

simulation

is

Crude oil is poured on the

saltwater simulation to imitate an oil spill in a body of


water.

Corncobs are weighed before and after they are

dropped on the oil spill simulation, which is also done to


the coir.

This process is conducted for one hour and done

three times for the researcher to know that the experiment


wasnt done by chance.

The outcome of the controlled and

experimental group was then compared and contrasted.

The

statistical tool used was T-test on the significance of the


difference between correlated means.
After an hour soaking in the oil spill simulation and
then retrieved, the corncobs average additional weight is
49.30% while the coir had an average of 71.15%.
2

In both

variables, oil wasnt completely adsorbed but both variables


have the tendency to adsorb oil.

However, the controlled

variable or the coir had adsorbed more oil the experimental


variable or the corncobs.
Hence, there is a significant difference between the
adsorption of oil by corncobs and coir.

The potential of a

corncob to adsorb oil is lesser than the coir.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The researcher would like to express deepest gratitude


to all the persons that have become a big part of this
study.
The Lord Almighty, from which all knowledge and wisdom
emanates.
To all my friends, classmates especially to Athena
Olano and Hazel Cayomo who helped the researcher to make
this research study presentable.
Finally,
father,

brother,

to

my

family,

grandparents

especially

and

cousins

my
for

mother,
their

unconditional love, moral and financial support in order to


finish this study and make it possible.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Content

Page No.

TITLE PAGE

ABSTRACT

ii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

iv

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES

vii

LIST OF FIGURES

vii

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study

Statement of the Problem

Statement of the Hypothesis

Significance of the Study

Scope and limitation of the Study

Conceptual framework the Study

CHAPTER II

REVIEW RELATED LITERATURE

CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGY

Sampling

10

Treatment Proper

11

Data Gathering

11

Data Analysis

12

Disposal

14

CHAPTER IV

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

CHAPTER V

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND


RECOMMENDATION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

15

18
viii

APPENDICES
Appendix A

xiv

Appendix B

xviii

LIST OF TABLES

Table

Page

1.0 The Weight of Each Group Before And After the

12

Experiment Began
2.0 The Average Percentage of the Increased Weight

15

of the Corncobs and Coir


3.0 Summation of the Data and Summation of the Data

xiv

Squared By Group
3.1 The Weight of Each Group Before And After the

xvii

Experiment Began In Grams

LIST OF FIGURES
1.0 Independent, Intervening and Dependent Variables

2.0 Increase of the Weight in Percentage of Both

16

Groups

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION

Irresponsible

waste

disposal,

unprotected

areas

of

water and the release of used oil is the main cause of oil
spills.
study

An environmental problem we currently have.

consists

of

the

purpose,

importance,

This

conclusion,

hypothesis, the methodology adopted and objectives of the


investigation.

Background of the Study

Oil spills are environmental disasters (Dave & Ghaly,


2011)

currently

lives

are

at

destroying

stake.

Oil

bodies
spills

of

water

are

where

liquid

marine

petroleum

hydrocarbon released to different bodies of water due to


human activity.
The unintentional or negligent release of used gasoline
solvents, crankcase lubricants by industries and individuals
(Encyclopedia Britannica, 2015) and pipe-line vandalization

(Ndimele,

2010)

may

also

be

classified

as

anthropogenic sources of oil (Wang & Stout, 2010).

acute
The oil

spill is a problem for the livelihoods of the population who


depend on fishing and tourism (World Organization et al.,
2013).

Statement of the Problem

This

study

aims

to

identify

if

corncobs

can

help

decrease oil spills in polluted bodies of water in the


community.
natural

It answers the question: Is a corncob, on its

state

an

effective

adsorbent

for

oil

spills

in

polluted bodies of water?

Statement of the Hypothesis

Yes, corncobs on its natural state can be an effective


oil adsorbent or has potential to decrease the amount of
used oil from contaminated bodies of water.

Significance of the Study

The outcome of the study may be an implication to help


communities

whose

bodies

spilled crude oil.

of

water

are

contaminated

by

The corncobs being experimented to be as

an adsorbent may decrease current or possible oil spills


from bodies of water where factories or industries are being
planted on have no proper waste disposal.

It may also help

ensure the protection of public health and marine life.

Scope and Limitations of the Study

The research and experiment is only limited to corncobs


on its natural state an oil adsorbent.
corncobs

with

floating

devices,

cooked, or without kernels.

It does not include

wrapped

in

its

husks,

Also the study is limited to

contaminated bodies of water, specifically on oil spills.


To have accurate observations, the experiment was done three
times with precise measurements.

Conceptual Framework
Independent
Variables

Intervening
Variables

Corncobs
Liquid

Water

Petroleum

current
Amount of

Oil3
Weather

Hydrocarbon
Salt Water

Dependent
Variables

Corncobs

adsorbs oil
Petroleum is
less toxic

Figure 1.0 Independent, Intervening and Dependent Variables

CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Various studies related to corncobs as an adsorbent for


oil spill have been conducted so for many of which are
partly similar to this study.

The Gulf Study was conducted

on June 2010 as a feedback after the explosion of the Deep


Water

Horizon

drilling

Rig,

resulting

devastating oil spill in the United States.

to

the

most

The Gulf study

aims to determine both physical and mental effects (Sandler,


2010) and the long-term effects (Petri, 2015).

Both studies

are gathering information as a benefit for the public to be


more aware of the dangers of health and the environment by
hazardous substances when not managed properly (LaGrega et
al., 2010).
Similar studies had created solutions with the use of
image processing and computer vision (Radhika & Padmavathi,
2011) such as the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) an image
5

segmentation which is already used for medical purposes and


detects floating oil on the surface (Hess et al., 2013) to
permit

effective

satellite

surveillance

environment (Bhogle & Patil, 2012).

in

the

marine

Desulphurization of

liquid fuels by adsorption with the use of mineral clays


(Shakirullah et al., 2012).
According to the International Tanker Owners Pollution
Federation (ITOPF), the effects of an oil spill will depend
on a variety of factors including the quantity and type of
oil spilled, (Fingas, 2012) and how it affects the marine
environment.
and

The other key factors include the biological

ecological

attributes

of

the

area;

the

ecological

significance of key species and their interaction with oil


pollution as well as the time of year (ITOPF, 2010). The
similarities of the studies are that both have intervening
variables, including the type of oil that has been spilled
to the body of water and on how the chemical substance to be
used interacts with the marine environment.
Oceanic oil spills became a major environmental problem
in the 1960s, mainly as a result of transporting more than
500,000 metric tons of oil (Britannica, 2015).

It

doesnt look like its going to be catastrophic. But that


doesnt mean theres not going to be a damage, said Pete

Raimond of the University of California Santa Cruz (The


Guardian, 2015).
Corncobs have been used as oil absorbent after the
wreckage of a ship, releasing 220,000 tons of heavy crude
oil

in

Recovery

1978.
I

Adria

Inc.,

Brown,

has

founder

developed

of

Browns

product

cold

Company,
Golden

Retriever that is experimented to absorb oil from water


(Siegel, 2010).

The development of the study is stated to

be economical for its use of dried corncobs that have gone


through a process for agricultural uses and is very useful
for

cleanups

since

it

is

buoyant

and

while

adsorption

occurs, it remain afloat (Harrison, 2010). Adria Brown said


she has about 34,000 tons of properly dried material to help
the system of waste management (Czarnik, 2010) and the oil
soaked corncobs could either be burned for fuel or the oil
from the corn cob is separated from the corn cob for future
use (Walker, 2010).
In a study where the absorbents being experimented are
coconut husks and corncobs, aims to compare the absorption
capability of coconut husk, grounded and ungrounded corn cob
and also to discover which of the absorbents is more capable
and effective at removing oil from the water.

The outcome

indicated that the surface area is a factor in absorption

(Omoniyi et al., 2012).

The difference of both the studies

is that the independent variable of the study is grounded


and ungrounded corn cob while the researchers variable to
be used are corncobs on their natural state.
An experiment was performed with crude oil and its
fraction only and a mixture of crude oil and its fraction on
water.

The result of the study reveals that the synthetic

absorbent mat absorbed oil more than the corn cob and it did
not absorb water while absorbing the oil while the corn cob
did (Kelli et al., 2013).
According to Fox News, in the latest oil spill, workers
shoveled tar balls that were carried away for disposal.
They

had

to

be

careful

not

to

disturb

populations

of

Westering Snowy Plovers that were in the middle of their


breeding

season

(Associated

Press,

2015).

The

abundant

production of aquatic organisms in aquaculture depends on


its environment but those organisms live in water and the
environmental problem is water quality (Boyd & Tucker, 2012)
and groundwater quality (Nwachukwu & Osuagwu, 2014).
An

article

entitled

Novel

Sustainable

Oil

Spill

Control Technology revise oil spill control techniques, its


components

and

disadvantages

chemicals,

(Al-majed

et

and
al.,
8

their
2012).

advantages
The

study

and
also

suggests natural sorbents which may also be an indicator of


the level of air pollution (Sandu et al., 2012) and on soil
(Gonzlez et al., 2010).

The spill of crude oil affect the

factors: nutrients, soil type, humidity, temperature, pH,


the

type

and

the

metabolism

of

the

microorganisms,

(Pecingin & Crn, 2013) chemical properties and plant


composition (Tanee & Albert, 2015).
Similarly, a study in the Philippines about a massive
oil spill at the Guimaras Strait Philippines studies the
effect of the oil spill on the lifestyle of the fishermen in
the

coasts

(Aliren,

2013)

and

marine

mangrove expanses (AGODRAOSC, 2013).

sanctuaries

and

The coastal villages

were told to put oil spill booms made from bamboo poles and
other sorbents (Burgos Jr., 2014).
provides

basic

information

about

Similarly, this study


the

effects

of

an

oil

spill.
A report entitled Oil Spill in Entancia by the Joint
United

Nations

humanitarian

Environment

response

Programme

network

(UNEP)

coordinated

by

and
the

the

United

Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs


(OCHA), most of the spilled oil was washed at the shores of
the Estancia during the height of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan),
the

containment

booms

deployed

are

not

sufficient

to

effectively contain all of the free phase oil in the water


(UN et al., 2013).

CHAPTER III
METHODOLOGY

Sampling

In this study, the researcher gathered adsorbent entire


corncobs, crude oil and simulated saltwater.

The researcher

gathered adsorbent entire corncobs in their natural state


without the need of an expensive process or costly process
to turn the corncobs in granular form.
gathered ten (10) dry corncobs.

The researcher

The corncobs used is the

sweet kind (Zea Saccharata or Zea Rugosa). The researcher


visited a farmland where freshly-harvested sweet corn is
produced
labeled.

and

as

gathered,

it

is

placed

on

basin

and

The oil gathered is used oil or crude oil where

the researcher visited a gasoline station to get 2 liters of


crude oil or used oil and then placed in a closed container.

10

The water used is salt water. The researcher made a salt


water simulation.

Since water at standard conditions weighs

1000 grams/liter then we can say that sea water has 35g of
salt per liter.

(OPENROV, 2014) 5 liters of water was used

in each 3 containers so, each container with 5 liters of


water are mixed with 175 grams of salt.

Treatment Proper

The corncobs were labeled as corncob A, B, C ... J. The


researcher

weighed

the

corncobs

on

weighing

scale

to

determine their current weight before the experiment will be


done.

After weighing and recording the corncobs current

weight, the corncobs were dropped 2 feet above from the


container.
and C.
above

The basins were also labeled as container A, B,

Three corncobs were dropped on each basin 2 feet


and

observed

for

1-

recording was currently done.

hours.

While

observing,

After recording observations,

corncobs A, B, and C were retrieved by using plastic gloves.

Data Gathering

11

Corncobs A, B, and C were carefully weighed on the


weighing scale.
of

each

corn

containers.

The researcher recorded the number of grams


cob

after

they

were

retrieved

from

the

The weight of the oil-adsorbed corncobs were

compared to their weight before the experiment was done.


The researcher did experiment three times for the researcher
to know that the experiment wasnt done by chance.

Data Analysis

The researcher then compared and contrasted the outcome


of the controlled and experimental group by using the table
Trials

Weight of
corncobs
before
experiment

Weight of
corncobs
after the
experiment

Weight of
coir
before
experiment

Weight of
coir after
experiment

W grams

X grams

Y grams

Z grams

W grams

X grams

Y grams

Z grams

W grams

X grams

Y grams

Z grams

below:

Table 1.0 The Weight of Each Group Before and After the
Experiment Began

12

The researcher used T-test on the significance of the


difference

between

two

correlated

means.

The

null

hypothesis was: There is no significant difference on the


potential of corncobs as an oil adsorbent.

The alternative

hypothesis was: There is a significant difference in the


potential

of

the

corncobs

as

an

oil

adsorbent.

The

significant level or the alpha level used is 5%, the degree


of freedom used will be N 1 which is 2 and the test used
was one-tailed.

In solving the test, first done was to

compute the mean of group 1 (X1) and group 2 (X2):

x 1=

X 1 147.91
=
=49.30
N1
3

x 2=

X 2 214.36
=
=71.45
N2
3
X1 and X2 are the summation of the data in each group

while N symbolizes the number of trials and x is the mean.


The summation of the group 1 was divided by the number of
trials which was also done for group 2.

Next was to compute

the standard error (S) of the difference between means:

x 1x 2=

x1
2

][

( X 1 )2
( X 2 )2
+ x2
N1
N2
N 1 + N 22
2

13

][

1 1
+
N1 N2

Then compute for the t or the calculated value:

t =

( x1 x2 ) ( 12 )
S x 1x 2
The tabulated value the researcher used to compare the

computed value is 2.776.


than

the

tabulated

If the computed value is greater

value

then

accept

the

alternative

hypothesis and reject the null hypothesis. If the tabulated


value is greater than the computed value, accept the null
hypothesis and reject the alternative hypothesis.

Whatever

the answer computed may be, it will be written as the final


answer.

Disposal

The researcher used a separating funnel to separate the


oil from the water that has been used.

The oil that has

been separated from the water was used as an extra oil or


oil for the car or any machinery at home.

The water that

has

plants

been

separated

researchers home.

was

poured

over

the

in

the

The experimented corncobs and coir are

burned for fuel or separated for future use.

14

CHAPTER IV
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

In this chapter, the researcher conducted an experiment


where corncobs and coir are being compared through their
potential

of

adsorbing

oil.

The

researcher

did

the

experiment three times for the researcher to know that the


experiment wasnt done by chance.

Experimental
(Corncobs)
50%

Controlled
(Coir)
73.21%

47.91%

70%

50%

71.15%

Average: 49.30

Average: 71.45

Trials

15

Table 2.0 The Average Percentage of the Increased Weight of


the Corncobs and Coir
In this table, it shows the percentage of each variable
and their average percentage.

Before the experimental group

or the corncobs were experimented, they weighed 125 grams


and

before

the

controlled

group

or

experimented, they weighed about 75 grams.

the

coir

were

After an hour,

in the first trial for the corncobs, they weighed 250 grams,
an additional of 125 grams.

In the second trial, they

weighed 240, an additional of 115 grams and on the third


trial, they weighed 250 grams, an additional of 125 grams.
For the controlled group, they weighed 280 grams in the
first trial.
the

third

250 grams on the second trial and 260 grams on

trial.

After

gathering

data,

the

additional

weight was turned into percentage and the average percentage


is given.

16

Experimental (Corn Cobs)

Controlled (Coir)

Figure 2.0 Increase of the Weight in Percentage of Both


Groups
The figure demonstrates the increased weight of both
groups in percentage, where the corncobs increased about 50%
of their weight while the coir had about 70% of increased
weight.

Experimental
(Corncobs)
50%

Controlled
(Coir)
73.21%

47.91%

70%

50%

71.15%

Average: 49.30

Average: 71.45

Trials

Table 2.0 The Average Percentage of the Increased Weight of


the Corncobs and Coir
17

Observations

The

controlled

group

or

the

coir

have

larger

percentage than the experimental group or the corncobs.


both variables, crude oil wasnt completely adsorbed.
variables have the tendency to adsorb crude oil.

In
Both

However,

the controlled variable or the coir had adsorbed more oil


than the experimental variable or the corncob.

CHAPTER V
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

The results demonstrate that the controlled group or


the coir had a larger percentage the experimental group or
the corncobs.

Both variables didnt completely adsorbed the


18

crude oil in the simulation but both variables have the


tendency

to

adsorb

crude

oil.

However,

the

larger

percentage that the controlled group or the coir has shown


that it has a bigger potential to adsorb crude oil than the
experimental group or corncob.
Corncobs on their natural state can adsorb crude oil
disposed

by

industries

and

individuals

from

different

contaminated bodies of water.


The researcher recommends to furtherly classify the
aspects that have or may affect the investigation such as
the measurements of the applied variables, weather, type of
oil, simulations, and the efficacy of coir to adsorb.

19

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and

Plant

Composition

Nigeria https://goo.gl/ix67qR

13

at

Kwawa,

Ogoni,

APPENDICES

Appendix A

Statistical Tool
T - test
H0

There

is

no

significant

difference

between

the

between

the

adsorption of oil by corncobs and coir


H1

There

is

significant

difference

adsorption of oil by corncobs and coir


Level of significance: = 0.05
X1

X12

X2

X22

50

2,500

73.21

5,359.70

47.91

2,295.37

70

4,900

50

2,500

71.15

5,062.32

X1 = 147.91

X12 =
7,295.37

X2 = 214.36

X22 =
15,322.2

Table 3.0 Summation of the Data and Summation of the Data


Squared By Group

14

a.

Computing the mean of group 1 (X 1) and group 2

(X2)

x 1=

X 1 147.91
=
=49.30
N1
3

x 2=

X 2 214.36
=
=66.02
N2
3

b.

Computing the standard error of the difference

between means

x 1x 2=

x1
2

][

( X 1 )2
( X 2 )2
+ x2
N1
N2
N 1 + N 22
2

[ [

7,295.377,292.45 ] + [ 13,082.3813,077.24 ] 2
4
3

[ [

2.92 ] + [ 5.14 ] 2
4
3

7,295.37

][

21,877.36
39,231.72
+ 13,082.38
3
3
3+ 32

][

][ ]

][ ]
15

][

1 1
+
3 3

1
1
+
N1 N2

[ ][ ]
8.06
4

2
3

2.015

[]

2
3

[ ][ ]
2.09
1

2
3

1.341
1.158

C. Computing for t

t =

( x1 x2 ) ( 12 )
S x 1x 2

( 49.3066.02 ) 0
1.158

16.72
1.158

14.43

Finding the critical value or the tabular value of t.


16

df = 4

= 0.05

ttab = 2.776
Since the tcalc is greater than the ttab, reject the null
hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis.
H1

There

is

significant

difference

between

the

adsorption of oil by corncobs and coir

Raw Result

Trials

Weight of
corncobs
before
experiment

Weight of
corncobs
after the
experiment

Weight of
coir
before
experiment

Weight of
coir after
experiment

125

250

75

280

125

240

75

250

125

250

75

260

Table 3.1 The Weight of Each Group Before And After the
Experiment Began In Grams

17

Appendix B

Experimental

These are most of the


things used to conduct
the
Corncobs,

experiment.
salt,

water,

basin.

Salt water simulation

Crude oil

18

The

researcher

pours

crude oil.

50 mL Crude oil on the


salt water simulation.

Corncobs are dropped 2


feet

away

from

the

basin.

After an hour, corncobs


stay afloat.

19

Controlled

75 grams of coir

3 liters of water

75

grams

of

salt

poured to the water.

20

is

75

grams

of

salt

is

poured to the water.

After

an

hour,

stays afloat.

21

coir