Here in Kern County, crude oil is produced at different densities and oil refineries process crude oil into many different products. The physical characteristics of crude oil, like the one Chevron produces in Lost Hills, are refined relatively easily into a lighter oil to transport planes, trucks, and cars. But here in the San Joaquin Valley, the majority of oil that Chevron produces is actually heavy, meaning it has a higher density.
Heavy oil is made into useable products through more complex refining processes. Heavy oil molecules become the building blocks for everyday products like wax candles, reusable water bottles, basketballs and footballs, plastic lenses for glasses, and even clothing to name a few.
So let's join our friends at Chevron for this week's Science Sunday and a demonstration in density. For this demonstration, you'll need light corn syrup with red food coloring, blue dish soap, water with green food coloring, canola oil, and rubbing alcohol.
Here is a more advanced lesson in chemistry for our older students.