Natural vs. Synthetic
Do natural fibers decompose faster than man-made fibers?
Natural fibers will decompose faster/slower than man-made fibers.
Old 100% cotton t-shirt
Old nylon stocking or tights
Old wool sock or yarn
Old acrylic or polyester sweater
Plot of soil
Glass jar with lid
- Cut three four-inch squares from each material.
- Bury one square of each material, making sure you mark the spot where they are buried. Put squares of each material in a jar, fill it with water, and put a lid on it. Place the jar inside in a sunny place. Place the third squares in a dark place where they will not be disturbed.
- After one month, remove the samples from the ground and the jar. Examine the squares and record your observations.
Analysis and Conclusion:
Which fibers deteriorated? Which environment made the materials deteriorate more quickly? Can you find out why?
Reprinted with the permission of the NEED Project. © 2008 National Energy Education Development Project - All Rights Reserved.
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