Mystery oil spills blot more than 130 Brazilian beaches

The source of large blots of oil staining more than 130 beaches in northeastern Brazil remained a mystery Tuesday despite President Jair Bolsonaro's assertions they came from outside the country and were possibly the work ...

Burning issue: Indonesia fires put palm oil under scrutiny

A brutal Indonesian forest fire season that left Southeast Asia choking in smog has renewed scrutiny of major palm oil and paper companies, with activists accusing them of breaking promises to halt logging.

Making infant formula more like human breast milk

U.K.-based scientists have engineered plants to produce an oil that mimics the chemical structure of human milk fat, a major component of breast milk. Previous studies suggest the human form of this molecule, triacylglycerol, ...

Biofuels that could be made from seawater

Researchers from the University of Manchester are using synthetic biology to explore a more efficient way to produce the next generation of biobased jet fuels—partly made from seawater.

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Oil

An oil is a substance that is in a viscous liquid state ("oily") at ambient temperatures or slightly warmer, and is both hydrophobic (immiscible with water) and lipophilic (miscible with other oils, literally). This general definition includes compound classes with otherwise unrelated chemical structures, properties, and uses, including vegetable oils, petrochemical oils, and volatile essential oils. Oil is a nonpolar substance.

The term oil is often used colloquially to refer to petroleum.

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