Gas Buried With Plymouth To Be Tested

Monday, June 25th 2007, 3:01 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ The Plymouth Belvedere buried in a time capsule was rusty and undriveable but gasoline cached with the car could have scientific value. The people who put together the time capsule 50 years ago in Tulsa included two containers of gasoline in case fuel was no longer available for the Plymouth when the vault was unsealed this year. For Paul Philp, a professor of petroleum and environmental geochemistry at the University of Oklahoma, the gas is valuable on its own.

``We're going to begin fingerprinting the gasoline and compare it to modern day gasolines,'' he said.

Philp, who specializes in environmental forensic work, hopes researchers will be able to use the comparison of old and new gas as a reference to determine the age of gasoline spills that have leaked into the ground.

``There aren't many of these age-related samples available,'' he said.

Philp took the two jars of gasoline, along with four others believed to contain motor oil, to his laboratory at the university's Sarkeys Energy Center.

The time capsule, a concrete vault buried under the lawn of the Tulsa County Courthouse, was unsealed June 15. Although the Belvedere had been sealed in protective wrapping, water had penetrated the vault and the two-door hardtop was covered with rust.

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