# ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION FUELS LAB

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1 ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION FUELS LAB

2 Purpose: To examine the energy content of various alternative fuels which could be used for powering our vehicles in the future. As gasoline becomes increasingly expensive, alternatives will need to be employed to keep the transportation system moving. During this lab, you will be asking: How does the energy content of alternative fuels compare to that of gasoline s 11,530 calories per gram?

3 Vocabulary calorie = the energy required to raise one milliliter of water one degree Celsius Calorie = one thousand calories (kilocalorie); often referred to as the Big Calorie or food calorie Torch Fuel Vegetable oil corn, canola & soybean Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) Methanol (methyl alcohol) Isopropyl alcohol (70% vs. 91%)

4 Procedure 1. Take one of the two types of fuel that your group will be testing (7 fuels will be tested by the class). Remove the cap (if it is still on) and then determine the mass of the entire alcohol burner with its fuel (without the cap of course) Write down the mass in grams in your data collection chart. 2. Take a 500ml beaker and fill it up approximately four-fifths of the way. Add three or four ice cubes and then use the stirring rod to swirl the water-ice mixture so the temperature of the water goes down quickly. Your goal should be to get the water temperature down to between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius.

5 3. Using a graduated cylinder, carefully measure out 300ml of the cooled water and poor it into the aluminum can. 4. Put the aluminum can with water on the ring stand. 5. Take the alcohol burner with the fuel that you are about to test and place it directly under the aluminum can. 6. Stick the thermometer into the opening in the aluminum can and carefully measure the temperature of the water. Write down the temperature to the nearest tenth of a degree Celsius in your data chart.

6 7. Light your fuel burner, adjust it so that the top of the flame is 1 cm below the bottom of the can and centered in the middle, and then immediately start your timing. (Note: Do not pull the wick out too far; in most cases, just a few millimeters of wick needs to be extended out of the neck of the burner, this is especially true with torch fuel where an extended wick can cause and enormous flame). 8. Heat your water for exactly 5 minutes. 9. After exactly 5 minutes, blow out the flame, and measure the temperature of the water by sticking the thermometer back into the can and stirring gently stirring to circulate the water and distribute the heat evenly. Record the temperature and record it in your data chart.

7 10. Measure the mass of the burner (without the cap on) again so that you will be able to determine the amount of fuel that was used during the five minutes of heating. 11. Carefully remove the aluminum can (grab the top of the can not the bottom so that you do not accidentally burn yourself) and pour the heated water down the drain. 12. Now repeat this procedure for the other fuel that you are testing. 13. Once you have collected all your data we will share your results with the class and then it is time to do your calculations and data analysis.

8 Fuel Type Final Temp Initial Temp Temp Increase Data X 300 ml Total Calorie Initial Mass Final Mass Mass of Fuel Calories / gram CORN OIL 300 CANOLA OIL SOYBEAN OIL 91% ISOPROPYL METHYL ALCOHOL ETHYL ALCOHOL TORCH FUEL

9 Calculating calories per gram Total calories / Grams of fuel used X Correction factor = calories per gram Outdoor correction factor = 2.5 (assuming a 60% energy loss) Indoor correction factor = 1.7 (assuming a 33% energy loss) calories per gram X Density = calories per milliliter calories per gram/1000 = kilocalories = Calories = Food Calorie

10 1. Which of the fuels that you analyzed can be considered fossil fuels? 2. Which fuel contained the most energy per gram? 3. Which fuel contained the least energy per gram? 4. Which fuel contained the most energy per milliliter? 5. Which fuel contained the least energy per milliliter? 6. Which fuels put out the greatest amount of carbon particulates? 7. Which fuels put out the least amount of carbon particulates? 8. Why do you think some fuels put out a large amount of carbon particulates while other fuels did not? 9. Think about torch fuel and ethanol (ethyl alcohol). Please compare these two fuels. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using each of these two fuels to power transportation vehicles? 10. Why is it important to know the number of calories per gram of a fuel? 11. Why is it important to know the number of calories per milliliter of a fuel?

12 Conclusion Please write a summary paragraph that distills the essential information that you learned from conduction this lab.

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