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An Understanding Of Fuel Combination Efficiency Environmental Sciences Essay

To understand and evaluate fuels and which combinations/pure mixes efficiently and eco-friendly- give off more enthalpy of heat and energy so that it may justify reasons for choice in real world / reality situations.

Hypothesis

Because ethanol has a higher ratio of octane and a cleaner by-product (off waste) it would be more desired to use in prac’s and in real life situations.

Theory Review:

The use of fuels in this world is an almost necessity. Weather it comes to wood for fire, gas for heat or coal for steam the world offers a variety for each and every situation that requires it. It’s just finding out which one is right for a task, and how economical and unpolluted its emissions are after use.

Petrol and Ethanol have been major topics in past occurrences and still are today. However, it all comes done to which is more powerful, clean, and has a higher-octane rating.

Brief overview of a cars engine:

In a petrol engine, the petrol-air mixture has to ignite at the right time, as part of a cycle controlled by a piston inside a cylinder with valves. Each cylinder is a container holding a close fitting piston. The cylinder has two openings at the top, controlled by valves. As the piston move down, one of the valves opens, allows a mixer of petrol and air to be sucked in, and then closes again. With both openings now closed by tow valves, the piston moves up again, squeezing or compressing the petrol air mixture.

A precise timed spark from the spark plug causes the petrol to explode and the piston to be pushed back down with great force delivering the driving force to the engine as energy is neither created nor destroyed (newtons theory). A pressure/igniting mixture of methods achieves this.

Although this is used widely some fuels are able to auto ignite under these condition (without spark from plug). The tendency to auto ignite is measured by its octane number. The higher the octane rating, the slower the fuel burns and the higher octane ratings correlate to higher activation energies vis versa. This then reduces the desire to auto ignite, due to having a slow burning, high-octane level.

High octane enables the use of efficient, high performance engines. Other means to raise octane such as better refining of crude oil and the use of oxygen compounds will be used in place of lead to achieve the same high octane. When investigating unleaded petrol and ethanol and combining it with the results it is easy to see why different

fuels/combinations are used in different countries.

Fuel type [clarification needed] 

     MJ/liter 

     MJ/kg 

    BTU/Imp gal 

    BTU/US gal 

    Research octane

Number (RON) 

87 Octane Gasoline

32.0

44.4[12]

150,100

125,000

Min 91[clarification needed]

Auto gas (LPG) (60% Propane + 40% Butane)

26.8

46

108

Ethanol

23.5

31.1[13]

101,600

84,600

129http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline

Petrol

As leaded petrol was driven out BP Regular Unleaded was its replacement with a 91-octane grade fuel that has no added lead compounds (as required by legislation 1986). All vehicles produced since that date had to unleaded fuel.

BP Regular Unleaded contains a detergent additive which helps maintains new car performance and minimizes exhaust emissions. The detergent prevents the build up of deposits on fuel injectors, on carburettor throats and on inlet valves and ports. This detergent additive will also significantly reduce existing deposits in a dirty engine.

BP Regular Unleaded is seasonally blended to help cars start easily and give best fuel economy all year round.

This may have been great but it didn’t stop the gust of two deadly categories,

Exhaust emissions: including dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and particulates.

Evaporative emissions: vapours of fuel, which are released into the atmosphere, without being burnt.

These are only some reasons for unleaded petrol to be slowly driven out. Others may include information such as Gasoline, being a mixture of hundreds of hydrocarbons typically with 4-12 carbon molecules. There really isn't one main component of gasoline since this varies with the chemical make-up of the crude oil used to make it. Typically these hydrocarbons include: butane, isobutane, heptane, hexane, cyclohexane, pentane, isopentane, benzene, toluene, cyclohexane, octane, isooctane, etc. there are numerous chemical components in gasoline.

That’s lot of chemicals exiting the vehicle via the exhaust!

Emissions not caused by heat or the condensation of water vapour, are typically described as “smoky”. Smoke by-product of incomplete combustion. Incomplete combustion can significantly increase the quantity of certain toxic chemicals discharged by vehicles into the air. As was demonstrated in our experiment.

These chemicals can cause mild to severe irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. They can also be absorbed into the body and cause deterioration in general health. The extent of these detrimental effects on people's health is related to the length of time one is exposed to vehicle emissions, the concentration of fumes breathed and various other factors such as age and health.

However, when the ethanol component in such percentages as E10 (10% Ethanol) Unleaded is burned, the carbon dioxide it releases into the atmosphere is actually used by plants to grow, including the crops that can be used to create yet more ethanol. This 'cycling' of carbon reduces the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The amount of greenhouse benefit varies depending on ethanol plant design and the crops used.

This equals great innovation that in future tenses that may drive 100% unleaded petrol out of production. Such occurrences include countries like, the United States where ethanol is sometimes added to gasoline but sold without an indication that it is a component. However in several states in America, law to a minimum level adds ethanol, which is currently 5.9%. Most fuel pumps display a sticker stating that the fuel may contain up to 10% ethanol, an intentional disparity that allows the minimum level to be raised over time without requiring modification of the literature/labelling.

In the EU, 5% ethanol can be added within the common gasoline spec (EN 228). Discussions are ongoing to allow 10% blending of ethanol.

Most gasoline sold in Sweden has 5% ethanol added.

In Brazil, the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Bio-fuels (ANP) requires that gasoline for automobile use has 23% of ethanol added to its composition. Brazil is one of the world pioneers in the use of ethanol - pure alcohol - as a fuel substitute for petrol, with cars running on up to 100 per cent ethanol.

All these countries are using ethanol, mainly because the effects of 2 things… Global warming and climate change. Ethanol is made from crops such as sugar cane or wheat, but is considered as a renewable non-fossil fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.

Ethanol use and treatment in the USA in years

http://hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/transportation/e10/

Power Outages in Fuels

Research octane number, or RON, is loosely defined as a measure of how much power a fuel can deliver in an engine. The higher the RON, the more power a fuel can produce.

Unleaded petrol generally comes in three RON ratings:

91 for basic unleaded,

95 for premium unleaded,

And 98 for use in some high-performance engines.

Unleaded petrol contains about 32 mega joules of energy per litre.

(One joule is the amount of energy it takes to lift a one-kilogram weight by 10 centimetres.)

As a rule of thumb, the lower the number of joules a fuel has, the more fuel a car's engine has to burn to cover the same distance as a higher joule fuel.

Pure ethanol has a RON of about 115 and produces about 19 MJ/L. An E10 mix of 10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent unleaded petrol has a RON of about 95 and produces about 23 MJ/L.

So understandably ethanol has a lower power outage but intern is a cleaner, safer renewable energy source. This is why the EEI was completed: to investigate the reasoning behind why these facts are represented and are they 100% true?

Health, Safety and Environment Data table

TEST

UNIT

TYPICAL

METHOD

Octane Number - Research (RON)

Higher than 91

ASTM D2699

Color

Purple/Bronze

Visual

Appearance

Clear & Bright

Visual

Density @ 15°C

Kg/L

Report

ASTM D4052

Aromatics

% Volume

42.0 max

ASTM D5580

Sulphur - total

Mg/kg

Less than 500

ASTM D1266

Benzene - WA

- Other states

% Volume

% Volume

Less than 1.0

Less than 5.0

ASTM D3606

Drivability Index

Less than 570

Calculated

FULL MSDS or MDS to be handed in with final copy.

 Hypothesis: It was hypothesised that comparing the fuels ethanol and unleaded petrol we are able to gain insight to which pure/mix of percentage gives off more empathy of heat adequately and efficiently with minimal pollution, we are able to understand and evaluate why pure/mixes of these fluid’s are sold and bought all around the world.

 Justification: By testing this using a bomb-calorimeter the heat is able to be recorded thus understand which mix gives off more heat… And by also identifying the fuels, by smell, sight and touch it is given that we can evaluate the more eco-friendly.

 Planning & Preliminary trials:

 Introduction: The masses that were chosen are articulated below

Test

Fuels %

Liquid in ml

Type

1

Pure 100%

10ml

Ethanol

2

Petrol

3

80%-20%

10ml

High # Petrol

4

High # Ethanol

5

60%: 40%

10ml

High # Petrol

6

High # Ethanol

7

50%: 50%

10ml

Half n Half

Method

5. Method.

1. Gather the necessary materials needed for prac (refer to apparatus on page.)

2.Build apparatus (refer to picture…. In appendicis)

3 gather (10mls) and weigh each percentage (50:50 80:20 etc) of Unleaded petrol / Ethanol and place into beakers

4. Place alfoil over the tops of the beakers as these liquids vaporise easily resulting in loss of fluids.

5. Set up bomb calorimeter, and pour 10 mls of mix/ pure liquid of unleaded and/or Ethanol into glass jars.

6. Place lid with wick through it- on top of glass jar

7. Position Calorimeter back together and import lighting stick (which is already lit) in through ones of the holes and ignite wick

8. This will generate a flame, which in turn is when timing should be start via a stopwatch.

9. Record temperature every minute up until 5 mins to acquire verification of heat change and enthalpy.

10. Once completed quickly disassemble apparatus; pour remains (of liquid) into a glass beaker and record weight.

11. Once completed repeat steps 5-10 with the remaining mixes.

12. Finalise results and clean up

Apparatus

-Jar (glass)

- Wick

- Ethanol

- Can *4

2 with no bottom or top

- Tripod

- Beaker

-Thermometer

- H20

- Containers

- Matches

- Beakers

- Styrofoam

-Play dough

-Wood block small

-Wood block large

- Petrol

Results and Analysis

6. Results and Analysis

Results

Substance

Petrol

Minutes

Temperature

Start Temperature = 24

Test 1

1

37

Start amount = 10g

2

48

Finishing amount = 4.1g

3

63

4

77

5

80

Results

Substance

Ethanol

Minutes

Temperature

Start Temperature = 24

Test 2

1

34

Start amount = 10g

2

43

Finishing amount = 4.3g

3

54

4

63

5

70

Results

Substance

50:50:00

Minutes

Temperature

Start Temperature = 24

Test 3

1

36

Start amount = 10g

2

49

Finishing amount = 1.9g

3

61

4

72

5

82

Results

Substance

60% Petrol: 40

Minutes

Temperature

Start Temperature = 24

Test 4

1

30

Start amount = 10g

2

48

Finishing amount = 2.2g

3

60

4

68

5

75

Results

Substance

60% Ethanol: 40

Minutes

Temperature

Start Temperature = 24

Test 5

1

35

Start amount = 10g

2

44

Finishing amount = 2.41g

3

51

4

58

5

64

Results

Substance

80% Petrol: 20

Minutes

Temperature

Start Temperature = 24

Test 6

1

37

Start amount = 10g

2

41

Finishing amount = 4.1g

3

55

4

67

5

74

Results

Substance

80% Petrol: 20

Minutes

Temperature

Start Temperature = 24

Test 7

1

32

Start amount = 10g

2

37

Finishing amount = 5.75g

3

46

4

57

5

63

Left

100% petrol had a steep incline to a top of 80 degrees.

Due to having a high octane rating the water had heated up quickly, then gradually planing out at about 4mins

Left

100% ethanol had a gradual slope, which indicates there was a steady incline. Also the temperature did not reach as high as petrol-only up to 70 degrees. (10 degrees less)

Left

60% Petrol and 40% Ethanol the temperature showed gradual increase but also the water temperature was at 75 degrees at 5 mins. This shows that the petrol had an effect n how high the temperature increased and the ethanol had and effect on how fast the energy was released.

Left60% Ethanol and 40% Petrol The temperature was shown to increase at a steady but slow rate but also having a lower temperature than the previous experiment (opposite %’s) by 11 degrees. The temperature of the water had only increased to 64 by the end of 5 mins.

Left 80% petrol 20% Ethanol

The temperature had a slow start but a steep incline at 2 mins. The water temperature skyrocketed to 74 degrees. Also having Ethanol added to the mix made it more steady and controllable and more desirable to use (smell better)

Left 80% Ethanol 20 Petrol

Due to having a majority of the mixture being Ethanol the temperature of the water was low but the increase in temperature was steady indicating a lower octane rating and a slow release of energy

Left 50:50 Ethanol & Petrol

Having half and half the mixture burnt at a steady rate but at a high finish. The experiment indicates that having 50-50 mixture properties give the best results in releasing energy and heating up the water due to having a high-octane ratio and a controlled aspect of realising energy.

Analysis: By completing the experiment, recording the results and putting them put into graphs and tables it makes understanding what exactly occurred much more simple. This was done to evaluate which mixes of fuel were best at releasing energy and heating up the water in the apparatus of the bomb calorimeter. Once obtained, they were compared with each other and the best fuel was found.

It seemed that the higher the percentage of petrol was the higher the temperature increased to once the 5mins was finished. The higher the percentage of Ethanol the more constant and steady the temperature increased. But now taking the amount left over into thought the “pure” mixes still had a substantial amount left over- thus concluding that they could have kept burning for longer. On the opposite scale the 50:50 and the 60:40 percentages had a minuscule amount left after the 5mins stating that they would have not burnt for longer then the others. So wouldn’t petrol or majority of petrol percentages be the best fit and the most reliable in reality? NO because this is not taking into account senses including smell and sight. When bringing them into the equation the results seem to revolutionize.

Petrol

Ethanol

Majority Petrol

Majority Ethanol

Smell

Nauseating and dizziness

Burning, but not as bad as petrol

Sickening and faintness

Burning, but not as bad as petrol

Scale 1-10 Ten being worst

9 (very awful)

3 (not so awful)

6 (awful)

4 (not as awful)

Sight (look)

Sooty and black smoke

Barely any sooty visible if that

Small amounts of soot present

Miniscule amounts of soot present

Breath in

Causing lungs to couch and reject air most of the time

Slight coughing but only once or twice (again not as bad as petrol)

Causing lungs to reject air sometimes

Slight cough twice or three times

With pure petrol and majority petrol mixes the smell and soot that was present was overwhelming. This made participants in the prac and also other prac’s occurring in the lab to feel dizzy and faint. The pollution was thick due to soot and nauseating smells.

Where as Pure Ethanol and majority Ethanol mixes only had effects such as slight giddiness and coughing to only those present around the bomb calorimeter. Only coughing amounted once or twice during the experiments completed.

This concludes that even though petrol may have a higher energy release rate, it comes with the price of having a higher soot and smell rate along with it. Ethanol may have a lower octane rating and a slower energy release rate but has cleaner and less pollutant smoke and scents. This information is all based on the facts presented in the experiment.

Discussion 1 of 2: The results that were obtained were measurable (have the temperature in degrees on the y-axis of the graphs and the time in seconds on the x-axis on the graphs. This was measured then put into line graphs to best discriminate the better fuel and the most efficient but not taking into account the smell and sight of the fuel burning. Sufficient data was collected and the experimental design was adequate due to the prac being a success and the results being easily obtained.

Conclusion 1 of 2: The original plan had been modified due to experimental error and apparatus failure. The first experiment had failed due to the flame not having enough air/oxygen supplied to it. The measurements were slow due to having not enough equipment and the change to the time was made (instead of leaving the fuel to burn out (10 grams) only letting it burn for five minutes.) So the changes to add a candle so that if the flame did go out a quick re-light would be appropriate. Wooden skewers were added so that the apparatus could be set up and the skewer could be inserted through the breathing holes for the flame.

Due to having failed on numerous occasions e.g. trial and error- the prac was improved many times. Even though there were improvements still to be made it the experiment was still successful and the results acquired were measurable and adequate.

Error analysis: You will need to undertake an error analysis. This could be as simple as a qualitative description or as complex as a full numerical error calculation. However, it is the logic that is important and some quantification of accuracy should be evident. Consult a text to find out the way to do it.

Discussion

This investigation was aimed at answering the research question which fuels/mixes’ give off more enthalpy of heat and release more energy, with the least pollutants entering the atmosphere. This was tested to relate to real-life situations in cases where different countries use different fuels and combinations to power their vehicles and motors.

By burning the fuels in a clearly defined time limit and testing how much heat is given off to heat up 100mls of water via a bomb calorimeter, it is understood that the less pollutant fuel with the highest empathy of heat would be the most appropriate to use in real life situations.

The hypothesis that due to ethanol having a higher octane rating, would give off more enthalpy of heat thus heating the water as much as the unleaded petrol. And on the other hand having a cleaner energy source would make the gas more desirable to smell rather then the smoke inhaled via petrol burning. This was supported by the data ad the relationships and trends in graphs and tables.

-Because of unleaded petrol having a lower octane ratio (91-97) it burnt longer and should have given off less heat. But the figures showed that the petrol had higher temperature results and gave off more heat.

The empathy of ethanol should be as written (a written page for the explanation of ethanol of heat of ethanol I have done this in my book and will transfer it.

-This indicates that ethanol gave off heat combustion of 155.6594827KJ/mol and petrol gave off _________

This indicates that ethanol should have had a higher burning etc. (explanation of the results)

The molecular structure of ethanol is CH3-CH2-OH, which is a straight-chain molecule.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol

Structure of fuel and why it’s relevant

Alkenes and alkanes

I don’t understand this?

Limitations caused by errors and uncertainties.

You will need to review your error analysis. Begin by summarising the error analysis done in the previous ‘Analysis’ section of your report and then discuss which measured quantities limited the accuracy of the result, and why, and what could be done about it in the future. Caution: mistakes are not ‘errors’ in the scientific sense. If you made a mistake, you should repeat the trials. If there is no time then make time. Don’t blame mistakes for not getting useful results. Mistakes are just stuff-ups and sloppy work; they are nothing else and shouldn’t be written up.

When burning the materials/fuels present, smell and colour of the by-products were varying in both fuels. The petrol had an unpleasant odour, which caused coughing and nausea. This is due to the pollutants found in the gas that comes of the fire when using unleaded petrol. But when using Ethanol the smell was much more pleasant and didn’t give off much/ if any by-products. When identifying real life situations unleaded petrol used around the world would contribute to global warming and ozone depletion because of the particulates and carcinogens in the toxic gas that comes off when it’s burnt. To fix this problem using ethanol would be a cleaner re-useable fuel that helps the environment and has a high octane rating.

But debate around the world is causing difficulty and dilemma in third world countries that need food. Because, Ethanol can be made from any crop or plant that contains a large amount of sugar or components that can be converted into sugar, such as starch or cellulose.

Ethanol is a clear, colourless alcohol fuel made from the sugars found in grains, such as corn, sorghum, and wheat, as well as potato skins, rice, and yard clippings and is a renewable fuel because it is made from plants. But when people are using plants to feed cars and motor vehicles instead of humans in third world countries it causes a global food crisis. Basic food like rice and grain has tripled in value in bidding wars and tussles over small amounts. A diversion of over five per cent of the world’s cereals is given over to bio-fuels. Currently a third of US corn is used to produce ethanol and half of all EU vegetable oils are used to produce bio-diesel. Many farmers in developing nations are no longer growing local food crops but higher-value, subsidised cash crops that will earn them a higher profit, but diminish local food stocks. The increase in bio-fuel production has sparked financial speculation, driving prices even higher.

This has caused the number of starving people struggling to eat 1 meal a day to explode form 900 million people to 1 billion! This is an extra 100 million in the last year. Ethanol may be a better fuel source and a cleaner renewable fuel but at a cost of 100 million people going to bed starving.

Future possibilities and recommendations

The syllabus talks of ‘exploration of scenarios and possible outcomes with justification of …recommendations’. For this you should note further related investigations that this experiment could lead to. Don’t just say wishy-washy things like ‘try other variables’, ‘be more accurate’, ‘use a digital multimeter’ and so on. These recommendations would only be valid if you can justify them. This is a good chance to show some more critical thinking.

Conclusion

8. Conclusion.

In persuasive writing – which is what this report is – you want to use your closing words to convey the main point of your writing. The conclusion has to be very strong and leave the reader solidly understanding your position. A good way to start is by summarizing your results. Make sure not to introduce anything that wasn't already mentioned in the previous parts of your paper. You should state very briefly the essential conclusion or conclusions you have drawn from the experiment. It should satisfy the statement set out in the Aim at the beginning and must clearly address the stated hypothesis. Be sure to include any conditions that apply to your result (eg ‘at constant temperature’). It is important not to overstate what you can rightly claim as a result of the experiment. Statements like ‘the results supported…’ are more justifiable than ‘the results proved…’

Appendicis

9. Appendices

This is where you place information that is not essential to explain your findings, but that supports your analysis (especially repetitive or lengthy information), validates your conclusions or pursues a related point. Sometimes excerpts from this supporting information (i.e. part of the data set) will be placed in the body of the report but the complete set of information (i.e. all of the data set) will be included in the appendix. Examples of information that could be included in an appendix include figures/tables/charts/graphs of results, statistics, pictures, lengthy derivations of equations, data sheets, or computer program information.

There is no limit to what can be placed in the appendix providing it is relevant and reference is made to it in the report. The appendix is not a place for all the semi-interesting or related information you have gathered through your research for your report. That can go in your journal or logbook. The information included in the appendix must be directly related to the research problem or the report's purpose. It must be a useful tool for the reader. Each separate appendix should be lettered (Appendix A, Appendix B, etc).

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