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ERIC Number: EJ918435
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
How "Green" Is Your Fuel? Creation and Comparison of Automotive Biofuels
Wagner, Eugene P.; Koehle, Maura A.; Moyle, Todd M.; Lambert, Patrick D.
Journal of Chemical Education, v87 n7 p711-713 Jul 2010
In recent years, biofuel development and use has risen significantly. This undergraduate laboratory experiment educates students on the various alternative fuels that are being developed for automotive applications and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Students replicate commercially available alternative fuels, E85 and biodiesel, as well as create an experimental fuel blend of waste vegetable oil and petroleum products referred to as "VeggieDiesel". Each fuel is evaluated in the lab for energy content and viscosity. Students use laboratory information as well as literature to assess the production energy requirements and environmental impact for each fuel. In addition, students theoretically model heat of combustion and viscosity and compare the predicted values to the experimental results. On the basis of laboratory results and literature findings, students draw conclusions on which fuel they believe is the best "alternative" and most sustainable. The experiment is easily adaptable for organic, analytical, and physical chemistry laboratory courses by inclusion or exclusion of the various tasks and topics covered. Its timely relevance is of interest to anyone interested in environmental chemistry or engineering. (Contains 1 table.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A