A Comparison of Residues of a Combustion of Three Fatty Acid Based Fuels

Biodiesel a new clean fuel that is able to operate in normal diesel engines. But this fuel would be much cleaner than traditional diesel in that it would not emit as many particles into the air when it is burned. Biodiesel is made from a mixture of vegetable oil, potassium hydroxide, and ethanol. Through a chemical process the vegetable oil is broken down into glycerol, and biodiesel. The entire process takes around five hours. In order for us to run this experiment we needed to make biodiesel. We did this by combining 100 ml of vegetable to 15 ml of ethanol then we slowly added one ml of potassium hydroxide over the period of one minute. Then we stirred the combined solution for three minutes. After letting set overnight two layers formed. The bottom layer was drained off and the top layer was the biodiesel. Our actual experiment was to determine which of three different oils, paraffin oil, vegetable oil and biodiesel would leave the least amount of residue after they were burned. We discovered that the paraffin oil burned the best of the three followed by biodiesel and then vegetable oil.

Research Done By:

Sandra Alef
South Lake

Kevin Grattan
Center Line