Energy Efficiency of Biodiesel, Ethanol, and Petroleum

The objective of the project was to determine which fuel, biodiesel, ethanol, or petroleum is the most energy efficient. In order to accomplish this, an apparatus was setup to allow the fuel to burn and study the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released. Both ethanol and petroleum were burned thirty times; however, biodiesel was not able to be tested because it does not burn like the other fuels. The time it took the fuel to burn, the time it took for the CO2 to turn a basic solution acidic, and the pH level of the changed indicator after the fuel completely burned and released its CO2 was recorded for each trial. After conducting three t-tests, it was concluded that the original hypothesis which stated biodiesel would be the most fuel efficient could not be answered. According to our t-tests a conclusion could not be drawn, because each test showed a different fuel as either more energy efficient or the fuels had the same efficiency.

Research Done By:

Christopher Franco
Sterling Heights High School

Monica Tadros
Cousino High School