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IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 Alcohol as fuel
IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 If you refuel your car in Brazil, you won’t be adding just petrol to your tank. Brazilian car fuel is a mixture of petrol and ethanol It may even be a mix of 95% ethanol with 5% water. In Brazil, ethanol is made by fermenting sugar cane.
IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 Drag racers often fuel their cars with methanol.
IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 At Christmas it is a tradition to pour brandy over the pudding and set it alight. The alcohol in brandy burns with a blue flame.
IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 Alcohols burn in air to make carbon dioxide and water. For example: ethanol + oxygen carbon dioxide + water CH 3 CH 2 OH(l) + 3O 2 (g) 2CO 2 (g) + 3H 2 O(g)
IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 There are advantages and disadvantages of using ethanol as a vehicle fuel instead of fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel.
IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 Advantages: Made from a renewable resource, e.g. sugar cane or maize. The plants from which the fuel is made remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow. Some people say this means that ethanol fuel is carbon neutral – the plants remove the same amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as burning the fuel later puts into the atmosphere.
IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 Disadvantages: Crops used to make ethanol are grown on land that could be used to grow food. Ethanol produces carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, as it burns. Carbon dioxide is also added to the atmosphere as a result of making fertilisers for the crops, and during the manufacture of ethanol from the crops. Some people say this means ethanol fuel is not carbon neutral.
IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 1.What is the word equation for the combustion reaction of propanol? propanol + oxygen carbon dioxide + water
IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 2.Why is it important to develop alternatives to fossil fuels? Do you think ethanol makes a good fuel? Fossil fuels are a finite resource – one day, they will run out.
IC.29.3 Alcohol as fuel © Oxford University Press 2011 3.Do you think ethanol makes a good fuel? Discuss this with a partner or in your group.
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