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Petrol or Biodiesel ? Which fuel should we use for our cars?

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Presentation on theme: "Petrol or Biodiesel ? Which fuel should we use for our cars?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Petrol or Biodiesel ? Which fuel should we use for our cars?

2 Petrol The first car to run on petrol was made in Germany, in Since then almost all cars have run on petrol. That is over 125 years! There are now thought to be 600 million cars in the world! The model T Ford was the first mass produced car and was made in the USA. It could run on ethanol and petrol but ethanol was very expensive and impractical due to prohibition. Ford cars were also made in the UK. From 1885 until the present day most cars have run on petrol. They have become more efficient, reliable and faster! Many people think petrol is the perfect fuel for cars – it has worked well for many years and nearly all engines are designed to use it. Why change it? In the 1850s, petrol was first produced by distillation from crude oil, by Ignacy Lukasiewicz. It soon became a very popular fuel as it was readily available and a cheaper alternative to other fuels such as whale oil. Crude Oil is a thick black liquid that can be extracted from the ground. It is found in many places all over the world. It is non-renewable – there is only a certain amount in the ground and will one day run out. It is also an important raw material for making plastics. Using petrol causes pollution. It produces carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas. Burning petrol also makes sulphur dioxide which is a cause of acid rain. Scientists have developed technology, such as catalytic converters, to reduce pollution from cars but it is still a big problem. New petrol cars now range from the very cheap (£1000) to the very expensive (£1 million)! A big problem now though is the high demand for crude oil making petrol expensive. Crude oil also causes pollution if it leaks into the sea, destroying habitats and damaging wildlife.

3 Biodiesel Biodiesel is a fuel made of animal or vegetable based fat. It can be used in diesel engine cars or new cars with engines designed to run on this fuel. Only recently have many people started to look use it as an alternative to petrol. Biodiesel can be made from the oil of crops such as rapeseed, palm, soybeans and coconuts. These are easily grown in large quantities in hot countries such as South America and South-East Asia. They are harvested and biodiesel is produced. Crops can be grown again and again to make biodiesel – it is renewable. Nowadays, many countries, such as Brazil, grow crops for biodiesel but they have had to destroy a lot of rainforest to make enough room. It reduces the amount of food that can be grown too. Waste vegetable oil (from cooking) can also be used to produce biodiesel. This means that the cooking oil is recycled rather than just being thrown away. Now people can power their own cars with used cooking fat if they have enough! Burning biodiesel produces less carbon dioxide than burning petrol. The plants that are grown to make biodiesel take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Many people think that using biodiesel will be better for the environment than petrol. Some poorer countries still use petrol – they have older cars that can only run on petrol. They rely on crude oil to develop their country and do not have the money to develop new technology. Some countries use other fuels such as alcohol and some are developing new fuels such as hydrogen, algae biodiesel and electric cars.


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