VEHICLE ENGINES. APPLICATION OF FUELS TYPES. EFFICIENCY
The aim of the article is to show how to encourage students to deepen their knowledge, creativity and their enthusiasm for research. In this way we can also promote the popularization of science and technology as well as the identification of students talented in specific research areas. This article presents an example of writing a research assignment undertaken by students in the final year of primary school (class 9, i.e. age 14-15).We live in the age of diminishing supplies of fossil fuels and consequently a growing interest in the renewable energy sources, including biofuels. Through research assignment, we wanted our students to learn more about the characteristics
of biofuels which we haven’t discussed in detail in class. Biofuel is a solid, liquid or gaseous fuel, obtained from a relatively recently deceased biological substance. For the production of biofuels, we use various plants and substances of plant origin, which are known under the term “biomass”. In addition to looking for information in literature and electronic resources, we conducted experiments in which we measured how many degrees a particular quantity of water heats up by the burning of various fuels, and the amount of residue left after burning. The biofuels we used were: pellets, briquettes, olive pulp, cherry stones, biodiesel, ethanol and sawdust.
We established that different types of fuel emit, when burnt, different amounts of heat. Water heated up the most when burning ethanol, while it heated up the least when using biodiesel. Experiments showed that different fuels burn for different amounts of time, leaving a residue which depends on the type of fuel