Week Two: Outside Lab Measurement Project:
My Primary Gasoline Demand
In Chemistry we collect data in the laboratory while performing an experiment. Our second lab concerns
measurement and data collection. As an additional experiment which can be performed by you collecting data over
the next 3 to 4 months, we can find out what our energy cost are for driving a car. So here is the project which we
will start ASAP and finish the last week of the term:
Energy Project: My Gasoline Demand
During the first weeks of class you need to fill your gasoline tank in your car. During the course you will keep a record of all
purchases of gasoline noting dates, price, amount, cost and odometer reading. Get receipts or keep a diary in your vehicle. Then
transfer each purchase to a data page or in a spreadsheet. Collecting the data and presenting the data collected is one half the grade
or 20 points. This lab counts as four labs as it is an intense 12-16 week project or 40 points.
During the last weeks, you fill your tank again and record the data. You will determine:
Total Miles Driven: Subtract you initial odometer reading from the your final Odometer Reading
Total gallon Used: Sum all your Gallons Purchased, except do not include the gallons recorded in your initial fill-up (Why?)
Total Cost: Sum all your dollars spent during the project, except the initial fill-up. (Why?)
MPG = Total Miles Driven divided by Total Gallons Used
Average Cost Per Mile = Total Dollars Spent divided by Total Mile Driven
Average daily Miles = Total Miles Driven divided by Total Days of the Project
Average Daily Gallons Used = Total Gallon Used divided by Total Days of the Project
(You may not be able to answer this, but statistics say that the average U.S. driver averages 29 miles per day and this can be
skewed if you took a long trip during the project to see if you are average)
Annual Mileage = your daily average miles driven calculated above multiplied by 365 days
Annual Gasoline Demand: Your average Gallons Used multiplied by 365 days
Annual Cost @ $2.00/gallon = Yearly Gasoline Demand(gallons) multiplied by $2.00/gallon
Annual Cost @ $3.00/gallon = Yearly Gasoline Demand(gallons) multiplied by $3.00/gallon
Annual Cost @ $3.50/gallon = Yearly Gasoline Demand(gallons) multiplied by $3.50/gallon
Annual Cost @ $4.00/gallon = Yearly Gasoline Demand(gallons) multiplied by $4.00/gallon
Annual Cost @ $4.50/gallon = Yearly Gasoline Demand(gallons) multiplied by $4.50/gallon
Annual Cost @ $5.00/gallon = Yearly Gasoline Demand(gallons) multiplied by $5.00/gallon
Total Annual CO2 Released = Total Annual Gallons Used multiplied by 19 pounds/gallon
i. The instructor may add additional data for you to determine to complete this project. Presentation and projections are worth
one half the grade or 20 points. If your family has more than one car, extra credit may be earned for doing two projects
for the 12-16 weeks.
These calculations should be done in a spreadsheet or typed in table format, but the spreadsheet may either be hand drawn on your data page or done on the computer. You may also keep your data in your lab notebook.
You need to only fill the tank twice, at the beginning and at the end of the project. You will not use the first fill-up in your calculations, except odometer reading. Why?
If you do not drive or own a vehicle and can not get cooperation from your family, the instructor will assigned an alternate energy demand project or you may earn 20-40 total points using the data of your instructor’s car.
My concept of driving with the increase cost of gasoline, is to have a car which gets at least 20 miles per gallon; but
spend approximately only 5 to 10 cents a mile cost of the vehicle. At $4 per gallon that is 20 cents per mile to drive
plus 10 cents purchase cost per mile…totally 30 cents or less per mile.
In 1985 I purchased my last brand new car. It was a GM Tech 4 engine which got 27-37 mpg. Before that it was1963
when I got my first 20 mpg car a VW Karman Ghia. My very first car was a 55 ford coupe in 1958 which got only 8
mpg. (Gasoline then was 14 cents a gallon. I got upset in 1962 when gas jumped to 17-18 cents a gallon and so I
went for the 20 mpg. Have a laugh, but think about it a 4 cent jump was almost a 30% increase. Today that equates
to $3 to $3.90. Remember minimum wage in 1962 was 40 cents an hour, which was $16 per week for a worker trying
to just get by.
All the cars in between have been used from excellent to tired old beat-up cars, sometime I call them Throw away
cars (Spend $1000 drive it 10,000 miles then throw it away: cost 10 cents per mile).
I am very concerned about our environment. No matter how many mpg you get, every gallon of gasoline you burn
produces almost 19 pounds of Carbon Dioxide into our atmosphere. If we drive electric, then the equivalent for a
gallon of gasoline in electricity purchased from a fossil fuel company (Like JEA) created between 4 to 5 pounds of
CO2 into the atmosphere which saves the environment 13-14 pounds of CO2 per equivalent gallon used.
The chemical reaction for combusting gasoline is:
2 C8H18 (l) + 25 O2 (g) à 16 CO2 (g) + 18 H2O (g)
By Module 5 we will prove the stoichiometry of this reaction and prove the 18.7 pounds per gallon burned.
Since 2009 I have been preaching we need to drive all electric. You need to research the only real plan to save
America is the T-Boon Pickens Plan but that requires the use of more Natural Gas..
However, due to our Florida Government in 2010, the electric initiative has been put on the back burner. In January
2011 I drove the Niasen LEAF. Loved the car. Immediately my wife wanted to write a check for $25K and buy it for
A month later I drove the Chevy VOLT…more realistic than the LEAF for Florida, but it wasn’t Toyota and my wife
hates American. (I have always driven American cars, except my VW, my wife has driven Toyota for the last 30
years). OK, I decided to go hybrid, make my wife happy, but not save the environment as much.
Toyota granted me the option to purchase the very first plug in Prius in the third quarter of 2012, but my frustration
with local dealerships I had to compromise. My wife bought the 2012 Version III Prius. OK 48-51 mpg versus 69-75
mpg. The plug-in Prius is best option on the road and it is now appearing on the roads since fourth quarter 2012.
You can run 14 miles at under 62 mile per hour on pure electric and plug into 120 volt standard outlet, while
generation III Prius 3-4 miles at speeds under 38 mpg does not have the plug in option. Average 75 miles per gallon
versus 46 miles per gallon is the comparison. So how much will it cost to buy the electricity?
On Sunday, January 11, 2015 there was an interesting up date to electric cars, GM will be selling the BOLT in 2016,
an all electric which gets 200 miles on a full charge. The Volt will be modified to get up to more electric car miles
than 38. Tesla is coming out with a $35K car that goes 200 miles on a charge and the LEAF will be also modified.
Sample Raw data Collected By your Instructor Summer 2012!
The following is a sample of three months of raw data, with a few calculations, but no where near the calculations you need to do to complete this project:
2012 Toyota Prius
Purchased car: May 1, 2012 Odometer 00004
Month One: May 2012
1st fill-up: Hess-Orange Park 5/10/12
9.2 gallons $3.629 $33.25 odometer: 00389.4 42.7 mpg
2nd fillup: Gate-Dunn 5/17/12
8.6_gallons $3.49 $29.80 odometer: 772
3rd fillup-Shell @ Emerson 5/24/12
9.3 gallons $3.48 $32.25 Odometer 1142 371 miles 39.9 mpg
Gate-Dunn 5/29/12 fillup
2.66 gall0ons $3.389 $9.01 Odometer 1248
3.25gallons ( $3.389) Odometer 1401 $11.00
BP-Ocala Return from Tampa 6/3/12 (not fil-up)
3.0 gallons $3.47 Odometer 1820 $10.00
Marathon-Ocala 6/3/12 (fillup)
6.7 gallons $3.239 $21.75 Odometer 1829
Total 42.7 gallons 33 days 1829 miles = 42.8 mpg
Total Spent $147.06 to date or 8.04 cents/mile
Crown Vic equivalence:
1829 miles divided by 20 = 91.49 gallons @ 3.44/gallon = $314.40
Saved $167.33 in month of May
Month Two: June 2012
3.3 gallons $3.319 $10.90 1974 miles
8.4 gallons $3.269 $27.51 2350 miles
8.2 gallons $3.289 $27.00 2714
8.9 gallons $3.179 $28.25 3107.5 miles
3.2 Gallons $3.139 $10.00
8.55 gallons $3.159 $27.01 3626.5
40.55 gallons 1797.5 miles 29 days 44.33 mpg
2 Month Total 83.25 gallons 62 days 3625.5 miles = 43.55 mpg
Total Spent $277.73 to date avg $3.336/gal or 7.66 cents/mile
Crown Vic equivalence:
3625.5 miles divided by 20 = 181.28 gallons @ 3.336/gallon = $604.74
Saved $327.00 for two months (May,June)
181.3-83.3 = 98 less gallons or 1764 less pounds of CO2
Month Three: July 2012
8.13 gallons $3.229 $26.25 3980.6
Shell-Hodges 7/21/12 (misplaced receipt)
8.2 Gallons $3.269 $26.80
Kangaroo Express 7/24/12
8.81 gallons $3.349 $29.58 4755
3.07 gallons $3.339 $10.25 4867
5.45 gallons $3.489 $19.02 5113f
New 3 Month Total: 5113 miles
33.66 gallons 1487.5 miles 27 days $111.90 7.52cent/mile or 44.19 mpg
3 Month Total $116.91 gallons 5113 miles = 43.7 mpg
Total Spent $389.63 to date 89 days or 7.62 cents/mile
Drove My 2007 Crown VIC* to Sarasota for week at the beach in 2012:
I sold it
Gate-Dunn 9/04/12 f
11.418 Gallons $3.679 $42.81 f Odometer 91284
Sams Club-Ocala 8/4/12
17.160 gallons $3.439 $59.01 91065 fillup
7.154 gallons $3.499 $25.03
7.880 gallons $3.299 $26.00 90614 ?
Last fillup May 2012 90461
823 miles $152.85 spent 43.612 gallons = 18.57 cents/mile
equivalent Prius 823x7.52 = $61.88 (extra $90.96 spent) or
18.9 gallons Prius Equivalent
or used 24.7 extra gallons
at a cost of 469.3 extra pounds of CO2 added to the environment.
My gasoline project has been a habit for the last four years.
My data for my Prius which is 3.5 years old 73453 miles later is available for a
student to enter into a spreadsheet and draw conclusions from the data.
Your gasoline project for vehicle is due the last week of the term, when we take the
final, equivalent to at least three/four labs (20 points for data collection and
presentation; 20 points for summary and conclusions). Additional points may be
earned for additional cars used in the family if you have complete 3.5-4 months of