Week Two: Outside Lab Measurement Project:


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.


During the last weeks, you fill your tank again and record the data. You will determine:

  1. The Total Miles driven; the Total Gallons Used; the Total Cost; and the Total Days of the Project.


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?)


  1. Then you will compute the average MPG and the average cost per mile for the gasoline.


MPG = Total Miles Driven divided by Total Gallons Used


Average Cost Per Mile = Total Dollars Spent divided by Total Mile Driven


  1. You will also calculate your average daily mileage and average daily gallons of gasoline used:


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


  1.  How many times did you exceed 75 miles in one day?

(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)




  1. What is your annual mileage:


Annual Mileage = your daily average miles driven calculated above multiplied by 365 days


  1.  your projected annual need for gasoline:


Annual Gasoline Demand: Your average Gallons Used multiplied by 365 days


  1. What will be annual cost at $2.00 per gallon; $3.00 per gallon; $3.50 per gallon; $4.00 per gallon; $4.50 per gallon; and $5.00 per gallon.

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


  1. Total Pounds of Carbon Dioxide released into the atmosphere by you every year.


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.


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 30-60 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.


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 me. WOW!


 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.


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
full tank

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 


Gate-Dunn  5/31/12 fillup
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

Gate-Dunn 6/4/12
3.3 gallons $3.319   $10.90  1974 miles


Gate-Dunn  6/11/12
8.4 gallons $3.269  $27.51  2350 miles


Shell-Hodges  6/17/12
8.2 gallons $3.289  $27.00  2714


Gate-Dunn 6/26/12
8.9 gallons  $3.179  $28.25  3107.5 miles


Gate-Dunn 7/2/12
3.2   Gallons  $3.139  $10.00


Shell-Hodges 7/3/12
8.55 gallons  $3.159  $27.01  3626.5

June Total  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)

Environment saved:

181.3-83.3 = 98 less gallons or 1764 less pounds of CO2



Month Three: July 2012

Gate-Dunn 7/10/12
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


Gate-Dunn 7/26/12
3.07 gallons  $3.339  $10.25  4867


Gate-Dunn  8/6/12
5.45 gallons $3.489  $19.02  5113f

New Total:   5113  miles

July Total  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
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


Shell-Sarasota 8/4/12
7.154 gallons  $3.499  $25.03


Pilot-Ocala 7/28/12
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 one and half years old 31,078 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 May 5th , equivalent to at least three labs (60 points for data collection and presentation; 30 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 data collected.