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									From garbage to clean energy

    Merel Molenaar and Marit van Oostende
           RSG Enkhuizen - april 2010
Summary                                                      Potato peels contain starch. Starch is a
                                                             polysaccharide. Polysaccharides can be converted
In the near future will fossil fuels resources be at an      to di- and monosaccharide’s, after which these can
end. Therefore other energy resources are                    react to ethanol and carbon dioxide. So you can
necessary. Bio-ethanol could possibly be a good              expect a lot of ethanol out of potato peels as well.
alternative. But where can you get it the best out of?       The process photosynthesis takes place in leaves,
Ethanol can be made out of glucose. But to use               so there must be glucose in leaves as well. This
food for making fuel is a pity for the growing food          glucose can be converted to ethanol. Although, the
shortage on this planet. Could making bio-ethanol            leaves are dead, so there might isn’t a lot of
out of garbage be a better option? Biological                glucose.
garbage and yeast put together could make a good
amount of ethanol. In this inquiry there is chosen for       The amount ethanol that is produced can be
potato peels, apple cores and dead leaves as                 indicated with the amount of produced carbon
biological garbage. The whole inquiry is done at             dioxide. The carbon dioxide has to be captured. For
room temperature because that saves valuable                 example: a disposition of graduated cylinders in a
energy.                                                      reservoir of water. The volume of carbon dioxide
                                                             can be read and with this results is it possible to
Introduction                                                 calculate the amount mole carbon dioxide.
                                                             You can see in the pathway that carbon dioxide and
Ethanol can be gained out of glucose. Biological             ethanol react in a mole ratio of 1:1 out of glucose.
garbage contains glucose. How does glucose come              The amount of mole ethanol is the same as the
into the plants? Plants make glucose by converting           amount of mole carbon dioxide.
carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen.
This process is called photosynthesis:                       Requirements
6 CO2(g) + 6 H2O(g)  C6H12O6(s) + 6 O2                          -    5 g potato peels
                                                                 -    5 g apple cores
Carbon dioxide and water converted in glucose and                -    5 g dead leaves
stored in the plant.                                             -    2 bags yeast of 7 g
                                                                 -    3 erlenmeyer flasks, 500 mL
Ethanol is made out of fruit with yeast for a really             -    3 graduated cylinders, 100 mL
long time. For example wine. If glucose arises by                -    Reservoir of water
the fermentation of the entire fruits, then glucose              -    3 stands
probably can be gained out of the peels of fruit only.           -    3 flexible hoses
                                                                 -    3 lids for erlenmeyer
Yeast cells speed up the reaction of glucose to
                                                                 -    3 tubes from the hose to the cylinders.
ethanol and carbon dioxide.
                                                                 -    Clean water
The pathway of ethanol and carbon dioxide
                                                                 -    A balance
formation from glucose:

C6H12O6  2 CO2 + 2 C2H5OH

Ethanol is an inflammable substance that can be a                1.   Weigh about 5
perfect use for fuel because of its combustibility.                   grams potato
The pathway of carbon dioxide and water formation                     peels, apple cores
from glucose:                                                         and dead leaves.
                                                                 2.   Put them all in an
C2H5OH + 3 O2  2 CO2 + 3 H2O                                         apart Erlenmeyer.
                                                                 3.   Weight three times 4,5 grams yeast and
The use of bio-ethanol as an eco friendly fuel                        add to every Erlenmeyer 4,5 gram yeast.
encourages a lot of critic. This is because it would             4.   Fill the reservoir with water.
cost too much energy to make it and because                      5.   Fill the graduated cylinders to the edge with
valuable agriculture fields are used. It is also a pity if            clean water.
eatable food is used for making ethanol. With the                6.   Construct the stands. Turn the graduated
use of biological garbage you don’t consume food                      cylinders upside down in the reservoir.
or agriculture fields.                                                Take care that there aren’t any air bubbles
                                                                      in the graduated cylinders. Then attach
Apples, and thus apple cores, contain much                            them to the stands.
glucose. They taste sweet, so the expectation is that            7.   Attach every hose to the lids of the
you can gain a lot of ethanol out of apple cores.                     Erlemeyers. The other side of the hose has
             to be attached to the tube that is used for a
             connection to the graduated cylinders.                                                         -3
                                                                                                  = 2,3 10 mole CO2 at the second
       8.    Lead every tube under a separate cylinder.                               measuring
             If there is gas, it will be captured by the
             cylinder.                                                                The mole ratio of CO2 to C2H5OH is 1:1,
       9.    Fill the Erlenmeyer with the dead leaves                                                                                          -4
                                                                                      so the potato peels produced an amount of 5,3 10
             with water. Do this until all the leaves are
                                                                                      mole C2H5OH.
             under the surface.
       10.   Fill the other Erlenmeyers till the same                                                                     -3
                                                                                      The apple cores produced 2,0 10 mole C2H5OH
       11.   Put the lids on the Erlenmeyers.                                                                              -3
                                                                                      The dead leaves produced 2,3 10 mole C2H5OH
       12.   Leave the disposition for 2 days. Then read
             the volume of the produced gas.
       13.   Calculate with the volume of the gas the
                                                                                      Conclusion and discussion
             amount of produced ethanol.
                                                                                      In the cylinder of the dead leaves is the most gas
                                                                                      captured, entirely against the expectations. In the
                                                                                      cylinder of the potato peels on the other hand isn’t
                                                                                      capturing a lot of gas. This is considered to be a bit
                     Amount CO2 in ml
Date,                12-4-2010, 13-4-2010,                      14-4-2010,            strange because potatoes contain a lot of starch.
time                 10:15      10:15                           10:15                 The apple cores did very good as well because of
Potato                                                                                the large amount of glucose in apples.
                     0 ml                0 ml                   13 ml
Apple                                                                                 With this results you surely can say that biological
                     0 ml                24 ml                  50 ml
cores                                                                                 garbage is a good alternative for the making of bio-
Dead                                                                                  ethanol.
                     0 ml                17 ml                  57 ml
                                                                                      We can’t tell with 100% knowledge that it carbon
                                                      -2        3            -1
The molar volume of CO2 is 2,45 10 m                                    mol =         dioxide is and if there is produced any ethanol from
2,45 10 dm
             1       3
                                    -1                                                the gas that was produced by the dead leaves. We
                 3              -3       3                              -3        3   should research this another time. The gas could
1 ml = 1 cm = 1 10 dm so 13 ml = 13 10 dm
                         -3     3                          -3       3
                                                                                      also be methane, because that is produced by the
24 ml = 24 10 dm , 50 ml = 50 10 dm                                                   putrefaction of leaves. If it is, it wouldn’t be a
                         -3     3                          -3       3
17 ml = 17 10 dm , 57 ml = 57 10 dm                                                   problem because methane can be used as fuel as

Vm =                                         amount of moles =
                                                                                      Our research is well done, according to us. It would
                                                                                      be better if we had started sooner. It would also be
                                                                                      better if we had looked more times to the amount of
Amount of moles CO2 in the cylinder of the potato                                     produced gas. Then we would have more results
                                                                                      and then we could have made cool graphs. We also
                                               -4                                     should have checked more about the dead leaves.
peels:           = 5,3 10 mole CO2 at the
                                                                                      But we didn’t have enough time to do that. We will
second measuring
                                                                                      do this soon by fermenting the leaves again and
Amount of moles CO2 in the cylinder of the apple                                      lead the produced gas trough chalk water.

cores:                          = 9,8 10 mole CO2 at the first

                 = 2,0 10 mole CO2 at the second

Amount of moles CO2 in the cylinder of the dead

leaves:                             = 6,9 10 mole CO2 at the
first measuring

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