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Homework Help: Alcohol Combustion Which fuel is best

  1. May 15, 2006 #1
    What I have to do is find out which fuel would be best to use as an automotive fuel. My choices are methanol ethanol and propanol.

    My guess so far is propanol because it has a molar enthalpy of combustion of 2021kJ/mol which is close to double ethanol (1367kJ/mol) but it needs much more oxygen as to burn without emmissions(carbon, sut)

    But ethanol is much easier to make, says my teacher, and it also burns cleaner much easier.So right now im kinda torn so and info or opinions would benift greaty.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2006 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Rather than calculate enthalpy/mole, determine enthalpy/kg, and also look at density - how much mass and volume must be transported.

    Also, consider volatility (vapor pressure), and toxicity. Ethanol is the least toxic of the three.
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