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Maggi and Lilli, daughters of Cammie and Chris Marshall, each earned a first place award at the West Melbourne Elementary School for Science Science Fair held January 31st. Lilli's experiment sought to answer "What is the effect of Fossil Fuel and Biofuel on plant growth after an Oil Spill?" Maggi wanted to find out "Can Ethanol be made from Apple Cider?"
I tested my hypothesis by injecting vegetable oil, biodiesel, gasoline, diesel, and ethanol into the soil of separate plants, to simulate an oil spill. To make sure the experiment was fair, I used the same amount of fuel on each of the plants, and the same amount of water on each plant. I also had a control plant group to make sure there were not any other variables. I observed the plants changes daily and measured the temperature, watered them as needed, and measured the height weekly.
I believe the overall performance of the fuels for which affected plant growth the least was: 1) Vegetable Oil and Biodiesel (it was an overall tie),
2) Diesel Group, 3) Gasoline Group, 4) Ethanol Group. In my hypothesis, I thought ethanol would perform better than gasoline and diesel because it is a biofuel. But I did not consider the water solubility of the fuels when making my hypothesis.
I believe that biodiesel is the best biofuel for the environment, because it would harm plant life less if there was an oil spill. My science fair project has shown this. Also using biofuels can help global warming.
Maggi fermented and distilled two types of apple cider to produce ethanol and concluded:
The liquid produced from distilling the fermented apple cider with no preservatives was able to burn, proving that ethanol was produced. The liquid produced from distilling the fermented apple cider with preservatives was not able to burn, proving ethanol was not produced.
Congratulations to both girls for their dedicated work that honors the achievements of their father Chris.
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