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I have to do a 15 minute presentation in my automotive class on alternative fuels for vehicles. I need ideas!
 

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Bad to the Bone
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Sea Water, via high pressure reverse osmosis and cold fusion reactions. If you run out of sea water, you can piss in the tank.
 

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We Are 138
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Remember that one episode of the Dukes Of Hazard, when they used moonshine as fuel..it worked for them..
 

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Moonshine is Ethanol.

If you do it on Ethanol, you could do a comparison of using corn vs. sugar cane.
 

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Since this is for an automotive class, I'm betting they are looking more for things like fuel economy and power than emissions and production costs.

You could compare biofuels. Biodiesel and ethanol are the big two right now. You could discuss the differences between them in terms of economy and power, as well as some things on how current engine technology would have to change to make use of them. Also discuss how they differ (good and bad) from normal diesel/gasoline. It may be worth looking into other biofuels too. For instance a company in colorado recently announced an engineered strain of algae (I think it was) that can produce iso-butanol (I believe), which can be used in normal gasoline engines and doesn't absorb water (like ethanol does).

You could also go exotic and look at hydrogen fuel cells, modern solar technology, or even pure electric cars. Maybe find out how many miles they get on a single charge and how many kW that is and convert to MPG, then discuss implications in terms of raw efficiency.
 

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Bad to the Bone
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Forget solar (not enough surface area to run the headlights, much a less the CAR). That's one of the reasons that Al Gore didn't get elected. I still think you should run with sea water/urine.
 

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I remember doing a presentation for hydrogen powered vehicles back when I was in high school. I would recommend doing it on that. There's a ton of information online that you can use in your presentation.
 

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Wood gas would be an interesting one. I saw a video of some hooptie old car that had a huge wood gasifier bolted to the back, im sure its about as unsafe as it gets but it worked.
 

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Might mention how the increased use of ethanol has an impact on food prices, as well as the negative effects it has on seals and gaskets in older engines, 2-stroke outboards, etc.
 

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Doa report on why using corn for ethanol production is just stupid and wasteful.

takes 4 gallons of fuel to make 5 gallons of ethanol, according to Willey Nelson who is Texas's largest producer of Biodesiel and previously ethanol. Cane sugar is best at 2-5 ratio and grass and other waste bio matter is the cheapest but has a 3.5-5 gallon ratio.
 

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Doa report on why using corn for ethanol production is just stupid and wasteful.

takes 4 gallons of fuel to make 5 gallons of ethanol, according to Willey Nelson who is Texas's largest producer of Biodesiel and previously ethanol. Cane sugar is best at 2-5 ratio and grass and other waste bio matter is the cheapest but has a 3.5-5 gallon ratio.
+1, just drive through Iowa and see your wasted taxpayer money at work on all of the subsedized corn fields. I wish I could produce a product that doesnt make money on its own and have the government pay me so it does...
 
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