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Notes Essay

2237 words - 9 pages

CO2 Usage and Transportation: An evaluation of fuel consumption and emissions

Introduction
From this class I have come to understand the reach and reality of global warming. Every purchase I make has an impact regardless of how minute I feel it is. Many other consumers are faced with the same choices globally. It is those who consciously decide as an individual to purchase items with smaller carbon footprints that can make a difference as a whole. There is a broad spectrum of choices to be made as a consumer everything from groceries to the transportation method used to get them can be evaluated.
Grocery shopping for many Americans, myself included, consists of making purchases ...view middle of the document...

Having lived in both rural and urban areas I decided to evaluate carbon footprints and cost of transportation in relation to each.
Materials and Methods
My projects goal was to evaluate costs and carbon emissions of four vehicles driving different patterns. I used two urban drivers and two rural drivers. To set up the project I initially asked three drivers to participate as well as myself. In order to get the best results I set up an excel sheet for which each participant was to fill in their vehicle information. These fields included variables such as; make, model, year, fuel used, miles drove an average year, cost of average oil change as well as how often they changed it, and any other significant expense for vehicle maintenance. Once I had this information I created a template for each driver to fill out over the time of the experiment. To avoid simple input errors I included pre-calculated cells.
Fuel Usage and Mileage |
Area: | Vehicle: | Tank 1 | Tank 2 | Tank 3 | Overall |
Rural |   |   | Gal. | Beg | End | Fill 1 | Beg | End | Fill 2 | Beg | End | Fill 3 | Avg. Mpg |
  | 2008 Mercury Sable | 20 |   |   | 0 | 0 |   | 0 | 0 |   | 0 | 0 |
  | 2012 Ford F350 | 35 |   |   | 0.00 | 0 |   | 0.00 | 0 |   | 0.00 | 0.00 |
Urban |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  | 1998 Ford Escort Zx2 | 11.9 |   |   | 0.00 | 0 |   | 0.00 | 0 |   | 0.00 | 0.00 |
  | 2005 Chevy Trailblazer | 22 |   |   | 0.00 | 0 |   | 0.00 | 0 |   | 0.00 | 0.00 |
Table 1 Template Sent to Participants

Participants
My participants included; my parents, Ben, and myself. As you can see in the above template my participants can be divided up by area. Falling under the rural section there are Cindy, my mother, and Leonard, my father. Ben and I then fall under the urban classification.
I am using rural classification in relation to mostly highway driving and urban as primarily city driving.

Apparatus
This assessment will be using four vehicles falling under two categorizations. The first being SUVs which include 2012 Ford F350 and 2005 Chevy Trailblazer. Included in the car category are 2009 Mercury Sable and 1998 Ford Escort Zx2.
Fuel is essential to the completion of this evaluation and to keep this as realistic to normal consumption I monitored what fuel grade and type each vehicle was using. Medium grade gasoline will be used by both the Sable and Escort. Premium is being consumed by Ben driving the Trailblazer. Diesel is only being used by the F350.
Procedure
Each participant was to follow specific instructions attached to the excel template. Because, isn’t practical to run each vehicle to empty the instructions stated after initial full tank start point participants were to monitor mileage after one take was used. Meaning if participant refueled with half a tank they were not to record mileage until the second half of initial fill was used. By doing this gallons used stays consistent. Participants were to...

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