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  1. #1 Chemistry Help 
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    Hello everyone! I am going to do a science experiment. I am going to build a Bio-gas generator, which uses animal manure to produce methane, which can be used to make a flame if attached to a stove top. My problem is I can't figure out what type of data to collect. I don't have a dependent variable, which is what you are measuring. For example what type of paper towel is the strongest, you measure how much weight it can hold. Please Serious answers ONLY. I need to get started asap as it will take a while to work. Please answer any type of answer that comes to your mind. I need creative ideas! Thanks!


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    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    How about measuring the volume of methane produced per mass of manure from different sources... Volume of methane produced as a function of temperature? Whether the manure is dried or not has an effect of volume of methane?


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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    How about measuring the volume of methane produced per mass of manure from different sources... Volume of methane produced as a function of temperature? Whether the manure is dried or not has an effect of volume of methane?
    That could work, only in a science experiment you have an independent variable, and i was thinking about using different types of feces. Only thing is i would have to create a lot of genertors for accurate results, because you have to repeat the expermint. thanks!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Einstien View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    How about measuring the volume of methane produced per mass of manure from different sources... Volume of methane produced as a function of temperature? Whether the manure is dried or not has an effect of volume of methane?
    That could work, only in a science experiment you have an independent variable, and i was thinking about using different types of feces. Only thing is i would have to create a lot of genertors for accurate results, because you have to repeat the expermint. thanks!
    There has been a lot of work done on bio gas generators all over the world, so don't waste your money and time on repeating what is already known. I am thinking you could measure the chemical oxygen demand on various manures and compare that to total gas output.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Einstien View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    How about measuring the volume of methane produced per mass of manure from different sources... Volume of methane produced as a function of temperature? Whether the manure is dried or not has an effect of volume of methane?
    That could work, only in a science experiment you have an independent variable, and i was thinking about using different types of feces. Only thing is i would have to create a lot of genertors for accurate results, because you have to repeat the expermint. thanks!
    There has been a lot of work done on bio gas generators all over the world, so don't waste your money and time on repeating what is already known. I am thinking you could measure the chemical oxygen demand on various manures and compare that to total gas output.

    Sorry, I misread the first time. That is a very very very great idea! Thanks so much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Einstien View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Einstien View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    How about measuring the volume of methane produced per mass of manure from different sources... Volume of methane produced as a function of temperature? Whether the manure is dried or not has an effect of volume of methane?
    That could work, only in a science experiment you have an independent variable, and i was thinking about using different types of feces. Only thing is i would have to create a lot of genertors for accurate results, because you have to repeat the expermint. thanks!
    There has been a lot of work done on bio gas generators all over the world, so don't waste your money and time on repeating what is already known. I am thinking you could measure the chemical oxygen demand on various manures and compare that to total gas output.

    Sorry, I misread the first time. That is a very very very great idea! Thanks so much.
    Bio gas production is anaerobic but is there a relationship to the biological or chemical oxygen demand of the same material?

    I have been looking at bio gas production and it was clear that most fecal matter especially from ruminants is only a poor gas producer for a lot of the energy nutrients have been removed by the animal digestion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Einstien View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Einstien View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    How about measuring the volume of methane produced per mass of manure from different sources... Volume of methane produced as a function of temperature? Whether the manure is dried or not has an effect of volume of methane?
    That could work, only in a science experiment you have an independent variable, and i was thinking about using different types of feces. Only thing is i would have to create a lot of genertors for accurate results, because you have to repeat the expermint. thanks!
    There has been a lot of work done on bio gas generators all over the world, so don't waste your money and time on repeating what is already known. I am thinking you could measure the chemical oxygen demand on various manures and compare that to total gas output.

    Sorry, I misread the first time. That is a very very very great idea! Thanks so much.
    Bio gas production is anaerobic but is there a relationship to the biological or chemical oxygen demand of the same material?

    I have been looking at bio gas production and it was clear that most fecal matter especially from ruminants is only a poor gas producer for a lot of the energy nutrients have been removed by the animal digestion.


    Actually the energy generated from the generator can be be hooked up to a gas burning cooktop. In London they use to use this method of energy to light the street lamps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Einstien View Post

    Actually the energy generated from the generator can be be hooked up to a gas burning cooktop. In London they use to use this method of energy to light the street lamps.
    You'll get gas for sure but there will be a lot of work done to generate the little bit of gas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Einstien View Post

    Actually the energy generated from the generator can be be hooked up to a gas burning cooktop. In London they use to use this method of energy to light the street lamps.
    You'll get gas for sure but there will be a lot of work done to generate the little bit of gas.

    Its ts very good for the environment, and if you make a larger version of it, then you could generate enough energy to power a house possibly. I am doing this for my own purposes, I would love it if you can tell me how to have a variable that I can measure. Thanks
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    Variables:
    Gas pressure
    Retention time
    Temperature
    input materials
    output gasses
    acidity pH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Variables:
    Gas pressure
    Retention time
    Temperature
    input materials
    output gasses
    acidity pH

    See those are great in an experiment you have to repeat the experiment more than one time, also measurement is an issue.
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    Keep in mind that you will probably need to repeat the experiment several times anyway. Let's say your independent variable is x, the amount of manure. So you have X = {x1, x2, x3, x4} = {3, 6, 9, 12} lbs. You run the experiment four times, measure a dependent variable and get Y = {y1, y2, y3, y4}. You then analyze the results and develop a relationship y=f(x). Then you discuss it. What conditions (that is, what dependent variable) would be useful or practical? Work backwards to the required independent variable. Discuss how it could be made feasible.

    OVerall, I recommend watching a bunch of videos on biogas from manure, and finding a particular scheme that piques your interest and then figuring out what experiment to run that helps answer an important question/relationship you have. Likewise, check out videos on biogas from food waste, which may interest you because: #1 food waste is readily at hand (not everyone has a pig in their backyards as a source of manure), #2 although it'll stink, it won't be as strange as manure, and you won't mind working with it so much, #3 etc, etc.

    One part to emphasize is finding something that piques your interest because your interest pushes you to complete the work, make an extra effort if needed, and end up with a slammin' presentation. Your heart needs to be in it whether you pitch it to your class or to the Rolex Awards for Enterprise or whatever.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Keep in mind that you will probably need to repeat the experiment several times anyway. Let's say your independent variable is x, the amount of manure. So you have X = {x1, x2, x3, x4} = {3, 6, 9, 12} lbs. You run the eriment four times, measure a dependent variable and get Y = {y1, y2, y3, y4}. You then analyze the results and develop a relationship y=f(x). Then you discuss it. What conditions (that is, what dependent variable) would be useful or practical? Work backwards to the required independent variable. Discuss how it could be made feasible.

    OVerall, I recommend watching a bunch of videos on biogas from manure, and finding a particular scheme that piques your interest and then figuring out what experiment to run that helps answer an important question/relationship you have. Likewise, check out videos on biogas from food waste, which may interest you because: #1 – food waste is readily at hand (not everyone has a pig in their backyards as a source of manure), #2 – although it'll stink, it won't be as strange as manure, and you won't mind working with it so much, #3 – etc, etc.

    One part to emphasize is finding something that piques your interest because your interest pushes you to complete the work, make an extra effort if needed, and end up with a slammin' presentation. Your heart needs to be in it whether you pitch it to your class or to the Rolex Awards for Enterprise or whatever.

    Thanks, but still no form of measurment! I'm running out of time?
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  15. #14  
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    Yes. a "form of measurement" is called a "metric". What do you want to measure, and how do you want to measure it? I don't know what you have for chem lab equipment.

    Thinking, thinking, ...

    Remember, this was your idea. You said

    I am going to build a Bio-gas generator, which uses animal manure to produce methane, which can be used to make a flame if attached to a stove top.
    Not merely a flame, but cooking, right? A "flame" is a qualitative metric, not a quantitative metric that is, by measuring merely a flame, you can pretty much only say that it did or did not produce a flame. If the words qualitative and quantitative puzzle you, just look at their base words quality and quantity. A quality is a basic characteristic, often the presence of something. Let's say you pour two clear liquid chemicals together. Does the new solution exhibit a red color? The red color is a quality. If you measure the intensity of the red color or the color's exact spectral frequency, then it becomes a quantity. Get it?

    Water is probably the most important consumable that should be cooked/boiled (to kill germs). So, do as you said: connect your methane source to a stove top and see how hot you can get a certain amount of water. You will use the same set-up every time (same stove top, pan, amount of water, etc), including a thermometer to measure the increase in temperature. Maybe a meat thermometer.

    IMPORTANT: Water has linear and non-linear ranges. You need to construct the experiment so all your measurements will fall within the linear range. So, what do I mean by "linear" and "non-linear"? Linear is where you change your independent variable, and you dependent variable changes that is, add heat and see a rise in temp. Non-linear is where you add heat but don't see a rise in temp. Huh? The linear region is from just above freezing to just below boiling. The non-linear region is at boiling. Think about it: more heat added to boiling water just makes it boil more furiously and the temp stays at 100C or 212F. Aha! Temperature is your metric, so you need for it to remain dynamic. You don't want it to "plateau" at 100C or 212F.

    CAUTION: I hate to do this to you, but I must. This experiment sounds dangerous, so you must enlist an adult with the appropriate knowledge/skills to supervise/assist in making all of this happen.

    One question of mine is: What makes the methane move from the Bio-gas generator to the stove top? Does the generator somehow pressurize the gas?
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Yes. a "form of measurement" is called a "metric". What do you want to measure, and how do you want to measure it? I don't know what you have for chem lab equipment.

    Thinking, thinking, ...

    Remember, this was your idea. You said —

    I am going to build a Bio-gas generator, which uses animal manure to produce methane, which can be used to make a flame if attached to a stove top.
    Not merely a flame, but cooking, right? A "flame" is a qualitative metric, not a quantitative metric — that is, by measuring merely a flame, you can pretty much only say that it did or did not produce a flame. If the words qualitative and quantitative puzzle you, just look at their base words — quality and quantity. A quality is a basic characteristic, often the presence of something. Let's say you pour two clear liquid chemicals together. Does the new solution exhibit a red color? The red color is a quality. If you measure the intensity of the red color or the color's exact spectral frequency, then it becomes a quantity. Get it?

    Water is probably the most important consumable that should be cooked/boiled (to kill germs). So, do as you said: connect your methane source to a stove top and see how hot you can get a certain amount of water. You will use the same set-up every time (same stove top, pan, amount of water, etc), including a thermometer to measure the increase in temperature. Maybe a meat thermometer.

    IMPORTANT: Water has linear and non-linear ranges. You need to construct the experiment so all your measurements will fall within the linear range. So, what do I mean by "linear" and "non-linear"? Linear is where you change your independent variable, and you dependent variable changes — that is, add heat and see a rise in temp. Non-linear is where you add heat but don't see a rise in temp. Huh? The linear region is from just above freezing to just below boiling. The non-linear region is at boiling. Think about it: more heat added to boiling water just makes it boil more furiously and the temp stays at 100C or 212F. Aha! Temperature is your metric, so you need for it to remain dynamic. You don't want it to "plateau" at 100C or 212F.

    CAUTION: I hate to do this to you, but I must. This experiment sounds dangerous, so you must enlist an adult with the appropriate knowledge/skills to supervise/assist in making all of this happen.

    One question of mine is: What makes the methane move from the Bio-gas generator to the stove top? Does the generator somehow pressurize the gas?

    Thai si experiment can be dangerous if handled bad. Thanks so much! By the way, the methane is lead through a tube which is connects to the gas stove top or busen burner. You have to sometime let the gas ecscape if teh tank look full. I'm trying to approach this like a science experiment you would do in school. I like that format and I really like this experiment. Thanks again!
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Yes. a "form of measurement" is called a "metric". What do you want to measure, and how do you want to measure it? I don't know what you have for chem lab equipment.

    Thinking, thinking, ...

    Remember, this was your idea. You said —

    I am going to build a Bio-gas generator, which uses animal manure to produce methane, which can be used to make a flame if attached to a stove top.
    Not merely a flame, but cooking, right? A "flame" is a qualitative metric, not a quantitative metric — that is, by measuring merely a flame, you can pretty much only say that it did or did not produce a flame. If the words qualitative and quantitative puzzle you, just look at their base words — quality and quantity. A quality is a basic characteristic, often the presence of something. Let's say you pour two clear liquid chemicals together. Does the new solution exhibit a red color? The red color is a quality. If you measure the intensity of the red color or the color's exact spectral frequency, then it becomes a quantity. Get it?

    Water is probably the most important consumable that should be cooked/boiled (to kill germs). So, do as you said: connect your methane source to a stove top and see how hot you can get a certain amount of water. You will use the same set-up every time (same stove top, pan, amount of water, etc), including a thermometer to measure the increase in temperature. Maybe a meat thermometer.

    IMPORTANT: Water has linear and non-linear ranges. You need to construct the experiment so all your measurements will fall within the linear range. So, what do I mean by "linear" and "non-linear"? Linear is where you change your independent variable, and you dependent variable changes — that is, add heat and see a rise in temp. Non-linear is where you add heat but don't see a rise in temp. Huh? The linear region is from just above freezing to just below boiling. The non-linear region is at boiling. Think about it: more heat added to boiling water just makes it boil more furiously and the temp stays at 100C or 212F. Aha! Temperature is your metric, so you need for it to remain dynamic. You don't want it to "plateau" at 100C or 212F.

    CAUTION: I hate to do this to you, but I must. This experiment sounds dangerous, so you must enlist an adult with the appropriate knowledge/skills to supervise/assist in making all of this happen.

    One question of mine is: What makes the methane move from the Bio-gas generator to the stove top? Does the generator somehow pressurize the gas?

    Oh, oh, about the lab equipment my friend works at a test lab, and he said I could borrow some of their equipment.
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