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Ethanol: Not All It Seems To Be
by Thomas Jackson (High Technology High School, Lincroft, NJ), Kelly Roache (High Technology High School), Afanasiy Yermakov (High Technology High School), Jason Zukus (High Technology High School) and R. Eng (High Technology High School)This article originally appeared in:
College Mathematics Journal
Subject classification(s): Mathematical Economics | Applied Mathematics | Sampling Distributions | Statistical Inference and Techniques | Statistics and Probability
Applicable Course(s): 6.0 Elementary Statistics | 2.0 Introductory/Pre-Calc
This article is part of the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 Collection. The article is a shortened and edited version of the winning paper that the students submitted in the Moody's Mega Math Challenge sponsored by the Moody Foundation and organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The first four authors are the student team, and the last person is their faculty advisor. The article begins, "Look in any newspaper in the United States today. Oil dependence and greenhouse gases make front-page headlines. That’s why this study is going to give you an in-depth look at one of the most frequently discussed solutions to the energy crisis: ethanol fuel." The authors constructed a model to determine how much ethanol would be necessary to replace 10% of the gasoline used in the United States in 2008. Then they went on to answer a number of questions related to the use of ethanol instead of gasoline. Their conclusion was, "Ethanol was found to be a poor solution -- economically, environmentally, and socially."
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