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Levels of carbon monoxide emission by aging carsFeatured science projectScience project video

Materials

The materials required for this experiment:

-    A new car
-    A 5-year-old car
-    A 10-year-old car
-    A 20-year-old car
-    Cars of the same make and model are required
-    A carbon monoxide detector
-    An industrial fan
-    2 safety masks

Procedure

1.    For this experiment, the independent variable is the age and the location of the car. The dependent variable is the amount of carbon monoxide released by the car, which will be determined with the carbon monoxide detector. The constants (control variables) are the make and model of the car, the time the car engine is allowed to run and the size of the garage.

2.    Park the new car inside a closed garage. Wear the safety mask securely to prevent the inhalation of poisonous gasses. Place the carbon monoxide detector 20cm away from the car exhaust pipe. With help from an adult, start the car engine and leave it running for 20 minutes. Take the reading of the carbon monoxide level from the detector and record it in a table, as shown below. Open the garage door and leave the industrial fan running until the air inside the garage is replaced with fresh air.

3.    Drive the car out of the garage. Again, place the carbon monoxide detector 20cm away from the exhaust pipe. Start the car engine and leave it running for 20 minutes. Then, take the reading of the carbon monoxide level from the detector and record it in a table, as shown below.

4.    Repeat steps 2 and 3 using the 5-year-old, 10-year-old and 20-year-old cars. Record all readings in a table, as shown below
 

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Complexity level:
7
Project cost ($):
50
Time required:
4 hours to prepare, 1 day to conduct this science fair project
Material availability:
You will need to obtain 4 cars of the same make and model, but of varying ages
Safety concerns:

Carbon monoxide gas is extremely poisonous. Use a gas safety mask and ensure the presence of adult supervision when performing measurements.