History & Geography
  Physical Sciences

    10 - 12 Grades
This volume is part of the monograph series of the New Liberal Arts Program (1980-1992), a project of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The NLA Program had the goal of assisting in the introduction of quantitative reasoning and concepts of modern technology within liberal education. The Program was based on the conviction that college graduates should have been introduced to both areas if they are to live in the social mainstream and participate in the resolution of policy issues. The Center for Mathematics and Quantitative Education is delighted to make these monographs available.


From Unwanted By-product to Essential Fuel for the Twentieth Century
John Nicholas Burnett
Davidson College

Both the history and the technology of gasoline are interwoven within the fabric of industrialized society in lhe twentieth century. The aim of this monograph is to help students understand the significant engineering accomplishments and appreciate the impact of these technological achievements on our modern, global society.

Gasoline is divided into three parts: historical studies, technological discussions, and questions for students. The narrative surveys the chronological development of gasoline, beginning wilh the discovery of crude oil and ending with the modern catalytic cracking of petroleum to produce gasoline for the automobile. Eleven units in a series, called ChemTech, are interspersed throughout the historical story to help lhe student understand the technological achievements presented in the historical case studies. Students should be able to comprehend the historical and technological topics without any prior collegelevel science and engineering courses.

In addition to historical background, this volume includes a description of chemical process calculations based on mass and energy balances. The mathematics involves solving two linear equations in two unknowns.