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Biofuels vs Fossil Fuels Unit
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The Biofuels vs Fossil Fuels unit has students explore the similarities and ...

The Biofuels vs Fossil Fuels unit has students explore the similarities and differences between fossil fuels and biofuels. In the process, students investigate the carbon-transforming processes of combustion, photosynthesis, fermentation and respiration. They apply their knowledge of these processes to the global carbon cycle to examine how use of fossil fuels and biofuels have different effects on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and consequently global climate change. Students use their understanding of the global carbon cycle to study the claim that biofuels, such as ethanol made from plant material, can help reduce the rate of increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. In addition, students examine the environmental impact of biofuels agriculture.

Overall, this unit has three important goals. These focus on: Matter and energy changes associated with the carbon-transforming processes, the effects of the use of fossil fuels and biofuels on the global carbon cycle and global climate change, and a cost/benefit analysis of the production and use of biofuels.

Subject:
Applied Science
Life Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Unit of Study
Provider:
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Investigating Fuel Sustainability
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This set of lessons addresses the socio-scientific issue of sustainable fuels. Like ...

This set of lessons addresses the socio-scientific issue of sustainable fuels. Like most socio-scientific issues, there is no simple answer and even more complex solutions do not apply equally everywhere. Students address the complexity by first exploring the meaning of sustainability and how it applies to fuel production and use. Students then research the steps involved in producing multiple fuels or energy sources for vehicles including fossil fuels, biofuels, and electricity produced in a number of different ways. They explore the environmental impacts of each step with particular emphasis on carbon emissions. Students dig one step deeper as they examine data on the yields of different biofuel crops.

Subject:
Applied Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Unit of Study
Provider:
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center