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Energy Literacy Principles

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Biofuels Video

This video provides an overview of the research of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on converting biomass to liquid fuels.

Life Cycle Assessment of Biofuels 101

In this activity, students conduct a life cycle assessment of energy used and produced in ethanol production, and a life cycle assessment of carbon dioxide used and produced in ethanol production.

Fermentation Challenge: Making Ethanol from Cellulose

This hands-on activity introduces students to the process of fermenting different carbohydrate sources into ethanol. Teachers demonstrate yeasts’ inability to metabolize certain food sources.

Fermentation in a Bag

This is a hands-on inquiry activity using zip-lock plastic bags that allows students to observe the process of fermentation and the challenge of producing ethanol from cellulosic sources. Students ...

Bioprospecting for cellulose-degrading microbes

This is a long-term inquiry activity in which students investigate locations they believe harbor cellulose-digesting microbes, collect samples, isolate them on selective media, and screen them for ...

Biofuels/Biomass Cellulose Lab

In this lab activity, students investigate how to prepare a biofuel source for conversion to a combustible product. The activity models how raw materials are refined to process liquid fuels.

It's Us

This video segment from 'Earth: The Operators' Manual' explores how we know that today’s increased levels of CO2 are caused by humans burning fossil fuels and not by some natural ...

From Pond Scum to Power

This animated slideshow introduces biodiesel as a fuel alternative. With concern about the use of petroleum-based fuels at an all-time high, biodiesel is experiencing a popularity surge. And ...

Climate Science in a Nutshell: Where Carbon Dioxide Come From?

This short video discusses where carbon dioxide, the gas that is mainly responsible for warming up our planet and changing the climate, comes from. It discusses how the rise in atmospheric carbon ...

Iowa: Corn and Climate

This video reviews the benefits and drawbacks associated with growing corn to make ethanol.

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