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Energy 101: Feedstock for Biofuels and More

EERE, U.S. Department of Energy

This short video shows how different biomass feedstocks are processed and refined into sustainable biofuels via biochemical and thermochemical processes.

Video length is 3:40 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Consider using this as an introduction to biofuels basics for a lesson on biofuels. Have students then research the pros and cons of biofuels.
  • Would serve as a nice intro to any unit on biofuels.
  • Could use for differentiation for basic introduction to terminology.

About the Science

  • The video gives an informational review of the biofuel fundamental concepts: what biofuels are, what they are made from, how they are produced, and how they can be used.
  • Biomass is an organic renewable energy source that includes materials such as non-food agriculture and forest residues, energy crops, and algae. Scientists and engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy and its national laboratories are finding new, more efficient ways to convert biomass into biofuels that can take the place of conventional fuels like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This video is the most up to date with respect to the current focus of biofuels research. The video does not go into great detail about the subject or mention the economic and socio-political implications of biofuels.

About the Pedagogy

  • Has interactive transcripts available.
  • Clear and concise explanations of how biofuels are made and how using them benefits the environment.
  • Focus of video is that biofuel is US-grown fuel source that can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Greenhouse gas emissions reduction and benefits of renewable energy sources are not mentioned.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Excellent video.
  • 508 compliant.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN


Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

MS-ESS3.A1:Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 3

Energy and Matter

MS-C5.1:Matter is conserved because atoms are conserved in physical and chemical processes.

MS-C5.3:Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion).

MS-C5.4:The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4

HS-ESS3.A1:Resource availability has guided the development of human society.

HS-ESS3.A2:All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.

HS-ETS1.A2:Humanity faces major global challenges today, such as the need for supplies of clean water and food or for energy sources that minimize pollution, which can be addressed through engineering. These global challenges also may have manifestations in local communities

HS-ETS1.B1:When evaluating solutions, it is important to take into account a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to consider social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 3

Energy and Matter

HS-C5.1:The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved.

HS-C5.2:Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.

HS-C5.3:Energy cannot be created or destroyed—only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.

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