In this activity students make biodiesel from waste vegetable oil and develop a presentation based on their lab experience. Parts of the activity include creation of bio-diesel from clean vegetable oil, creation of bio-diesel from waste vegetable oil, chemical analysis of biodiesel, purification of biodiesel, and creation of soap from glycerin.

This video segment examines ethanol, a cleaner-burning fuel alternative to gasoline, and the efforts to produce it more efficiently.

This interactive diagram from the National Academy of Sciences shows how we rely on a variety of primary energy sources (solar, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, natural gas, coal, biomass, oil) to supply energy to four end-use sectors (residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation). It also focuses on lost or degraded energy.

This video discusses how methane digesters turn waste from dairy cows, food garbage, and other organic matter into usable gases and other fuels.

This short video reviews how nations and individuals can work together to reduce the emission of CO2. It discusses strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (energy conservation, renewable energies, change in energy use) and the role that government can play in this process.

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 cellulase activity. These novel microbes may be useful for the production of cellulosic ethanol. In the process they learn about plating techniques, serial dilutions, symbiotic relationships and enzyme specificity. Two methods are provided, one focusing on isolation of pure microbial strains, the other focusing on finding symbiotic communities of microbes.

This suite of short video clips is part of a series produced by the Switch Energy project. There are several video segments that discuss different perspectives of biofuels as a renewable source of energy.

In this lesson, students complete a Myers-Briggs Type Inventory of their personality type as an introductory step to understanding what green jobs might suit their personal styles. From the information on this online tool, they look at different green jobs to explore possible careers.

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 are asked to predict outcomes and check their observations with their predictions. Teachers can easily adapt to materials and specific classroom issues.

In this activity, students explore the basic living requirements of algae (phytoplankton)through hands-on experience and an interactive game. Students investigate what algal biofuels are, how they are made, where they can grow, and, most importantly, why this topic should be investigated. Algal biofuels are an emerging source of renewable energy.

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