Biodiesel and Ethanol
Episode 17 of The Science of Energy

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Energy - Biofuels Use on the Rise
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The energy demands and rising cost of oil have encouraged scientists and engineers to develop renewable energy alternatives. Biofuels are renewable energy sources from organic materials such as plants or animals that are directly converted into liquid fuels. The two most common biofuels in use today are ethanol and biodiesel.…
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Turn now to chemical energy, the potential energy resulting from the position of atoms within molecules. After an overview of photosynthesis (perhaps the universe's most amazing form of energy conversion), learn how combustion transforms biofuels into light and heat, and how energy density affects the transportation of biofuels like petroleum.
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Energy is, without a doubt, the very foundation of the universe. It's the engine that powers life and fuels the evolution of human civilization. Yet for all its importance, what energy really is and how it works remains a mystery to most non-scientists. For example:
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Energy - Forms and Conversion for Use
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Energy is a fundamental part of our universe--in a sense, the universe is energy. Here, Professor Wysession introduces you to the many fascinating forms energy takes, including potential, kinetic, mechanical, and thermal energy. He also explains how energy is measured to make you more fluent in "energy-speak" for the coming…
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Building on the ideas explored in the first three lectures, you examine a fundamental quantitative measurement in chemistry, density, and explore the real-world meaning of this measurement. You then solidify your understanding of this concept by working some basic density problems.
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Episode 13 of The Science of Energy
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Many students struggle in high school chemistry. Even if they succeed in earning a good grade, they often still feel confused and unconfident. Why is this? And what can be done to help every student succeed in this vitally important course? Success in chemistry, according to veteran science teacher Professor…
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Episode 6 of The Science of Energy
Understand one of energy's most polarizing topics: coal. Where does coal come from, and how does it develop? What makes coal "clean" or "dirty"? Why do certain nations have the largest coal reserves? What are some advantages to coal energy? And how does strip mining impact the environment?
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Episode 22 of The Science of Energy
Professor Wysession outlines some of the major economic and political forces shaping the development of the world's energy resources. You'll learn how hidden costs can affect the economics of supply and demand, how governments can incentivize and dis-incentivize energy industries, and the complexities of international agreements (and trade wars).
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Episode 12 of The Science of Energy
Professor Wysession explains how uranium is used to make electricity through the process of nuclear fission, from acquiring uranium-bearing rocks to disposing of leftover nuclear waste. Afterwards, learn some of the upsides of nuclear energy (including its nearly unlimited power) and its downsides (such as its inability to become decentralized…
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