Environmental Chemistry

The one semester course examines the following questions:
* What is energy and what forms can it take?
* What is biofuel and how is it produced?
* How does the Law of Conservation of Mass apply to biofuel production and use?
* How will the use of ethanol and other biofuels affect our lives?

"Gassing Up Without Air Pollution" by Kathryn Parent -National Chemical Week
"Turning Whole Plants in Fuel"-Scientific American
"Food Choices, Food Crisis and Finger Pointing" by Andrew Martin--NY Times
"Farming for Fuel" by Allie Johnson-Popular Science
"Is America Headed for a Food Shortage" by Dawn Stauer
"Is Renewable Fuel a Waste of Energy" by Rena Marie Pacella
"Biofuel Won't Save Us" bt Marty Jerome
"Matter and Change"-Glencoe Science
Significant Assignments: 

Why is ethanol a compound?
Must considerformula for ethanol, some form of representation of ethanol, and basic atomic structure (protons, electrons and neutrons)

What are reactants? What are products? What do the kinds of numbers in a chemical equation mean?

Powerpoint: on Combustion
Write the balanced equation for combustion; represent molecules in combustion
Compare and contrast ethanol to gasoline and their effect on the environment.
Explain the greenhouse effect and represent the molecules in global warming
Represent the molecules involved in global warming and whether combustion significantly affect global warming

Describe other significant chemical reactions that have a significant effect on environmental concerns (e.g., photosynthesis, fermentation).

Describe the controversy surrounding use of corn-based ethanol and explain the arguments on each sides. Use convincing evidence and data to examine each side of the argument. Defend the position you take in this controversy.


Individual research project with arguments for and against ethanol use for fuel purposes.
This is in preparation for the final PBAT presentation

Sample PBATs: 
How Does Chemistry Help Us Understand Debates About Renewable Energy?