Renewable Energy

Beloit College
City, State: 
Beloit, WI
Kevin L Braun and George Lisensky (Beloit College)
19 Jun 2016 - 24 Jun 2016



Sunday: Arrival and evening reception
Full days
Morning activities; afternoon departure

Interest in environmental responsibility and renewable energy provides a context as to why chemistry is integral to solving fundamental problems. The Renewable Energy workshop is designed for educators interested in integrating chemical concepts derived from renewable and sustainable energy into the general chemistry curriculum and laboratory. Topics ranging from fuel combustion, solar cells, battery technology, and biofuels will be used to introduce concepts in organic chemistry, thermodynamics, biochemistry, and inorganic chemistry. The five-day workshop held on the campus of Beloit College in a new LEED certified (platinum) science center will include a large number of hands-on activities and laboratory experiments that mostly do not require specialized equipment. Participants will receive a text book, lab directions, and resources for class use.

Day 1: Solid, liquid, gas - energy density and entropy. Topics: Enthalpy, entropy, organic chemistry, combustion, metabolism. Activities: Fuel calorimetry of liquid fuels, bond enthalpy of food and fuels, environmental modeling.

Day 2: Biofuels. Topics: Esterification, GC/MS. Activities: Biodiesel synthesis from used vegetable oil and analysis by GC and GC/MS.

Day 3: Solar cells and Batteries. Topics: Bands, p & n junctions, redox, thermoelectric devices. Activities: Preparation of a Gratzel solar cell, metal activity series discovery laboratory, intercalation of layered materials.

Day 4: Energy conservation and field trip to large scale renewable energy facility. Activities: Light sources, periodic properties, and light emitting diodes.

Day 5: Fuel cells and summary. Topics: thermodynamics, catalysis. Activities: Fuel cell fabrication, strategies for implementing alternative energies within your curriculum.


image: wikimedia commons


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