Energy - Biofuels Use on the Rise

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Biofuels - Biodiesel and Ethanol
Episode 17 of The Science of Energy
Liquid biofuels like biodiesel and corn-based ethanol are the most rapidly growing forms of biomass energy in the 21st century. Here, survey some of the many intriguing chemical reaction routes that transform solid plant biomass into liquids with high-energy densities. Then, ponder some of the economic and political implications of…
Filmmakers Loren and Matt Feinstein provide an eye-opening account of the downside of alternative, food-based fuel sources. Delving deep into the world of agrofuels and monocrops, they explore how the increasingly common practice of diverting food crops to the industrial production of cellulose-based fuels is devastating indigenous communities, undermining small…
The Science of Energy - Resources and Power Explained
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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Chemical Energy, Biomass, and Photosynthesis
Episode 5 of The Science of Energy
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.
Fuel Technology - Transportation Innovations
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The automobile industry is going through revolutionary changes. The standard petroleum gasoline fueled engine has some new competition from gas-electric hybrids, electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, natural gas vehicles and even some automobiles that get some of their power from the sun. Alternative fuel vehicles produce less harmful emissions…
Biology: Putting Algae to Work
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Algae have sustained life on this planet since they were first modified by the atmosphere with photosynthetic by-products over two and a half billion years ago. From the microscopic to giant seaweeds, over 30,000 different forms exist today. In this program researchers discover how algae can transform, from life supporting…
Engineering – Solving Problems through Science
Part of the Series: Show Me Science Series - Advanced
According to ABET, or the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology: "Engineering is the profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences, gained by study, experience, and practice, is applied with judgment to develop ways to utilize, economically, the materials and forces of nature for the benefit…
Energy – Understanding Hydroelectric Power
Part of the Series: Show Me Science Series - Advanced
Water constantly moves through an immense global cycle, evaporating from lakes and oceans all over the world, condensing to form clouds, precipitating as rain and snow, which then flows back to the oceans. Hydroelectric power takes advantage of this water cycle to drive machinery or create electricity. Hydroelectric power uses…
Energy: Transforming Renewable Resources - Photovoltaics
Part of the Series: Show Me Science Series - Advanced
Learning to incorporate a variety of eco-friendly energy sources into our businesses and homes will make Earth a better place to live. This program explores photovoltaics, the design behind wind turbine technology and the creative processes behind vehicles in the American Solar Car Race. Zero energy houses of the future…
Unlimited is a documentary about renewable energy and other alternatives to fossil fuels. It highlights a group of passionate 6th graders who call on adults everywhere to take action and address global warming.
The Burden - Fossil Fuel, The Military and National Security
The Burden is the first film to examine how America's dependence on fossil fuels poses serious immediate and long-term national security threats - and how the military is taking a leading role in the battle for clean, renewable energy. The U.S. military is currently the world's single largest institutional consumer…
Solar Energy: Myth or Reality
First developed in the 1950s by NASA for space exploration, solar energy was never really considered as a reliable source of energy for widespread use because of its high cost and limited output. But today, thanks to major cost reductions, advance in technology, and rise in oil prices, solar power…