Archive for the 'Biopower' Category

2017 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge from the U.S. Department of Energy

The 2017 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge kicks off today!  This year’s theme is  Exploring the Future American Energy Landscape.  The US Department of Energy’s Bioenergies Technologies Office is  asking 9th- through 12th-grade student teams to use technology to research, interpret, apply, and then design an infographic that responds to one of five research topic areas selected for 2017:

History of Modern Bioenergy
Sustainability

Bioenergy and Society
Workforce and Education

Science and Technology

Even better, all of the tools necessary to integrate this challenge into your curriculum or offer it as an after-school activity are provided!

BioenergizeME Toolkit

Five steps to building an infographic

Social media guide

BioenergizeME Research Strategy Guide

BioenergizeME Resource Library

To date no past submissions have come from NC – let’s change this!

To be considered for the competition, teams must register by Feb. 3, 2017 and infographics must be submitted by March 3, 2017.

Check out the 2016 award winning infographics on cellulosic ethanol, algae as a biofuel and energy from biomass You can view all previous winning infographics here. One NC teacher remarked that she would incorporate these  infographics into her AP Environmental Science class by having her students review and critique the infographics to decide which they would fund for further development.

U.S. Department of Energy BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge

FirstPlaceI recently learned about the U.S. Department of Energy BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge when they announced their 2016 Infographic challenge theme: Exploring the Future American Energy Landscape.  They are asking 9th- through 12th-grade student teams to use technology to research, interpret, apply, and then design an infographic that responds to one of four cross-curricular bioenergy topics:

Bioenergy History
Workforce and Education

Science and Technology
Environmental Impacts

Even better, the Energy Department and the Library of Congress have provided all of the tools necessary to integrate this challenge into your curriculum or offer it as an after-school activity!

BioenergizeME Toolkit

BioenergizeME Research Strategy Guide

BioenergizeME Resource Library

To be considered for the competition, infographics must be submitted by March 4, 2016.

Check out the 2015 winning infographics on cellulosic ethanol (see above), algae and algae biofuel. One NC teacher is already planning to incorporate these winning infographics into her AP Environmental Science class by having her students review and critique the infographics to decide which of the three they would fund for further development.

 

Renewable Energy Technology Resource Maps for the United States

These Renewable Energy Technology Resource Maps for the United States are available form the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as PowerPoint slides: slides are available that show the theoretical potential for renewable energy resources in the US including solar, wind, biomass, and hydropower.

In addition, maps showing the county-level distribution of various biomass resources (crop residues, urban wood waste etc.) are also available.

Debate Topic: Should forests and tree farms count as a renewable energy source?

This question was just considered by the NC Utilities Commission which concluded that yes, whole trees count as a renewable energy resource. The argument from those who oppose such a ruling is that counting whole trees as a renewable fuel would risk the state’s forests to over-harvesting.  The N & O article, State: Whole trees count as renewable fuel, from October 11th, 2010 further discusses this ruling and its potential implications.

Pose this question to your students, divide them into two groups, one group in favor of  whole trees counting as a renewable energy resource and the other group in favor of only wood waste like sawdust and other scraps counting as a renewable energy resource.  Next, ask them to conduct research on the social, economic, and environmental consequences of their  preferred biomass source (whole trees or wood waste) and come prepared to present their side and debate the issue.

The Bioenergy Cycle

This figure from the Oak Ridge National     Laboratory comes with a descriptive text that is useful as one “walks” through the cycle.  Perhaps such a figure could be used to guide your students into creating their own diagram for a local example of bioenergy use?

NC Biomass Roadmap

The North Carolina Biomass Roadmap: Recommendations for Fossil Fuel Displacement through Biomass Utilization is a 2007 report that  contains recommendations that should be carried out by 2017 to increase biomass utilization in North Carolina.  The stated goal is that by 2017, North Carolina should displace 10% of its gasoline and diesel needs and 7% of its power needs using North Carolina bio-based fuels and power.

FOR TEACHERS this report and its appendices represent a resource for NC-specific biomass data and graphics, such as a list of Key Biomass Resources in North Carolina as well as a list of biomass/ biofuel plants in NC and a glossary of key terms.

A four page abridged summary of this report is also available.

A printer friendly Biomass and Bioenergy Glossary is also available from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

According to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, “the Southeast is the region with greatest growth potential for biopower.”  Check out their webpage on biopower for an overview of this energy source, its benefits and its challenges.



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