Monthly Archives: June 2017

Your Questions About Renewable Energy Content

Robert asks…

Doing a school project on environmental change, need a tiny bit of help?

My 3 solutions for cutting carbon dioxide emissions are:

-new biofuels (not derived from food)
-Improvements to wind, solar, or any renewable sources of energy (i have yet to pick 1 specific one)
-Green building

Are there any sites or organizations that are specifically dedicated to one of the solutions?

admin answers:

– There are several proposals for non-plant bio-fuels, switchgrass is one and ethanol producing algae are another.

One resource I would tap into if I were you would be Wired Magazine. They are a reputable source and could be of direct us to you as well as providing interviews from experts that you could then research. Just go to the site and type in biofuels into the search

– One of my favorite improvements to wind energy is found this article I read about improving the design of the rotor blades themselves. It is pretty interesting and the rest of the site should be useful to you as well.


– The US Green Buildings Council is a great authority on green buildings and have developed a set of standards to rate buildings

Hope that helps.

Joseph asks…

What is the product of adding ethanol to petrol?

ok so I’m pretty sure that the equation goes:

C2H5OH + C8H18 —> C10H23OH

I need this for a chemistry assignment I’m doing but Im wondering if I’m completely off the mark here… Im looking for what the product of blending ethanol with petrol to about a 20% content would yeild, bear in mind this is a year/grade 12 thing so it doesnt require a super complicated answer.

admin answers:



you are completely completely off the mark. That chemical reaction doesn’t happen, you’ll learn why in college level organic chemistry.

The mixing of ethanol with gasoline doesn’t cause a chemical change, its just a mixture. Its like putting water into gasoline– its still gasoline and water. But at least the ethanol burns!

The goal is to have “renewable” ethanol which is derived from corn or sugar, used instead of unrenewable gasoline.

And its great, until you realize that it takes more energy to grow the corn and harvest it and turn it into ethanol than you get out of the gasoline.

If you want to stand apart from your classmates, argue AGAINST unfail ethanol subsidies which cause food prices to go through the roof while people around the world starve!

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Your Questions About Sustainable Energy

Sandra asks…

I’m writing an essay on what farmers can do to lead the way to a sustainable energy future. Please help!?

(in case my question isn’t complete)
I’m writing an essay on what farmers can do to lead the way to a sustainable energy future/the effect it will have on farmers rural economies, and national security. So, please give me some useful information or ideas to use in my essay. Thanks :).

admin answers:

Farm. Farming takes a single grain of corn, and multiplies it into over 1000 grains of corn. That’s a pretty good return on investment in one year. If we can find a way to turn that corn into fuel, we’d be able to sustain itself pretty easily. We (almost) can. Ethanol is produced from corn, and can be used as a primary fuel with a few modifications to the fuel tank, fuel line, and engine. Ethanol (or similiar plant derivitives) can be turned into energy. If you net more energy in the harvest than you put into planting, weeding, cultivating, fertilizing and harvesting, then the net is sustainable.
The effect would be more jobs in the rural communities that farm (and of course less jobs in the oil fields) and a net increase in the value of farm land (with an accompanying decrease in the value of the oil fields.)
If a nation is energy self-sufficient, then it is easier for it to place its own interests over other nations. Can we afford to go to war with Saudi Arabia, when 25% of our energy comes from there? Well, if we produced all of our own fuel, then we could decide if and when to go to war against another nation. Right now, we have to balance the long-term consequences of our national security with the short-term cost of fuel for the average American.

So, if farmers produced all our energy (which really would come from the sun–to the plant–to the consumer), the farmer’s would get more money; less money would go to foreign governments; we’d be able to rattle our sabers at foreigners without a fear of reprisal, and we could fire everyone that works for the evil oil companies. (Oh, unless you happen to work for one of the evil oil companies, then you’d just be unemployed–but you’d be able to find work as a farmer.)

Richard asks…

does anybody have an idea for an exhibit on waste management or sustainable energy?

i am in class 6th and we are having an science exhibition and the topic’s are sustainable energy or waste management. please i really need help….

admin answers:

Why not do both with one exhibit?
Waste to energy plants. There will always be some kind of waste so we can always burn it to make electricity.

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