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Students will recognize the importance of fuel energy and the fact that agriculture can produce biofuel; students will identify career opportunities in the biofuel industry.
biodiesel: a form of diesel made from vegetable oils or animal fats
biofuel: any fuel made from biological plant matter rather than fossil fuels
ethanol: a fuel produced by fermentation of products high in starch, such as corn
fossil fuel: a natural fuel such as coal or petroleum formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms
non-renewable resource: a resource that cannot be readily replaced by natural means on a level equal to its consumption
renewable resource: a resource that can be replaced naturally or by human efforts
This lesson will help students recognize the use and need for fuel energy. Students will explore sources of fuel, how agriculture can produce a renewable form of fuel, and careers in the biofuel industry.
Driving a car, riding a bus, heating or cooling a building, and eating food are all daily activities that require fuel in various forms. Fossil fuels are formed naturally in the ground from the remains of living organisms. Examples include coal, natural gas, and petroleum. These forms of fuel are considered non-renewable resources due to the length of time needed for them to form relative to the speed with which we use them. Fossil fuels take thousands of years to form.
Biofuels are formed from living organisms such as plants and animal waste. Examples include ethanol (most commonly made from corn) and biodiesel (most commonly made from soybeans.) Biofuels are a product of agriculture and are considered a renewable resource because they can be produced repeatedly, year after year.
Ethanol is a form of biofuel. It can be made by fermenting sources of starch such as corn, wheat, grain sorghum, barley, potatoes, and sugar crops. Corn is the most common ethanol source due to its abundance in the United States. Biodiesel is a form of biofuel most commonly made from soybean oil in the United States, although it can also be made from recycled cooking oil and animal fats.
Biofuel Career Web
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
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Utah Agriculture in the Classroom