Most school budgets are depleted for the 2015-2016 class year. My book, Chemistry on a Budget, contains inexpensive chemistry labs that could be useful. You can buy it for $23 at amazon.com or lulu.com. Check it out!
There are two versions of each lab, one with a ten-question conclusion and one with directions for a full lab report. This way the teacher has the option! Each lab is two pages to allow for one two-sided handout.
It will take a week or so to get to you, so Order Now!
*Some of you have purchased my lab book – be sure to check out Page 141 !
Of concern today is the excess of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere contributing to the Greenhouse Effect.
Here is a diagram for a quick overview:
“Fossil fuel is a general term for buried combustible geologic deposits of organic materials, formed from decayed plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil, coal, natural gas, or heavy oils by exposure to heat and pressure in the earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years.”
These fuels are rapidly being used by an increasing world population with greater development of nations. This has brought about the search for fuels or energy producing systems.
This rapid production of carbon dioxide by an increasing world population has also generated a need for an economical process to convert carbon dioxide to methanol, an alternate fuel for use that is renewable.
“The need for a carbon-sucking machine is easy to see. Most technologies for mitigating carbon dioxide work only where the gas is emitted in large concentrations, as in power plants. But air-capture machines, installed anywhere on earth, could deal with the 52 percent of carbon-dioxide emissions that are caused by distributed, smaller sources like cars, farms, and homes. Secondly, air capture, if it ever becomes practical, could gradually reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As emissions have accelerated—they’re now rising at 2 percent per year, twice as rapidly as they did in the last three decades of the 20th century—scientists have begun to recognize the urgency of achieving so-called “negative emissions.” ”
“Over the past several years, chemists have been investigating various ways of recycling CO2 into useful products. For example, treating CO2 with hydrogen gas (H2) can produce methanol, methane (CH4), or formic acid (HCOOH). Among these products, methanol is especially attractive because of its use as an alternative fuel, in fuel cells, and for hydrogen storage. “
The following paper outlines several carbon capture techniques being investigated. It is probably too challenging for most of your students, but I include it for your reference:
Recently, “researchers…have directly converted carbon dioxide from the air into methanol at relatively low temperatures. … The researchers bubbled air through an aqueous solution of pentaethylenehexamine (or PEHA), adding a catalyst to encourage hydrogen to latch onto the CO2 under pressure. They then heated the solution, converting 79 percent of the CO2 into methanol. Though mixed with water, the resulting methanol can be easily distilled…The new process was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society on Dec. 29. “
This is an exciting development, although it does need to be replicated by other scientists and eventually applied at a larger scale.
Here is an article from ChemistryWorld summarizing the development of this process which also and shares concerns about the problems/possibilities:
What’s interesting about these articles is the use of various terms such as “catalyst”, the choices in the conversion such as pressure and temperature (think about The Haber Process) and the various organic compounds being used. This could be a useful extra topic while discussing the topics of Kinetics and Equilibrium.
*Remember, this Blog contains several entries that would be helpful to your chemistry classroom. Remember, you can check out the Topic List to help you to find past Blog entries.
Also, Write To Me about your successes, challenges, or questions in the Chemistry Classroom.
Buying a copy of the lab book Chemistry on a Budget can be very useful to your Chemistry classroom with labs and class article ideas.
Writing a review of Chemistry on a Budget at amazon.com is always welcome!
Have a good week!