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Modeling and Comparing Fossil Fuel and Biofuel Combustion

Kit #38
Modeling and Comparing Fossil Fuel and Biofuel Combustion

Students should understand the costs and trade-offs of various decisions. In Part A of this activity, students use Lab-Aids® Molecular Models to build methane, ethanol and octane molecules then "combust" them with oxygen molecules. "Combusting" the model molecules helps students determine the balanced chemical equations for the combustion reactions and compare the amount of carbon dioxide released when these three fuels are burned. In Part B students use standard bond energies to calculate and compare the amount of energy released during the combustion reactions they modeled in Part A. They are then asked to use their data about the energy released and the CO2 produced to choose which fuel they think is better.

Details at a Glance

  • 1 Day | 1 ~50 minute class period
  • 2 Activities
  • Accommodates unlimited classes, each with 12 groups of 2 students
  • Meets our criteria for supporting literacy
  • All materials are non-consumable

Complete Kit Equipment Package

Modeling and Comparing Fossil Fuel and Biofuel Combustion

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Scientific Concepts

• A compound is formed when two or more kinds of atoms bind together chemically.
• The physical properties of compounds reflect the structure of the molecule.
• Carbon atoms can bond to one another in chains, rings, and branching networks.
• Complex chemical reactions occur all around us, for example in processes used to produce energy, such as combustion.
• Chemical reactions may release or consume energy. Some reactions such as the burning of fuels release large amounts of energy by losing heat and by emitting light.

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Kit Components

  • 1 Teacher’s Guide
  • 28 Student Worksheets and Guides
  • 12 LAB-AIDS® Molecular Modeling sets containing: 10 Carbon atoms (black sphere with 4 pegs), 20 Hydrogen atoms (white cylinder with 1 pegs), 26 Oxygen atoms (blue cylinder with 2 pegs), 45 Covalent bonds (white tube)

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