Teacher guide Biofuels

TLF ID M020825

This is a unit of work about ethanol and other biofuels. The unit revises students understanding of the carbon cycle and renewable and non-renewable fuel sources. The inquiry focuses on a series of experiments that examine the effect of temperature on the fermentation of yeast and to determine the flash point of ethanol before introducing a case study of the chemical processes involved in producing ethanol at the Dalby Bio-Refinery in Queensland. The final activity is a research task comparing various fossil and bio-fuels. The unit also provides background information, experiment preparation notes, pedagogical advice and a list of online resources for teachers and detailed assignment sheets for students. The unit is accompanied by the video 'Biofuels - From Sorghum to Ethanol'.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This is an excellent resource for studies of the use of feedstocks for biofuels within the year 10 science curriculum. It is highly relevant to content descriptions in two of the three science strands. In relation to the Science Understanding strand, almost the whole unit of work focuses on its Chemical sciences content description about different types of chemical reactions being used to produce a range of products and occurring at different rates. The first set of unit activities are of considerable value for the Earth sciences content description referring to the carbon cycle relying on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.
  • In relation to the Science Inquiry Skills strand the unit's experiments and investigations are highly supportive of almost all its content descriptions. These include descriptions referring to using appropriate investigation types, including laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; using appropriate equipment to collect and record data systematically and accurately; using knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence; and constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations.
  • The unit's first, fourth and fifth activity sets provide opportunities for incorporating the Sustainability cross-curriculum priority in the science curriculum, in particular its organising idea that designing action for sustainability requires an evaluation of past practices, the assessment of scientific and technological developments, and balanced judgements based on projected future economic, social and environmental impacts.   
Year level


Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: AgriFood Skills Australia
  • Organization: AgriFood Skills Australia
  • URL: http://www.agrifoodskills.net.au/
  • Publisher
  • Name: AgriFood Skills Australia
  • Organization: AgriFood Skills Australia
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL: http://www.agrifoodskills.net.au/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Unknown
Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • © AgriFood Skills Australia 2016. Except where indicated otherwise, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/deed.en