Students enrolled in CHEM 108 have access to a Moodle course web site by logging into the Moodle server, and selecting CHEM 108 from their course listings.
This course explores the chemistry behind fossil fuels and potential solar-energy alternatives, ranging from biofuels to solar panels to hydrogen fuel cells. Chemical principles such as reaction stoichiometry, molecular structure, thermochemistry, catalysis, energy quantization, and electrochemistry will be learned in the context of investigating solar radiation, greenhouse gases, photovoltaics, artificial photosynthesis, fuel cells, and the production and storage of hydrogen.
- Topic 1: The Power and Problems of Fossil Fuels. Our energy challenges, peak oil, environmental impact
- Topic 2: Alternative and Renewable Energy. Assessing alternative energy systems and solar energy solutions.
- Topic 3: Meet the molecules. Molecular structure and reactivity of fuels and other energy materials.
- Topic 4: Solar Energy. Solar energy and solar power, the origin of color, and harvesting and harnessing sunlight.
- Topic 5: Chemical Energy and Fuels. Chemical thermodynamics: energy flow through molecules, heat of reaction, and an entropy crisis.
- Topic 6: Photosynthesis and Biofuels. Natural photosynthesis, light harvesting and electron-transfer, artificial photosynthesis, ethanol and biodiesel.
- Topic 7: The Future of Fossil Fuels. petroleum refining, and alternative fuels coal and natural gas
- Topic 8: Greenhouse Gases. Global Warming and greenhouse gases, molecular vibrations, carbon dioxide emissions.
- Topic 9: Electricity Production and Transmission. Electrical generators, circuits, power and current, the electrical grid.
- Topic 10: Solar Electricity. Photovoltaics, the science of semiconductors, solar cells and concentrated solar power.
- Topic 11: Electricity Storage. redox reactions, batteries and fuel cells.
- Topic 12: Which Hydrogen Economy? hydrogen dreams, the hydrogen fuel cycle, hydrogen storage materials, hydrogen safety.
- Topic 13: Sustainable Hydrogen Production. solar methods for water splitting: thermochemical, electrochemical, photochemical, biological.
- Topic 14: Energy Conservation and Efficiency. the nature of energy conservation, our energy choices for transportation, food, buildings, lighting, electronics, and recycling.
Prof. Scott D. Cummings, Tomsich 314; PBX 5355; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
My schedule (and where you can find me throughout the week) is available online and is posted on my office door. I fully expect students to meet with me outside of class. You are welcome and encouraged to come.
CLASS MEETING TIMES:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:10-12:00 (Period 4) in Higley Auditorium.
REQUIRED MATERIALS: (available at the Kenyon College bookstore)
· Out of Gas by David Goodstein (ISBN 978-0393326475)
· Chemistry in Context 5th edition (ISBN 978-0073101590) OR 6th edition (ISBN 978-0077221348)
· Solar Revolution by Travis Bradford (ISBN 978-0262524940)
· a Casio FX-260 Solar Scientific calculator (bring to EVERY class and exams)
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL READINGS:
Fossil Fuels and Peak Oil:
- Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage and Beyond Oil by Kenneth S. Deffeyes
- Sustainable Fossil Fuels by Mark Jacard
- Why We'll Never Run Out Of Oil
- Crude: The Story of Oil by Sonia Shah
- Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future by Jeff Goodell
- The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler
- PowerDown by Richard Heinberg
- Over a Barrel: A Simple Guide to the Oil Shortage by Tom Mast
Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming:
- An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It by Al Gore
- A Skeptics Guide to An Inconvenient Truth by The Competitive Enterprise Institute
- The Heat is On: The Climate Crisis, the Cover-Up, the Prescription by (Kenyon Alumnus) Ross Gelbspan
Solar Energy Solutions:
- The Solar Economy by Hermann Scheer
- The Solar Fraud: Why Solar Energy Won't Run the World by Howard C. Hayden
- Prospects for Sustainable Energy: A Critical Assessment by Edward S. Cassedy
- Biodiesel America: How to Achieve Energy Security, Free America from Middle-east Oil Dependence And Make Money Growing Fuel by Josh Tickell
- Chemical Challenges of Renewable Energy by Nate Lewis
- Harnessing Solar Power: The Photovoltaics Challenge by Ken Zweibel
- Clean Fuel from Solar Energy by Harry Gray
- Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet by Peter Hoffman
- Hydrogen as Fuel: Learning from Nature, Richard Cammack, Michel Fey, Robert Robson (online e-book)
- The Hydrogen Economy by Jeremy Rifkin
- The Hype About Hydrogen by Joseph J. Romm
- Fuel Cell Systems Explained by James Larminie and Andrew Dicks
- Competing Visions of a Hydrogen Economy