If you were to remove the water (H20) from your body that would leave quite a bit of carbon!
So, that is why you are called a carbon based life form</li></li></ul><li>What about that bag of grass and weeds we collected?<br />Now that the water has mostly evaporated from the biomass we collected. Let’s take a closer look at what makes biomass.<br />
Remember…<br />Biomass is what is left over from biotic matter after the water has evaporated.<br />Biomass is a renewable energy source because we can grow more trees and crops in a relatively short time, and waste will always exist. (In our case grass and weeds!)<br />
How much carbon is in your paper bag?<br />Weigh the bag of dehydrated biomass.<br />Subtract the weight of the bag.<br />Divide by 2.<br />This number represents the amount of carbon in your bag.<br />Roughly 50% of biomass is carbon!<br />
Why is this important?<br />The carbon cycle of course!<br />
Fuels made from biomass.<br />Biomass takes carbon out of the atmosphere while it is growing, and returns it as it is burned. If it is managed on a sustainable basis, biomass is harvested as part of a constantly replenished crop. <br />When the biomass used for fuels is replenished, the carbon absorbed by the new growth helps offset the carbon released from the combustion (burning) of biomass fuels or biofuels. <br />This maintains a closed carbon cycle with no net increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.<br />
What are fossil fuels role in the cycle?<br />The vital difference between biomass and fossil fuels is one of time scale.<br />Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are also derived from biological material, however material that absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere many millions of years ago. There may be a trace of a dinosaur in the coal we burn!<br />Therefore the “carbon ship” has long since sailed and when we burn fossil fuels, we are putting “extra” carbon into the atmosphere which contributes to global warming.<br />
Your government at work.<br />In 2007 the United States Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act with a goal for biofuel production to jump five-fold to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Our country has been busy discovering better ways to run our cars, heat our homes, and light our light bulbs!<br />
Excuse the interruption!<br />This is Captain Diego from the planet Zerbia! My world is in trouble, and we need your help! Lovinggood has always helped us in the past, and I hope this time will be no different!<br />Last year my science advisors told me that our supply of fossil fuels is low and our atmospheric CO2 is rising to dangerous levels. I didn’t know what to do so I hired a specialist, Dr. Greenburn.<br />
On the advice of Dr. Greenburn, we have switched to biofuels as our primary energy source, and we are saving fossil fuels but now the Interplanet CO2 Taskforce is saying our CO2 releases are going up. I don’t get it. Dr. Greenburn said biofuels were the answer to our problems. Now, I’ve got the carbon police breathing down my neck. <br />
Let me tell you, I have given this initiative the full throttle Captain Diego treatment. I authorized a fleet of trucks to carry the biofuels to the plant. I even allowed them to use my private fleet of aircraft to speed up deliveries. I paid farmers extra to grown corn instead of wheat for production. Why isn’t it working? Help me figure this out Lovinggood! <br />
Between you and me, I think Dr. Greenburn needs to choose a career in burger flipping. He keeps talking nonsense using words like, “sustainability,” “carbon footprint,” and of all things, “algae!” What does algae have to do with anything? Please help me ! I’ve got kids whining about cereal costing too much, police accusing me of ruining the atmosphere and scientists telling me I need smaller feet! <br />
Uh oh, gotta go! For some reason parents are starting to revolt. They are up in arms about the food prices. They’re starting to ……. <br />End of transmission.<br />
Let’s help Captain Diego!<br />Research the following topics:<br />Are biofuels better than fossil fuels and why?<br />What are some biofuels currently in use?<br />What problems are there concerning biofuels?<br />Are some biofuels better than others? Why?<br />Since biofuels are renewable, how does this impact on the other fuel uses for our renewable resources?<br />
When finished…<br />Write a letter to Captain Diego advising him how to proceed with his concerns. This will be an opinion piece but you will need to support your ideas and suggestions with concrete evidence from your research. Be sure you answer all of the points he brings up:<br /> CO2 output<br /> “shoe size”<br /> cereal prices<br /> algae<br /> Dr. Greenburn’s job status<br />
Have you ever heard of a carbon-based life form?<br /><ul><li>The three main ingredients in life forms are
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