Science in the News: Fuel from sunlight

§ February 28th, 2011 § Filed under Current Events, English Language Arts, High School, Middle School, Science § No Comments

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Someday drivers might fill up their gas tanks with “liquid fuel from the sun,” thanks to a Cambridge-based biotech company.

An article in today’s Boston Herald says, “Joule Unlimited claims it’s genetically engineered microorganism can secrete pure diesel that’s interchangeable with the fuel that goes into trucks.”  The company’s production process is unique because their microorganism does not require grass, algae, or corn.

Read more about Joule Unlimited in the Boston Herald article Hub firm hopes to shine with diesel from sunlight by Donna Goodison. The discuss it with your class. You can also visit the Joule Unlimited webpage for additional information.

Key Discussion Points

  • How does Joule Unlimited’s fuel compare to other forms of energy?
  • What are some positive and negative outcomes for using this type of energy?
  • What are the benefits of not needing grass, algae, or corn to produce fuel?
  • Do you think Joule Unlimited’s idea will be a success? Explain why or why not.

This activity is designed for students in grades 8-12. It can complement science, English Language Arts, and current events classes.

Please review the article prior to sharing it with your students, as the Boston Herald is written for all audiences.

If you need help finding the article for discussion, please contact Julie Burridge.

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