Blackboard - Discussion Pages

Charles E. Ophardt, Professor of Chemistry, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL 60126,, Copyright 2004


 ON-LINE Lecture Discussion Requirement of 3 questions (6 pts):

Do one question from the QUES 1-9. Use the assigned student ID numbers.

 Questions  Ques. 1  Ques. 2  Ques. 3  Ques. 4  Ques. 5
 Student ID  8, 15, 25  9, 16, 26  10, 17, 27,  1, 18, 28  2, 19, 29
 Questions  Ques. 6  Ques. 7  Ques. 8  Ques. 9 .
 Student ID  3, 20, 30  4, 11, 21  5, 12, 22,7  6, 13, 14, 23, 24  

Second Question of your choice from QUES 1-9.

A third question may be to respond or comment to someone else, or use General Questions to ask a general question the Prof or others might answer.

Check answers already completed in
Blackboard - Discussion Pages

Write out answers to questions in a WORD PROCESSOR
and then copy and paste into

Requirements for the Lecture On-Line Discussion
Method to list references and citations.

Special Assignment for this Topic Only
How much energy do you use? How much carbon dioxide do you produce as a result of burning fossil fuels for energy?
This assessment is worth another 6 points.


TEXT READINGS: Chap 12 and p. 39-43, 214-229

General Websites: Energy in the Classroom -
Adventures in -


A flow of energy is absolutely essential to drive the important chemical cycles throughout the earth, atmosphere, water, and living matter. Much of the history and development of civilization revolves around the discovery and use of energy sources which could replace human muscle power. The use of energy has been the key to adequate food supplies, physical comfort, and to improving the quality of life.

ENERGY is the capacity of a substance for doing work. This definition implies that a substance can have both potential and kinetic energy.

1. Definitions and Forms of Energy Text p. 69-73, 198-201

 A. Potential, Kinetic, and other Forms of Energy; Transformations of energy


Energy definition

 POTENTIAL ENERGY: This is stored energy by virtue of its composition (chemical compounds) or energy related to an object by its relative position.

Potential energy by position - water behind a dam.
Potential energy by composition - gasoline, a battery.

 KINETIC ENERGY: Kinetic energy is produced by a substance in motion.

Falling water change potential energy into kinetic energy.
Combustion of gasoline produces rapidly moving molecules. The battery produces moving electrons.

 The common forms of energy include:

1. Mechanical - motors, levers, gears, pulleys, muscles.
2. Chemical - reactions of molecules with each other.
3. Electrical - movement of electrons through materials.
4. Thermal - transfer of heat energy.
5. Nuclear - matter in atoms is converted into energy usually as heat.
6. Radiant or Light - from the sun or other "burning" reactions.

Examples of energy conversion into various forms of energy:
One form of energy can be converted into other forms of energy. For example burning coal at an electrical power plant converts chemical energy into heat. The heat makes steam which turns turbines (mechanical energy) to make electrical energy. The electrical energy is converted back into heat, light, and mechanical energy when it is used.

In your answers include potential and kinetic energy and various forms of energy.

QUES. 1: a. Try to think about all the types of energy and conversion of forms of energy for starting and driving a car. Start at two places - the battery (p. 207) and gasoline (p. 362-64)


1b. Try to think about all the types of energy and conversion of forms of energy for eating and then digesting a steak. Start with the sun (p. 45, 455-460).

  Text p. 39-43

 B. Heat and Temperature  
 Heat is the total kinetic energy of all moving atoms or molecules in a given substance. The amount of heat of contained in an object depends upon the amount of substance present. Heat is measured in calories or joules.  Temperature is a measure of the average speed of motion of the atoms and molecules. The temperature of objects of very different sizes will have the same temperature under the identical conditions. Temperature is measured in Fahrenheit or Celsius degrees.
A hot cup of coffee has a high temperature but a low heat content compared to lake Michigan which has a much lower temperature, but a very high heat content because of the large volume.

C. Energy from the sun

nuclear fusion (H + H -> He)

electromagnetic spectrum

NOTES: (Various types of energy - UV relates to breakdown of ozone, Visible and IR relates to greenhouse gases)


ProfONotes: Explanatory notes with energy from sun and electromagnetic spectrum


2. Energy and Chemical Reactions

 A. Spontaneous Reactions - Exo and endothermic reactions

  Text p. 163-64

Bond Energy

QUES. 2: Define exo and endothermic reactions. Select four of equations/reactions on the following pages, list whether they are exo or endothermic. p. 152, 164 (three of them), 165, 170 top. Explain how you know the answer.

Text p. 163-64

ProfONotes: Combustion Reaction Energy from Bond Energies

 B. Law of Conservation of Energy or First Law of Thermodynamics Text p. 41
Law of Conservation of Energy
 C. Second Law of Thermodynamics - you can't break even (Energy Efficiency), entropy

 Text p. 41-42

Thermodynamics - Second Law

QUES. 3: Define Law of Conservation of Energy, Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Entropy. Give one or two examples.   Text p. 41-42
Law of Conservation of Energy

3. Energy Use in Different Societies
 A. Natural energy cycles for the earth; Food Chains, Tropic Levels (Text p. 43-47) ProfONotes: Carbon Cycle
 B. Energy efficiency of human diet: meat vs. cereal crops and plants

 (Text p. 43-44)
ProfONotes: Food Energy

Food Chain

 QUES. 4: What are the implications for the food supply resources for an ever increasing population that is getting richer and therefore is switching to a diet with more meat as is happening in China today?

 Text p. 44 Figure 2.15
ProfONotes: Food Energy

China's Emerging Use of Resources - a pdf file

 C. Energy use in primitive society, agricultural, third world societies (early industrial), and in industrial societies, especially the U. S.

 ProfO Notes: Energy use in various societies

ProfO Notes: Energy utilization in the United States
Satellite view of the lights on earth
Lights on the U. S.

Energy Flow Chart of U. S. 2002 - Sources and End uses

 D. Sustainable Society  

QUES. 5: Compare two countries - the USA and one other of your choice. What may be some reasons why the United States seems to be the largest user of energy than other modern industrial societies such as Europe and Japan. Use the link on the right. You do not have to read everything for a country , but try to pick a few highlights.

 ProfO Notes: Energy utilization in the United States

Energy Summary by Country

4. Organic Compounds
Hydrocarbons, alkanes, nomenclature, bonding and structures. - Use an overview approach to some simple compounds that are present in the fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas.  Text p. 214-228

QUES. 6: What is unique about carbon compounds? What is a definition of hydrocarbons? What is a main structural feature of various organic compounds such as propane and butane vs some simple inorganic compounds. Hint: Look at the number of the same atoms bonded together.

b. Finally, what is the physical "state" of natural gas, methane, gasoline, octane based upon boiling points? What is the general trend as you increase the number of carbons in a chain, the boiling point ___?

ProfONotes: Organic vs. Inorganic Structures
ProfONotes: Boiling Points

5. Energy from the combustion of Fossil Fuels Chap 14
 A. General Combustion Reaction

Text p. 223, 328

ProfONotes: Carbon Cycle

ProfONotes: Combustion Reaction Energy from Bond Energies

 B. Anatomy of an Electric Power Plant- heat water-steam-turbine-generator (coil of wire rotated in a magnetic field)-electricity

Text p. 387-88

ProfONotes: Anatomy of an Electric Power Plant
Coal to kilowatts graphics - a good one
Vision 21 - Power Plant of the future

 C. Environmental Impacts - Air Pollution - Briefly, more later under Topics 8 & 9 - Air pollution - Carbon, Sulfur, and Nitrogen Oxides  Text p. 328-331

QUES. 7: Review and describe the entire process of making electricity from fossil fuels such as coal. In addition, apply the definitions from sections 1 & 2 to all of the forms and changes in energy for the entire process starting with coal and ending with flipping a light switch on. You should make a list of at least 5-6 items. Various students should look at this carefully to be sure that all the types of energy and processes are listed.

Text p. 377-381

See Links in sections A and B above.

6. Fossil Fuel Resources -

 A. Oil, oil drilling, - application of distillation, Octane rating, oil shale and sands,

Petrochemical industry

Text p. 364-372
ProfONotes: Fossil Fuels
ProfONotes: Review Boiling Points fo Hydrocarbons
ProfONotes: Oil Refining
ProfONotes: Oil Refining (cont)
Animation of the Refining of Oil - Excellent
Petroelum - Modern Refining

Facts About Gasoline- American Oil Institute
Oil Spills
 B. Natural Gas-methane, LPG-propane and butane Text p. 373
ProfONotes: Natural Gas
Natural Gas,org
 C. Coal Types, Coal mining- deep mines, strip mines, pollution

Text p. 373-76
Coal to kilowatts graphics - a good one
Online Kentucky Coal Facts Look at Types of Mining, History of Coal, Coal Markets, Environment

Coal to alternative gas and liquid fuels -
FutureGen - a proposed coal electric power plant to capture CO2 and produce hydrogen
Coal Plant Pollution Control Technologies - Click on a few of the subtopics - latest in clean technologies
ProfOGraphic: Coal - Transport - Ship to River Barge

 D. Synfuels, Coal gasification Text p. 375-76
Coal to Liquids - for fuel
Coal to Liquids - negative side
Coal Gasification

Each student may answer just one part a or b for credit. 

QUES 8 a. Briefly describe how a petroleum fractional distillation works. In addition, which compound would have a higher boiling point, C15H32 or C18H38? Which would condense at the lowest point on the distilling column? (see table 12.4 p. 367 and ProfO Notes)

Note: You can see oil refineries especially at night if you come into Chicago by way of the Indiana Toll road and Skyway. Another plant is visible from I-55 just over the Des Plaines River near Joliet.

b. During the late winter, a refiner makes more gasoline for the summer. If the crude is producing more lubricating oil than necessary, which of the above processes (cracking, isomerization, catalytic reforming or alkylation) would be used to make gasoline? Discuss how each of the other above processes can help to make gasoline.

 Text p 366-369

ProfONotes: Review Boiling Points fo Hydrocarbons
ProfONotes: Oil Refining
ProfONotes: Oil Refining (cont)

Complete Refining Process


QUES. 9: List some pros and cons about the use of coal, natural gas, or oil. Currently most coal is burned in electric power plants to produce electricity. What is oil and natural gas used for? Look at the energy benefits as well as the environmental impacts.

Each student should do either coal, oil, or natural gas.

 Text p. 364-376

See the links in sections A, B, and C above.

Special Assignment for this Topic Only
How much energy do you use? How much carbon dioxide do you produce as a result of burning fossil fuels for energy?
This assessment is worth 6 points.