From Algae to Bioenergy

Join the project manager Marie in her goal to successfully produce biodiesel from algal oil. Be involved in a revolutionary scientific discovery that can eliminate the environmental impacts accompanied by burning coal for energy.

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  • Description
  • Features

This short, targeted simulation is adapted from the full-length “Chemistry Safety” simulation.

Can we turn algae to bioenergy? In this simulation, you will find out. Dive into the algae farm in Northwest Alaska and identify the main issues preventing their sustainability and environmental protection goals. Conduct a laboratory experiment in the lab safely with the help of Marie, and find a successful reaction that can convert algal oil into biodiesel.

Explore the Algae farm

Learn about the purpose of your project by diving into the algae farm and understanding the main source of harm to our environment in this day and age. You will be able to understand how the algae farm will reduce such environmental impacts that contribute to climate change.

Understand the biofuel conversion reaction

Alongside the biodiesel production experiment, learn more about the chemistry involved in the reaction. Understand the components of the algal oil, the theoretical use of the reagents chosen, and the main changes to the molecular structure required for the reaction to be successful.

Safe laboratory practice

In a virtual simulation, yes it is true that no real harm can come to you, but it is always good practice to implement the safety regulations and correct handling of hazardous chemicals no matter where you are! If you know now and are constantly reminded, you will have all of the knowledge you need to protect yourself and others in the lab by analyzing the risks with the chemicals that are required. You will be prompted to always wear the correct personal protective equipment to keep yourself safe from all potential hazards of the chemicals.

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Join the project manager Marie in her goal to successfully produce biodiesel from algal oil. Be involved in a revolutionary scientific discovery that can eliminate the environmental impacts accompanied by burning coal for energy.

Techniques in lab
Magnetic stirrer bar, Biodiesel production experiment in fume hood, Heating reaction mixtures on hotplate, Transesterification
Learning objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to...

  • Describe the reaction that yields biodiesel from oil
  • Detail the procedure for producing biodiesel from oil
  • Apply hazard identification skills to safe working practice in the laboratory
  • Safely deploy heated magnetic stir plates as part of a protocol
Simulation features

Length: 15
Accessibility mode: Available
Languages: English (United States)

NGSS

Generic fume hood & lab safety

IB

Supports The Laboratory Safety Institute’s Laboratory Safety Guidelines

AP

Generic fume hood & lab safety