Lesson Plan 7
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: CLEAN AIR RESEARCH AS RELATED TO
|LESSON PLAN CREATED BY:
Todd Mills (Grades 9 – 12)
Lois Morris (Grades 6 - 8)
Terry Rostcheck (Grades 6 – 8)
Susan Tegi (Grades 6 – 8)
|IN COLLABORATION WITH:
CLEAN AIR RESEARCH AS RELATED TO FOSSIL FUELS
The United States Department of Energy Federal Energy Technology
Center (FETC) manages the Nation’s fossil energy research and development
programs for coal and natural gas, while focusing on the development of
technologies to use the nation’s fossil energy resources more cleanly and
A major research effort in the cleanup of flue gas, which is produced by
the combustion of fossil fuels, is being conducted by the research program at
the Federal Energy Technology Center. Technologies are being developed to
lower sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), hazardous air pollutants, and
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from flue gas. Past efforts have included lowtemperature
dry scrubbing SO2 removal techniques that typically used a
calcium-or sodium-based disposable sorbent either in a spray drying mode or
in a duct injection mode of operation; novel techniques for enhancing sorbent
utilization in conventional wet or dry scrubbing processes; and control of
emissions produced from small-scale combustors (residential or commercial
size) that burn coal or coal/sorbent briquettes.
Recent research at FETC has focused on the control of mercury
emissions produced by burning various coals, sorbent processes to remove SO2
and NOX, and the capture utilization and storing of CO2 removed from flue gas
produced by fossil fuel combustion.
- The students will be able to work in cooperative learning groups to study the
effects of air pollutants and experimentation being conducted to eliminate
- The students will be able to explore the different types of careers in
- The students will be able to apply decimals, fractions, and percents to
compare the various components of air pollution.
- The students will be able to construct graphs to illustrate and compare the
results of experimentation.
- The students will be able to gain an appreciation for the work done by
scientists to solve energy and environmental problems.
- The students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of scientific vocabulary
used in ocean sequestration of carbon dioxide which is produced by the
combustion of fossil fuels.
- The students will be able to describe the advantages and disadvantages of
ocean sequestration of carbon dioxide.
- Students will be introduced to air pollution by setting up particulate
collectors in various areas around the school grounds and examining their
- Present background information to the students.By lecture and discussion, make students aware of air pollution
problems within our environment caused by the burning of fossil fuels
and the research conducted by the DOE in this area.
- Introduce and discuss science and environmental vocabulary.
- Present students with a glossary of terms.
- Discuss the terms most relevant to the current lesson.
- Students will research types of pollutants produced by the combustion of
fossil fuels using various Internet sources (possible sites listed at end of
- Working in small cooperative groups, students will compile information on
these air pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury levels in coal,
and carbon dioxide. Students should be able to explain how the above
pollutants contribute to the environmental problems and brainstorm on
possible solutions to the problems.
- Focusing on the control of CO2 levels in the atmosphere, students will use
the FETC Internet site to gather information about oceanic CO2
sequestration as a possible solution to this problem.
- Students will demonstrate through various lab activities some basic
scientific principles involved in CO2 sequestration.
- Teacher demonstration of dry ice in water
- Density differences of various substances
- Solubility of CO2 in various solutions
- As a concluding activity, students can present the advantages and
disadvantages of the possible solutions being researched for the control of CO2
in the environment. (ex. – effectiveness, cost, feasibility, other environmental
- Prepare particulate collectors by cutting two windows in index cards.
- Cover each window with clear sticky tape.
- Hang or tape cards in different outdoor locations for at least two days.
- Use a microscope to observe the particles collected.
DRY ICE DEMONSTRATION:
- Drop dry ice into a column of water.
- Have students observe bubbles of CO2 escaping to the surface.
- Have students conclude CO2 sequestration is not a permanent
DENSITY DIFFERENCES OF VARIOUS SUBSTANCES:
- Use various liquids such as corn syrup, cooking oil, and vinegar.
- Add food coloring to each liquid.
- Place liquids in a large clear container.
- Use various solids such as aluminum foil pellets, toothpick pieces,
styrofoam pieces, pennies, etc..
- Place solids into the liquid container.
- Have students observe the arrangement of the different materials.
- Have students draw conclusions about the relationship between density
and the rate at which CO2 will disperse when sequestered in the
SOLUBILITY OF CO2 IN VARIOUS CONCENTRATIONS:
Have students prepare four different concentrations of water and
carbonated water such as seltzer water. Suggested concentrations are:
0% water and 100% seltzer water
25% water and 75% seltzer water
50% water and 50% seltzer water
75% water and 25% seltzer water
Students will count surface bubbles for ten seconds, at one minute
intervals, for ten minutes.
- Have students apply decimals, fractions, and percents to compare the
water to seltzer ratios.
- Construct graphs to illustrate the results of these experiments.
- CARBON DIOXIDE
- CLEAN AIR ACT OF 1990
- DRY SCRUBBING
- FLUE GAS
- FOSSIL FUEL
- NITROGEN OXIDE
- SULFUR DIOXIDE
- ALUMINUM FOIL
- COOKING OIL
- CORN SYRUP
- DRY ICE
- FOOD COLORING
- INDEX CARDS
- PAPER TOWELS
- STYROFOAM PIECES
SUGGESTED INTERNET RESOURCES
- eelink:environmental education on the internet
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