Practical biofuel activities
The activities are provided to engage young people with the science and issues surrounding bioenergy and biofuels. The topics cover a range of areas in science and technology including: plant science, microbiology and chemistry.
They are provided inline with our strategic priorities which include bioenergy and industrial biotechnology.
Find the activity you are looking for from this content list:
Who should download these activities?
Researchers – To communicate and engage young people with the scientific principles and research in the fields of bioenergy and biofuels through practical activities.
Teachers – Many of the activities are suggested by exam boards to cover the knowledge, understanding or practical skills content required for GCSE, A-level or Higher examinations.
What is in the practical guide?
- Background information on the science involved in the field of bioenergy and biofuels
- Further information about current research
- Practical activities:
- Learning objectives
- Suitable age ranges
- Suggested prior knowledge
- Approximate time needed
- Extension activities
- Curriculum links
- Health and safety guidance
- Supporting activities and resources
- Supporting PowerPoint presentations
- Further reading and weblinks
Please contact us with any questions or feedback (contact information below).
To receive a free biofuel kit, featuring feedstock resin samples and molecular models, please send a brief description of your bioenergy outreach and engagement activities to the contact below.
Please note many of these resources are very large file sizes. If you have any problems please let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Practical biofuel activities (complete) (PDF 9.31MB)
- About 'Practical biofuel activities for school engagement and outreach' (PDF 163KB)
- Introduction to bioenergy and biofuels (PDF 285KB)
- Health and safety (PDF 263KB)
- Good laboratory practice with young people (PDF 212KB)
- Biofuels general presentation (PPTX 22.63MB)
- Biogas (PDF 195KB)
- Activity 1A - Biogas generator (PDF 327KB)
- Curriculum links 1A (PDF 371KB)
- Biogas (PPTX 4.63MB)
Oil and biodiesel
- Oil and biodiesel background (PDF 229KB)
- Oil extraction (PPTX 4.63MB)
- Activity 1B - Oil extraction (PDF 316KB)
- Curriculum links 1B (PDF 319KB)
- Oil viscosity (PPTX 4.56MB)
- Activity 1C - Oil viscosity (PDF 308KB)
- Curriculum links 1C (PDF 385KB)
- Biodiesel production (PPTX 4.80MB)
- Activity 1D - Biodiesel production (PDF 312KB)
- Curriculum links 1D (PDF 344KB)
- Bioethanol background (PDF 327KB)
- Extracting sugar from sugar beet (PPTX 12.20MB)
- Activity 1E - Extracting sugar from sugar beet (PDF 270KB)
- Curriculum links 1E (PDF 391KB)
- Activity 1F - Carbohydrate testing (PDF 509KB)
- Curriculum links 1F (PDF 493KB)
- Carbohydrate testing (PPTX 7.21MB)
- Activity 1G - Yeast fermentation (PDF 278KB)
- Curriculum links 1G (PDF 373KB)
- Yeast fermentation (PPTX 10.04MB)
- Lignocellulosic bioethanol (PDF 485KB)
- Activity 2A - Plant material testing (PDF 347KB)
- Curriculum links 2A (PDF 433KB)
- Plant material testing (PPTX 12.52MB)
- Activity 2B - Hydrolysis of biofuel feedstocks (PDF 365KB)
- Curriculum links 2B (PDF 385KB)
- Hydrolysis of biofuel feedstocks (PPTX 15.57MB)
- Activity 2C - Fermentation of lignocelluloses (PDF 355KB)
- Curriculum links 2C (PDF 411KB)
- Fermentation of lignocelluloses (PPTX 14.47MB)
- Bacterial biofuels (PDF 602KB)
- Activity 2D - Bacterial cellulase (PDF 298KB)
- Curriculum links 2D (PDF 382KB)
- Bacterial cellulose (PPTX 6.95MB)
- Activity 2E - Cellulase enzyme activity (PDF 301KB)
- Curriculum links 2E (PDF 399KB)
- Cellulase enzyme activity (PPTX 14.92MB)
- Algal biofuels (PDF 395KB)
- Activity 3A - Culturing algae (PDF 327KB)
- Curriculum links 3A (PDF 392KB)
- Culturing algae (PPTX 6.33MB)
- Activity 3B - Algal photosynthesis (PDF 738KB)
- Curriculum links 3B (PDF 394KB)
- Algal photosynthesis (PPTX 6.76MB)
- Activity 3C - Algae chromatography (PDF 240KB)
- Curriculum links 3C (PDF 435KB)
- Algae chromatography (PPTX 6.47MB)
- Activity 4A - Making biofuel molecules (PDF 1.21MB)
- Activity sheet 4A - Making biofuel molecules (PDF 1.04MB)
- Curriculum links 4A (PDF 225KB)
- Making biofuel molecules (PPTX 4.87MB)
- Activity 4B - Biofuel feedstocks (PDF 2.38MB)
- Biofuel feedstocks (PPTX 13.19MB)
- Activity 4C - Crosswords (PDF 848KB)
- Activity 4D - Wordsearches (PDF 676KB)
- Bioenergy crosswords and wordsearches (PPTX 2.18MB)
- Activity 4E - Sentence loops (PDF 288KB)
- Glossary (PDF 306KB)
- Key words in school science (PDF 310KB)
- Curriculum links summary (PDF 317KB)
- Web links (PDF 288KB)
- Further reading (PDF 260KB)
These links are restricted to science subjects and refer to schemes of work or qualifications currently offered in the UK. The national science curriculum is currently under review and teaching of the new Programmes of Study for science will commence in September 2014.
We wish to thank all the contributing researchers involved, who carried out the activities at science events and in schools as well as providing help and support in developing this guide, in particular Gary Wortley at the Institute of Food Research for equipment and technical support, Alison Smith for the algal chromatography activities and Jen Bromley for developing the lignocellulosic ethanol activities.
Thanks also go to North Walsham High School, Acle High School and the East Norfolk Triple Science Network and their pupils for hosting these activities and to work experience pupils Lucy Handford and Joseph McKenzie for refining protocols.
The resource builds on the work of Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS), the Society of General Microbiology (SGM) and National Centre for Biotechnology Education (NCBE) and thanks go respectively to Daniel Jenkins, Dariel Burdass and Dean Madden for their input.
These images are protected by copyright law and may be used with acknowledgement.