Facilitating student investigations into making liquid fuel from plant biomass

In September, GLBRC Education and Outreach leaders John Greenler and Leith Nye, in collaboration with Travis Tangen at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, published a laboratory protocol that facilitates student engagement in bioenergy research. This protocol, which is appropriate for high school chemistry, environmental science, biology, engineering, and agriculture classes, engages students in the inquiry process by experimenting with different types of biomass, varying pretreatments, and manipulating enzyme and fermentation conditions. The investigation, which aligns with the new national science standards, also works as an engineering challenge in which students define problems associated with efficiently converting cellulosic biomass to ethanol.  


Greenler J, Nye L, Tangen T (2014) Cellulose Breakdown. The Science Teacher September, 2014: 1-11


Dr. N. Kent Peters, SC-23.2, (301) 903-5549