Advanced Biofuels USA Launches “Just A Minute (or So) about Renewable Fuels” Series of Short Educational Videos

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Learn about topics like the wide range of things that can be used to make renewable fuels; making chemicals, including fuels, from waste CO2

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Curious about renewable fuels? About biofuels? This new series of short videos enables you to take just a few minutes to get a quick review of essentials about renewable fuels. By watching a 2-4 minutes (or so) video you can learn about topics like the wide range of things that can be used to make renewable fuels; making chemicals, including fuels, from waste CO2; retrofitting an old car to use E85 (85% renewable fuel); the historical, everyday and future uses of renewable fuels; and, the latest in the series, diving deeper into the benefits of renewable fuels.

Each episode showcases a slice of the renewable fuels world. In addition to the YouTube videos, a page in the Advanced Biofuels USA online library includes links to additional resources and reference materials. Many more episodes are planned. Suggestions for topics are welcome at info@AdvancedBiofuelsUSA.org

Perfect for teachers and students of all ages; for anyone just curious about renewable fuels, and also useful for those considering sustainability issues for businesses and organizations or developing policy at any level from individuals and businesses through all levels of government. These quick videos are packed with information to enhance informed decision-making.

Started by people working in the world of renewable fuels and chemicals, the series is now created and managed by student volunteers, making videos on topics that they have determined will convey the information of greatest interest to those just learning about renewable fuels and how they can contribute to mitigating climate change as quickly as possible.

Here’s a quick review of the current selections:

The first episode of "Just A Minute (or So) about Renewable Fuels" focuses on what might be used to make renewable fuels. Students, teachers, or anyone interested in renewable fuels can see in a 3-minute slide presentation pictures of dozens of "feedstocks" used to make renewable fuels or potential feedstocks being researched for that purpose from plants to used cooking oil and waste CO2. The presentation ends with an at-home learning suggestion and the text of the narration is available to download. It includes links to further information about each feedstock.

Three questions you will be able to answer after watching Episode 1:
1. Name 5 things, other than corn, that can be used to make renewable transportation fuel.
2. If you are making ethanol for fuel in Asia, what kind of feedstock might you use?
3. What do you think of when you hear the word "biofuel"? Is your answer different after watching Episode 1 than it was before? What's the difference, if any?

Episode 2 focuses on making chemicals from waste CO2 in a circular economy. A 3-minute slide presentation narrated by Elizabeth Nesbitt of the U.S. International Trade Commission presents examples of technologies used to make chemicals used in cement production, for transportation fuels, and for building block chemicals used to make all kinds of everyday goods. The presentation ends with a link to a working paper by Nesbitt about renewable chemicals.

Three questions you will be able to answer after watching Episode 2:
1. Name 2 or more things, that can be made from waste carbon (waste carbon dioxide (CO2) or waste carbon monoxide (CO)).
2. Name 2 ways that carbon capture and utilization (CCU) can be used to make chemicals.
3. What do you think of when you hear the phrase "circular economy"? Is your answer different after watching Episode 2 than it was before? What's the difference, if any?

The third episode describes flex fuel vehicles and how to retrofit an older car to use cleaner burning, renewable E85, 85% renewable fuel, as a way to decrease pollution and carbon footprint. An embedded video, explains how one retrofit system works.

The fourth episode focuses on how biofuels have been used throughout history, and their uses as technology changes. Did you know that the original Ford Model T ran on ethanol and the first diesel engines used peanut oil? Or that later Model Ts were the first “flex-fuel” vehicles? We now use renewable fuels for trucking fleets, ships, racing, everyday transportation, and even heating and cooking.

Three questions you will be able to answer after watching Episode 4:
1. What are the origins of “flex-fuel” vehicles?
2. What are the common ethanol percentages used commercially?
3. Name at least 4 ways biofuels are used today.

The most recent addition to the series illustrates how renewable fuels help us to reduce carbon emissions and create diversity in our energy sources. Although renewable electricity is important, it cannot be the only solution; renewable fuels for transportation provide immediate alternatives to petroleum.

Three questions you will be able to answer after watching Episode 5:
1. What are the negatives to using MTBE?
2. Name 3 benefits to using renewable fuels.
3. Why is diversity in the energy sector important?

Advanced Biofuels USA, a nonprofit educational organization advocates for the adoption of sustainable, renewable fuels as an energy security, military flexibility, economic development and climate change mitigation/pollution control solution. Their key tool for accomplishing this is the web site, http://www.AdvancedBiofuelsUSA.org, a resource for everyone from opinion-leaders, decision-makers and legislators to industry professionals, investors, feedstock growers and researchers; as well as journalists, teachers and students.

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Joanne Ivancic
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