New Fuels – 2

Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions
Photo courtesy of: J. Pinkston and L. Stern / US Geological Survey

Did You Know?

  • Natural gas is odorless but suppliers add a chemical compound called mercaptan to give it an odor so that people can detect leaks.
  • The sun is a gigantic nuclear fusion reactor that by some estimates produces enough energy in barely a minute to supply the world for one year.
  • We measure energy with British thermal units BTUs. One BTU is about equal to the energy released as a wooden match burns.
  • Energy conservation by turning a room thermostat down just 1 degree Fahrenheit this winter will save about 3 percent of the energy needed to heat the room.


Science for Kids

Fuel Cell Car Kit: Electrolyzes water into hydrogen and oxygen and generates electricity.


A magazine for high school students

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS®)

SciFinder®, a research tool produced by CAS (a division of the American Chemical Society), found 384 references published this year on the topic of using biomass for producing biofuels. Further analysis of the references demonstrates the current research interest in developing pathways to sustainable biofuels from non food sources such as forest and crop residues, municipal waste, algae, etc. and the increasing focus on biotechnology solutions for optimizing processes such as conversion of biomass to sugars.

The CAS databases cover references from more than 10,000 major scientific journals and 57 patent authorities worldwide.

ACS Policy Statements and Briefings

In the News


  • Hundreds of books have been written in the past few years about alternative fuels. These books offer an amazing variety of opinions and viewpoints. Information on many of these books is available from the Library of Congress,

Sources for this podcast

Other Resources

Meet the Scientists

Ice that burns? Yes, indeed. Gas hydrates are icy cages filled with methane, the main ingredient in natural gas. They are among a suite of new fuels and energy sources that may help to power society in the years ahead. Scientists are developing these new energy sources to supplement the coal and conventional natural gas we now use to produce electricity for heating, cooling, and lighting. New fuels hold special promise as sustainable energy sources that minimize the release of carbon dioxide and combat global warming.

What Is Chemistry?

What is chemistry?
What do chemists do?

Learn more about how important chemistry is in our daily lives through articles, hands on activities, and resources to use in the classroom.