Carbon emissions

Intended Learning Outcomes

The students will be able to:

  • calculate the molecular mass of a range of carbon-based fuels
  • write balanced equations that represent common reactions for combustion of carbon-based fuels
  • calculate the amount of carbon dioxide released when known amounts of carbon-based fuels are burnt
  • articulate their views on the value of knowing how to calculate the carbon dioxide emissions from combustion of carbon-based fuels.

Teaching Rationales

Depleting fossil fuel reserves, greenhouse gas emissions and associated global warming has focused attention on our use of carbon-based fuels. Senior students need to understand the concepts underlying combustion reactions to develop a deeper understanding of these issues. Knowledge of the principle of conservation of matter and basic stoichiometry is essential to calculating carbon-footprints and emissions. Students will consider the implications of burning carbon-based fuels, and consider ways of reducing their own reliance on fossil fuel technology.

Learning Areas, Strands, Achievement Objectives

7 - 8 Science

Material World

5 Science

The structure of matter

  • Students will develop an understanding of and use of the fundamental concepts of chemistry.

Chemistry and society

  • Students will apply knowledge of chemistry to explain aspects of the natural world and how chemistry is used in society to meet needs, resolve issues, and develop new technologies.

Chemistry 7.2

  • Students will carry out simple qualitative and quantitative investigations to obtain, interpret, and use a range of chemical information. Quantitative chemistry-relative atomic mass and relative molecular mass; the mole;empirical and molecular formulae; Stoichiometry.

Chemistry 8.1

  • Students will investigate and explain the development of selected chemical processes and their interaction with people and the environment.

Chemistry 8.2

  • Students will carry out simple qualitative and quantitative investigations to obtain, interpret, and use a range of chemical information

Achievement Standard

AS90763 Chemistry 2.3 Solve simple quantitative chemical problems

Activity-specific Achievement Objectives

7 - 8 Science

Material World

5 Science

The structure of matter

  • Students will develop an understanding of the law of conservation of matter and use it to explain carbon emissions.

Chemistry and society

  • Students will use stoichiometry to calculate carbon emission comparisons from the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels.

Chemistry 7.2

  • Students will carry out simple qualitative and quantitative investigations to obtain, interpret, and use a range of chemical information. Content area: quantitative chemistry; relative atomic mass and relative molecular mass for hydrocarbons and simple alcohols; the mole applied to comparative carbon emissions; empirical and molecular formulae of hydrocarbons and simple alcohols; stoichiometry of hydrocarbon and alcohol combustion reactions.

Chemistry 8.1

  • Students will investigate and explain the development of hydrocarbon combustion based energy and its impact on people and the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Chemistry 8.2

  • Students will carry out qualitative investigation of hydrocarbon combustion products and quantitative measurements to obtain density of a range of hydrocarbon fuels, interpret this in terms of practical measures (gL-1, or g.km-1), and use this information to compare the emissions of different fuels.