Microbes at the Gas Pump Additional Information

Recommended Web sites:

Additional information about ethanol as a biofuel can be found at www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/renewable/ethanol.html (U.S. Department of Energy).

You can learn more about the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s biomass research program on enzymes at www.nrel.gov/biomass/proj_biochemical_conversion.html#enzymes (National Renewable Energy Laboratory).

Information about the U.S. Department of Energy’s biomass program can be found at www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/(U.S. Department of Energy).

The Renewable Fuels Association has a Web page about cellulose-based fuels at www.ethanolrfa.org/resource/cellulosic/ (Renewable Fuels Association).

Moreira, Naila. 2005. Growing expectations. Science News 168(Oct. 1):218-219. Available at http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20051001/bob10.asp.

Books recommended by SearchIt!Science:

Fuels for the Future— Steve Parker

Published by Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1998.

Without fuels we couldn’t heat homes, drive cars, or power machinery. But if we’re going to use large quantities of fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, we must also learn how to conserve them. Otherwise, they might eventually be used up. Steve Parker gives readers information on fossil fuels as well as on other energy sources, such as solar, hydroelectric, and geothermal power. Parker takes a look around the world to see how various areas cope with their depleting supplies of fuels. He also traces the history of fuel production from prehistoric times through the present day.

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Power Words

cellulose A substance that makes up the cell walls of plants. Cellulose is a kind of carbohydrate. It is used to make paper, cloth, plastics, and explosives.

enzyme A molecule that helps start or speed up chemical reactions by acting as a catalyst. Enzymes are proteins and are found in the cells of all plants and animals. They play a part in all body activities, such as digestion and respiration.

ethanol An alcohol, C2H6O, obtained from the fermentation of sugars and starches and also made artificially. It is the intoxicating ingredient of alcoholic beverages, and it is also a solvent. Also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol.

fermentation The breaking down of larger chemical compounds into simpler substances when no oxygen is present. Fermentation produces energy and occurs especially in muscle cells, as well as in plants and some bacteria. Yeast turns sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide by fermentation.

gene A tiny part of a chromosome, made up of molecules of DNA. Traits are passed from parent to offspring through the genes. The shape of a plant leaf, the color of an animal’s coat, and the texture of a person’s hair are all determined by genes.

Copyright © 2002, 2003 Houghton-Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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