Write a research essay about clean coal technologies

As you learn chemistry one of the most important – and sometimes most challenging – aspects is relating what you learn to the context of your life. This semester you will have the opportunity to write about how chemistry relates to you in a meaningful way through your writing.

You will conduct independent research that relates to the material we are learning in class, but also relates to your own experiences or interests. You will select a topic of particular interest to you, or particular relevance to engineering and complete an expository essay. I have included topic suggestions below, but you are encouraged to follow your own interests (with topic pre- approval). Although I have chosen these topics to complement topics we will be learning about in the class, and some of the topics may be familiar to you already, you will still need to do outside research to learn more about the topic you choose.

As an expository essay, this essay should focus on the facts and data related to your selected topic with some critical analysis. Because an expository essay is not about your opinion, this paper should be written in the third person, with reference to a variety of external sources. This will give you practice assimilating scientific information from a variety of sources into a single document. Please remember that your job is to bring together many sources (with citation) in your own way, which is an important skill for a scientist or engineer; simply copying large sections (even if you change a few words) from another source is plagiarism.

Your target audience will be someone with a similar background to you who’s interested in this topic but does not have a specialized science background. In other words, include some science, but explain it simply (as needed.)

We will have one writing workshop, which will allow you to give and receive peer feedback, and you will be required to make at least one trip to the Learning and Writing center for editing. Your paper will be evaluated both on scientific content and the quality of writing.

Some Suggested Topics:

• Water-splitting as a source of hydrogen fuel.
• A comparison of aluminum recycling to extraction of raw ore by the hall process.
• Hydrogen fuel as an alternative for petroleum (challenges and strategies for overcoming them).
• Biodiesel as a realistic alternative for petroleum (challenges and strategies for overcoming them).
• Hydraulic fracturing as a way to extract petroleum for fuel use.
• Analysis of coal burning power plants for electricity generation.
• Nuclear power as a major source of energy in this country.
• Clean coal technologies.
• Green chemistry and its relevance to engineering.
• Allotropes of carbon and their application to engineering materials.
• Thermal pollution, the environmental consequences, and solutions.
• Biodegradable polymers (This could be an overview of the field or an analysis of the synthesis, composition, application and breakdown of a single polymer).
• Ocean acidification (the chemistry, history, significance, impact on marine life, potential solutions).

Format Guidelines:

• Your paper should be 750-1000 words in length.
• Please use a 12 point serifed font (such as Times New Roman, or Bookman); 1″ page margins; double-spaced text.
• Pages should be numbered sequentially.
• Use ACS Style for literature references with all references at the end of the paper. They need not be on a separate page. A link to the relevant portion of the ACS Style Guide is provided on moodle.
• References should be numbered sequentially based on the order they are included; repeated references to the same paper should use the same reference number each time.
• Appropriate references include peer-reviewed journal articles, text books, and reference books; internet references must be vetted for appropriateness.
• Properly use the English language and correct punctuation.

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