Keyed to Radovic, L. R.  1997.  Energy and Fuels in Society:  Analysis of Bills and Media Reports, 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill Primis Custom Publishing, Boston.  484 pp.  ISBN 0-07-05277-3

After reading the chapter and attending all lectures you should be able to:

  1. discuss the way that human per capita use of energy has grown from prehistoric times, through industrialization, to the present.

  2. compare our energy consumption with that of other people in the world; compare the nations of the world in terms of their energy use; discuss your feelings about the morality of this inequality; what is most energy used for in the world? in North America?

  3. discuss how long the present supplies of fossil fuels can be expected to last; analyze the resources and reserves of fossil fuels in the world

  4. itemize the ways in which we use energy.

Chapter 2.  Concept of Energy

After reading the chapter and attending all lectures you should be able to:

  1. define energy.

  2. distinguish between potential and kinetic energy.

  3. define the following energy terms:   BTU, calorie, Calorie (=kilocalorie) watt, and horsepower.

Chapter 3.   Concept of Energy

After reading the chapter and attending all lectures you should be able to:

  1. state (in both technical terms and plain English) the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

  2. state the law of conservation of matter.

  3. define 'entropy'.




Chapter 5 (in part) Energy Supply and Demand. 

After reading the chapter and attending all lectures you should be able to:

  1. distinguish between renewable and non-renewable energy (p. 87)

  2. categorize each of the current and future energy sources as renewable or non-renewable.

  3. distinguish between energy resources and reserves (p. 88)

  4. discuss the relationship between population trends and energy needs.

Chapter 6. Fossil Fuels:  An Overview

After reading the chapter and attending all lectures you should be able to:

  1. define 'fossil fuel'.

  2. speculate on the history and future of a carbon atom as it passes through the carbon cycle.  (Remember how much fun the game was?)

  3. give the basic equation for photosynthesis and its opposite, respiration or combustion.

  4. define/characterize the following terms:

    exothermic reaction endothermic reaction

Chapter 7. Coal

After reading the chapter and attending all lectures you should be able to:

  1. list countries with the major coal resources and reserves.

  2. state how long the US could expect its coal supplies to last.

  3. discuss the origin (and age), composition, and types of coal.

  4. discuss the ways in which coal can be utilized.

  5. discuss how is it mined. Distinguish between surface and underground mining.

  6. distinguish between 'clean' and 'dirty' coals.

  7. explain how coal is transported from the mine to the site of use.

  8. explain why coal is not commonly used for home heating.

  9. explain the problems caused by the combustion of coal.

  10. characterize the major pollutants that result from burning coal.

  11. discuss some of the technologies for cleaning coal, including washing, flue-gas scrubbing, and fluidized bed combustion.

  12. discuss the processes, advantages and disadvantages of deriving synthetic fuels from coal.

  13. discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the use of coal? 

  14. define/characterize the following terms:

    rank ash
    room and pillar mining longwall mining
    black lung disease

Chapter 8.  Petroleum

After reading the chapter and attending all lectures you should be able to:

  1. discuss the history of the oil age; why have we become so dependent on petroleum? Why did we have the price shocks of the past decades, such as the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973?

  2. realize where the principal oil resources in the world exist; where does the US stand in terms of its oil reserves?  What is O.P.E.C. and who are its members?

  3. describe petroleum (crude oil); how is it formed?  what is its chemical composition? in what kind of geological formations is it found?

  4. explain how the number of carbon atoms in a molecule relates to its physical state, e.g. gas, free-flowing liquid, or viscous liquid (p. 142).

  5. contrast the properties of young-shallow, young-deep, old-shallow, and old-deep crudes.

  6. list the major products which are derived from petroleum refining.

  7. state the role Pennsylvania has played in the petroleum industry in the US.

  8. describe the methods for extracting it, including the various forms of primary, secondary and tertiary oil recovery.  State the percentage of the reservoir that is recovered by each of these.

  9. compare offshore drilling and  land-based drilling?

  10. list and describe the primary ways in which petroleum is transported from the well to the refinery.

  11. generally describe the process of refining petroleum, including distillation, thermal cracking, catalytic cracking, and polymerization.

  12. explain how distillation can yield substances as different as asphalt and gasoline.

  13. give a general explanation of the differences between the products of distillation, such as gases, fuel oil, kerosene.

  14. explain why engines 'knock' and how the addition of lead to gasoline prevents this.  Why does unleaded gasoline cost more than leaded gas?

  15. explain the meaning of the octane number of 87 for the gasoline most of us use in our cars.

  16. describe the resource of oil found in oil shale and tar sands.   Does the US have reserves of these resources? What problems and/or advantages are there to using these 'oil' sources?

  17. define/characterize the following terms:

refining cracking
polymerization petrochemicals
bitumen kerogen
reservoir rock cap rock
oil trap aromatic compounds
Sir Edwin Drake enhanced recovery
gusher viscosity
SAE number of 10W30

Chapter 12.  Nuclear Energy

  1. distinguish between nuclear fission and fusion.
  2. explain how the splitting or fusing of atoms produces electricity.
  3. provide a general history of nuclear power.
  4. realize who the major users of nuclear power (in the world) are.
  5. have a general knowledge of the structure of the atom as it applies to nuclear technology. This would include the terms atom,  ion, electron, proton, neutron, and nucleus, as well as their electrical charge and mass.
  6. give a complete translation of the notation:

  1. explain Einstein's famous equation E = mc2, and how it relates to nuclear energy.
  2. discuss the difference between radioactive and stable isotopes.
  3. explain the concept of the half-life.  Give some examples of especially long-lived radioactive isotopes. Explain why some are especially important to our health (e.g. strontium-90, iodine-131).
  4. discuss the process of splitting the atoms, nuclear fission.
  5. discuss radiation. What are the different types? Are they equally dangerous? What are the sources of radiation in your daily life? What is background radiation?  Where does it come from? How does radiation cause injury?
  6. define the rem and millirem.
  7. discuss the general workings of a nuclear fission reactor. What is a breeder reactor?   Be familiar with the benefits of other reactor designs discussed in the text.
  8. how are radioactive wastes managed in this country? What happens to nuclear power plants when they wear out?
  9. discuss the desirability of nuclear fusion power in light of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, etc.
  10. how does fusion differ from fission? What would be its advantages? How practical is it?
  11. discuss the recent confusion about cold fusion.
  12. discuss the irony of the statement by Lewis Strauss, chair of the Atomic Energy Commission, in 1957, that nuclear power would soon be "too cheap to meter."
  13. discuss the significant role Pennsylvania played in the beginning of commercial nuclear power (Shippinsport),  its 'demise' (Three Mile Island) and as a waste producer.

Chapter 13.  Nuclear Fission.

  1. explain why no new nuclear power plants have been ordered by electrical utilities since 1979.
  2. distinguish between a controlled and uncontrolled nuclear reaction.
  3. explain how control rods are used to keep a nuclear reaction from getting out of control.
  4. explain the advantage of a pressurized water reactor as compared to a boiling water reactor.
  5. discuss the nuclear fuel cycle, from mining to waste disposal.
  6. list the countries which have abundant uranium ores.
  7. explain how uranium ore (typically only 0.7% U-235) is enriched to the 3% level necessary for fission.
Critical Thinking Questions:
  1. Each form of energy production has its advantages and disadvantages. If your were an energy policy maker, how would you compare such different problems as the risk of a nuclear accident versus air pollution effects from burning coal? If a local utility company were going to build a new power plant in your community, what kind would you prefer?
  2. The nuclear industry has placed ads in popular magazines claiming that nuclear power is environmentally friendly because it releases no greenhouse gases or other air pollutants. They have also run 'scare ads' with pictures of mid-East leaders suggesting their political and mental instability. How do you respond to these claims and tactics?


15. discuss the source and composition of natural gas.  What is the status of US and world reserves of gas? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
16. frequently I said that we don't pay the 'real cost of energy' when you pay your utility bills. What did I mean?

3. The policy of the US has always been to make energy as cheap and freely available as possible. Most European countries charge three to four times as much for gasoline as we do. Think about the ramification of our energy policy. Why is it so different from that in Europe? Who benefits and who or what lose in these different approaches? How have our policies shaped our lives? What does existing policy tell you about how our government works.

Sustainable Energy

After reading the chapter and attending all lectures you should be able to:
1. discuss the role of conservation as an energy 'source'.
2. what is cogeneration?
3. discuss the general concepts of solar energy.  Distinguish between active and passive heating systems.
4. what are photovoltaic systems?
5. appreciate the significance of the problem of storing electrical energy. Think of the changes we would see if batteries could be made smaller and lighter.
6. what is biomass and what potential does it have for providing energy? What advantages are there to methane production and use? How can gasohol play a role in energy production?
6. discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of hydropower.   Why does it have a limited future on a large scale?
7. discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of wind power.
8. discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of geothermal power.
9. discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of tidal and wave power.