An Brat Glas 2012/2013
Ceardlann Fhuinnimh le Christine Campbell
On the 15th of May 2012 at 11.am we in Rang a 6 in the Gaelscoil met with Vincent as he began to carry out his demonstration of energy. He explained to us the carbon cycle, the definition of renewable energy and the different types of renewable energy. To further our understanding of the scientific equation of water, H2O, he did an experiment where he seperated hydrogen and oxygen.
The result of this experiment showed us how hydrogen and oxygen, when separated, can fuel a car. Furthermore, this shows us that H2O is a renewable energy. Now we will describe in further detail what we learned from Vincent’s talk on energy.
H2O is another word for water. Water is just hydrogen and oxygen. ‘H’ in H2O stands for hydrogen and ‘O’ stands for oxygen. There are two hydrogens to one oxygen in water. That is why there is a ‘2’ in H2O. The hydrogen and oxygen are connected like a triangle. Hydrogen cannot exist on its own, it has to havertwo of itself or another gas (like oxygen), oxygen cannot exist on its own either. In water you buy in the shop, there is more than H20. Here are the ingredients of water:
It is called “still” water when there is more than just H2O in it. H2O is also called ‘distilled’ water when there are no trace elements in it.
The carbon cycle is non-renewable energy. The Carbon cycle is associated with fossil fuels. Oil is a non-renewable because it can run out. Oil can be found in water and on land. A pump in the water is called an oil rig. The oil gets pumped from the bottom of the ocean, along with gas. Oil is mainly used in diesel for their cars. Only some of the natural gas goes to a school, house etc. The rest goes to an Electrolysis plant. Coal is extracted from the ground by miners. It is used to heat water and it is also used as a fuel in houses. A nuclear power plant produces energy. One of the main resources in a power plant is “Uranium”. A power plant is very dangerous. All the Uranium could leak and cause a lot of deaths. These will not last forever. They will eventually run out, this with start around 2040, where fossil fuels will be at its peak.
Renewable energy is a type of energy that will never run out. Types of renewable energy are; Solar, Hydro (water), Wind, Wave, Hydrogen and Biomass energy. Although this energy is renewable, we cannot rely on it. For example, if the sun is not shining then solar panels would be of no use. Or if there was no wind, the wind turbines would not turn, leading to no electricity for those who rely on that source. Luckily we can store the energy on very sunny/windy days for use on calm and dull days. This type of energy does not do damage to the environment, unlike the fumes of the carbon cycle, that led fuel into the air and cause pollution and climate change.
Hydrgoen Fueled Car
At the workshop Vincent showed us a little box with hydrogen written on one side and oxygen written on the other. It was called a fuel cell. Then he showed us a hydrogen fueled car. The experiment we were going to try with him was to get distilled water and separate the hydrogen from the oxygen. He used distilled water because that is the type of water that does not have any other elements in it, it is just hydrogen and oxygen. He separated the water into two beakers. Then he connected a tube from each of the beakers and connected them to the fuel cell. Then we turned it on. After a while we began to see a bubble form in each of the tubes. The beaker that has hydrogen in it has a bigger bubble than the one containig oxygen. Then the car began to move. It was really cool how the car would avoid objects in its way even though there was no remote controlling it.
We really enjoyed Vincent’s talk and we learned so much about energy and how we can use it in everyday life. It made us more interested in Science and we really enjoyed the experiment as we will be doing experiments like Vincent’s next year in Secondary School.
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