Syllabus as web page

General Chemistry Laboratory I, NSC444 Fall 2011


Instructors

Todd Smith (Sci 110)

Allison Turner (Sci 206)

Location

Science 112

Days & Time

Thursday, 1:30-4:50

Readings 

Various laboratory protocols


Course Description

Science is a process, not a collection of facts. In this laboratory we will combine the study of chemistry with the process of science by exploring the production of biofuels. We will begin by developing some basic quantitative skills and familiarity with laboratory techniques. The activities for these early parts of the lab will be fairly structured. As you develop your ability to approach a problem scientifically the activities will be less structured and you will have more responsibility for designing and conducting your own experiments on the production and analysis of biofuels. Students will work on projects in groups but each student will keep their own laboratory notebook and write their own laboratory reports.


Grading Policy

Students are expected to attend all labs and to complete all reading assignments.

There will be two lab reports due over the course of the semester. Each report will describe the student’s research project, and each report is worth 30 points. You will also keep a lab notebook (see below), which will be evaluated at the end of the semester, and will be worth 20 points. The final portion of your grade will be based on your preparation for and performance in the lab. The grade received in the course will be the ratio of points earned over points possible: 90% & above = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D. Diligent and conscientious participation in lab and on assignments will boost borderline grades to the higher grade.

There will be no makeup labs, but if extenuating circumstances will prevent you from coming to lab or completing a lab report notify us as soon as possible so that we can make alternative arrangements — for example, a writing assignment on the same topic as the lab from which the student was absent.


Laboratory Notebooks

For this course you will need a dedicated laboratory notebook. For each laboratory session you should record the purpose of the lab, what you did in the lab, and what you found. Your notebook is a place to keep detailed notes of these activities in a format that will allow you to make sense of your lab activities at a later date, e.g. when writing a lab report at 3 a.m.


Co-requisite

General Chemistry I, NSC158


Laboratory schedule for the semester

Date

Lab

Topic

Assignment

9/2

0

Intro class


9/8

1

Where will our fuel come from for this lab? Analysis of energy from the farm;

Laboratory safety

Bring a lab notebook;

Read

9/15

2

Making biodiesel – stoichiometry of the reaction


9/22

3

Spectroscopy and Beer’s law - soil composition and soil nutrients


9/29

4

Fuel from the MC farm - pressing sunflower seeds, drying switchgrass


10/6

5

The molar volume of a gas – production of methane

Report due on labs 3 & 4

10/13

6

Grass and sunflower oil – making fuel pellets and biodiesel

Lab notebooks due

10/20

7

Fuel composition – analysis by chromatography


10/27

8

Visit to State Line Farm, North Bennington, VT, to see their “crop-to-fuel” project

Read VSJF’s “Homegrown feed, food & fuel project”

11/3

9

Calorimetry – how much thermal energy is in your biofuel?


11/10

10

Calorimetry – continued


11/17

11

Liquid fuel from cellulose: grass in your gas tank?

Report due on labs 6 & 7

11/24

----

Thanksgiving – no lab


12/1

12

Laboratory clean-up

Lab notebooks due

Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM