Spring 2013 Biotechnology & Biofuels Essay Midterm Exam

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Spring 2013 Biotechnology & Biofuels
Essay Midterm Exam

Name (print large and clearly): Date: Hr:

Directions: Do NOT open this packet until instructed to do so. There should be absolutely NO TALKING during the exam unless you have raised your hand and have been called on by the instructor. Failure to do so will result in one verbal warning, and then a failed test grade.

Students should sit on opposite sides of the lab tables for this exam. DO NOT sit together on the same side.

This portion of the exam consists entirely of short answer responses. Fully use the space given! The more you write, the more likely you are to receive a higher grade. Typically, short answers consist of responses with 3 or more parts. Make sure that you are fully answering each question – do not leave a part of a question unanswered!

For this exam, choose any 2 of the 3 questions to respond to. If you do more than 2, only the first 2 will be graded. You may use one and only one 3x5” note card with your own handwritten notes. This notecard must stay on the desk in front of you at all times.

Tips & Hints

Specific examples are always effective when used properly. Vague statements have little value without examples to support them. If you make a statement, back it up with an example from class, notes, or a reading if possible.

Do not assume that I know you know – explicitly state what you are trying to say. Vague answers never get full credit.

If a question has multiple parts, label these parts in your response. Clearly indicate what you are responding to.

A guess made with common sense could get you more test points than if you leave an answer blank. NEVER leave a question unfinished if you can help it.

Use the “what, why, how” format – explain what you are talking about, explain why it is necessary, and talk about how it happens.

Good Luck!

Question 1: Energy in America has always been a relatively controversial issue. In the space below…

Part 1) Describe three significant problems associated with the primary sources of energy in the United States.

Part 2) Describe how energy from renewable sources (specifically biodiesel and ethanol) could reverse or even solve these problems.

Part 3) Explain why these sources of energy are not currently playing a larger role for the American public.

Question 2: Biodiesel and ethanol are not perfect fuels. Each has drawbacks that must be addressed in order for them to become a larger part of the solutions to our energy problems. In the space below…

Part 1) Describe in as much detail as you can the biggest problem with biodiesel and the biggest problem with ethanol.

Part 2) Explain what must occur in order for each fuel to assume a larger role in addressing our energy needs.

Part 3) Design and describe strategies that would work to reduce the American public’s reliance on fossil fuel energy and replace it with more sustainable, economical, and domestic sources of energy.

Question 3: Climate change is among the biggest reasons the United States is aggressively pursuing alternative energy problems. In the space below…

Part 1) Explain the underlying role of CO2 in climate change and why this naturally occurring molecule is causing so much trouble.

Part 2) Provide a detailed explanation of the impact that fossil fuel use has had on climate change and atmospheric CO2 levels.

Part 3) Describe how alternative fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol could address or reverse the problems created by fossil fuels.

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