Energy Sources and Alternative Energy Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 7 March 2016

Energy Sources and Alternative Energy

Experiment 1: The Effects of Coal Mining
Table 1: pH of Water Samples
Water Sample
Initial pH
Final pH (24-48 hours)
Pyrite
5
5
Activated Carbon
5
7
Water
5
5

POST LAB QUESTIONS

1. Develop hypotheses predicting the effect of pyrite and coal on the acidity of water?

a. Pyrite hypothesis = If pyrite is added to water, it will make the water more acidic. b. Coal hypothesis = If the activated carbon is added to the water, it will make the water more acidic.

2. Based on the results of your experiment, would you reject or accept each hypothesis that you produced in question 1? Explain how you determined this.

a. Pyrite hypothesis accept/reject = The hypothesis was rejected as no change occurred in pH levels after testing the sample with a pH strip b. Coal hypothesis accept/reject = The hypothesis was rejected as the pH level rose from 5 to 7 after testing the sample with a pH strip, which would indicate a rise in alkalinity.

3. Based on your data, what effect do you predict coal mining has on the environment?

Answer = Based upon the data collected, there does seem to be a small effect on the environment, however, based upon knowledge of the subject, coal mining can and does have a significant adverse effect on the environment.

4. What can be done to prevent mine drainage from damaging the ecosystem? Utilize at least one scholarly resource to support your suggestions.

Answer = Acid mine drainage (AMD) is one of the more serious environmental problems in the mining industry. AMD is the major pollutant of surface waters in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States (US EPA, 2006). The formation of AMD is a very complex chemical and microbial process, and usually occurs where deep excavations, such as those associated with coal mining, expose unweathered pyritic materials. Water contaminated by AMD on permitted sites where mining has occurred must be treated to remove dissolved metals and raise pH. Millions of dollars are spent to treat this water and the interaction of these metals with each other and their removal from water are important areas of study (US EPA 2006). Water is the basic transport for contaminants, and consequently most measures at limiting acid formation use migration control and are concerned with the control of water flow (EPA 2006). To help out local ecosystems, water entry into the site of acid formation may be controlled by: 1. Diversion of surface water flowing towards the site of pollution; 2. Prevention of groundwater infiltration into the pollution site; 3. Prevention of hydrological water seepage into the affected areas; and 4. Controlled placement of acid-generating waste. (EPA 2006).

Experiment 2: Solar Energy
Table 2: Solar Energy Experiment Results
Environmental Descriptor/Variable
Observations
(Each should be compared against direct subnlight)
Weather of the Day
Mostly Sunny with some clouds
Motor speed in direct sunlight
Very Fast
Motor speed at 45 degree angle
Very Fast
Motor speed under reflectors
Very Fast
Motor speed with 25% shaded
Very Fast
Motor speed with 50% shaded
Medium to fast
Motor speed with 75% shaded
Very Slow
Motor speed under red filtration
Fast
Motor speed under blue filtration
Fast
Motor speed under green filtration
Fast
Motor speed under yellow filtration
Fast

Post-Lab Questions

1. Develop hypotheses predicting the efficiency of solar energy from direct sunlight against the 4 variables tested?

Direct vs indirect hypothesis = If exposed to direct sunlight, the motor will move faster than indirectly exposed Direct vs reflected hypothesis = If exposed to reflected sunlight, in addition to direct sunlight, the motor will move faster than only exposed directly Direct vs shaded hypothesis =Upon shading the solar panel, the more than panel is shaded, the slower the motor will move (EX. At 25% shaded the motor will go slower than completely exposed-medium, at 50% shaded, the motor will go slow, at 75% shaded the motor will go very slow Direct vs filtered hypothesis = Upon filtering the motor with the different shades of cellophane, the motor will go slower

2. Based on the results of your experiment, would you reject or accept each hypothesis that you produced in question 1? Explain how you determined this.

Direct vs indirect accept/reject =Rejected. The motor was just as fast when the solar panel was set up at a 45 degree angle Direct vs reflected accept/reject = Accepted. When the foil was reflected at the solar panel, the motor moved faster. Direct vs shaded accept/reject = At 25% shading-Rejected-The motor moved just as fast as when the solar panel was completely exposed to sunlight. At 50%-Accepted-The motor moved slower than when the solar panel was completely exposed to sunlight (speed medium to fast) At 75%-Accepted-The motor moved very slow compared to when the solar panel was completely exposed to sunlight (Very slow) Direct vs filtered accept/reject = Rejected-Upon being covered by the red, yellow, green, and blue cellophane, the motor moved the same as in direct sunlight

3. Does increased exposure to the sun’s light produce more current? Explain how you know this based on your data.

Answer = YES. The more exposure the solar panel had to the sun, the faster the motor moved. Through a variety of trials with the solar panel and exposure to the sun, it was determined that the more exposure the solar panel had, the faster the motor moved.

4. How could you increase the electricity generated by a solar cell during the day, when the sun’s angle is constantly changing?

Answer = One could increase the electricity generated by a solar cell during the day while the sun’s angle was constantly changing would be either to move the panels (use ones that can be adjusted) to coincide with the movement of the sun, use adjustable mirrors or other reflective devices to reflect directly on the solar cells, or both of these options.

5. Based on your data, could adding filters to solar panels increase the solar energy produced? Explain how you know this.

Answer = Upon the data I collected, none of the filters actually INCREASED the amount of solar energy produced, so I would say no.

References.
Acid Mine Drainage. (2006). EPA. Retrieved August 2, 2013, from http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/acid_mine.cfm

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