Training & Technology

Our fantastic Energy Alphabet Competition

Finlay Goodlad, Tullynessle Primary School

Welcome to the second instalment of our A to Z of Energy – a monthly tour through the broad and diverse world of energy through each letter of the alphabet!

But it is not just our A to Z. It is also yours. Each month we are challenging our Young Energy readers at schools and in classrooms across the land to help us build our alphabet.

This month’s congratulations go to Finlay Goodlad from Tullynessle Primary School, near Alford, for his entry for biofuel, the second entry in our alphabet.

To reward Finlay for his work, he has won an iPad 3 for his school, thanks to Young Energy supporter Shell, which has kindly offered an iPad to each month’s winning class or school.

Shell’s Inside Energy app for the iPad helps young people to explore the role energy innovation plays in our everyday lives and is packed with information through videos, animations and photo galleries.

Thank you to all the other schools who entered. We hope you enjoyed the task and will take part again.

So, will you be next month’s A to Z of Energy author/s? Can you win an iPad for your class or school?

Next month’s letter is C and the word you need to describe is Coal.

Think of it as an entry in an encyclopedia – although copying an entry in one would be cheating.

It should be no more than 250 words and sent in to us by March 19 – that’s just under three weeks away. We accept entries from classes or entire schools.

E-mail your entries to

And Good luck.

Winning entry

B for Biofuel: by Finlay Goodlad

Biofuels are any liquid, solid or gaseous fuels produced by organic matter.

The extensive range of organic materials used for biofuel production includes starch and sugary plants such as corn, wheat or sugar cane, oily plants such as rape seed, soya beans or jatropha, vegetable oils, animal fats, wood, straw, algae and organic waste and others.

Biofuels are commonly referred to as first generation like bioethanol and biodiesel or second generation which covers a variety of technologies currently in the pipeline.

In the wake of environmental concerns and the volatility of oil supply the development of alternative fuels is crucial to the future of the transport sector. This has been widely recognised by policy makers and has resulted in the introduction of the European Biofuel Directive in 2003 and UK road transport fuel changes in 2008. Both documents call for 5% biofuels blends with fossil fuels in 2010. Currently biofuels make up around 2.6% of all transport fuels sold in the UK.

Biofuels are not a recent invention and have a long history in the motor industry stretching right back to the development of the internal combustion engines of the 1800’s. Rudolf Diesel designed his compression engine to run on peanut oil while Nicholas Otto’s pioneering spark ignition was developed to run on ethanol.

The case for bioethanol was, in particular, led by Henry Ford who had a vision to build a vehicle which was affordable to the working family and powered by fuel that would boost the rural farm economy.

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