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Sustainable Energy - Activity 10.

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 What is Energy? Activity 10.1

 Sources of Energy
 Using Energy Wisely
 Fact Sheets
 Activity Sheets
 Student Resources Aim:
 Teacher Resources
 Glossary When you have completed these activities you will have produced
 Contact and studied the biogas, methane (CH4).
 Related Links
You will need:

 Plastic drink bottle

 Mud from the bottom of a pond, or manure
 Matches


 Fill a plastic drink bottle with mud or a mixture of manure

and water. Screw the top on the bottle tightly and keep it in
a warm place. Bubbles of methane will appear in the bottle.
If the methane bubble in the top of the bottle is small,
squeeze the bottle and (under your teacher’s supervision)
try to set the gas alight. Methane burns with a pale blue

You will need:

 Two plastic drink bottles

 Mud from the bottom of a pond or
manure and water
 Wine cask inner bag
 Two-hole stoppers to fit into plastic
bottles and wine cask bag, or plastic
 Weak solution sodium hydroxide
(caustic soda)
 Spring clothes peg


 Set up a model biogas generator (see the diagram). The

manure mixture should be kept in a warm place or warmed
with an aquarium heater.

The wine cask bag is used to store the gas. The sodium hydroxide 10/6/2010
Sustainable Energy - Activity 10.1 Page 2 of 2

solution absorbs carbon dioxide gas, which does not burn. The
tubing from the wine cask bag should dip under the surface of the
sodium hydroxide solution, because that bottle acts as a flashback
trap. It prevents a flame at the gas nozzle from flashing back and
exploding the gas stored in the wine cask bag. Pure methane has
no smell, but there is always some smell associated with

Available as:

PDF – Activity 10.1

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Disclaimer. Copyright The State of Queensland (Department of Education) 2000 10/6/2010