First Advisor

Chamberlin, Stacy


Fretz, Eric


Regis College

Degree Name



Regis College Senior Honors Program

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access



Number of Pages

54 pages


Overwhelming evidence of anthropogenic climate change has surfaced in recent years, and energy consumption is primarily to blame. According to the U.S. Energy Infmmation Administration, the United States alone consumed 97.5 quadrillion British the1mal units (Btu) of energy in 2013. We consume so much energy and rely heavily on it in our daily lives, yet as a society we understand so little about it. In a 2009 study sampling 1 001 American adults, the majority expressed concern over energy prices and dependence on foreign oil, yet 40% of those sampled could not identify a fossil fuel, and an even higher percentage could not name a renewable energy technology. The purpose of this thesis is to address society's energy illiteracy in order to create an educated public that can act effectively to correct current energy issues. This thesis outlines the science behind five different energy technologies to show how energy is derived from each technology. The five energy sources addressed are petroleum, biofuels, hydrogen gas, wind energy, and solar energy. Included in the biofuels and hydrogen gas sections are individual research projects conducted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University ofNebraska-Lincoln, respectively. By focusing on the five aforementioned energy sources, this thesis should provide a brief glimpse at the future of energy.

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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