Students and Teachers

Welcome to the Students & Teachers section of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Web site. The RFA is committed to increasing the production and use of ethanol in the U.S. As part of that commitment we have dedicated this section of our Web site to students and educators interested in learning more about ethanol and its many benefits to our economy, environment and energy security.

What is ethanol?

Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, (CH3CH2OH) is a renewable alcohol fuel made from abundant agricultural resources.

Ethanol Structure

In the U.S. ethanol is primarily produced from the starch contained in grains such as corn, grain sorghum, and wheat through a fermentation and distillation process that converts starch to sugar and then to alcohol. Ethanol can also be produced from food and beverage processing wastes, and research is underway that will enable the production of ethanol from cellulose, including corn stalks, rice straw and switchgrass. Click here to learn how ethanol is made. Click here for facts about ethanol.

Instructional Materials

The RFA, together with the Renewable Fuels Foundation and Future Farmers of America, has created instructional materials for educators to use with students to develop a solid foundational understanding of renewable fuels. The six units of curriculum include information ranging from definitions of ethanol and processes within the ethanol industry to the exploration of career opportunities in renewable fuels. The student module courses explain what ethanol is, the production process, and the effects ethanol has both on the agricultural industry and environment as well as the impact of the ethanol industry on our culture and economy.

To access the materials, click here. You must first create a log in. Once logged in, select "View the Teaching Resources Catalog." You will then be able to select the Renewable Fuels Lesson Plans and Student Module Courses.