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+2 votes

I'm tired. It's late. I've stared at the question for 3 hours and I don't even know what I'm doing anymore.

1. a) A group of students plans to investigate which is better for the environment: glass bottles or

aluminum cans. They intend to use a formal method of investigation and make a list of pros and

cons for each type of container. They need to research the technology used and the post-consumer

fates of bottles and cans. The students will first find out how much energy is used to make each type

of container. 

 What scientific methods do the students need to use to get unbiased results in their comparative


in Education by (210 points)

1 Answer

+2 votes

A.  Find out the cost of making cans and bottles.

B. Find the environmental cost of each.

    Mining, smelting, and forming aluminum.  It is mined in third world countries, smelting requires huge electrical input, and is formed in another part of the world requiring huge transportation costs.

   Glass is made from basically sand, but does require significant power input, then transportation.

   I don't know what is easier and more environmentally cheaper to make.

C.  Look at recycling.  Neither breaks down naturally in a reasonable amount of time.

   Aluminum is easy to reycle, but does require smelting.  It is much lower cost than making new ones.  It should be easy to find those costs to compare.

  Glass is also easy to recycle, just melt it and reform it, but with impurities, glass tends to go to green or brown.  Consumer preference seems to be for clear which is harder to do.  One problem with glass is that the raw materials are so cheap, that there is not a huge savings in recycled glass cost.  

But if you start here, you should be done in no time.

by (1,447,350 points)

Thank you so much!

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