As oil becomes more scarce and expensive, the market will demand more professionals with skills and understanding of renewable energy. A new course at the West Virginia University Institute of Technology will offer instruction on the chemistry behind the latest in alternative energy.

The course begins by introducing the scientific basis of energy production for both fossil fuel and renewable energies. The class also delves into the chemistry taking place in a variety of alternative energy production. Students will conduct a series of experiments in the institutions new renewable chemistry lab demonstrating the practical applications of this technology.

We want to change student knowledge and attitude toward renewable energy to create a generation well founded in the basic science behind these processes,said WVU Tech Chemistry Professor Hasan M. El-Rifai.
p. El-Rifai recently was awarded the the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium College Course Development Grantfor the development of this course. The program also received support from the National Science Foundations Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research in West Virginia, which coordinates scientific research grants to academic institutions to broaden the publics understanding of science and technology.

This course is just one component of WVU Techs emphasis on the study of energy production. Research not only focuses on renewable resources, but also examining cleaner and better methods for the use of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.

Its vital for all of our students, especially those in engineering, to possess astrong understanding of the science behind renewable energy. The challenge of tomorrow will be how to weave together a host of renewable resources to maximize efficiency to establish them as a viable alternative to foreign oil,said El-Rifai.

WVU Tech, a division of WVU , offers more than 50 career-focused, four-year programs in the engineering, sciences, business, social sciences, public administration, humanities and health fields. The institution is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Engineering/Technology Accreditation Commissions of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education and other premier accrediting agencies.