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Senior: 11 & 12: Unit 1: Chemical Reactions, Properties and Structures


Petroleum diesel, or petro-diesel, as it is sometimes referred to, is produced from crude oil in a process called fractional distillation. A mixture of carbon chains between 8 and 10 carbon atoms in length is produced.

Biodiesel, like petrodiesel, is made from long chain hydrocarbons, the difference being that the hydrocarbons used to form biodiesel come from reneweable plant or animal oil. Oil undergoes a process called transesterification where the fatty acids of the oil are converted into compounds generally known as methyl esters.

Cover Art eBook: Green Diesel Engines 

Publication Date: 2013

Explores the effects of biodiesel usage on injection, fuel spray, combustion, and tribology characteristics, and engine performance. It also details optimization procedures of diesel engine characteristics using practical examples.

Cover Art eBook: Advanced Technologies in Biodiesel 

Publication Date: 2014

It is expected that biodiesels will become an important part of the global energy mix and make a significant contribution to meeting energy demand. This valuable book gives a critical review on the recently emerged process intensification technologies for biodiesel production as well as the various methods for assessing biodiesel fuel quality. You will also learn about monitoring the transesterification reaction with advantages and drawbacks. The authors offer suggestions on selection of appropriate methods,

Cover Art eBook: Chemistry of Fossil Fuels & Biofuels 

Publication Date: 2013

undefined Nanoparticles & the Environment

Use your student number as password.

Contains descriptions of the inorganic and biological processes by which nanoparticles form, information about the distribution of nanoparticles in the atmosphere, aqueous environments, and soils, discussion of the impact of size on nanoparticle structure, thermodynamics, and reaction kinetics, consideration of the nature of the smallest nanoparticles and molecular clusters, pathways for crystal growth and colloid formation, analysis of the size-dependence of phase stability and magnetic properties, and descriptions of methods for the study of nanoparticles. 

From The Courier-Mail, 12 June 2021.

Specialty Polymers
undefined Click on cover to read e-book

Use your student number as password.

Polymers make an enormous contribution to modern life, and include plastic mouldings and extrusions, plastic film and sheet, plastic laminates (fibreglass and formica) rubber gloves, hoses, tyres and sealing rings, fibres for textiles and carpets and so on, cellular products for cushioning and thermal insulation, adhesives and coating materials such as paints and varnishes. The majority of these polymers are synthetic and are derived from oil products. The most important of these in terms of tonnage used are polymers based upon styrene, vinyl chloride, ethylene, propylene and butadiene among plastics and rubber materials, and nylons, polyethylenetere­ phthalate and polyacrylonitrile among fibres. 


QUT C.R.A.A.P. Test for Evaluating Websites

Check the quality of your websites using these criteria (adapted from QUT Library):

Currency: Timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published, posted or last updated?
  • Is the information current for your topic and field of study? How recent does it have to be? Can older sources work just as well?
Relevance: Importance of the information for your needs
  • Is the information appropriate for a senior secondary course?
  • Is this an adequately in-depth examination or a quick summary of the topic?
  • Who's the intended audience? Is it the general public, a student, a researcher or industry?
  • Is the level of information too basic or too advanced for your needs?

Authority: Source of the information

  • Is the author/authoring body (individual person, or institution, or organisation) established and reputable?
  • Are their qualifications, credentials, expertise, experience, educational background and previous work (if any) relevant and do they add credibility to the source?
  • Has the piece been published by a well-known and respected publisher or organisation?
  • Do references to other sources support the writing ie is a Bibliography or Reference List provided?

Accuracy: Reliability and correctness of the information

  • Where does the information come from, and is it supported by evidence?
  • Does it have a Reference List or Bibliography so you can easily find and verify the sources used?
  • Are there any spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: Reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Why was it written?
  • Does the point of view appear objective, unbiased and impartial?
  • Is the viewpoint of the author's affiliation/ sponsors reflected in the message or content?
  • Does the author acknowledge alternative versions of the issues or facts?

MyBib Referencing Generator

Manage your bibliography using "MyBib" - Referencing - LibGuides at  Melbourne High School

MyBib is an online referencing generator to help you with in text references and your List of References.

Sign up for an account so that it will store the references for your assignment. Add it to your bookmark bar to find it quickly.

Install the Chrome extension to make your referencing even faster.

Zotero - Online Referencing Tool

Zotero can be set to the same Harvard AGPS (Australia) style that CiteAce uses, called 'Melbourne Polytechnic - Harvard'. Please read the instructions carefully.

Any issues - see your Library Staff

QCAA Exemplars

Chemistry Exemplar from QCAA
CLAIM: Natural shampoos are better than synthetic shampoos.
RESEARCH QUESTION: Are natural shampoos better cleaners than synthetic shampoos based on surface tension, wetting time, solid content, detergency and foaming ability?

ATAR Chemistry IA3: How to Get an A on the RI

Suggested Format/Subheadings from QCAA Exemplar

Title: use your RQ as given to you

Claim: Selected from the task sheet

Rationale: Around 200 words that show how your specific and relevant RQ has been developed from the claim. Must be backed up by research/in-text referencing.

RQ: The research question is clearly defined and developed from the claim. The RQ clearly states the variables to be investigated.

The research question is connected to/flows from the rationale.

Note: Sufficient and relevant sources ≈ 8-12 sources and most written within the last 10 years

Background: This section covers the essential chemistry to your RQ.

Analysis and interpretation: This is the largest part of the RI. This is where you present evidence from the different sources that are directly relevant to your RQ. This section can be further divided into sections that deal with an aspect of the RQ/Claim you are investigating. For example (using bio-diesel):

 Complexity to manufacture biodiesel vs fractional distillation of crude oil

 Energy output of biodiesel vs petro-diesel

 Vehicle performance using the two fuel types.

Must include limitations of evidence and real chemistry (ie molecules, reactions, analysis techniques and all that good stuff) and not just be a socio-economic or “save-the-planet” comparison.

Conclusion and evaluation: Again, this section can have further sub-heading to directly address the ISMG point.:

  “Reviewing the literature/evidence” allows you to address the quality of evidence

  “Link to the claim” allows you to address extrapolation of credible findings

  “Improvements and extensions” – obvious….

  “Conclusion”—must directly answer the RQ then summarise the key aspects of the RI

ONESearch Database Explorer

The ENTIRE collection of resources provided by the BBC Library can be searched on ONE single, powerful search platform, which retrieves print books, eBooks, database articles and websites. Click HERE for assistance.

Subscription Science Journals

Science News 

Highly respected Science journal. Login with email: Use the little magnifying glass symbol in the top toolbar to search.


Request the Library to purchase an Ebook for your assignment!

Ebook Central

You can see the entire Proquest Ebook Central Catalogue of 500,000 resources by entering your search term in the box above.  You may browse any title for 5 minutes, and if it's one we don't already own, it will say 'request this book from your library', which means you can email the Library to ask us to purchase it if you like it, or simply rent it for a day so you can quickly take the notes you need during that day.


We will attend to your request as quickly as possible!

Advanced Web Searching Tips

1. Use 'Ctrl F' (Control + Find) to search for particular terms easily in a long document, whether from a website or a database article.

2.  Use a Boolean command - put double inverted commas around phrases to limit and improve your results eg "energy drinks problems".

3. Use filetype:pdf to search in Google for only pdf articles - "plastic pollution" filetype:pdf - will force Google to return results on plastic pollution which are only pdf articles (PDFs are great sources sometimes deeply buried in Google results and remain unseen).

4. Use a Google domain command eg site:edu OR site:gov to limit results to a CERTAIN DOMAIN such as education or government eg biodiesel site:edu

5.  To check the authority of a website when it is not clear who the author / authority is, go to the end of the URL in the Google search box, cut back to the first forward slash (/) and hit 'Enter'. This will take you to the Home Page of the website, and you can see the full name of the source.

6. Use a Google command to limit results to the MOST RECENT: After you get your results, choose the Google Menu Bar, and choose 'Tools'. Then on the far left, at the drop-down menu next to 'Any Time', you can choose 'Within the last year' (or less, if you prefer), but generally, you can choose 'Custom Range' at the bottom, as often the last 3 years would be sufficient for a recent search.

Science Template for Writing Research Assignments

From Mrs Allen:

1.       START EARLY

          a.       First 10% - General Reading (This is where your ideas are shaped, read 3-6 sources of VARIETY)
          b.       10% - 40/50% - Active Notetaking (This is where you collect & collate evidence & info)
          c.       40-50% - 80% - Organisation of Ideas (This is where you construct the structure of your essay,  and allocate the number of words for  each part).
          d.       80% - 100% - Writing (This is where you write the assignment as streamlined as possible)

Research Assignment Template - Mrs Allen

Information about the Chemistry research assignment from Pearson text

Research Tips for Senior Science

Suggested Chemistry Websites

A free chemical structure database providing fast access to over 100 million structures, properties, and associated information


The UK's professional body for chemists. Responsible for advancing excellence, connecting chemical scientists and shaping the future of the chemical sciences for the benefit of humanity.


A monthly chemistry news magazine published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. It addresses current events in world of chemistry including research, international business news and government policy as it affects the chemical science community, 


Royal Australian Chemical Institute. Acts as the key body advocating the interests and activities of the chemical sciences with over 4000 members across Australia

American Chemical Society. One of the world’s largest scientific organisations. Mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. 

The world authority on chemical nomenclature (names) and terminology, including the naming of new elements in the periodic table; on standardized methods for measurement; and on atomic weights, and many other critically-evaluated data.

The world's most comprehensive and authoritative source of news about chemistry and related fields

Useful General Academic Websites

The world’s largest collection of open access research papers

An inclusive journal community which believes all rigorous science needs to be published and discoverable, widely disseminated and freely accessible to all

A free distribution service and an open archive for scholarly articles in the fields of science

An American website that aggregates press releases and publishes lightly edited press releases about science


Breaks down the stories behind the most interesting news and photos on the Internet.

A network of not-for-profit media outlets that publish news stories on the Internet that are written by academics and researchers

The NCBI advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.

Google Books can be very frustrating because often much of the book is missing and you are expected to purchase it to read the full content. So after you put in your search term you are interested in (eg biodiesel), and get some results up,  you should then go immediately to the search box (on the left - above 'About this box') undefined and type in a particular word or term you are interested in (eg CO2 emissions OR methanol) you should get a number of pages pop up. Choose one that looks useful - you should get some good results this way!

Data Sets

Data sets involve the integration of heterogeneous data in varying formats and from diverse communities. Four basic features can be identified as common to most definitions: grouping, content, relatedness, and purpose.