Matching Items (8)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

Algal Fuels: A Future Less Green than the Plant

Description

The algal fuel industry has existed since the 1980s without fully commercializing a product. Algal fuels are potentially viable replacements for fossil fuels due to their fast cultivation, high oil content, carbon dioxide sequestration during growth, and ability to

The algal fuel industry has existed since the 1980s without fully commercializing a product. Algal fuels are potentially viable replacements for fossil fuels due to their fast cultivation, high oil content, carbon dioxide sequestration during growth, and ability to be grown on non-arable land. For this thesis, six companies from 61 investigated were interviewed about their history with biofuels, technological changes they have gone through, and views for the future of the industry. All companies interviewed have moved away from fuel production largely due to high production costs and have moved primarily toward pharmaceuticals and animal feed production as well as wastewater treatment. While most do not plan to return to the biofuel industry in the near future, a return would likely require additional legislation, increased technological innovation, and coproduction of multiple products.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

132700-Thumbnail Image.png

Social-Life Cycle Assessment: Oil Extraction in Section 1002 of the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Description

Drilling in Section 1002 has been an ongoing debate since the region was designated as a potential area for drilling projects, pending congressional approval in 1980. In 2017, the area was officially opened up for oil and gas development through

Drilling in Section 1002 has been an ongoing debate since the region was designated as a potential area for drilling projects, pending congressional approval in 1980. In 2017, the area was officially opened up for oil and gas development through its passage in the GOP Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This act requires 2 lease sales of 400,000 acres, with an allowed 2,000 acre physical footprint (not including pipelines, ice roads, or gravel mines). Using Social-Life Cycle Assessment methodology to assess the process of oil extraction in Section 1002, significant benefits and drawbacks of drilling in this region, with economic, cultural, and social impacts ranging from the local level to the state level to the national level were identified.

Stakeholders impacted by oil development in the Section 1002 region include the Kaktovik community who lives within the Program Area, the Gwich’in people who live south of ANWR, the corporations who will be leasing the land, as well as the employees who will be working on the projects. These stakeholders share similar values and interests, however, when it comes down to the attainment of these values, there are significant differences in opinion. This debate comes down specifically to the desire to ensure stability for one’s family and community, as this means 2 different things to the majority stakeholders on this issue: The Inupiaq and the Gwich’in. The Inupiaq ,who live in Kaktovik specifically ,are particularly keen on the idea of drilling in the Section 1002 region, because the revenues and opportunities that come with the oil and gas development provide access to better standards of living and a more westernized way of life. The Gwich’in, however, value their relationship to the land and the caribou that are at risk of significant change. These 2 groups are critical to the debate, but the state and federal governments have the final say, and a financial incentive to move forward with the lease sales.

Utilizing the S-LCA framework, life cycle impacts of drilling on society are found using indicators that are identified and assessed using both qualitative and quantitative means. Although some conclusions are uncertain due to the forward-looking nature of this S-LCA, the Increasing/Decreasing trends can be identified and confidently attributed to the specific indicators.

Significant Results:
Significant issues this study has highlighted include the resulting impacts, both positive and negative, on the communities affected by oil and gas development in Section 1002. Significant stakeholders include the Kaktovik community, the Gwich’in people, the oil and gas workers in the state of Alaska, and the oil and gas companies themselves. The local residents are the most affected by the impacts of development, with significant issues pertaining to potential for significant lifestyle change, the increased risk of impact on subsistence species, the risks associated with pollution, and the effect on the economy through revenues and job availability.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

136965-Thumbnail Image.png

Carbon Dioxide Separation by Ceramic-Carbonate Dual-Phase Membranes and Process Design for Membrane Reactor in IGCC Power Plant

Description

Currently, approximately 40% of the world’s electricity is generated from coal and coal power plants are one of the major sources of greenhouse gases accounting for a third of all CO2 emissions. The Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) has

Currently, approximately 40% of the world’s electricity is generated from coal and coal power plants are one of the major sources of greenhouse gases accounting for a third of all CO2 emissions. The Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) has been shown to provide an increase in plant efficiency compared to traditional coal-based power generation processes resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of this project was to analyze the performance of a new SNDC ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane for CO2 separation. The chemical formula for the SNDC-carbonate membrane was Sm0.075Nd0.075Ce0.85O1.925. This project also focused on the use of this membrane for pre-combustion CO2 capture coupled with a water gas shift (WGS) reaction for a 1000 MW power plant. The addition of this membrane to the traditional IGCC process provides a purer H2 stream for combustion in the gas turbine and results in lower operating costs and increased efficiencies for the plant. At 900 °C the CO2 flux and permeance of the SNDC-carbonate membrane were 0.65 mL/cm2•min and 1.0×10-7 mol/m2•s•Pa, respectively. Detailed in this report are the following: background regarding CO2 separation membranes and IGCC power plants, SNDC tubular membrane preparation and characterization, IGCC with membrane reactor plant design, process heat and mass balance, and plant cost estimations.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

137095-Thumbnail Image.png

Thorium: Using Old Concepts to Address Problems in the Modern Energy Industry

Description

There are three known materials that readily undergo fission, allowing their use as a base for nuclear fuel: uranium-235, a naturally-occurring but uncommon isotope; plutonium, created from irradiated natural uranium; and uranium-233, produced from thorium. Of the three, uranium-235 and

There are three known materials that readily undergo fission, allowing their use as a base for nuclear fuel: uranium-235, a naturally-occurring but uncommon isotope; plutonium, created from irradiated natural uranium; and uranium-233, produced from thorium. Of the three, uranium-235 and plutonium feature heavily in the modern nuclear industry, while uranium-233 and the thorium fuel cycle have failed to have significant presence in the field. Historically, nuclear energy development in the United States, and thorium development in particular, has been tied to the predominant societal outlook on the field, and thorium was only pursued seriously as an option during a period when nuclear energy was heavily favored, and resources seemed scarce. Recently, thorium-based energy has been experiencing a revival in interest in response to pollution concerns regarding fossil fuels. While public opinion is still wary of uranium, thorium-based designs could reduce reliance on fossil fuels while avoiding traditional drawbacks of nuclear energy. The thorium fuel cycle is more protected against proliferation, but is also much more expensive than the uranium-plutonium cycle in a typical reactor setup. Liquid-fueled molten salt reactor designs, however, bypass the prohibitive expense of U-233 refabrication by avoiding the stage entirely, keeping the chain reaction running with nothing but thorium input required. MSRs can use any fissile material as fuel, and are relatively safe to operate, due to passive features inherent to the design.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

132293-Thumbnail Image.png

Synthesis and Characterization of 2D Metal-organic Frameworks for Mixed-matrix Membrane Gas Separations

Description

Membrane-based technology for gas separations is currently at an emerging stage of advancement and adoption for environmental and industrial applications due to its substantial advantages like lower energy and operating costs over the conventional gas separation technologies. Unfortunately, the available

Membrane-based technology for gas separations is currently at an emerging stage of advancement and adoption for environmental and industrial applications due to its substantial advantages like lower energy and operating costs over the conventional gas separation technologies. Unfortunately, the available polymeric (or organic) membranes suffer a trade-off between permeance and selectivity. Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) containing two-dimensional (2D) metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as fillers are a highly sought approach to redress this trade-off given their enhanced gas permeabilities and selectivities compared to the pure polymeric membrane. These MMMs are increasingly gaining attention by researchers due to their unique properties and wide small- and large-scale gas separation applications. However, straightforward and scalable methods for the synthesis of MOFs nanosheets have thus far been persistently elusive. This study reports the single-phase preparation, and characterization of MMMs with 2D MOFs nanosheets as fillers. The prepared MOF and the polymer matrix form the ‘dense’ MMMs which exhibit increased gas diffusion resistance, and thus improved separation abilities. The single-phase approach was more successful than the bi-phase at synthesizing the MOFs. The influence of sonication power and time on the characteristics and performance of the membranes are examined and discussed. Increasing the sonication power from 50% to 100% reduces the pore size. Additionally, the ultimate effect on the selectivity and permeance of the MMMs with different single gases is reported. Analysis of results with various gas mixers indicates further performance improvements in these MMMs could be achieved by increasing sonication time and tuning suitable membrane thicknesses. Reported results reveal that MMMs are excellent candidates for next-generation gas mixture separations, with potential applications in CO2 capture and storage, hydrogen recovery, alkene recovery from alkanes, and natural gas purification.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

147516-Thumbnail Image.png

An Environmental and Economic Analysis of The Near Future of Lithium Ion Batteries

Description

Lithium ion batteries are quintessential components of modern life. They are used to power smart devices — phones, tablets, laptops, and are rapidly becoming major elements in the automotive industry. Demand projections for lithium are skyrocketing with production struggling to

Lithium ion batteries are quintessential components of modern life. They are used to power smart devices — phones, tablets, laptops, and are rapidly becoming major elements in the automotive industry. Demand projections for lithium are skyrocketing with production struggling to keep up pace. This drive is due mostly to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles; sales of electric vehicles in 2020 are more than double what they were only a year prior. With such staggering growth it is important to understand how lithium is sourced and what that means for the environment. Will production even be capable of meeting the demand as more industries make use of this valuable element? How will the environmental impact of lithium affect growth? This thesis attempts to answer these questions as the world looks to a decade of rapid growth for lithium ion batteries.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021-05

134630-Thumbnail Image.png

Energy Subsidies: Cheaper Energy or Energy Abuse?

Description

This paper seeks to analyze the relationship between energy subsidies on fossil fuels by countries and corresponding energy consumption, specifically electricity, by its citizens and occupants. The purpose of this was to determine whether pre-tax subsidies and post-tax subsidies have

This paper seeks to analyze the relationship between energy subsidies on fossil fuels by countries and corresponding energy consumption, specifically electricity, by its citizens and occupants. The purpose of this was to determine whether pre-tax subsidies and post-tax subsidies have an effect on that consumption. This paper will discuss the prospect of accounting for post-tax subsidies as a method to curb rampant energy consumption throughout the world, with the focus being on residential electricity use. The two case studies, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, will illustrate the consumption patterns in relatively similar economic societies with different subsidy policies. Saudi Arabia will be a high pre-tax subsidy example while the Netherlands will be shown to account for some of the post-tax subsidies through an externality tax system. At the end of this analysis, this paper will show that the heavy subsidization of electricity production is strongly correlated to residential electricity consumption at levels that many officials would deem unsustainable, and that as such, subsidy reform is both beneficial and necessary.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-12

164865-Thumbnail Image.png

Lithium in EV Supply Chains: Charting a Path for Lithium Into the Future

Description

The project goal is aimed to research the most pressing issues facing the lithium supply chain today. It then is tasked with charting a path into the future through strategic recommendations that will help reduce risk, and make a greener, cleaner, and more ethical supply chain.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05