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Our Energy Future: Resources, Alternatives and the Environment

ISBN: 978-0-470-47378-8
400 pages
October 2009
Our Energy Future: Resources, Alternatives and the Environment (0470473789) cover image


A Wiley Survival Guide on our Energy Future

Concerned about our energy future? Turn to this guide for easy-to-grasp and up-to-date coverage of the many aspects of the energy value chain:

  • Oil and natural gas

  • Coal

  • Fossil fuels and the greenhouse effect

  • Energy from water

  • Biomass

  • Solar energy

  • Geothermal energy

  • Wind energy

  • Nuclear energy

  • Electricity

  • Energy storage

  • Transportation

  • Housing

  • Smart energy consumption

  • Hydrogen

Armed with the knowledge in this book, students, teachers, decision-makers, politicians, and consumers can form educated and informed opinions on the future of energy and its impact on the economy, health, and the environment.

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Table of Contents



1. We Need Energy.

1.1. Generalities.

1.2. Always More!

2. Oil and Natural Gas.

2.1. Genesis of Oil and Natural Gas.

2.2. Recovering Oil and Gas.

2.3. Peak Oil.

2.4. Reserves.

2.5. Properties of Hydrocarbons.

2.6. Oil Fields.

2.7. Prices.

2.8. Consumption.

2.9. Electricity Generation.

2.10. Impact on Environment.

2.11. Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources.

2.12. Conclusion.

3. Coal: Fossil Fuel of the Future.

3.1. Genesis of Coal.

3.2. Rank of Coals.

3.3. Classification of Coals.

3.4. Peat.

3.5. Use of Coal.

3.6. Coal Reserves.

3.7. Production and Consumption.

3.8. Electricity Production.

3.9. Coal Combustion for Power Generation.

3.10. Combined Heat and Power Generation.

3.11. Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle Power Plants.

3.12. Coal-to-Liquid Technologies.

3.13. Direct Coal Liquefaction.

3.14. Indirect Coal Liquefaction.

3.15. Direct or Indirect CTL Technology?

3.16. Carbon Capture and Sequestration.

3.17. Coal Pit Accidents.

3.18. Environmental Impacts.

3.19. Conclusion.

4. Fossil Fuels and Greenhouse Effect.

4.1. Greenhouse Effect.

4.2. Greenhouse Gases.

4.3. Weather and Climate.

4.4. Natural Change of Climate.

4.5. Anthropogenic Emissions.

4.6. Water and Aerosols.

4.7. Global Warming Potentials.

4.8. Increase of Average Temperature.

4.9. Model Predictions.

4.10. Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

4.11. Consequences.

4.12. Other Impacts on Ocean.

4.13. Factor 4.

4.14. Kyoto Protocol.

4.15. Conclusion.

5. Energy from Water.

5.1. Hydropower.

5.2. Energy from the Ocean.

6. Biomass.

6.1. Producing Biomass.

6.2. An Old Energy Resource.

6.3. Electricity Production.

6.4. Technologies.

6.5. Heat Production.

6.6. Biomass for Cooking.

6.7. Environmental Impact.

6.8. Market Share.

6.9. Biofuels.

6.10. From Well to Wheels.

6.11. Conclusion.

7. Solar Energy.

7.1. Solar Energy: A Huge Potential.

7.2. Thermal Solar Energy.

7.3. Concentrated Solar Power Plants.

7.4. Solar Chimneys or Towers.

7.5. Photovoltaic Systems.

7.6. Electricity Storage.

7.7. Economy and Environment.

7.8. Conclusion.

8. Geothermal Energy.

8.1. Available in Many Places.

8.2. Different Uses.

8.3. Technologies.

8.4. Geothermal Energy in the World.

8.5. Conclusion.

9. Wind Energy.

9.1. Already a Long History.

9.2. From Theory to Practice.

9.3. Development of Wind Power.

9.4. Off-Shore Wind Turbines.

9.5. Conclusion.

10. Nuclear Energy.

10.1. Basics of Nuclear Energy.

10.2. Uses of Nuclear Energy.

10.3. Thermonuclear Fusion.


11. Electricity: Smart Use of Energy.

11.1. Rapid Development.

11.2. Energy Sources for Electricity Production.

11.3. No Unique Solution.

11.4. From Mechanical Energy to Consumer.

11.5. Impact on Environment.

11.6. Cost.

11.7. Conclusion.

12. Energy Storage: Weak Point of Energy Supply Chain.

12.1. Electricity Storage.

12.2. Thermal Energy Storage.

13. Transportation.

13.1. Short History of Transportation.

13.2. Energy and Transportation.

13.3. Road Transportation.

13.4. Ship Transportation.

13.5. Air Transport.

13.6. Car Dynamics.

13.7. Fuels for Road Transportation.

13.8. CO2 Emissions.

13.9. Hybrid Vehicles.

13.10. Electric Vehicles.

13.11. Conclusion.

14. Housing.

14.1. Importance of Housing.

14.2. Towards More Efficient Housing.

14.3. Different Regions, Different Solutions.

14.4. Bioclimatic Architecture.

14.5. Insulation.

14.6. Glazing.

14.7. Lighting.

14.8. Ventilation.

14.9. Water.

14.10. Energy Use in a Household.

14.11. Heat Pumps.

14.12. Impact on Environment.

14.13. Conclusion.

15. Smart Energy Consumption.

15.1. Housing.

15.2. Improving the Way We Consume Energy.

15.3. Cogeneration.

15.4. Standby Consumption.

15.5. Lighting.

15.6. Transportation.

15.7. Conclusion.

16. Hydrogen.

16.1. From Production to Distribution.

16.2. Hydrogen: Energetic Applications.

17. Conclusion.





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Author Information

Christian Ngô, ScD, was formerly executive general manager of ECRIN (Échange et Coordination Recherche-Industrie) and scientific director of the Atomic Energy's High Commissioner Office. In 2008, he founded Edmonium Conseil, a consulting company. He has worked in fundamental research for twenty years, and has published approximately 200 papers. In the 1990s, he moved to applied research and took out three patents before holding several management positions. Dr. Ngô is the author of ten books in French and has been involved as an energy expert in several studies of the OPECST (Parliamentary Office for Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Options), a common committee of the French Parliament and Senate.

Joseph B. Natowitz, PhD, is Distinguished Professor and holds the Bright Chair in Nuclear Science at Texas A&M University (TAMU). Previously at TAMU, he served as head of the Department of Chemistry and director of the Cyclotron Institute. The author of more than 250 research publications, he has been a visiting professor at Université Catholique de Louvain, Université de Caen, and Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in France and the University of Tokyo in Japan, as well as an Alexander von Humboldt visiting senior scientist at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. Among his awards and honors are the American Chemical Society Award in Nuclear Chemistry, the ACS Southwest Regional Award, and the Association of Former Students Research Award at TAMU. Professor Natowitz has served on the program advisory and/or review committees of many national and international research facilities. He is also the editor of several conference proceedings in nuclear science.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • The material can be understood by anyone with a basic scientific background
  • Statistical data for energy production and consumption will be presented in a simple way
  • Simple formulas will allow the reader to make quantitative estimates about energy systems
  • Solutions will be provided at the end of the book
  • Appendices will develop the more advanced concepts used in the book
  • A collection of straight-forward pocket-calculator exercises is included
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"An overall strong performer and great complementary resource for any course on energy, policy, economics, engineering, or manufacturing." (CHOICE, May 2010)

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