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Alternative Energy Resources: The Quest for Sustainable Energy

ISBN: 978-0-471-77208-8
272 pages
March 2006
Alternative Energy Resources: The Quest for Sustainable Energy (0471772089) cover image


A balanced introduction to tomorrow's energy sources

Over the course of the next fifty years, there will be a shift in the quest for sustainble energy, including a major change in transportation from internal combustion engines burning petroleum-derived fuels to newer technology engines using new transportation fuels. Alternative Energy Reources examines our options for energy sources with a focus on hydrogen as a large-scale, secondary energy vector parallel to electricity.

As the price of petroleum products increases, the world is scrambling to find a suitable replacement energy source. In this comprehensive primer, Professor Paul Kruger examines energy use throughout history and the exponential expansion of our energy use beginning with the Industrial Revolution through the present day. The book then analyzes the various alternative energy sources available, including renewable energy (hydroelectric, solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal), nuclear, and hydrogen. He addresses each energy source's pros and cons based on our needs, availability, and environmental impact aspects. Finally, Dr. Kruger proposes the use of hydrogen as a fuel to sustain our energy supply produced by appropriate technology mixtures of renewable and nuclear energy.
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Table of Contents


1. Human Ecology on Spaceship Earth.

1.0 Introduction.

1.01 Axiom 1.

1.02 Axiom 2.

1.03 Axiom 3.

1.04 Philosophical Questions for the Quest.

1.1 Development of Human Ecology.

1.11 Major Ages in Human History.

1.12 The Biosphere: A Spaceship Earth@.

1.13 Limits to Growth.

1.2 Summary.


2. The Unending Quest for Abundant Energy.

2.0 Historic Perspective.

2.1 Characteristics of an Industrial Nation.

2.11 Flow of Abundant Energy.

2.12 Capital and Income Energy Resources.

2.2 Exponential Growth Dynamics.

2.21 Linear Growth.

2.22 Exponential Growth.

2.23 Doubling Time.

2.24 Exponential Growth Scenarios.

2.25 Calculation of Growth Rates by Regression Analysis.

2.3 Current Growth in Energy Consumption.

2.31 Trends in Energy Consumption.

2.32 Energy Intensity.

2.33 Projections of Energy Intensities.

2.34 Projections of Future Energy Consumption.

2.4 Summary.


3. The Fossil Fuel Era.

3.0 Historic Perspective.

3.01 Fossil Fuel Consumption in the United. States since 1900.

3.1 Fossil Fuels.

3.11 Coal.

3.12 Heating Value of Coal.

3.13 Crude Oil.

3.14 Natural Gas.

3.2 Forecast of U.S. Energy Consumption thru 2025.

3.3 How Long Will Fossil Fuels Last?.

3.31 Estimation of Fossil Fuel Reserves.

3.32 The McKelvey Diagram.

3.33 Production of a Finite Resource.

3.34 The Logistic Production Curve Method.

3.4 Growth of Fossil Fuel Demand for Generation of Electricity.

3.5 Summary.


4. Sustainability of Energy Resources.

4.0 Sustainable Economic Development.

4.01 Indicators for Sustainable Energy Development.

4.02 Sustainable Energy Supply.

4.1 Sustainability of Electric Energy Demand.

4.11 The Electronic Way of Life.

4.12 A Continental Superconducting Grid.

4.13 The Hydrogen Fuel Era.

4.2 Natural Gas in Sustainable Energy Supply.

4.21 Petrochemical Use of Natural Gas.

4.22 Growth of Natural Gas Consumption in the United States.

4.23 Forecast of Natural Gas Consumption through 2025.

4.24 Natural Gas Supply and Reserves.

4.3 Natural Gas Commitment for Electric Power Generation.

4.4 Sustainability of Natural Gas as an Energy Resource.

4.5 Non-Fossil Energy Resources.

4.51 Growth of Alternate (Non-Fossil) Energy Use.

4.52 Forecast of Non-Fossil Energy Supply.

4.6 Summary.


5. Environmental Impact of Energy Consumption.

5.0 Historic Perspective.

5.1 Basics of Environmental Impact.

5.11 Relationship between Magnitude and Severity.

5.12 Consequences of Environmental Threat.

5.13 A Hypothetical Example of Magnitude-Severity Analysis.

5.2 The Saga of the Greenhouse Effect.

5.21 Components of the Saga.

5.3 Local Air Pollution from Automobile Exhaust.

5.31 Environmental Impact of Smog.

5.32 Nitrogen Oxides in Photochemical >Smog=.

5.33 Magnitude-Severity Aspects of Nitrogen Oxides.

5.4 Value of Air Quality Improvement in Transportation.

5.5 Some Data for the Los Angeles Air Basin.

5.6 Summary.


6. The Nuclear Energy Era.

6.0 Historic Perspective.

6.1 Basic Elements of Nuclear Science.

6.11 The Atomic Nucleus.

6.12 Isotopic Composition and Abundance.

6.13 Atomic Mass.

6.14 Equivalence of Mass and Energy.

6.15 Binding Energy.

6.16 Nuclear Stability.

6.17 Types of Radioactive Decay.

6.18 Properties of Radionuclides.

6.2 Basic Elements of Nuclear Power.

6.21 Nuclear Fission.

6.22 Available Energy from Uranium Fuel.

6.23 Nuclear Power Reactors.

6.24 The Light-Water Uranium Fuel Cycle.

6.25 Generation IV Nuclear Reactors.

6.26 Nuclear Safety.

6.27 Nuclear Waste.

6.3 The OKLO Natural Nuclear Reactors.

6.4 Thermonuclear Fusion.

6.5 Summary.


7. Renewable Energy Resources.

7.0 Renewable Energy.

7.01 Types of Renewable Energy.

7.02 Consumption of renewable Energy.

7.1 Hydroelectric Power.

7.2 Solar Energy.

7.21 The Solar Constant.

7.22 Solar Energy >Reserves=.

7.23 Solar Electricity.

7.3 Wind Energy.

7.31 Wind Power Rate.

7.32 Wind Turbine Conversion Efficiency.

7.33 The Wind Energy Resource.

7.34 Estimated Cost of Wind Power.

7.4 Biomass Energy.

7.41 The Solar Biomass Resource.

7.42 Biomass Conversion Processes.

7.43 Schematics of Biogas Conversion Processes.

7.44 Relative Environmental Emissions of Bioenergy Fuels.

7.5 Other Renewable Resources.

7.51 Tidal Energy.

7.52 Geothermal Energy.

7.6 Summary.


8. Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier.

8.0 Historic Perspective.

8.01 Physical Nature of Hydrogen.

8.02 Chemical Nature of Hydrogen.

8.03 Energetics of Hydrogen.

8.1 Hydrogen and Electricity as Parallel Energy Carriers.

8.11 Why Hydrogen?.

8.12 Competitive Uses for Hydrogen.

8.2 The Hydrogen Energy Fuel Cycle.

8.21 Hydrogen Production.

8.21a A Wee-Bit of Electrochemistry.

8.22 Hydrogen Storage.

8.23 Distribution of Hydrogen.

8.24 End Uses for Hydrogen Fuel.

8.25 Cost Factors of Hydrogen Fuel.

8.3 Summary.


9. Hydrogen as a Transportation Fuel.

9.0 Historic Perspective.

9.01 Hydrogen Fuel in Aviation.

9.02 Hydrogen Fuel in Marine Propulsion.

9.1 Hydrogen Fuel Cells in Vehicle Transportation.

9.11 Just What is a Fuel Cell?.

9.12 A Wee-Bit of Thermodynamics.

9.13 Aspects of Hydrogen as a Transportation Fuel.

9.14 Hydrogen Fueled Vehicles by Application Type.

9.2 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles.

9.21 Characteristics of Alternate Fuels for Fuel Cells.

9.22 Methanol as a Fuel for Fuel Cells.

9.23 Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel.

9.3 What More is Needed?.

9.4 Summary.


10. The Hydrogen Fuel Era.

10.0 Perspective of an Era.

10.1 Potential for Air Quality Improvement.

10.11 Emission Standards.

10.12 Factors that Effect Vehicle Emissions.

10.13 History of California Emission Standards.

10.2 Modeling Health Benefit from Hydrogen Fuel Transportation.

10.21 Model Development for the Three-City Hydrogen Air Quality Study.

10.22 The Metropolitan Tokyo Air Quality Study.

10.3 Electric Energy Requirement for Hydrogen Fuel.

10.31 Extrapolation of Historic Transportation Fuel Data to 2010.

10.32 Growth of Demand for Hydrogen Fuel and Electric Energy: 2010-2050.

10.4 Prospects for the Future of Sustainable Energy Supply.

10.41 Potential Distribution of Energy Resources.

10.42 Possibilities to Resolve the Impasse.

10.5 Wrap-Up.

10.6 Summary.


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Author Information

PAUL KRUGER is Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. He has worked in both industry and academia in the areas of energy and the environment.
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"…makes for an excellent introductory text on a subject whose importance is sure to last well into the future." (Civil Engineering, 5/2006)
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