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Peak Energy: Myth or Reality?

ISBN: 978-1-118-54942-1
400 pages
May 2016
Peak Energy: Myth or Reality? (1118549422) cover image

Description

Does the Earth contain enough oil to provide energy for the human race indefinitely? If not, how long will the oil last? What about renewable energy technologies like wind and solar? Will they be able to supply an indefinite supply of energy for the human race? If not, how long will it last? And what role does overpopulation play in our world's energy supply? Even with multiple forms of energy available, how long will it last as long as more and more humans, and therefore more industries and energy consumption, are added? Taking a long-held theory called "Peak Oil Theory" the authors of this groundbreaking new text examine the theory of "Peak Energy" to examine all of these questions.

Crude oil and natural gas are the major sources of fuel used to supply energy for various needs. Users of crude oil and natural gas must take into account that these energy sources are, without doubt, non-renewable depleting resources, and the cost of extraction depends not only on the current rate of production but also on the amount of cumulative production. In fact, many pundits believe projections that the world is rapidly apprpaching a precipice, after which crude oil and natural gas will no longer be in ready supply.

This phenomenon has given rise to the peak oil theory – peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of petroleum recovery from the reservoir is reached, after which the rate of petroleum production enters terminal decline. From this concept has emerged the wider concept of the peak energy theory which, as it is related to the availability of all fossil fuels, is also subject to decline with fossil fuel use.

This text, written by two of the world's most well-known, respected, and prolific writers in the energy industry, is a fascinating study of our world's energy needs and the future of the multi-source energy supply on this planet. Whether oil and gas, wind, solar, geothermal, or even nuclear, all sources of energy have their limits, and we, as scientists, engineers, and consumers of energy need to be knowledgeable on these topics. This book is a must-have for any engineer, student, scientist, or even layperson interested in energy and the idea of energy sustainability on planet Earth.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

About the Authors xiii

1 History and Terminology of Energy Sources 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Fossil Fuel Resources 10

1.2.1 Petroleum 11

1.2.2 High-Acid Crude Oils and Opportunity Crudes 14

1.2.3 Oil from Tight Formations and from Shale Formations 16

1.2.4 Natural Gas 17

1.2.5 Heavy Oil 19

1.2.6 Tar Sand Bitumen 20

1.2.7 Coal 23

1.2.7.1 Lignite 24

1.2.7.2 Subbituminous Coal 25

1.2.7.3 Bituminous Coal 25

1.2.7.4 Anthracite 27

1.2.8 Oil Shale 27

1.2.9 Gas Hydrates 30

1.3 Non-Fossil Fuel Resources 32

1.3.1 Biomass 32

1.3.2 Wind Energy 37

1.3.3 Solar Energy 37

1.3.4 Geothermal Energy 38

1.3.5 Ocean Energy 39

1.3.6 Nuclear Energy 40

1.3.7 Hydrogen Energy 41

1.3.8 Hydropower 42

References 43

2 Energy Sources and Supply 49

2.1 Introduction 49

2.2 Fossil Fuel Sources 56

2.2.1 Petroleum, Heavy Oil, and Tar Sand Bitumen 57

2.2.2 Natural Gas 65

2.2.3 Coal 67

2.3 Oil Shale 68

2.4 Gas Hydrates 71

2.5 Non-Fossil Fuel Energy Sources 72

2.5.1 Biomass 73

2.5.2 The Wind 75

2.5.3 The Sun 75

2.5.4 Geothermal Sources 76

2.5.5 The Tides 76

2.6 Nuclear Energy 77

2.7 Hydrogen Energy 77

2.8 Energy Supply 78

2.8.1 Physical Factors 78

2.8.2 Technological Factors 80

2.9 Economic and Geopolitical Factors 82

2.10 Peak Oil 83

2.10.1 Peak Oil Theory 83

2.10.2 Effects and Consequences 87

2.11 Energy Independence 87

2.12 Energy Security 92

References 96

3 Future Energy from Fossil Fuels 103

3.1 Introduction 103

3.2 The Role of Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery 106

3.3 Heavy Oil, Extra Heavy Oil, and Tar Sand Bitumen 123

3.4 Natural Gas and Gas Hydrates 125

3.5 Tight Oil and Gas 127

3.5.1 Tight Oil 128

3.5.2 Tight Gas 129

3.6 Undiscovered Oil 129

3.7 Oil Shale 132

3.8 Synthetic Fuels 133

3.9 The Future Refinery 135

3.9.1 The Refinery and Peak Oil Theory 137

3.9.2 Refinery Configurations 138

3.9.2.1 Petroleum Refinery 138

3.9.2.2 BioRefinery 141

3.9.2.3 Coal Liquids Refinery 143

3.9.2.4 Shale Oil Refinery 144

3.9.2.5 Gasification Refinery 146

3.9.3 The Integrated Refinery 147

References 151

4 Future Energy from Unconventional Sources 157

4.1 Introduction 157

4.2 Unconventional Oil and Gas 159

4.3 Tar Sand Bitumen 162

4.3.1 Mining and Bitumen Conversion 164

4.3.2 Other Processes Related to Mining 167

4.3.3 Non-Mining Methods 169

4.3.3.1 Steam-Based Processes 170

4.3.3.2 Combustion Processes 171

4.3.3.3 Other Processes 172

4.4 Coal 173

4.4.1 Coal Liquefaction 174

4.4.2 Gasification 175

4.4.3 Gaseous Fuels from Coal 178

4.4.3.1 Low Heat-Content (Low-Btu) Gas 178

4.4.3.2 Medium Heat-Content (Medium-Btu) Gas 179

4.4.3.3 High Heat-Content (High-Btu) Gas 180

4.4.4 Liquid Fuels 180

4.4.5 Solid Fuels 181

4.5 Oil Shale 182

4.5.1 Production of Shale Oil 184

4.5.2 Refining Shale Oil 185

4.6 Gas Hydrates 188

4.7 Synthetic Fuels 192

4.8 Other Energy Sources 196

4.8.1 Geothermal Energy 197

4.8.2 Hydrogen Energy 199

4.8.3 Nuclear Energy 201

4.8.4 Wind Energy 203

References 205

5 Future Energy from Biomass 209

5.1 Introduction 209

5.2 Biomass Feedstocks 212

5.2.1 Energy from Crops 215

5.2.2 Energy from Wood 216

5.2.3 Energy from Waste 217

5.3 The Chemistry of Biomass 217

5.4 A BioRefinery 218

5.5 Biofuels 220

5.5.1 Ethanol 220

5.5.2 Biodiesel 221

5.5.3 Bio-oil 222

5.5.4 Biofuels from Synthesis Gas 223

5.6 Biofuels: A Replacement for Petroleum and Natural Gas 226

5.6.1 Gaseous Fuels 226

5.6.1.1 Fermentation 227

5.6.1.2 Gasification 227

5.6.1.3 Biophotolysis 228

5.6.2 Liquid Fuels 229

5.6.3 Solid Fuels 230

5.7 Processes 231

References 232

6 Peak Energy 237

6.1 Introduction 237

6.2 History of the Peak Oil Theory 240

6.2.1 Relation to Population and Lifestyle 241

6.2.2 Evidence in Favor of the Peak Oil Theory 245

6.2.3 Social Theories and the Peak Oil Theory 249

6.3 Petroleum in the Big Picture 250

6.4 World Petroleum Reserves 252

6.5 Unconventional Oil and Gas 259

6.5.1 Petroleum and Natural Gas 260

6.5.2 Shale Gas 262

6.5.3 Coalbed Methane 263

6.5.4 Tight Gas Reserves 264

References 267

7 The Reality of the Peak Oil Theory 271

7.1 Introduction 271

7.2 The Petroleum Industry 272

7.2.1 Background 272

7.2.2 Jevons Paradox 275

7.2.3 Equity Shoulder Debt 286

7.2.4 The Finite-Infinite Conundrum 288

7.2.5 Renewable and Non-Renewable: Energy without Boundaries 288

7.3 Scientific Characterization of Energy Resources 292

7.3.1 Solar Energy 294

7.3.2 Hydropower 297

7.3.3 Ocean Thermal, Wave, and Tidal Energy 298

7.3.4 Bioenergy 299

7.3.4.1 Fuelwood 300

7.3.4.2 Bioethanol 302

7.3.4.3 Biodiesel 303

7.3.5 Nuclear Power 304

7.3.6 Geothermal Energy 307

7.3.7 Hydrogen Energy 308

7.4 Conclusions 310

References 310

8 Global Climate Change 315

8.1 Introduction 315

8.2 Interglacial Periods 320

8.3 The Role of Human Activity 322

8.4 Climate Change 324

8.5 Conclusions 325

References 327

9 Energy Sustainability 331

9.1 Introduction 331

9.2 Sustainable Energy 333

9.3 Real Reserve Potential 336

9.4 Biomass Sustainability 341

9.5 Conclusions 343

References 344

Common Conversion Factors 345

Glossary 349

Index 371

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