Energy and the Environment

Energy and the Environment

Energy and the Environment

Energy and the Environment


In an age of mounting energy crises, James A. Fay and Dan S. Golomb's Energy and the Environment offers a timely treatment of a critical problem in urban-industrial societies: the worldwide growth of energy use and the destructive relationship between this energy use and environmentaldegradation. This comprehensive text provides the scientific and technological background for understanding how our ever-increasing use of energy threatens the natural environment at local, regional, and global scales and how this threat could be mitigated by more efficient use of conventionalenergy sources and their replacement by renewable energy sources. Designed for upper-level undergraduate and first-year graduate students, Energy and the Environment is essential reading for students and professionals in energy and environmental sciences and technology. Features BL Describes energy technologies and their effectiveness in transforming fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy into useful mechanical or electrical power BL Emphasizes the generation of electric power and the technological improvements that increase power generation efficiency and reduce air pollutant emissions from power plants BL Examines the use of energy in the transportation sector and how vehicle design and engine efficiency improvements could reduce fuel use and pollutant emissions BL Objectively surveys the field of renewable energy technologies and the prospects of increasing the share of renewable energy among all energy sources BL Analyzes the energy sources of toxic emissions to air, water, and land and their effects on environmental quality at local and regional scales BL Examines global climate change, energy consumption's contribution to it, and the salient technologies being developed to mitigate this effect BL Equips engineering majors, science majors, and professionals with the basic facts needed to develop solutions to these pressing environmental problems


The impetus for creating this book was provoked by one of us (DSG) as a consequence of lecturing on the subject of energy and the environment for the past 10 years at the University of Massachusetts Lowell to students in the Colleges of Engineering and Arts and Sciences. In all those years a diligent search did not unearth a suitable textbook to match the syllabus of that course. To be sure, numerous texts exist on the subjects of energy, energy systems, energy conversion, energy resources, and fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy. Also, there are texts on air pollution and its control, effluents and solid waste from energy mining and usage, the greenhouse effect, and so on. However, we were unable to find a contemporary text that discusses on a deeper technical level the relationship between energy usage and environmental degradation or that discusses the means and ways that efficiency improvements, conservation, and shifts to less polluting energy sources could lead to a healthier and safer environment.

Our book is intended for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students and for informed readers who have had a solid dose of science and mathematics. While we do try to refresh the student's and reader's memory on some fundamental aspects of physics, chemistry, engineering and geophysical sciences, we are not bashful about using some advanced concepts, the appropriate mathematical language, and chemical equations. Each chapter is accompanied by a set of numerical and conceptual problems designed to stimulate creative thinking and problem solving.

Chapter 1 is a general introduction to the subject of energy, its use, and its environmental effects. It is a preview of the subsequent chapters and sets the context of their development.

In Chapter 2 we survey the world's energy reserves and resources. We review historic trends of energy usage and estimates of future supply and demand. This is done globally, by continent and country, by energy use sector, and by proportion to population and gross domestic product. The inequalities of global energy supply and consumption are discussed.

Chapter 3 is a refresher of thermodynamics. It reviews the laws that govern the conversion of energy from one form to another—that is, the first and second laws of thermodynamics and the concepts of work, heat, internal energy, free energy, and entropy. Special attention is given to the combustion of fossil fuels. Various ideal thermodynamic cycles that involve heat or combustion engines are discussed—for example, the Carnot, Rankine, Brayton, and Otto cycles. Also, advanced and combined cycles are described, as well as nonheat engines such as the fuel cell. The principles of the production of synthetic fuels from fossil fuels are treated.

The generation and transmission of electrical power, as well as the storage of mechanical and electrical energy, are covered in Chapter 4. Electrostatic, magnetic, and electrochemical storage of electrical energy is treated, along with various mechanical energy storage systems.

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