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Energy and the Environment is a six-volume set that examines the history, technology, science, and environmental and social implications (including issues of environmental justice) associated with the acquisition and production of energy. Designed to complement science curricula, each volume describes comprehensively one or more sources of energy and the technology needed to make it useful. The books emphasize the science on which such technology is based, the limitations of each technology, the environmental implications of its use, questions of availability and cost, and the way that government policies and energy markets interact.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816070824
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Series: Energy and the Environment Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xiv

Part I The Nature and History of Biofuels 1

1 First Fuels 3

What Are Biofuels? 5

A Brief History of Fire and Wood 9

Early Conservation Efforts 17

Ancient Forests, Modern Humans 18

2 The Nature of Fuel 23

The Energy Content of Biofuels 23

Availability and Cost 28

Sinks, Sources, and the Greenhouse Effect 34

Big and Small Environmental and Economic Effects 37

3 The Chemistry of Combustion 43

Theoretical Combustion 44

Combustion: Some Practical Concerns 50

Efficient Engines 54

Sustainability 56

Part II Some Important Biofuel Technologies 59

4 Ethanol 61

The Mechanics of Ethanol Production 63

Ethanol in Brazil 70

The Net Energy Balance 72

The United States Ethanol Market 77

5 Biodiesel 81

Some Properties of Biodiesel 82

The Biodiesel Market: Demand and Supply 89

Biodiesel from Algae 92

6 Electricity Production 99

Electricity Production and the Electricity Markets 101

Biofuel-Fired Power Plants 106

A Case Study: Power Generation versus the Environment 112

Part III Environmental and Policy Considerations 119

7 Large-Scale Use of Biomass 121

Biomass as a Form of Solar Energy 123

How Much Land for How Much Fuel? 129

Siting Biorefineries 132

8 Alternative Reasons for the Consumption of Biofuels 135

A Form of Environmental Protection 136

The Pulp and Paper Industry 140

Gasification Technology in the Pulp and Paper Industry 144

Fire Suppression 146

9 Policy, Research, and Biofuels 151

Overcoming Inertia 152

Switchgrass: a Future Fuel 156

Legislating a Market for Ethanol 158

Science, Commerce, and Biofuels 163

Conclusion 168

Afterword:An Interview with Dr. Amani Elobeid on the Economics of Ethanol 170

Chronology 181

List of Acronyms 184

Glossary 185

Further Resources 188

Index 193

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