Renewable Energy: Sources and Methods

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Green Technology is an eight-volume set that examines the relationship between human activities and their sometimes harmful consequences for the environment and explores new methods of repairing and restoring the Earth. Approaching environmental issues confronting society from a technological perspective has spawned significant controversy, and the books in this set present all sides of the debate. Designed to complement science curricula, the set also covers relevant history and new green technologies and innovations that will contribute to the field in the future.

Renewable Energy: Sources and Methods examines the current technologies in renewable energy, a critical subject given that the world increases its energy consumption between 1 and 3 percent each year. Considering the current rate of energy consumption and the consequences of continuing at this rate, the book explains how the main conventional sources of energy-including coal, oil, and gas-affect economies worldwide. The book also focuses on the remarkable diversity of ideas and innovations in the field of alternative energy. Sidebars, figures, and case studies enhance fundamental concepts and examine urgent issues related to the future of the environment.

The volume includes information on

alternative vehicles


the biorefining industry

"clean" energy

converting solid waste to energy

Earth's energy sources

green building design and construction


water conservation

worldwide energy programs

The book contains more than 40 color photographs and line illustrations, five appendixes, a glossary, a detailed list of print and Internet resources, and an index. Green Technology isessential for high school students, teachers, and general readers who seek information on the important issues that affect the environment worldwide.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Maczulak capably (though dryly) covers the many ways countries are trying to save and create new power sources. Although most of the information is available in other sources, this volume pulls together facts on recycling, biorefineries, green building design, and other topics into one convenient place. Colorful captioned photographs and diagrams, bulleted lists, or sidebars appear on almost every other page and help break up the tedious text. The charts, most of which are clear, often summarize the text. While their sources are listed, they occasionally contain abbreviations or acronyms that are not defined. Students will not read this volume from cover to cover, but it will serve to supplement textbook studies. The book includes a serviceable glossary, an extensive list of further reading (quite current), and five appendixes ("Top Oil-Consuming Countries in 2009," "Predicted Worldwide Energy Consumption," etc.).—Denise Schmidt, San Francisco Public Library, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816072033
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Series: Green Technology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,437,101
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

1 Earth's Energy Sources 1

The World's Appetite for Energy 2

Case Study: Western Energy Crisis, 2000-2001 6

Renewable or Nonrenewable 8

Oil 10

Sun's Energy Stored in the Earth 14

Carbon Economics 16

Our Renewable Energy Resources 20

Smart Energy Grids 22

Social Aspects of Alternative Energy 24

Energy Programs in the Global Community 26

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment 28

Conclusion 28

2 Recycling 31

The Grassroots History of Recycling 33

How Recycling Saves Energy 35

Industrial Raw Materials from Waste 39

Recycled Materials Chemistry 41

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) 42

Minerals and Metals 44

Case Study: Recycling during World War II 46

Rubber Recycling 48

Conclusion 49

3 Gasoline Alternative Vehicles 51

Evolution of Alternative Vehicles 53

Biofuels 57

Case Study: Toyota's Prius 58

Synthetic Fuels 62

Battery Power 64

Combustion 65

Fuel Cell Technology 66

Nuclear Fission and Fusion 69

Natural Gas Fuels 70

Next Generation Hybrids 72

Conclusion 74

4 Biorefineries 75

Today's Refinery Industry 77

Pipelines 80

The U.S. Department of Energy 81

Case Study: Alaska's Oil Economy 84

Biorefining Steps 86

Developing the Biorefining Industry 89

Conclusion 91

5 Innovations in Clean Energy 93

Alternative Energy Emerging 94

Wind, Wave, and Tidal Power 97

Solar Power 101

Solar Films 108

Hydropower and Geothermal Energy 109

Nuclear Energy 113

Direct Carbon Conversion 117

Fuel Cells 120

Conclusion 124

6 Green Building Design 125

Building Green Comes of Age 127

Controlling Energy and Heat Flows129

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 131

Cooling and Ventilation 138

Insulation 140

Daylighting 142

Windows Technology 144

Water Conservation 146

Case Study: Four Horizons House, Australia 147

Managing Waste Streams 150

Off the Energy Grid 151

Conclusion 154

7 Energy from Solid Biomass 156

The Earth's Biomass 158

Types of Biomass 160

The Phosphate Bond 163

Conversion to Energy and Fuels 164

The Energy Value of Garbage 166

A Biomass Economy 167

Case Study: The Chicago Climate Exchange 169

Conclusion 171

8 Future Needs 172

Appendixes 174

Glossary 184

Further Resources 190

Index 199

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