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Book
1 online resource (1.3 MB ) : digital, PDF file.
NREL's sustainability practices are integrated throughout the laboratory and are essential to our mission to develop clean energy and energy efficiency technologies and practices, advance related science and engineering, and provide knowledge and innovations to integrate energy systems at all scales. Sustainability initiatives are integrated through our campus, our staff, and our environment allowing NREL to provide leadership in modeling a sustainability energy future for companies, organizations, governments, and communities.
Book
1 online resource (92 pp. ) : digital, PDF file.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) Environmental Performance Report provides a description of the laboratory's environmental management activities for 2013, including information on environmental and sustainability performance, environmental compliance activities and status, and environmental protection programs, highlights, and successes. The purpose of this report is to ensure that U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the public receive timely, accurate information about events that have affected or could adversely affect the health, safety, and security of the public or workers; the environment; or the operations of DOE facilities. This report meets the requirements of the Annual Site Environmental Report and is prepared in accordance with the DOE Order 231.1B, Environment, Safety and Health Reporting.
Book
1 online resource (607 KB ): digital, PDF file.
This paper presents a comparative techno-economic analysis of five conversion pathways from biomass to gasoline-, jet-, and diesel-range hydrocarbons via indirect liquefaction with specific focus on pathways utilizing oxygenated intermediates (derived either via thermochemical or biochemical conversion steps). The four emerging pathways of interest are compared with one conventional pathway (Fischer-Tropsch) for the production of the hydrocarbon blendstocks. The processing steps of the four emerging pathways include: biomass-to-syngas via indirect gasification, gas cleanup, conversion of syngas to alcohols/oxygenates, followed by conversion of alcohols/oxygenates to hydrocarbon blendstocks via dehydration, oligomerization, and hydrogenation. We show that the emerging pathways via oxygenated intermediates have the potential to be cost competitive with the conventional Fischer-Tropsch process. The evaluated pathways and the benchmark process generally exhibit similar fuel yields and carbon conversion efficiencies. The resulting minimum fuel selling prices are comparable to the benchmark at approximately $3.60 per gallon-gasoline equivalent, with potential for two new pathways to be more economically competitive. Additionally, the coproduct values can play an important role in the economics of the processes with oxygenated intermediates derived via syngas fermentation. Major cost drivers for the integrated processes are tied to achievable fuel yields and conversion efficiency of the intermediate steps, i.e., the production of oxygenates/alcohols from syngas and the conversion of oxygenates/alcohols to hydrocarbon fuels.
Book
1 online resource (1.2 MB ): digital, PDF file.
Climate change is a problem that must be solved. The primary cause of this problem is burning of fossil fuels to generate energy. A dramatic reduction in carbon emissions must happen soon, and a significant fraction of this reduction must come from the transportation sector. This paper reviews existing literature to assess the consensus of the scientific and engineering communities concerning the potential for the United States' light-duty transportation sector to meet a goal of 80 percent reduction in vehicle emissions and examine what it will take to meet this target. It is unlikely that reducing energy consumption in just vehicles with gasoline-based internal combustion drivetrains will be sufficient to meet GHG emission-reduction targets. This paper explores what additional benefits are possible through the adoption of alternative energy sources, looking at three possible on-vehicle energy carriers: carbon-based fuels, hydrogen, and batteries. potential for the United States' light-duty transportation sector to meet a goal of 80 percent reduction in vehicle emissions and examine what it will take to meet this target. It is unlikely that reducing energy consumption in just vehicles with gasoline-based internal combustion drivetrains will be sufficient to meet GHG emission-reduction targets. This paper explores what additional benefits are possible through the adoption of alternative energy sources, looking at three possible on-vehicle energy carriers: carbon-based fuels, hydrogen, and batteries.
Book
1 online resource (24 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
Bioenergy is renewable energy generated from biological source materials, and includes electricity, transportation fuels and heating. Source materials are varied types of biomass, including food crops such as corn and sugarcane, non-edible lignocellulosic materials such as agricultural and forestry waste and dedicated crops, and municipal and livestock wastes. Key aspects of policies for bioenergy deployment are presented in this brief as part of the Clean Energy Solutions Center's Clean Energy Policy Brief Series.
Book
1 online resource (110 pp. ) : digital, PDF file.
Beginning in 2013, NREL began transitioning from the singular focus on ethanol to a broad slate of products and conversion pathways, ultimately to establish similar benchmarking and targeting efforts. One of these pathways is the conversion of algal biomass to fuels via extraction of lipids (and potentially other components), termed the 'algal lipid upgrading' or ALU pathway. This report describes in detail one potential ALU approach based on a biochemical processing strategy to selectively recover and convert select algal biomass components to fuels, namely carbohydrates to ethanol and lipids to a renewable diesel blendstock (RDB) product. The overarching process design converts algal biomass delivered from upstream cultivation and dewatering (outside the present scope) to ethanol, RDB, and minor coproducts, using dilute-acid pretreatment, fermentation, lipid extraction, and hydrotreating.
Book
1 online resource (963 KB ): digital, PDF file.
The Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992, with later amendments, was enacted with the goal of reducing U.S. petroleum consumption by building a core market for alternative fuels and vehicles. The U.S. Department of Energy manages three federal programs related to EPAct; the Sustainable Federal Fleets Program, the State and Alternative Fuel Provider Program, and Clean Cities. Federal agencies and State and Alternative Fuel Provider Fleets are required to submit annual reports that document their compliance with the legislation. Clean Cities is a voluntary program aimed at building partnerships and providing technical expertise to encourage cities to reduce petroleum use in transportation. This study reviews the evolution of these three programs in relation to alternative fuel and vehicle markets and private sector adoption of alternative fueled vehicles to assess the impact of the programs on reduction in petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions both within the regulated fleets and through development of alternative fuel and vehicle markets. The increased availability of alternative fuels and use of alternative fuels in regulated fleets is expected to improve cities' ability to respond to and quickly recover from both local disasters and short- and long-term regional or national fuel supply interruptions. Our analysis examines the benefits as well as potential drawbacks of alternative fuel use for the resiliency of U.S. cities.
Book
1 online resource (3.9 MB ): digital, PDF file.
NREL's Sustainability Program is responsible for upholding all executive orders, federal regulations, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) orders, and goals related to sustainable and resilient facility operations. But NREL continues to expand sustainable practices above and beyond the laboratory's regulations and requirements to ensure that the laboratory fulfills its mission into the future, leaves the smallest possible legacy footprint, and models sustainable operations and behaviors on national, regional, and local levels. The report, per the GRI reporting format, elaborates on multi-year goals relative to executive orders, achievements, and challenges; and success stories provide specific examples. A section called 'NREL's Resiliency is Taking Many Forms' provides insight into how NREL is drawing on its deep knowledge of renewable energy and energy efficiency to help mitigate or avoid climate change impacts.
Book
2.7 MB : digital, PDF file.
This presentation addresses the recognition that the sustainability of the bioeconomy requires strong interlinkages between existing and developing industries in agriculture (terrestrial and aquatic); forestry; waste and residue management in rural, industrial, and urban environments; the chemicals and biotechnology industry in terms of production of substitutes or better performing materials and chemicals; and in the fuels and power sectors. The transition to a low-carbon intensity economy requires the integration of systems and uses circular economy concepts to increase resource use efficiency and security for all biomass and other resources used as well. It requires innovation along the whole supply chains as well as research, development, and demonstration of the integrated systems with strong partnerships from the landscapes and watersheds where biomass is planted all the way to the many applications.
Book
436 KB : digital, PDF file.
Fact sheet summarizing NREL's techno-economic analysis and life-cycle assessment capabilities to connect research with future commercial process integration, a critical step in the scale-up of biomass conversion technologies.
Book
1 online resource (p. 94 ) : digital, PDF file.
NREL's Sustainability Program is responsible for upholding all executive orders, federal regulations, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) orders, and goals related to sustainable and resilient facility operations. But NREL continues to expand sustainable practices above and beyond the laboratory's regulations and requirements to ensure that the laboratory fulfills its mission into the future, leaves the smallest possible legacy footprint, and models sustainable operations and behaviors on national, regional, and local levels. The report, per the GRI reporting format, elaborates on multi-year goals relative to executive orders, achievements, and challenges; and success stories provide specific examples. A section called 'Sustaining NREL's Future Through Integration' provides insight into how NREL is successfully expanding the adoption of renewable energy technologies through integration.
Book
1 online resource (67 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
The Cities-LEAP technical report, City-Level Energy Decision Making: Data Use in Energy Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation in U.S. Cities, explores how a sample of cities incorporates data into making energy-related decisions. This report provides the foundation for forthcoming components of the Cities-LEAP project that will help cities improve energy decision making by mapping specific city energy or climate policies and actions to measurable impacts and results.
Book
1 online resource (84 pp. ) : digital, PDF file.
NREL's Sustainability Program plays a vital role bridging research and operations - integrating energy efficiency, water and material resource conservation and cultural change - adding depth in the fulfillment of NREL's mission. The report, per the GRI reporting format, elaborates on multi-year goals relative to executive orders, achievements, and challenges; and success stories provide specific examples. A section called "The Voice of NREL" gives an inside perspective of how to become more sustainable while at the same time addressing climate change.
Book
1 online resource (98 pp. ) : digital, PDF file.
This document reports on NREL's 'Campus of the Future, ' which leverages partnerships and showcases sustainable energy on and near the NREL site. It is unique in that the report is based on GRI key performance indicators, that support NREL's sustainability goals.
Book
1 online resource (0:03:07 ) : digital, PDF file.
The high-performance buildings across the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) South Table Mountain campus incorporate a number of state-of-the art energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, making them models for sustainability. Each building, designed to meet the Gold or Platinum standards of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) program, brings NREL closer to developing the campus of the future.
Book
1 online resource (405 KB ): digital, PDF file.
This fact sheet provides an overview of the work that the Federated States of Micronesia are doing in a variety of renewable energy activities with support from the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and outlines additional opportunities for involvement by other international donors.
Book
1 online resource (3.6 MB ) : digital, PDF file.
This report was developed as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) efforts to enable the development of technologies for the production of infrastructure-compatible, cost-competitive liquid hydrocarbon fuels from lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks. The research funded by BETO is designed to advance the state of technology of biomass feedstock supply and logistics, conversion, and overall system sustainability. It is expected that these research improvements will be made within the 2022 timeframe. As part of their involvement in this research and development effort, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory investigate the economics of conversion pathways through the development of conceptual biorefinery process models and techno-economic analysis models. This report describes in detail one potential conversion process for the production of high-octane gasoline blendstock via indirect liquefaction of biomass. The processing steps of this pathway include the conversion of biomass to synthesis gas or syngas via indirect gasification, gas cleanup, catalytic conversion of syngas to methanol intermediate, methanol dehydration to dimethyl ether (DME), and catalytic conversion of DME to high-octane, gasoline-range hydrocarbon blendstock product. The conversion process configuration leverages technologies previously advanced by research funded by BETO and demonstrated in 2012 with the production of mixed alcohols from biomass. Biomass-derived syngas cleanup via reforming of tars and other hydrocarbons is one of the key technology advancements realized as part of this prior research and 2012 demonstrations. The process described in this report evaluates a new technology area for the downstream utilization of clean biomass-derived syngas for the production of high-octane hydrocarbon products through methanol and DME intermediates. In this process, methanol undergoes dehydration to DME, which is subsequently converted via homologation reactions to high-octane, gasoline-range hydrocarbon products.
Book
1 online resource (4 pp. ) : digital, PDF file.
This brochure describes the sustainability of the Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse in Denver, Colorado.
Book
1 online resource (3.05 MB ): digital, PDF file.
EC-LEDS is a flagship U.S. government-led effort that assists countries to create and implement low emission development strategies, or LEDS -- development frameworks that promote sustainable social and economic development while reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the medium to long term.
Book
3.7 MB : digital, PDF file.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) Environmental Performance Report provides a description of the laboratory's environmental management activities for 2015, including information on environmental and sustainability performance, environmental compliance activities and status, and environmental protection programs, highlights, and successes. The purpose of this report is to ensure that U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the public receive timely, accurate information about events that have affected or could adversely affect the health, safety, and security of the public or workers; the environment; or the operations of DOE facilities. This report meets the requirements of the Annual Site Environmental Report and is prepared in accordance with the DOE Order 231.1B, Environment, Safety and Health Reporting.

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