Book
1 online resource (4 ) : digital, PDF file.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is committed to developing the resources, technologies, and systems needed to support a thriving bioenergy industry that protects natural resources and ad- vances environmental, economic, and social benefits. BETO’s Sustainability Technology Area proactively identifies and addresses issues that affect the scale-up potential, public acceptance, and long-term viability of advanced bioenergy systems; as a result, the area is critical to achieving BETO’s overall goals.
Book
p. 297-299 : digital, PDF file.
Renewable, biomass-based energy options can reduce the climate impacts of fossil fuels. However, calculating the effects of wood-derived bioenergy on greenhouse gases (GHGs), and thus on climate, is complicated (Miner et al. 2015). To clarify concerns and options about bioenergy, in November 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produced a second draft of its Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO<sub>2</sub> Emissions fromStationary Sources (http://1.usa.gov/1dikgHq), which considers the latest scientific information and input from stakeholders. Furthermore, the EPA is expected to make decisions soon about the use of woody biomass under the Clean Power Plan, which sets targets for carbon pollution from power plants.
Book
1 online resource (92 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
Sustainability is fundamental to the Department of Energy’s research mission and operations as reflected in the Department’s Strategic Plan. Our overarching mission is to discover the solutions to power and secure America’s future.
Book
1 online resource (None ) : digital, PDF file.
This case study describes community-scale housing constructed on an urban infill site and incorporating energy efficiency, resource efficiency, and durability.
Book
1 online resource (63 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
Investigation of innovative methods for collecting, handling, storing, and transporting corn stover for potential use for production of cellulosic ethanol.
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 (p. 1-13 ) : digital, PDF file.
For analyzing sustainability of algal biofuels, we identify 16 environmental indicators that fall into six categories: soil quality, water quality and quantity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and productivity. Indicators are selected to be practical, widely applicable, predictable in response, anticipatory of future changes, independent of scale, and responsive to management. Major differences between algae and terrestrial plant feedstocks, as well as their supply chains for biofuel, are highlighted, for they influence the choice of appropriate sustainability indicators. Algae strain selection characteristics do not generally affect which indicators are selected. The use of water instead of soil as the growth medium for algae determines the higher priority of water- over soil-related indicators. The proposed set of environmental indicators provides an initial checklist for measures of biofuel sustainability but may need to be modified for particular contexts depending on data availability, goals of the stakeholders, and financial constraints. Ultimately, use of these indicators entails defining sustainability goals and targets in relation to stakeholder values in a particular context and can lead to improved management practices.
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.
There are three objectives for this project: 1) support OBP in meeting MYPP stated performance goals for the Sustainability Platform, 2) develop integrated feedstock production system designs that increase total productivity of the land, decrease delivered feedstock cost to the conversion facilities, and increase environmental performance of the production system, and 3) deliver to the bioenergy community robust datasets and flexible analysis tools for establishing sustainable and viable use of agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops. The key project outcome to date has been the development and deployment of a sustainable agricultural residue removal decision support framework. The modeling framework has been used to produce a revised national assessment of sustainable residue removal potential. The national assessment datasets are being used to update national resource assessment supply curves using POLYSIS. The residue removal modeling framework has also been enhanced to support high fidelity sub-field scale sustainable removal analyses. The framework has been deployed through a web application and a mobile application. The mobile application is being used extensively in the field with industry, research, and USDA NRCS partners to support and validate sustainable residue removal decisions. The results detailed in this report have set targets for increasing soil sustainability by focusing on primary soil quality indicators (total organic carbon and erosion) in two agricultural residue management pathways and a dedicated energy crop pathway. The two residue pathway targets were set to, 1) increase residue removal by 50% while maintaining soil quality, and 2) increase soil quality by 5% as measured by Soil Management Assessment Framework indicators. The energy crop pathway was set to increase soil quality by 10% using these same indicators. To demonstrate the feasibility and impact of each of these targets, seven case studies spanning the US are presented. The analysis has shown that the feedstock production systems are capable of simultaneously increasing productivity and soil sustainability.
Book
1 online resource (17 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office held a workshop on “Social Aspects of Bioenergy” on April 24, 2012, in Washington, D.C., and convened a webinar on this topic on May 8, 2012. The findings and recommendations from the workshop and webinar are compiled in this report.
Book
1 online resource.
Since the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office has funded $33.7 million for multiple data digitization and aggregation projects focused on making vast amounts of geothermal relevant data available to industry for advancing geothermal exploration. These projects are collectively part of the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS), a distributed, networked system for maintaining, sharing, and accessing data in an effort to lower the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). Determining “who owns” and “who maintains” the NGDS and its data nodes (repositories in the distributed system) is yet to be determined. However, the invest- ment in building and populating the NGDS has been substantial, both in terms of dollars and time; it is critical that this investment be protected by ensuring sustainability of the data, the software and systems, and the accessibility of the data. Only then, will the benefits be fully realized. To keep this operational system sustainable will require four core elements: continued serving of data and applications; maintenance of system operations; a governance structure; and an effective business model. Each of these presents a number of challenges. Data being added to the NGDS are not strictly geothermal but data considered relevant to geothermal exploration and develop- ment, including vast amounts of oil and gas and groundwater wells, among other data. These are relevant to a broader base of users. By diversifying the client base to other users and other fields, the cost of maintaining core infrastructure can be spread across an array of stakeholders and clients. It is presumed that NGDS will continue to provide free and open access to its data resources. The next-phase NGDS operation should be structured to eventually pursue revenue streams to help off-set sustainability expenses as necessary and appropriate, potentially including income from: grants and contracts (agencies, foundations, pri- vate sector), membership, fees for services (consulting, training, customization, ‘app’ development), repository services (data, services, apps, models, documents, multimedia), advertisements, fees for premier services or applications, subscriptions to value added services, licenses, contributions and donations, endow- ments, and sponsorships.
Book
1 online resource.
The inherent variability in corn stover productivity due to variations in soils and crop management practices might contribute to a variation in corn stover-based bioethanol sustainability. This study was carried out to examine how changes in soil types and crop management options would affect corn stover yield (CSY) and the sustainability of the stover-based ethanol production in the Delta region of Mississippi. Based on potential acreage and geographical representation, three locations were selected. Using CERES-Maize model, stover yields were simulated for several scenarios of soils and crop management options. Based on 'net energy value (NEV)' computed from CSYs, a sustainability indicator for stover-based bioethanol production was established. The effects of soils and crop management options on CSY and NEV were determined using ANOVA tests and regression analyses. Both CSY and NEV were significantly different across sandy loam, silt loam, and silty clay loam soils and also across high-, mid-, and low-yielding cultivars. With an increase in irrigation level, both CSY and NEV increased initially and decreased after reaching a peak. A third-degree polynomial relationship was found between planting date and CSY and NEV each. By moving from the lowest to the highest production scenario, values of CSY and NEV could be increased by 86 to 553%, depending on location and weather condition. The effects of variations in soils and crop management options on NEV were the same as on CSY. The NEV was positive for all scenarios, indicating that corn stover-based ethanol production system in the Delta region is sustainable.
Book
1 online resource (8 ) : digital, PDF file.
This publication describes the Biomass Program’s efforts to examine the intersection of land-use change and bioenergy production. It describes legislation requiring land-use change assessments, key data and modeling challenges, and the research needs to better assess and understand the impact of bioenergy policy on land-use decisions.
Book
p. 117-127 : digital, PDF file.
In order to aid in transition towards operations that promote sustainability goals, researchers and stakeholders use sustainability assessments. Although assessments take various forms, many utilize diverse sets of indicators that can number anywhere from two to over 2000. Indices, composite indicators, or aggregate values are used to simplify high dimensional and complex data sets and to clarify assessment results. Although the choice of aggregation function is a key component in the development of the assessment, there are few examples to be found in literature to guide appropriate aggregation function selection. This paper develops a connection between the mathematical study of aggregation functions and sustainability assessment in order to aid in providing criteria for aggregation function selection. Relevant mathematical properties of aggregation functions are presented and interpreted. Lastly, we provide cases of these properties and their relation to previous sustainability assessment research. Examples show that mathematical aggregation properties can be used to address the topics of compensatory behavior and weak versus strong sustainability, aggregation of data under varying units of measurements, multiple site multiple indicator aggregation, and the determination of error bounds in aggregate output for normalized and non-normalized indicator measures.
Book
1 online resource (20 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
This report is the result of the second in a series of intense workshops and study sessions on Grand Challenges of the Sustainability Transition, organized by the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University, hosted by Venice International University, and supported by the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea.
Book
1 online resource (Article No. e01206 ) : digital, PDF file.
This paper connects the science of sustainability theory with applied aspects of sustainability deployment. A suite of 35 sustainability indicators spanning six environmental, three economic, and three social categories has been proposed for comparing the sustainability of bioenergy production systems across different feedstock types and locations. A recent demonstration-scale switchgrass-to-ethanol production system located in East Tennessee is used to assess the availability of sustainability indicator data and associated measurements for the feedstock production and logistics portions of the biofuel supply chain. Knowledge pertaining to the available indicators is distributed within a hierarchical decision tree framework to generate an assessment of the overall sustainability of this no-till switchgrass production system relative to two alternative business-as-usual scenarios of unmanaged pasture and tilled corn production. The relative contributions of the social, economic and environmental information are determined for the overall trajectory of this bioenergy system s sustainability under each scenario. Within this East Tennessee context, switchgrass production shows potential for improving environmental and social sustainability trajectories without adverse economic impacts, thereby leading to potential for overall enhancement in sustainability within this local agricultural system. Given the early stages of cellulosic ethanol production, it is currently difficult to determine quantitative values for all 35 sustainability indicators across the entire biofuel supply chain. This case study demonstrates that integration of qualitative sustainability indicator ratings may increase holistic understanding of a bioenergy system in the absence of complete information.
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
p. 35-37 : digital, PDF file.
Here, one of the major goals of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) is to achieve energy savings with a corresponding reduction in the carbon footprint. With this in mind, the DoE sponsored the Induction Coupled Thermomagnetic Processing (ITMP) project with major partners Eaton Corp., Ajax Tocco Magnethermic, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to evaluate the viability of processing metals in a strong magnetic field.
Book
59 p. : digital, PDF file.
Socio-economic sustainability indicators that have been proposed previously for terrestrial bioenergy were evaluated for applicability to algal biofuels. Indicators developed for terrestrial bioenergy were found to be appropriate and sufficient for algae biofuels, meeting the selection criteria of practicality, wide applicability, predictability in response to management, anticipation of future changes, adaptability to multiple scales where possible, ability to integrate multiple dimensions, and non-redundancy. The 16 indicators fall into the categories of social well-being, energy security, external trade, profitability, resource conservation, and social acceptability. None of the indicators have yet been measured in published sustainability assessments for commercial facilities. Indicators estimated for various scenarios in the scientific literature include the profitability indicators return on investment and net present value, and the resource conservation indicator, fossil energy return on investment. The food security indicator, percent change in food price volatility, is easy to estimate at zero if agricultural lands are not used. Some indicators, such as the energy security indicators energy security premium and fuel price volatility and the external trade indicators terms of trade and trade volume cannot be projected into the future with accuracy, so they will not be measured prior to significant commercialization of algal biofuels. Furthermore, the list of proposed sustainability indicators may be adjusted to particular purposes and contexts. Together with environmental sustainability indicators, these socioeconomic sustainability indicators should contribute to sustainability assessments for algal biofuels.
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 (p. 192-203 ) : digital, PDF file.
Evidence is provided to support the view that greater than two-thirds of energy required to produce domestic hot water may be extracted from the ground which serves as renewable energy resource. The case refers to a 345 m2 research house located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 36.01 N 84.26 W in a mixed-humid climate with HDD of 2218 C-days (3993 F-days) and CDD of 723 C-days (1301 F-days). The house is operated under simulated occupancy conditions in which the hot water use protocol is based on the Building America Research Benchmark Definition (Hendron 2008; Hendron and Engebrecht 2010) which captures the water consumption lifestyles of the average family in the United States. The 5.275 (1.5-ton) water-to-water ground source heat pump (WW-GSHP) shared the same vertical bore with a 7.56 KW water-to-air ground source heat pump for space conditioning the same house. Energy and exergy analysis of data collected continuously over a twelve month period provide performance metrics and sources of inherent systemic inefficiencies. Data and analyses are vital to better understand how WW-GSHPs may be further improved to enable the ground to be used as a renewable energy resource.
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 (40 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
This document summarizes the recommendations and evaluations provided by an independent external panel of experts at the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Biomass Program’s Sustainability Platform Review meeting.
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
p. 861-874 : digital, PDF file.
The growing interest in US biofuels has been motivated by two primary national policy goals, (1) to reduce carbon emissions and (2) to achieve energy independence. However, the current low cost of fossil fuels is a key barrier to investments in woody biofuel production capacity. The effectiveness of wood derived biofuels must consider not only the feedstock competition with low cost fossil fuels but also the wide range of wood products uses that displace different fossil intensive products. Alternative uses of wood result in substantially different unit processes and carbon impacts over product life cycles. We developed life cycle data for new bioprocessing and feedstock collection models in order to make life cycle comparisons of effectiveness when biofuels displace gasoline and wood products displace fossil intensive building materials. Wood products and biofuels can be joint products from the same forestland. Furthermore, substantial differences in effectiveness measures are revealed as well as difficulties in valuing tradeoffs between carbon mitigation and energy independence.
Book
1 online resource.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) aims to displace 30% of the 2004 gasoline use (60 billion gal/yr) with biofuels by 2030 as outlined in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which will require 700 million tons of biomass to be sustainably delivered to biorefineries annually. Lignocellulosic biomass will make an important contribution towards meeting DOE’s ethanol production goals. For the biofuels industry to be an economically viable enterprise, the feedstock supply system (i.e., moving the biomass from the field to the refinery) cannot contribute more that 30% of the total cost of the biofuel production. The Idaho National Laboratory in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of California, Davis and Kansas State University are developing a set of tools for identifying economical, sustainable feedstocks on a regional basis based on biorefinery siting.
Book
1 online resource (2 ) : digital, PDF file.
This fact sheet summarizes key accomplishments and successes of the Bioenergy Technologies Office in 2014.
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 (2 files ) : digital, PDF file.
Images of the Stripa Granite core before and after the fracture sustainability test. Photos of fracture faces of Stripa Granite core.
Book
1 online resource (32 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
The overall goal of this project is to create a Tribal Energy Action Plan that will serve as the Tribe's blueprint for creating long term energy self sufficiency. The Plan will be developed with input from a committed group of key stakeholders and landowners in the area, will be based on sound data and research, and will address both supply side options of the development of sustainable energy sources, as well as demand-side options for reducing energy consumption. The resulting plan will include defined comprehensive energy strategies and built upon a baseline assessment of where the Tribe currently is in terms of alternative and renewable energy activities; a vision of where the Tribe wants to go; and an action plan of how the Tribe will reach its vision including the identification of viable energy options based on the long-term strategic plan of the Tribe.
Book
1 online resource (4 ) : digital, PDF file.
This fact sheet describes how the Biomass Program and its partners combine advanced analysis with applied research to understand and address the potential environmental, economic, and social impacts of bioenergy production.
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.
Book
1 online resource (19 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
This paper 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 via indirect gasification, gas clean-up via reforming of tars and other hydrocarbons, catalytic conversion of syngas to methanol, methanol dehydration to dimethyl ether (DME), and the homologation of DME over a zeolite catalyst to high-octane gasoline-range hydrocarbon products. The current process configuration has similarities to conventional methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) technologies, but there are key distinctions, specifically regarding the product slate, catalysts, and reactor conditions. A techno-economic analysis is performed to investigate the production of high-octane gasoline blendstock. The design features a processing daily capacity of 2000 tonnes (2205 short tons) of dry biomass. The process yields 271 liters of liquid fuel per dry tonne of biomass (65 gal/dry ton), for an annual fuel production rate of 178 million liters (47 MM gal) at 90% on-stream time. The estimated total capital investment for an nth-plant is $438 million. The resulting minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) is $0.86 per liter or $3.25 per gallon in 2011 US dollars. A rigorous sensitivity analysis captures uncertainties in costs and plant performance. Sustainability metrics for the conversion process are quantified and assessed. The potential premium value of the high-octane gasoline blendstock is examined and found to be at least as competitive as fossil-derived blendstocks. A simple blending strategy is proposed to demonstrate the potential for blending the biomass-derived blendstock with petroleum-derived intermediates. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining published by Society of Industrial Chemistry and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Book
1 online resource (100 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
The purpose of this report is to ensure that the 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 DOE requirements of the Annual Site Environmental Report and has been prepared in accordance with the DOE Order 231.1B Chg 1, Environment, Safety and Health Reporting.
Book
1 online resource (2 pp. ) : digital, PDF file.
The parking garage fact sheet highlights the many features of NREL's garage, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, building materials, and waste minimization.
Book
1 online resource.
What does Sustainability mean, and why should people in the thermophysical properties business care? This paper will describe sustainability in the context of product development, which is where much of the buzz is currently being generated. Once described, it will discuss how expectations for Sustainability are changing product lines, and then discuss the controversial issues now emerging from trying to measure Sustainability. One of the most organized efforts in the U.S. is the U.S. Green Building Council revolutionizing how the built environment is conceptualized, designed, built, used, and disposed of - and born again. The appeal of the US Green Building Council is that it has managed to checklist how to "do" Sustainability. By following this checklist, better described as a rating system, a more Sustainable product should be achieved. That is, a product that uses less energy, less water, is less noxious to the user, and consumes fewer resources. We care because these Sustainable products are viewed as preferable by a growing number of consumers and, consequently, are more valuable. One of the most interesting aspects of the Sustainability movement is a quantitative assessment of how sustainable a product is. Life Cycle Assessment techniques (not to be confused with life cycle economic costs) developed since the early 1990s are gaining ground as a less biased method to measure the ultimate "bad" consequences of creating a product (depletion of natural resources, nutrification, acid rain, air borne particulates, solid waste, etc.). For example, one assertion is that these studies have shown that recycling can sometimes do more environmental harm than good.
Book
1 online resource (70 pp. ) : digital, PDF file.
NREL's Site Sustainability Plan FY 2015 reports on sustainability plans for the lab for the year 2015 based on Executive Order Goals and provides the status on planned actions cited in the FY 2014 report.
Book
1 online resource (894 kb ) : digital, PDF file.
This is the final report, including links to Working Group reports and an attached Working Group report for SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge I, from Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York, on behalf of New York City
Book
3 MB; 61 pages : digital, PDF file.
A great deal of research funding is being devoted to the use of hydrogen for transportation fuel, particularly in the development of fuel cell vehicles. When this research bears fruit in the form of consumer-ready vehicles, will the fueling infrastructure be ready? Will the required fueling systems work in cold climates as well as they do in warm areas? Will we be sure that production of hydrogen as the energy carrier of choice for our transit system is the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly option? Will consumers understand this fuel and how to handle it? Those are questions addressed by the EVermont Wind to Wheels Hydrogen Project: Sustainable Transportation. The hydrogen fueling infrastructure consists of three primary subcomponents: a hydrogen generator (electrolyzer), a compression and storage system, and a dispenser. The generated fuel is then used to provide transportation as a motor fuel. EVermont Inc., started in 1993 by then governor Howard Dean, is a public-private partnership of entities interested in documenting and advancing the performance of advanced technology vehicles that are sustainable and less burdensome on the environment, especially in areas of cold climates, hilly terrain and with rural settlement patterns. EVermont has developed a demonstration wind powered hydrogen fuel producing filling system that uses electrolysis, compression to 5000 psi and a hydrogen burning vehicle that functions reliably in cold climates. And that fuel is then used to meet transportation needs in a hybrid electric vehicle whose internal combustion engine has been converted to operate on hydrogen Sponsored by the DOE EERE Hydrogen, Fuel Cells & Infrastructure Technologies (HFC&IT) Program, the purpose of the project is to test the viability of sustainably produced hydrogen for use as a transportation fuel in a cold climate with hilly terrain and rural settlement patterns. Specifically, the project addresses the challenge of building a renewable transportation energy capable system. The prime energy for this project comes from an agreement with a wind turbine operator.
Book
1 online resource.
The DOE Biomass Program recently implemented the Biofuels Initiative, or 30x30 program, with the dual goal of reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil by making cellulosic ethanol cost competitive with gasoline by 2012 and by replacing 30 percent of gasoline consumption with biofuels by 2030. Experience to date with increasing ethanol production suggests that it distorts agricultural markets and therefore raises concerns about the sustainability of the DOE 30 X 30 effort: Can the U.S. agricultural system produce sufficient feedstocks for biofuel production and meet the food price and availability expectations of American consumers without causing environmental degradation that would curtail the production of both food and fuel? Efforts are underway to develop computer-based modeling tools that address this concern and support the DOE 30 X 30 goals. Beyond technical agronomic and economic concerns, however, such models must account for the publics’ growing interest in sustainable agriculture and in the mitigation of predicted global climate change. This paper discusses ongoing work at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies that investigates the potential consequences and long-term sustainability of projected biomass harvests by identifying and incorporating “sustainable harvest indicators” in a computer modeling strategy.
Book
20 pages : digital, PDF file.
The project had a dominant education component. The project involved revising curriculum to educate traditional engineering students in the emerging field of industrial biotechnology. New classes were developed and offered. As a result, the curriculum of the Colorado School of Mines was expanded to include new content. Roughly 100 undergraduates and about 10 graduate students each year benefit from this curricular expansion. The research associated with this project consisted of developing new materials and energy sources from renewable resources. Several significant advances were made, most importantly the heat distortion temperature of polylactide (PLA) was increased through the addition of cellulosic nanowhiskers. The resulting ecobionanocomposites have superior properties which enable the use of renewable resource based plastics in a variety of new applications. Significant amounts of petroleum are thereby saved and considerable environmental benefits also result. Effectiveness and economic feasibility of the project proved excellent. The educational activities are continuing in a sustainable fashion, now being supported by tuition revenues and the normal budgeting of the University. The PI will be teaching one of the newly developed classes will next Fall (Fall 2006), after the close of the DOE grant, and again repeatedly into the future. Now established, the curriculum in biobased products and energy will grow and evolve through regular teaching and revision. On the research side, the new plastic materials appear economically feasible and a new collaboration between the PI’s group and Sealed Air, a major food-packaging manufacturer, has been established to bring the new green plastics to market. Public benefits of the project are noteworthy in many respects. These include the development of a better educated workforce and citizenry capable of providing technological innovation as a means of growing the economy and providing jobs. In particular, the educational components addressing the production of bioethanol, biodiesel, and bioplastics provide graduates that can assist American industries in including greater renewable content in feedstocks for materials and fuels. Finally, the collaboration fostered by this grant led to the drafting of a new book entitled, Bioengineering for Sustainability: Materials and Fuels for the 21st Century. This text will be widely available to the public interested in learning more about these important areas of technology.
Book
1 online resource (4 ) : digital, PDF file.
This brochure details the sustainable and green aspects of the LEED Platinum-designed Kiowa County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg, Kansas.
Book
1 online resource.
From beverage distributors to shipping companies and federal agencies, industry leaders turn to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to help green their fleet operations. Cost, efficiency, and reliability are top priorities for fleets, and NREL partners know the lab’s portfolio of tools can pinpoint fuel efficiency and emissions-reduction strategies that also support operational the bottom line. NREL is one of the nation’s foremost leaders in medium- and heavy-duty vehicle research and development (R&D) and the go-to source for credible, validated transportation data. NREL developers have drawn on this expertise to create tools grounded in the real-world experiences of commercial and government fleets. Operators can use this comprehensive set of technology- and fuel-neutral tools to explore and analyze equipment and practices, energy-saving strategies, and other operational variables to ensure meaningful performance, financial, and environmental benefits.
Book
1 online resource (1 pg. ) : digital, PDF file.
NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is meant to investigate new ways to integrate energy sources so they work together efficiently, and one of the key tools to that investigation, a new supercomputer, is itself a prime example of energy systems integration. NREL teamed with Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Intel to develop the innovative warm-water, liquid-cooled Peregrine supercomputer, which not only operates efficiently but also serves as the primary source of building heat for ESIF offices and laboratories. This innovative high-performance computer (HPC) can perform more than a quadrillion calculations per second as part of the world's most energy-efficient HPC data center.
Book
18.6 MB : digital, PDF file.
The Colorado Better Buildings project intended to bring new and existing energy efficiency model programs to market with regional collaboration and funding partnerships. The goals for Boulder County and its program partners were to advance energy efficiency investments, stimulate economic growth in Colorado and advance the state’s energy independence. Collectively, three counties set out to complete 9,025 energy efficiency upgrades in 2.5 years and they succeeded in doing so. Energy efficiency upgrades have been completed in more than 11,000 homes and businesses in these communities. Boulder County and its partners received a $25 million BetterBuildings grant from the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the summer of 2010. This was also known as the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants program. With this funding, Boulder County, the City and County of Denver, and Garfield County set out to design programs for the residential and commercial sectors to overcome key barriers in the energy upgrade process. Since January 2011, these communities have paired homeowners and business owners with an Energy Advisor – an expert to help move from assessment to upgrade with minimal hassle. Pairing this step-by-step assistance with financing incentives has effectively addressed many key barriers, resulting in energy efficiency improvements and happy customers. An expert energy advisor guides the building owner through every step of the process, coordinating the energy assessment, interpreting results for a customized action plan, providing a list of contractors, and finding and applying for all available rebates and low-interest loans. In addition to the expert advising and financial incentives, the programs also included elements of social marketing, technical assistance, workforce development and contractor trainings, project monitoring and verification, and a cloud-based customer data system to coordinate among field advisors and across local governments and local service vendors. A portion of the BetterBuildings grant went to the Metro Mayors Caucus (MMC) who worked in partnership with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) to conduct a series of 10 energy efficiency workshops for local government officials and other interested parties. The workshops helped showcase lessons learned on energy efficiency and helped guide other local governments in the establishment of similar programs. The workshops covered a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy topics such as clean energy finance, social mobilization and communications, specific case studies of Colorado towns, energy efficiency codes, net zero buildings and solar power. Since the programs launched in January 2011, these communities have collectively spurred economic investments in energy efficiency, achieved greater than 5:1 leveraging of grant funds, saved energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, provided trainings for a robust local energy contractor network, and proved out viable and replicable program models that local utilities and other communities are adopting, with long lasting market transformation.
Book
1 online resource (2 ) : digital, PDF file.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has a longstanding sustainability program that revolves around energy and water efficiency as well as environmental protection. MSFC identified a problematic cooling loop with six separate compressor heat exchangers and a history of poor efficiency. The facility engineering team at MSFC partnered with Flozone Services, Incorporated to implement a comprehensive water treatment platform to improve the overall efficiency of the system.
Book
1 online resource (2 ) : digital, PDF file.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has a longstanding, successful sustainability program that focuses on energy and water efficiency as well as environmental protection. Because MSFC was built in the 1960s, most of the buildings house outdated, inefficient restroom fixtures. The facility engineering team at MSFC developed an innovative efficiency model for replacing these older toilets and urinals.
Book
9.38 MB, 192 pages : digital, PDF file.
Based on a widely cited September, 1999 report by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, nearly 11 million tons of asphalt roofing shingle wastes are produced in the United States each year. Recent data suggests that the total is made up of about 9.4 million tons from roofing tear-offs and about 1.6 million tons from manufacturing scrap. Developing beneficial uses for these materials would conserve natural resources, promote protection of the environment and strengthen the economy. This project explored the feasibility of using chipped asphalt shingle materials in cement manufacturing kilns and circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boilers. A method of enhancing the value of chipped shingle materials for use as fuel by removing certain fractions for use as substitute raw materials for the manufacture of new shingles was also explored. Procedures were developed to prevent asbestos containing materials from being processed at the chipping facilities, and the frequency of the occurrence of asbestos in residential roofing tear-off materials was evaluated. The economic feasibility of each potential use was evaluated based on experience gained during the project and on a review of the well established use of shingle materials in hot mix asphalt. This project demonstrated that chipped asphalt shingle materials can be suitable for use as fuel in circulating fluidized boilers and cement kilns. More experience would be necessary to determine the full benefits that could be derived and to discover long term effects, but no technical barriers to full scale commercial use of chipped asphalt shingle materials in these applications were discovered. While the technical feasibility of various options was demonstrated, only the use of asphalt shingle materials in hot mix asphalt applications is currently viable economically.
Book
1 online resource (20 ) : digital, PDF file.
Presentation from the Save Energy Now LEADER Industrial Sustainability and Energy Management Showcase.

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