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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 (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 (431-438 ) : digital, PDF file.
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.
Intellectual Merit: Following the success of the first three Pan-American Congresses on Plants and BioEnergy held biennially, the 4th congress will be held at the University of Guelph, Canada June 4-7, 2014. We aim to continue a tradition of showcasing major advances in energy crop improvement yet keep in perspective the realities of the economic drivers and pressures that govern the translation of scientific success into a commercial success. The congress is endorsed by the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists. The program will cover a range of disciplines, including algal and plant systems for bioenergy, plant genetics and genomics, gene discovery for improvement of bioenergy production and quality, regulatory mechanisms of synthesis and degradation, strategies for 3rd generation biofuel production and the promise of synthetic biology in production of biofuels and bio-based products, cropping systems and productivity for biomass production, and mitigation of environmental impacts of bioenergy production. Broader Impacts: We are requesting support to generate stipends for domestic and permanent-resident students, post-doctorals, and pre-tenured faculty members to attend and benefit from the outstanding program. The stipends will be limited to registration and on-site lodging costs, with partial support for travel in instances of great need. So that as great a number can benefit as possible, airfare costs will be provided for only applicants with great need. ASPB has endorsed this meeting and will assist in advertising and promoting the meeting. ASPB has a long-standing commitment to increase participation and advance the careers in plant biology of women, minorities and underrepresented scientists, and they will assist us in identifying worthy candidates.
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 (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 (0:04:43 ) : digital, PDF file.
Energy Literacy Essential Principle #6: The amount of energy used by human society depends on many factors.
Book
p. 239-249 : digital, PDF file.
Human agency is an essential determinant of the dynamics of agroecosystems. However, the manner in which agency is represented within different approaches to agroecosystem modeling is largely contingent on the scales of analysis and the conceptualization of the system of interest. While appropriate at times, narrow conceptualizations of agroecosystems can preclude consideration for how agency manifests at different scales, thereby marginalizing processes, feedbacks, and constraints that would otherwise affect model results. Modifications to the existing modeling toolkit may therefore enable more holistic representations of human agency. Model integration can assist with the development of multi-scale agroecosystem modeling frameworks that capture different aspects of agency. In addition, expanding the use of socioeconomic scenarios and stakeholder participation can assist in explicitly defining context-dependent elements of scale and agency. Finally, such approaches, however, should be accompanied by greater recognition of the meta agency of model users and the need for more critical evaluation of model selection and application.
Book
1 online resource (0:01:43 ) : digital, PDF file.
Charlie Catlett, a Senior Computer Scientist at Argonne and Director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data at the Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne, talks about how he and his colleagues are using high-performance computing, data analytics, and embedded systems to better understand and design cities.
Book
1 online resource (19 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
Advanced Outage Control Center (AOCC), is a multi-year pilot project targeted at Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) outage improvement. The purpose of this pilot project is to improve management of NPP outages through the development of an AOCC that is specifically designed to maximize the usefulness of communication and collaboration technologies for outage coordination and problem resolution activities. This report documents the results of a benchmarking effort to evaluate the transferability of technologies demonstrated at Idaho National Laboratory and the primary pilot project partner, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. The initial assumption for this pilot project was that NPPs generally do not take advantage of advanced technology to support outage management activities. Several researchers involved in this pilot project have commercial NPP experience and believed that very little technology has been applied towards outage communication and collaboration. To verify that the technology options researched and demonstrated through this pilot project would in fact have broad application for the US commercial nuclear fleet, and to look for additional outage management best practices, LWRS program researchers visited several additional nuclear facilities.
Book
1 online resource.
Five whole building analysis software tools that can aid an energy manager with fulfilling energy audit and commissioning/retro-commissioning requirements were selected for review in this best practices study. A description of each software tool is provided as well as a discussion of the user interface and level of expertise required for each tool, a review of how to use the tool for analyzing energy conservation opportunities, the format and content of reports generated by the tool, and a discussion on the applicability of the tool for commissioning.
Book
1 online resource.
Reliable instrumentation, information, and control (II&C) systems technologies are essential to ensuring safe and efficient operation of the U.S. light water reactor (LWR) fleet. These technologies affect every aspect of nuclear power plant (NPP) and balance-of-plant operations. In 1997, the National Research Council conducted a study concerning the challenges involved in modernization of digital instrumentation and control systems in NPPs. Their findings identified the need for new II&C technology integration.
Book
1 online resource (78 p. ) : digital, PDF file.
Reliable instrumentation, information, and control (II&C) systems technologies are essential to ensuring safe and efficient operation of the U.S. light water reactor (LWR) fleet. These technologies affect every aspect of nuclear power plant (NPP) and balance-of-plant operations. In 1997, the National Research Council conducted a study concerning the challenges involved in modernization of digital instrumentation and control systems in NPPs. Their findings identified the need for new II&C technology integration.