Explore the interesting world of science with articles, videos and more. Recognizing and celebrating excellence in chemistry and celebrate your achievements. ACS Scholars Scholarships for underrepresented minority students majoring in undergraduate chemistry-related disciplines. Funding to support the advancement of the chemical sciences through research projects.
ACS Travel Award Learn more about travel awards for those attending scientific meetings to present the results of their research. PDF version. Energy production and use have significant implications for our environment, economy, and national security and is a critical and complex policy issue. Federal, state, and local governmental actions help shape U. The ACS acknowledges that currently no single energy technology is simultaneously reliable, affordable, clean, and secure for all people in the United States.
Energy policy must balance short-term goals, such as low costs to encourage economic growth, against long-term goals, such as environmental protection, security, and resilience. It is important to develop new and existing energy technologies to support a diversified energy portfolio. Technology innovations drawn from chemical enterprises have elevated U.
The current abundance and stability in the energy landscape presents an opportunity for the U. The ACS believes the following core objectives should drive energy policy and use in the United States:. Coal, oil and natural gas continue to be an important energy source in the United States, but the full environmental, economic, and security costs associated with using these resources must be factored in to their market prices and national energy decision-making. The negative environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels need to be addressed by implementing better management practices such as further reducing carbon emissions.
Energy - American Chemical Society
In addition, methane leaks during gas production, transport, storage and distribution need to be reduced in order to realize the greenhouse gas emission benefits of energy from natural gas in comparison to burning coal. Renewable energy resources are naturally replenishing, but flow-limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time.
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Renewable sources include biomass, hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, ocean thermal, wave action, and tidal action. Nuclear energy, while not considered a renewable source, provides a more carbon-free source of electricity with high energy density, utilization and reliability. The continued development of next generation reactors is expected to protect the climate, boost the economy, and ensure our global leadership and competitiveness.
The ACS recognizes valid public concerns about the safety and potential environmental impact of nuclear energy, while at the same time acknowledging that safe implementation and use can be achieved as has been demonstrated by U. It is in the national interest to improve and support the resilience, reliability, flexibility, sustainability, and security of these systems.
Improving energy efficiency and conservation is the easiest, least expensive, and most practical ways to make positive impacts on fuel consumption and energy use, particularly in the short term. Developing energy technologies to foster safe, secure, efficient, and innovative use of resources should align with a sustainable food-energy-water system.
The move to truly renewable electricity supply holds great promise to reduce the fossil energy supplied to buildings and transportation, the two largest current users. Renewable electricity used in heating and transportation will reduce fossil fuel use and cut greenhouse gas emissions. If you do not respond, everything you entered on this page will be lost and you will have to login again. Don't show this again!
Careers Launch and grow your career with career services and resources. Develop and grow in your career Find and land a job Explore career options Find networking opportunities Professional Communities Career Events. Communities Find a chemistry community of interest and connect on a local and global level. Discover Chemistry Explore the interesting world of science with articles, videos and more. Awards Recognizing and celebrating excellence in chemistry and celebrate your achievements. Marine and Hydrokinetic MHK or marine energy development includes projects using the following devices:.
Thorium is a fissionable material for possible future use in a thorium-based reactor. Proponents of thorium reactors claims several potential advantages over a uranium fuel cycle , such as thorium's greater abundance , better resistance to nuclear weapons proliferation ,    and reduced plutonium and actinide production. As an economic sector, there are limited stock market investment opportunities in alternative energy available to the general public. The public can buy shares of alternative energy companies from various stock markets with wildly volatile returns. The IPO of SolarCity demonstrates the nascent nature of this sector- within a few weeks, it already had achieved the second highest market cap within the alternative energy sector.
In general there are three sub-segments of alternative energy investment: solar energy, wind energy and hybrid electric vehicles. Each of these four segments involve very different technologies and investment concerns. Investors can also invest in ETFs exchange-traded funds and mutual funds that track an alternative energy index.
In , Mosaic Inc. Photovoltaic solar energy is based on semiconductor processing and benefits from cost reductions similar to those in the microprocessor industry. The economics of solar Photovoltaic electricity are highly dependent on silicon pricing.
Because some companies sell completed solar cells on the open market, this can create an irrational pricing environment. Wind power has been harnessed for over years and its underlying technology is stable. Its economics are largely determined by demand, steel prices, and the composite material used for the blades. Because current wind turbines are often in excess of meters high, logistics and a global manufacturing platform are major sources of competitive advantage.
In response, many smaller companies have rapidly increased research and development into radically different ways of powering consumer vehicles. Hybrid and battery electric vehicles are commercially available and are gaining wider industry and consumer acceptance worldwide. Before alternative energy becomes mainstream there are a few crucial obstacles that it must overcome. First there must be increased understanding of how alternative energies are beneficial; secondly the availability components for these systems must increase; and lastly the pay-back period must be decreased.
The continue adoption of these vehicles depend on investment in public charging infrastructure, as well as implementing much more alternative energy for future transportation. There are numerous organizations within the academic, federal, and commercial sectors conducting large scale advanced research in the field of alternative energy.
This research spans several areas of focus across the alternative energy spectrum. Most of the research is targeted at improving efficiency and increasing overall energy yields. In the US, multiple federally supported research organizations have focused on alternative energy in recent years. Additionally, their use also dispenses with the trade-off that has existed between environmental conservation and economic growth.
Mechanical energy associated with human activities such as blood circulation, respiration, walking, typing and running, is ubiquitous but usually wasted. It has attracted tremendous attention from researchers around the globe to find methods to scavenge such mechanical energies. The best solution currently is to use piezoelectric materials, which can generate flow of electrons when deformed. Various devices using piezoelectric materials have been built to scavenge mechanical energy. Considering that the piezoelectric constant of the material plays a critical role in the overall performance of a piezoelectric device, one critical research direction to improve device efficiency is to find new material of large piezoelectric response.
Lead Magnesium Niobate-Lead Titanate PMN-PT is a next-generation piezoelectric material with super high piezoelectric constant when ideal composition and orientation are obtained. In , PMN-PT Nanowires with a very high piezoelectric constant were fabricated by a hydro-thermal approach  and then assembled into an energy-harvesting device . The record-high piezoelectric constant was further improved by the fabrication of a single-crystal PMN-PT nanobelt,  which was then used as the essential building block for a piezoelectric nanogenerator. Solar energy can be used for heating , cooling or electrical power generation using the sun.
Solar heat has long been employed in passively and actively heated buildings, as well as district heating systems. The obstacles preventing the large-scale implementation of solar powered energy generation is the inefficiency of current solar technology and the cost. Several academic programs have focused on solar research in recent years. In , researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT developed a method to store solar energy by using it to produce hydrogen fuel from water.
The Zhangebei National Wind and Solar Energy Storage and Transmission Demonstration Project northwest of Beijing, uses batteries to store 71 MWh, integrating wind and solar energy on the grid with frequency and voltage regulation. The company claims that the prototype converts In the s NASA developed an analytical model to predict wind turbine power generation during high winds.
Sandia's laboratory focuses on the advancement of materials, aerodynamics, and sensors. The Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy FLOWE at Caltech was established to research alternative approaches to wind energy farming technology practices that have the potential to reduce the cost, size, and environmental impact of wind energy production. Renewable energies such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal combined, supplied 1.
Biomass can be regarded as " biological material "  derived from living, or recently living organisms. It most often refers to plants or plant-derived materials which are specifically called lignocellulosic biomass. Conversion of biomass to biofuel can be achieved by different methods which are broadly classified into: thermal , chemical , and biochemical methods.
Wood remains the largest biomass energy source today;  examples include forest residues such as dead trees, branches and tree stumps , yard clippings, wood chips and even municipal solid waste. In the second sense, biomass includes plant or animal matter that can be converted into fibers or other industrial chemicals , including biofuels.
Industrial biomass can be grown from numerous types of plants, including miscanthus , switchgrass , hemp , corn , poplar , willow , sorghum , sugarcane , bamboo ,  and a variety of tree species, ranging from eucalyptus to oil palm palm oil. Pollutants such as sulphurous oxides SO x , nitrous oxides NO x , and particulate matter PM are produced from this combustion. The World Health Organisation estimates that 7 million premature deaths are caused each year by air pollution,  and biomass combustion is a major contributor of it.
As the primary source of biofuels in North America, many organizations are conducting research in the area of ethanol production. Much of this research is targeted toward the effect of ethanol production on domestic food markets. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has conducted various ethanol research projects, mainly in the area of cellulosic ethanol. It does not take away or directly conflict with the food supply because it is produced from wood, grasses, or non-edible parts of plants.
From to , the National Renewable Energy Laboratory experimented with using algae as a biofuels source in the " Aquatic Species Program. The production of algae to harvest oil for biofuels has not yet been undertaken on a commercial scale, but feasibility studies have been conducted to arrive at the above yield estimate. In addition to its projected high yield, algaculture— unlike food crop-based biofuels — does not entail a decrease in food production, since it requires neither farmland nor fresh water. Many companies are pursuing algae bio-reactors for various purposes, including scaling up biofuels production to commercial levels.
Several groups in various sectors are conducting research on Jatropha curcas, a poisonous shrub-like tree that produces seeds considered by many to be a viable source of biofuels feedstock oil. SG Biofuels , a San Diego-based Jatropha developer, has used molecular breeding and biotechnology to produce elite hybrid seeds of Jatropha that show significant yield improvements over first generation varieties.
Geothermal energy is produced by tapping into the heat within the earths crust. It is considered sustainable because that thermal energy is constantly replenished. Several entities, such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory  and Sandia National Laboratories  are conducting research toward the goal of establishing a proven science around geothermal energy.
The International Centre for Geothermal Research IGC , a German geosciences research organization, is largely focused on geothermal energy development research. Much of this work centers on hydrogen storage and fuel cell technologies. The generation of alternative energy on the scale needed to replace fossil energy, in an effort to reverse global climate change, is likely to have significant negative environmental impacts.
For example, biomass energy generation would have to increase 7-fold to supply current primary energy demand, and up to fold by given economic and energy growth projections. The remaining biomass is needed to maintain ecosystem functions and diversity.
Green Processing and Synthesis
Given environmental concerns e. Windpower, if deployed on the large scale necessary to substitute fossil energy, is likely to face public resistance. Unless only a relatively small fraction of electricity is generated by wind turbines in remote locations, it is unlikely that the public will tolerate large windfarms given concerns about blade noise and aesthetics. Biofuels are different from fossil fuels in regard to net greenhouse gases but are similar to fossil fuels in that biofuels contribute to air pollution.
Burning produces airborne carbon particulates , carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides. Renewable alternative forms of energy have faced opposition from multiple groups, including conservatives and liberals. Around twelve states have passed proposals written to inhibit the alternative energy movement. Kansas lawmakers struck down a bill to phase out renewable energy mandates but face the possibility of the bill reappearing. The opposition cites the potentially high cost of branching out to these alternatives in order to support the continuation and reliance on fossil fuels. Ohio's mandate to phase in alternative energy faces opposition who believe higher electricity prices will result, while supporters fear the loss of economic development and jobs that alternative energy could bring.
With nuclear meltdowns in Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear power presents a constant danger and is more unlikely to be a popular alternative source. The costs of maintaining nuclear facilities, the potential risk of meltdowns, and the cost of cleaning up meltdowns are cited as reasons behind the movement away from the use of nuclear energy. In some countries nuclear power plants cannot compete with fossil fuels currently due to the latter's lower price and availability.
Nuclear power plants also face competition from the increasing renewable energy subsidies. Solar panels are an icon of the 'green power' movement, however the process of manufacturing the quartz based panels can be detrimental to the environment. Raw quartz silica used to create solar cells must be mined using harsh chemicals that harm the surrounding environment, as well as those working in the mines. Silicosis is a form of lung disease that is caused by the inhalation of crystalline silica dust resulting in nodule lesions in the lungs.
The silica must be cultivated into metallurgical-grade silicon, the process requiring a massive amount of energy as the quartz is placed into electric arc furnaces. This process also produces tetrachloride, a toxic substance that, if not disposed of correctly, can be harmful to the surrounding environment. Hydrochloric acid is formed when tetrachloride interacts with water, lowering water and soil pH.
Incidents of tetrachloride spills are common in China, as the production of solar panels has shifted from Europe and the United States to Asian countries within the early s. Because of such, the villagers of Gaolong are unable to leave their homes due to air and soil becoming toxic. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Main article: Ethanol fuel. Main article: Renewable energy. Main articles: Carbon-neutral fuel and Methanol economy. Main article: Hydroelectricity. Main article: Thorium fuel cycle. Further information on power production see: Thorium-based nuclear power. This section contains content that is written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by removing promotional content and inappropriate external links , and by adding encyclopedic content written from a neutral point of view. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Solar energy.
Main article: Wind power. Main articles: Biomass and Biogas. Sugarcane plantation to produce ethanol in Brazil. A CHP power station using wood to supplies 30, households in France. Main article: Ethanol biofuels. Main article: Biofuel. Main article: Geothermal electricity. Main article: Hydrogen fuel. This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.
Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. March Learn how and when to remove this template message. Green Illusions. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press. European Review of Economic History. European Historical Economics Society. Archived PDF from the original on 17 December Retrieved Lay summary. Commonwealth Forestry Association. Archived from the original doc on 17 December Note: Dr. White specifically refers to coal as a 17th-century alternative fuel in this paper. Hubbert Peak of Oil Production website.
Archived from the original on 22 December Cantor Harper Collins. Old Dartmouth Historical Society. The National Geographic Magazine. National Geographic Society. In relation to coal and oil, the world's annual consumption has become so enormous that we are now actually within measurable distance of the end of the supply. What shall happen when there is no more coal or oil! There is, however, one other source of fuel supply which may perhaps this problem of the future.
Alcohol makes a beautiful, clean and efficient fuel, and where not intended for human consumption can be manufactured very cheaply from corn stalks and in fact from almost any vegetable matter capable of fermentation. Renewable Fuels Association. Archived from the original on Azevedo Ramos da Silva Archived from the original PDF on 28 May April Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center. Renewable Heat Workshop.
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