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January 6, 2010

2009 Year of Energy: Energy White Papers Now Online

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC As part of its Year of Energy 2009, Sigma Xi invited members and the public to share their energy expertise by submitting white papers that present solutions to some aspect of the energy crisis.

We had an excellent response, and all accepted white papers are posted online where readers can download, rate and comment on them.

There are also several guest blog entries and other energy resources at the site. Below is a list of white papers available online:

Renewable and Sustainable Production of Practicable Fuel
J. A. Van Vechten discusses mechanisms for producing chemical fuels using wind energy. Such fuels, he argues, could be easily transported to points of demand, and their production could remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Technology to Reduce Energy Demand in Steel Plants
Saurabh Mehta describes technology that could be deployed in steel plants to redirect waste heat to power boilers or turbines. Mehta argues that, for the largest steel plants, the energy savings could amount to millions of dollars per year.

Potential Applications of Hydrogen Generation from Cheap Forms of Aluminum Reacting With Water
Solomon Zaromb and Joseph R. Stetter describe a process for reacting aluminum and water to produce hydrogen. They describe possible applications, such as providing a backup energy source for homes, hospitals, and other establishments, as well as a fuel for electric boats.

Systems Analysis and Recommendations for R&D and Accelerated Deployment of Solar Energy
Kevin DeGroat and colleagues present a systems analysis of the solar energy industry. They conclude that research and improvement in integrating solar power into the grid, and lowering the cost of photovoltaics, could accelerate adoption of solar technology.

Combined Thin Film Photovoltaic and Reflective 3D Parabolic Panels for Utility-Scale Solar Dishes
James Townsend and Francis Fung present an emerging method for capturing the sun's energy by combining photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies in the same parabolic solar dish.

Fuels from Municipal Waste
David Emerson and colleagues describe a system for autoclaving and sorting municipal waste, fractions of which are then treated to produce fuels. A prototype of the system exists, but its economic feasibility on a large scale is unknown. The authors advocate a trial run in Nevada.

Cradle to Cradle: Turning Nuclear "Waste" Into Nuclear Fuel
Marilyn Waite discusses the process of nuclear waste recycling, and argues that it should be one part of the approach to building a low-carbon economy.

Where is the Concern for Ecology in the Energy Debate?
Norman Meadow, William Biggley and Ajax Eastman argue in favor of nuclear energy from a biological perspective-beginning with the potential negative ecological impacts of renewable energy sources. They further claim that nuclear energy will impact far less land area, but has been overlooked due to misperceptions of the health risk it poses.

Fungi in Bioremediation of Oil Polluted Environments
Omokaro Obire and Ramesh Putheti review the potential of fungi to clean up remnants of oil spills, particularly in the Niger Delta region.

Renewable Energy: How Much of an Option Is It?
Stan Jakuba assesses the potential contributions of biofuels, solar, hydroelectric and geothermal energy, and concludes that they cannot meet growing energy demands. Nuclear energy, he argues, is the only source that can provide an adequate supply.

About Sigma Xi
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society for research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters in North America and around the world. Membership is by invitation. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist magazine, the non-profit Society awards hundred of grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.

 

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