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  Environmental Policy Issues

Global Oil Supply and United States Energy Policy
(Released June 2005)

 

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  1. Three Decades after the Oil Embargo: Was 1973 Unique?

    A. F. Alhajji.

    Journal of Energy and Development, Vol. 30, No. 2. pp. 223-237. Spring 2005, 2005.

    Conventional wisdom states that economic sanctions generally fail to achieve their objectives; yet it is widely believed this was not the case of the 1973 oil embargo. A thorough investigation of events in the early 1970s indicates that several political, economic, and technical factors made the 1973 embargo unique and its impact appear larger that what it was. This combination of events might have contributed to the misperception that the "oil weapon" was successful. The 1973 embargo is no exception to the conventional wisdom. It did not coerce targeted nations into altering their policies toward Israel. The failure of the oil weapon makes it highly unlikely that current Arab governments would impose another embargo. However, since the political factors that led to the previous three embargoes still exist today, "new, radical" governments in the Middle East may resort to it, not only to influence the policies of the United States and its allies, but for its symbolic value in the Arab world.

  2. Energy Security in a New World Order

    Gawdat G. Bahgat.

    Journal of Energy and Development, Vol. 30, No. 1. pp. 45-52. Autumn 2004, 2004.

    Oil policy is shaped by economic interests as well as strategic considerations. In response to rising political instability in the Middle East since the early 2000s, major industrialized countries have sought to reduce their oil dependence on supplies from the region and, instead, develop deposits in other areas, particularly Russia and the Caspian Sea. This study argues that production from these two regions is restrained by geological, economic, and political hurdles. Furthermore, the proposition that one supplier can replace another one is a wrong proposition. Today's well-integrated global oil market suggests that availability of oil supplies, not the source of supplies, is the main factor to ensure energy security.

  3. Russia-China-India Energy Cooperation

    R. K. Batra and Anurag Khetan.

    China Report, Vol. 40, No. 2. pp. 169-183. Apr-Jun, 2004.

    Examines the possibility for Russian-Indian-Chinese energy cooperation, focusing on the key economic issues surrounding oil or gas pipeline construction. The Russian, Chinese, & Indian markets are scrutinized in terms of the supply-&-demand balance for oil & natural gas. Three pipeline route options are delineated, with the determination of pipeline capacity seen to hinge on China's anticipated usage. 9 Tables, 3 Figures, 1 Appendix. J. Zendejas.

  4. Cartel Formation and Oligopoly Structure: A New Assessment of the Crude Oil Market

    Sabine Bockem.

    Applied Economics, Vol. 36, No. 12. pp. 1355-1369. July 2004, 2004.

    While economic theorists regard OPEC as a perfect example of a long-lasting cartel, energy economists strongly deny such view. Applying the ideas of New Empirical Industrial Organization, a market description is derived. Cartel theory and empirical evidence fit together well. Stable long-lasting cartels can be explained only for subclasses of market models and exactly such type of model is obtained here. A variety of different market models is tested. OPEC and the market for crude oil is best described by a price-leader model.

  5. International Energy Outlook 2004 and Projections to 2025

    Guy F. Caruso and Linda E. Doman.

    Journal of Energy and Development, Vol. 30, No. 1. pp. 21-43. Autumn 2004, 2004.

    In this paper, we present the outlook for worldwide energy markets. The International Energy Outlook 2004 (IEO2004) is the latest edition of the Energy Information Administration's mid-term assessment of world energy markets through 2025. In this year's report, world energy use is expected to increase by 54 percent according to the reference case projection. Gross domestic product is a major driver of the forecast, but it is also a major source of uncertainty, so we present our high- and low-economic growth case results to quantify this uncertainty. The strongest growth in energy use is projected for the nations of the developing world, particularly developing Asia, where robust economic growth accompanies the energy consumption increase. The IEO2004 expects that much of the energy demand growth over the next two decades will be met with fossil fuels and that there are sufficient fossil-fuel resources to meet energy demand through 2025. Oil is expected to be the dominant primary energy source over the next 20 years, in large part because of rising transportation energy usage, where there are few economically competitive alternatives to oil today. The paper also provides forecasts for natural gas--the fastest growing source of primary energy--and for coal. We present the forecast for world electricity demand and discuss the energy sources used for future electricity generation. The paper ends with a look at carbon dioxide emissions that would result from the forecasts for fossil-fuel use in the reference case.

  6. Oil Prices, Economic Activity and Inflation: Evidence for Some Asian Countries

    J. Cunado and F. Perez de Gracia.

    Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Vol. 45, No. 1. pp. 65-83. 2005, 2005.

    In this paper we study the oil prices-macroeconomy relationship by means of studying the impact of oil price shocks on both economic activity and consumer price indexes for six Asian countries over the period 1975Q1-2002Q2. The results suggest that oil prices have a significant effect on both economic activity and price indexes, although the impact is limited to the short run and more significant when oil price shocks are defined in local currencies. Moreover, we find evidence of asymmetries in the oil prices-macroeconomy relationship for some of the Asian countries.

  7. Perspectives on the Potential of Russian Oil

    Clifford G. Gaddy.

    Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol. 45, No. 5. pp. 346-351. July-Aug. 2004, 2004.

    A prominent American specialist on the economy of the former USSR comments on Russian oil in light of a preceding paper on the subject. Noting the congruence of Russia's economic growth with world oil prices, the author points out that the country's growth is endangered by sharp declines in those prices. He also recalls how an oil windfall shaped Russian thinking in the 1970s, questions how long Russia can pump oil at its maximum level by invoking the American experience from 1859 through the peak in 1970 until the present, analyzes the two corporate models in the Russian oil sector, and briefly outlines Putin's new approach to foreign investment in the sector.

  8. OPEC versus Non-OPEC

    Sharif Ghalib.

    Journal of Energy and Development, Vol. 30, No. 1. pp. 81-89. Autumn 2004, 2004.

    The paper addresses the financial prospects of 17 major oil exporters in the context of possible global oil market weakness during the medium-term horizon. That weakness could put renewed downward pressure on oil prices, potentially straining the relations between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, and their principal competitors among the non-OPEC oil producers led by Russia. The paper concludes, however, the a prolonged price war between the two groups of countries is highly unlikely during the medium-term future because very few oil exporters have accumulated sufficiently large reserve cushions of external financial assets that would be necessary to withstand a price war without severely harming domestic economic and social development plans. The paper finds that the vast majority of oil producers require an oil export price--in terms of domestic grades--of at least $19 to $20 per barrel just to balance the current account of their balance of payments, assuming crude oil exports volumes at roughly the average of 2002-2003 and the exertion of only modest government efforts to contain growth of domestic budget spending. It also calculates that the "minimum balancing oil price" for the current accounts of OPEC states ranges from a low of $7 to $8 for Libya to a high of about $25.50 for Nigeria. Among non-OPEC producers, the price ranges from a low of $12 for Norway to a high of more than $35 for Mexico, the most diversified of all the oil producers.

  9. Forecasting the limits to the availability and diversity of global conventional oil supply

    J. L. Hallock Jr, P. J. Tharakan, C. A. S. Hall, M. Jefferson and W. Wu.

    Energy (Oxf.), Elsevier Science Ltd., Vol. 29, No. 11. pp. 1673-1696. Sep, 2004.

    Due to the critical importance of oil to modern economic activity, and oil's non-renewable nature, it is extremely important to try to estimate possible trajectories of future oil production while accounting for uncertainties in resource estimates and demand growth, and other factors that might limit production. In this study, we develop several alternate future scenarios for conventional oil supply, given the current range of the estimates of resource availability and of future demand, and assuming that production will continue to increase unconstrained by political or economic factors such as deliberate withholdings or prolonged global recession. Our results predict that global production of conventional oil will almost certainly begin an irreversible decline somewhere between 2004 and 2037, at 22 to 42 billion barrels per year, depending upon how much oil is available from the earth's crust and the growth rate in its use. In addition, we found that the increasing domestic use of conventional oil in oil-producing countries is very likely to eliminate over time the ability of these countries to export oil to net-consumer countries, so that the number of net-exporting countries will be reduced from 35 today to between 12 and 28 by 2030, and fewer subsequently. The geopolitical and economic implications of these trends are likely to be pronounced if reliance on cheap oil is not reduced prior to the peak.

  10. Black Gold: The End of Bretton Woods and the Oil-Price Shocks of the 1970s

    David Hammes and Douglas Wills.

    Independent Review, Vol. 9, No. 4. pp. 501-511. Spring 2005, 2005.

    Economists have debated the causal mechanism by which OPEC policies of the 1970s contributed to the decade's rise in prices overall, but all sides have assumed that U.S. prices indices are appropriate for computing the real price of oil. This assumption is mistaken and has led economists to overestimate the benefit that the policies brought to OPEC countries and to ignore the effects that ending the Bretton Woods Agreement had on OPEC policies.

  11. Cyclical Behaviour and Shock-Persistence: Crude Oil Prices

    Ahmad R. Jalali-Naini and Mehdi Asali.

    OPEC Review, Vol. 28, No. 2. pp. 107-131. June 2004, 2004.

    Oil prices behave differently over different time-horizons. For the short run, we examine the pattern of movements in crude oil prices over business cycles and test whether price increases influence global output and/or are influenced by economic cycles. For the long run, we focus on whether "shocks" to crude oil prices are persistent or not. Our findings indicate that the price of crude oil exhibits substantial cyclical behaviour, as verified by several tests carried out in this paper. The VAR analysis indicates that the price of oil is a pro-cyclical variable. Moreover, the results show that, while, during the 1972-2003 period (when OPEC exerted more influence in the oil market), the oil market experienced substantial fluctuations in price, the price cycles were mean-reverting and not shock-persistent. This could indicate that OPEC market power can have stabilising effects.

  12. China and the Competition for Oil and Gas in Asia

    Henry J. Kenny.

    Asia-Pacific Review, Vol. 11, No. 2. pp. 36-47. Nov, 2004.

    While its economic dynamism stimulates continued growth in Asia, the People's Republic of China's increasing demand for energy is creating intense competition, particularly with Japan, over international sources of supply. Domestic fields have generally been disappointing, as have efforts to pipe gas from Central Asia & Russia to the east coast. Consequently, China is not only paying greater attention to potential petroleum resources in the East & South China Seas, but also considering the vulnerability of its sea-lanes to the Middle East & beyond. Its need to diversify has promoted closer relations with Central Asia, the Middle East, & the oil producing countries of Africa & Latin America, but the jury is out on whether China's concerns for secure energy supply will lead to international cooperation against terrorism or fuel the already heated competition for oil & gas. As China continues to assure its future energy security in Asia & many areas of the world, sustained bilateral & multilateral diplomacy to reconcile disputes & avoid conflict will become more important than ever. 1 Table. Adapted from the source document.

  13. Asian Demand Pushes Up Commodity Prices

    Klaus Matthies.

    Intereconomics/Review of European Economic Policy, Vol. 39, No. 2. pp. 109-112. March-April 2004, 2004.

    Dollar prices for industrial raw materials have increased along a wide front, and oil prices are almost as high as they were before the Iraq war. Due to the weak dollar, however, consumers in the euro area have been relatively unaffected so far. Demand for raw materials will remain strong. Must we brace ourselves for a further sharp increase in commodity prices?

  14. Oil Outlook to 2025

    Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Mohamed Hamel and Garry Brennand.

    OPEC Review, Vol. 28, No. 3. pp. 155-205. September 2004, 2004.

    This paper presents the OPEC Secretariat's latest outlook to 2025 for oil supply and demand. The results have been developed using the OPEC World Energy Model, OWEM. The next two decades are expected to see increases in energy demand met predominantly by fossil fuels, with oil set to continue to maintain its major role. There is also a clear expectation that the oil resource base is sufficiently abundant to satisfy this demand growth. Global oil demand rises in the reference case by 12 million barrels per day to 89 mb/d from 2002 to 2010, an average annual growth rate of 1.5 mb/d, or 1.8 per cent per annum, over the period. In the following decade, demand grows by a further 17 mb/d to 106 mb/d by 2020, and then by another 9 mb/d to 115 mb/d by 2025. Almost three-quarters of the increase in demand over the period 2002-25 comes from developing countries. In the short-to-medium term, overall non-OPEC supply is expected to continue to increase--rising to a plateau of 55-57 mb/d in the post-2010 period. The key sources for the increase in non-OPEC supply will be Latin America, Africa, Russia and the Caspian. In the longer term, OPEC will increasingly be called upon to supply the incremental barrel. Uncertainties over future economic growth, government policies and the rate of development and diffusion of newer technologies raise questions over the future scale of investment that will be required. These uncertainties, coupled with long lead times, inevitably complicate the task of maintaining market stability. Medium-term prospects suggest that there is a need to ensure that spare capacity is not too high and that it is consistent with sustained market stability. There are genuine risks of downward pressure on oil prices, and this could sow the seeds of instability.

  15. Global Oil Resources: Issues and Implications

    Philip H. Stark and Kenneth Chew.

    Journal of Energy and Development, Vol. 30, No. 2. pp. 159-170. Spring 2005, 2005.

    Global liquid hydrocarbon resources appear adequate to meet the estimated demand in 2025 of 120.9 million barrels per day. But reliable information about petroleum resources and reserves is required to determine if this target is achievable. Official country reserve estimates are shown to be unreliable. A dynamic bottom-up resource estimation methodology, based on estimated proven plus probable liquids resources in known oil and gas fields, can generate meaningful results. This methodology includes estimated reserve growth, economically recoverable liquids from tar sands or heavy oil, and yet-to-find resources. Since 1984, new discovery volumes have failed to replace liquids consumption. However, the combination of discoveries plus field growth plus heavy oil production has greatly exceeded consumption. To meet projected 2025 demand, discovery volumes must rise, new technologies must be developed to increase recoveries, and political climates that will enhance access to giant resources in the Middle East and former Soviet Union will be required.

  16. California commends economy of 'Green' Buildings

    G. Brouwer.

    Civil Engineering Magazine, American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 73, No. 12. pp. 21. Dec., 2003.

    California's Sustainable Building Task Force, a group of more than 40 state agencies formed in ordere to integrate "green" building design principles into state-owned projects, released a 120-page economic analysis in October that indicates the burgeoning field of sustainable design could dramatically increase the long-term value of buildings. The study-described by the task force as "the most definitive cost-benefit analysis of green building ever conducted"-found that if developers invest an extra 2 percent of a building's construction cost in the implementation of green building principles, the money will be paid back tenfold over the life of the structure. In particular, the report says, an investment of $100,000 in green building design on a $5-million project "would result in a savings of at least $1 million over the life of the building, assumed conservatively to be 20 years."

  17. Land Preservation: An Essential Ingredient in Smart Growth

    Tom Daniels and Mark Lapping.

    Journal Of Planning Literature, SAGE Publications, Vol. 19, No. 3. pp. 316-329. February, 2005.

    The preservation of land for working rural landscapes, wildlife habitat, urban parks, recreational trails, and protecting water supplies and floodplains is emerging as an integral component of smart growth programs. Both the general public and nonprofit organizations have been willing to spend billions of dollars on land preservation because of a perception that traditional land use planning and regulation are not successfully accommodating growth or protecting valuable natural resources. The literature on smart growth has largely overlooked the potential of land preservation to curb sprawl and to foster livable communities. The literature on land preservation has focused on the mechanics of conservation easements and land purchases rather than on how land preservation can fit in the comprehensive planning process to achieve community smart growth goals. More research needs to be done on the strategic use of land preservation in shaping and directing growth as part of a comprehensive planning effort.

  18. California's Global Warming Bill: Will Fuel Economy Preemption Curb California's Air Pollution Leadership?

    C. T. Giovinazzo.

    Ecol.Law Q., Vol. 30, No. 4. pp. 893-954. , 2003.

    In 2001, the California legislature passed AB-1493, a law requiring substantial reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and trucks. AB-1493 is the latest in California's long history of pioneering regulations to reduce motor vehicle emissions, a leadership role that Congress encouraged by granting California a unique waiver to the Clean Air Act's preemption of state vehicle emissions laws. Yet automakers intend to challenge AB-1493 as preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). EPCA sets federal fuel economy standards and preempts state fuel economy regulations with no exception for California. Even though reducing vehicular GHGs will likely affect fuel economy, this Comment argues that AB-1493 should be upheld against an EPCA preemption challenge. Because every California emissions law has some impact on fuel economy, there is no logical way to apply EPCA preemption to California without eliminating California's CAA flexibility to pass its own emissions laws. Constricting California's autonomy would directly conflict with Congress's intent and would impede the kind of state innovation that should be favored by an administration and a Supreme Court friendly to federalism.

  19. The impact of energy efficient house construction on homeownership costs: a comparative study in Gainesville, Florida

    Pierce Jones and Marc T. Smith.

    Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1. pp. pp.76-98. Sep, 2003.

    The goal of this study was to determine whether the Energy Star home program, as implemented in Gainesville, Florida, is reducing energy use and therefore costs relative to other homes and the extent of the savings. Analysis of Energy Star qualified houses found the savings wereappreciable and statistically significant. The indicated energy savings for the average Energy Star household were $180 per year, which wascapitalized to indicate a value increase of the average housing unit of $4,500 and the ability to afford a mortgage of $2,255 more than in the absence of the energy savings. The financial implications of thesesavings suggest that affordable housing policy needs to factor in continuing ownership costs in addition to the cost of the structure (the "first cost") associated with purchasing a home. If the operating costs can be reduced, then the ability of a household to afford homeownership is improved. (Original abstract)

  20. Green Building Strategies, Policies and Tools the Canadian Experience

    N. Larsson.

    International Journal for Housing and Its Applications, International Association for Housing Science, Vol. 28, No. 4. pp. 323-345. , 2004.

    A frequent point of debate is the relationship between Green Building and Sustainable Development (SD). We take the view that SD is most applicable at the urban or societal level, since it includes issues of social equity and broad issues of economics, in addition to concerns about ecosystems and human health. It is difficult to apply these broader societal issues to buildings in a practical way and instead, many building researchers and designers find it more meaningful to develop models of building performance that is consistent with SD at the societal level. In short, Green Building helps to support a broader Sustainable Development agenda. If Sustainable Development goals are to be truly reached, we could argue that buildings should consume no energy, water or materials, and should produce no emissions, noise or waste over their lifespans. While this is an interesting concept, it is likely that we will have to work towards more modest goals during the next 20 years. Even at a more realistic level, there is global interest in improving the performance of buildings. Governments want to reduce the use of scarce resources and airborne emissions, owners want to reduce operating costs, and developers are finding that customers are demanding higher quality and performance. l Although the achievement of this goal in different countries will require varied strategies, it is certain that all will have to make substantial improvements in the methods used to design, construct and operate buildings. This will require interventions by governments, but it will also require that designers adopt a different way of working. The building industry is very different from other sectors with substantial environmental impacts. The performance of automobiles, for example, can be improved by working with relatively few manufacturers, but the construction industry consists of thousands of organization, ranging from very small to very large, and staffed by individuals whose levels of skills and training vary from very basic to quite advanced. Buildings are also long-lived compared to other products, and have to conform to local cultural and climatic conditions in addition to meeting functional requirements. All of this implies that initiatives for performance improvement must be addressed on a broad front. This paper will confine itself to the range of initiatives that look promising in the large buildings sector (excluding small houses) and within market economies. In addition, the discussion will be focused on measures that apply primarily to the design and construction stages, for both new and renovated buildings. All the approaches discussed are based on Canadian experience, but their basic strategies are of broader interest.

  21. Environmental Taxes in Europe

    Thomas Sterner and Gunnar Kohlin.

    Public Finance and Management, Vol. 3, No. 1. pp. 117-142. 2003, 2003.

    This paper provides an overview and a discussion of environmental taxes in Europe. On the whole, most European countries have fairly high levels of environmental taxation--at least compared to the US. This appears broadly speaking to be true of both tax levels and tax revenues. It is partly related to a greater reliance on taxes as an instrument of environmental policy and partly due to a greater acceptance of taxes and maybe a larger public sector overall. It may also be due to a more ambitious goal when it comes to reductions in fossil energy use, particularly for transportation. There is still considerable variation within Europe when it comes to the level of taxation, the use of the revenues collected and other issues.

  22. The USA and Global Environmental Policy: Domestic Constraints on Effective Leadership

    Glen Sussman.

    International Political Science Review, SAGE Publications, Vol. 25, No. 4. pp. 349-369. October, 2004.

    During the past three decades, global environmental policy has increased in salience in international politics. What role has the USA, a principal actor in global affairs, played in multilateral efforts to promote environmental protection? What factors might account for US actions regarding progress or problems related to global environmental policy? In order to answer these questions, I examine the role of three principal actors in the US political system, namely, the American president, the Congress, and domestic organized interests. This discussion is followed by three case studies (the Montreal Protocol, the Convention on Global Climate Change, and the Convention on Biodiversity) that show the role of these political actors in shaping US global environmental policy. When the USA provides leadership, it bolsters multilateral efforts to address global environmental problems. When it fails to offer leadership, it weakens that effort. Either way, domestic political factors (rather than interstate relations) play a central role in shaping US global environmental policy.

  23. Ecological Sustainability, Environmental Justice, and Energy Use: An Annotated Bibliography

    Touché George E.

    Journal Of Planning Literature, SAGE Publications, Vol. 19, No. 2. pp. 206-223. November, 2004.

    This bibliography brings together diverse literature that focuses on different facets of ecological sustainability, environmental justice, and energy use. Inherent general themes emerge from recognition of the essential linkage existing between intragenerational and intergenerational equity. Planning scholars should be especially interested as ecological sustainability, environmental justice, and energy use are all relevant to common planning priorities involving equity, justice, citizen participation, and public health and well-being.

  24. Axis of Oil?

    David G. Victor and Nadejda M. Victor.

    Foreign Affairs, Vol. 82, No. 2. pp. 47-61. March-April 2003, 2003.

    Russia and the United States have settled on oil as the basis of a new partnership. This move is dangerous, however, because it ignores the divergent interests of the two countries and their inability to influence global oil markets. Indeed, war in Iraq could tear this partnership apart. A far better basis for U.S.-Russian ties would be the two nations' durable common interest in developing and safeguarding nuclear power.

  25. Meeting America's Future Energy Needs

    Murray Weidenbaum.

    Society, Vol. 40, No. 5(265). pp. 52-56. July-Aug, 2003.

    Argues that the US needs to develop a new energy policy now in order to meet future needs before a crisis occurs. It is contended that the current debate over a production-oriented strategy vs a conservative-oriented strategy will become moot when faced with the challenge of energy adequacy & increased uncertainties related to the global supply of oil. An overview of the energy situation in the US is followed by a critique of "easy sounding" propositions for solving energy problems, including greater reliance on an information approach to conservation; using market forces to conserve energy; subsidizing the purchase of vehicles powered by fuel cells; & constructing more natural gas pipelines. It is argued that it will take a combination of suggested measures coupled with new innovations to meet the nation's future energy needs. Meanwhile, US vulnerability to aggressive geopolitical pressure from overseas energy supplies can be reduced by expanding emergency stockpiles; relying on a greater variety of energy sources; developing the flexibility to switch to alternative fuels; & maintaining an effective economic stabilization mechanism. J. Lindroth.

  26. Performance evaluation of hybrid-drive buses and potential fuel savings in Brazilian urban transit

    Marcio A. L. M. E. I. D. A. De D'agosto and Suzana K. A. H. N. Ribeiro.

    Transportation, Kluwer Academic Publishers Group, Vol. 31, No. 4. pp. 479-496. Nov., 2004.

    Transporting more than 55 million passengers per day, buses are the main transit mode in Brazil. Most of these vehicles use diesel oil and this situation causes dependence on oil, extensive greenhouse gas emissions and increasing air pollution in urban areas. In order to improve this situation the options for Brazilian cities include the use of alternative fuels and new propulsion technologies, such as hybrid vehicles. This article proposes a procedure for evaluating the performance of a recently developed Brazilian hybrid-drive technology. A simple procedure is presented to compare hybrid-drive buses with conventional diesel buses in urban operation focusing on fuel economy and the potential for reducing diesel oil consumption through the use of hybriddrive buses. Field tests carried out by the authors indicate that fuel consumption improvement through the use of hybrid-drive buses would certainly exceed 20%, resulting in lower fuel costs and reduced carbon dioxide (CO,) emissions.

  27. Utilization of Biomass as Alternative Fuel for External Combustion Engines

    Ayhan Demirbas and Fuat Meydan.

    Energy Sources, Taylor & Francis, Vol. 26, No. 13. pp. 1219-1226. Nov., 2004.

    Because Turkey is an energy-important country, external combustion engines for Turkey possess strategic importance. Turkey's annual biomass potential is 32 million tons of oil equivalent. Gasoline is 9.836 fold more expensive than wood in Turkey. Railway transportation that operate with external combustion engines with wood or coal fire is more economic than highway transportation for Turkey. Thermal energy, produced by burning biomass and other low grade fuels, can be used for small-scale power generation using an external combustion engine, such as the Stirling engine.

  28. Stable Low-Pressure Hydrogen Clusters Stored in a Binary Clathrate; Hydrate

    L. J. FLORUSSE, C. J. PETER, J. SCHOONMAN, K. C. HESTER and C. A. KOH ET AL.

    Science, Vol. 306, No. 5695, pp. 469-471. pp. October 15. , 2004.

    To increase the feasibility of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, researchers must find ways to store maximum quantities of the gas in the most compact space possible. Clathrates offer a novel form of "molecular storage" of hydrogen. Clathrate hydrates are crystalline, cage-shaped molecules that consist of a hydrogen-bonded water-ice lattice that may sequester one or more types of guest molecules. Clusters of hydrogen can be sequestered in clathrates, thereby theoretically offering a mode of hydrogen storage. However, clathrate hydrate molecules containing hydrogen clusters are stable only at extremely high pressures. Researchers report the stabilization and storage of hydrogen clusters in clathrate hydrates at low pressures through the introduction of a second guest molecule. The researchers found that a binary clathrate that includes tetrahydrofuran (THF) as well as a hydrogen guest molecule is stable at much lower pressures than pure hydrogen (H2) hydrate. The THF/H2 hydrate is also stable at higher temperatures than a pure THF hydrate. When the THF/H2 complex was analyzed using X-ray powder diffraction, it was found to have the same structure as a pure H2 hydrate. The inclusion of H2 in the molecules was confirmed by Raman and solid-state magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The analyses reveal that H2 molecules incorporated into the clathrate cages remain in free rotational states, unbonded to one another or to the water in the clathrate. The H2 clusters are contained solely within small water cages, while the THF is contained only within large water cages. The THF/H2 clathrate is stabilized at a pressures of about 5 megapascals (MBp) and a temperature of 279.6 kelvin (K).

  29. Recent progress in the direct ethanol fuel cell: development of new platinum-tin electrocatalysts

    C. Lamy, S. Rousseau, E. M. Belgsir, C. Coutanceau and J. -M Leger.

    Electrochim.Acta, Pergamon Press plc, Vol. 49, No. 22-23. pp. 3901-3908. 15 Sept., 2004.

    Ethanol is an alternative choice as a fuel in a direct combustion fuel cell. Its non toxicity and its availability from biomass resources advocate its use in a direct ethanol fuel cell (DEFC), even if the actual performance obtained are slightly lower than those observed with methanol. By modifying the composition of the platinum anode by adding tin, it was confirmed that the overall electrocatalytic activity is greatly enhanced at low potentials. The optimum composition in tin is in the range 10-20 at.%. With this composition, it was demonstrated that poisoning by adsorbed CO coming from the ethanol dissociative chemisorption is greatly reduced leading to a significant enhancement of the electrode activity. However, it seems that the oxidation of ethanol is not complete leading to the formation of C2 products. These observations made in half-cell experiments are fully confirmed during electrical tests in a single direct ethanol fuel cell.

  30. Alternative Fuel: Programs hurdle gap to build infrastructure of hydrogen

    K. McFall.

    ENR, McGraw Hill Publishing Co, Vol. 252, No. 4. pp. 17. 26 Jan., 2004.

    Toronto program to deploy fuel-cell and hydrogen infrastructure projects over the next five years aims to create a dense geographic concentration of commercial projects. Together with programs in California and western Canada, it seeks to solve the so-called "chicken-and-egg" infrastructure puzzle.

  31. Thermal Cracking of Rapeseed Oil as Alternative Fuel

    Ola A. Megahed, M. Nabil, Nabil M. Abdelmonem and Dalia M. Nabil.

    Energy Sources, Taylor & Francis, Vol. 26, No. 11. pp. 1033-1042. Sept., 2004.

    Rapeseed oil was pyrolyzed in the presence of about 2% of calcium oxide up to a temperature of 450 deg C. A pyrolytic oil was produced that was narrow of diesel fuel. From the studies of ASTM distillation, the volumetric percentage of liquid in the same boiling range for diesel fuel was equal to 61 % of the pyrolytic oil. The heating value of pyrolytic oil was 41.3 MJ/kg, which is equivalent to 93% of heating value of diesel fuel. The flash point was 80 deg C which is higher than diesel. This makes the pyrolytic product safer during handling and storage than diesel. In addition, thermally decomposed rapeseed oil was tested on a diesel engine and compared to diesel. The thermal efficiency (pith) and brake specific fuel consumption were improved. The concentration of nitrogen oxides are less in the case of the produced fuel; this, in turn, reduced the formation of smog due to the presence of colored NOx. Moreover the absence of sulfur in the pyrolytic oil is another advantage to avoid corrosion problems.

  32. Diesel's day in court

    M. Osenga.

    Diesel Progress (North American Edition), Diesel and Gas Turbine Publications, Vol. 70, No. 3. pp. 14, 16. Mar., 2004.

    In an industry centered around engineering labs, distributor shops, service bays and manufacturing floors, One First St. NE, Washington, D.C., is not an address typically found in the day-to-day conduct of business. Far from the daily commerce of the engine and equipment markets, nine people--seven men and two women--working from the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, One First St. NE, Washington, D.C., will make a decision later this year that will significantly shape the future of engine power in almost all its uses. At issue is case number 02-1343, Egnine Manufactuers Assn. Et Al vs. South Coast Air Quality Managemetn District Et Al. The somewhat dry legal language masks what could be the most pivotal case the diesel and alternative fuel engine business--as well as the equipment it powers--has confronted since the implementation of the Clean Air Act.

  33. High cell density cultures produced by internal retention: application in continuous ethanol fermentation

    B. C. Perez, S. A. Ospina and R. D. Godoy.

    Rev.Colombiana Biotecnol., Vol. 6, No. 2. pp. 25-30. Dec, 2004.

    Ethanol has provoked great interest due to its potential as an alternative fuel. Nevertheless, fermentation processes must be developed by increasing the low volumetric productivity achieved in conventional cultures (batch or continuous) to make this product become economically competitive. This can be achieved by using techniques leading to high cell concentration and reducing inhibition by the end-product. One of the frequently employed methods involves cell recycling. This work thus developed a membrane reactor incorporating a filtration module with 5 mu m stainless steel tubular units inside a 3L stirred jar fermenter for investigating its application in continuous ethanol production. The effects of cell concentration and transmembrane pressure difference on permeate flux were evaluated for testing the filtration module's performance. The internal cell retention system was operated in Saccharomyces cerevisiae continuous culture derived from sucrose, once fermentation conditions had been selected (30 degree C, 1.25-1.75 vvm, pH 4.5). Filter unit permeability was maintained by applying pulses of air. More than 97% of the grown cells were retained in the fermenter, reaching 51 g/L cell concentration and 8.51 g/L.h average ethanol productivity in culture with internal cell retention; this was twice that obtained in a conventional continuous culture.

  34. Diesels hit hard by hybrids

    D. Slavnich.

    Automotive Engineer (UK), Professional Engineering Publishing Limited, Vol. 29, No. 6. pp. 4-5. June, 2004.

    The success of Japanese carmakers in the US is set to play a central role in transforming hybrids from being a niche technology to a mainstream profitable business in less than two years. As Toyota and Honda go from strength to strength, technology market research specialists, ABI, has predicted that hybrids alone could account for 10 per cent of the two million midsized passenger vehicles sold in the US by 2006. The insight study reaffirms the general consensus that it is the Japanese - advancing with hybrid technology - who are taking the early lead in the US over the Europeans who are eager to push diesels to the forefront as an alternative fuel to gasoline.

  35. Investigation of the performances of diesel engine fueled with dimethyl ether and vehicle driving tests

    Y. Wang, H. Dong, L. Zhou and K. Pan.

    Xi'an Jiaotong Daxue Xuebao (J.Xi'an Jiaotong Univ.) (China), Xi'an Jiaotong University, Vol. 38, No. 1. pp. 24-27. Jan., 2004.

    Experiments were carried out to investigate the performance of a multi-cylinder direct-injection diesel engine with dimethyl ether (DME) as fuel. The results show that the maximum torque of DME engine can exceed that of diesel engine by increasing fuel supply amount per cycle. Increasing the flowing area of nozzle orifices or the vertical distance of the nozzle tip into the cylinder and reducing the opening pressure of nozzle can improve the thermal efficiency of DME engine. NO(x) emission of DME engine is about 50% of that of diesel engine. Smokeless emission can be realized in all operating conditions. HC and CO emissions are close to those of diesel engine. DME engine modified with the above optimum data was mounted onto the vehicle and tested on the road . The maximum speed (120 km/h) and the accelerating performance of this vehicle can reach or exceed those of the corresponding diesel vehicle. Experiments confirm that DME is a kind of ideal alternative fuel for diesel engines.