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Introduction to Energy, Environment, and Sustainability

Author(s): Paul Gannon

Edition: 4

Copyright: 2019

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Human society has never before faced challenges like the present. Population has more than doubled since 1970; currently over 7 billion and growing fast. Much of this growth occurs in regions with developing infrastructure, placing increasing demands on natural resources and taxing ecosystem services. Coupled with continued growth in more developed, and more demanding regions, global energy consumption is projected to increase nearly three-fold by mid-century. At present, over 80% of global energy demand is supplied by fossil fuels, the burning of which is responsible for the increasingly rapid global warming observed in the past century, which is destabilizing regional climates, affecting living systems around the planet, threatening food and water supplies and increasing the frequency and intensity of severe weather events. Despite this knowledge, fossil fuels are in record high demand, and their supply, distribution, and use powers a globalizing economy. These interconnected challenges are often referred to as the “energy, environment, prosperity dilemma”, which human society must confront. 

Although very serious, these challenges are not unsolvable. Opportunities to adapt and progress toward an enduring globally equitable society are immediately available. As society comes to appreciate the urgency in confronting this dilemma, strategies to adapt to climate change pressures, and secure water, food and energy systems can be implemented. Concurrently, development of low-carbon and renewable energy sources can accelerate. Additionally, carbon sequestration (from the atmosphere) can be increased through reforestation, thoughtful agricultural practices and innovative technologies. In these and other creative ways, human society can progress toward the elusive ideal of sustainability. Essential in these efforts is basic education to promote basic public literacy of energy, water and food infrastructures, as well as environmental sciences, engineering and sustainability.

The 4th edition of Introduction to Energy, Environment and Sustainability is organized into ten (10) sequential chapters and is designed for a single academic term for an entry-level college/university course. Introduction to Energy, Environment and Sustainability aims to cover these complex, interconnected challenges through concise and accessible descriptions of science and technology at the heart of modern human society. 

  • Chapter 1 presents an overview of human society, population, consumption (life-cycle analysis) and environmental impacts.
  • Chapter 2 introduces the basics of energy, its forms, sources and uses (conversions), as well as its metrics.
  • Chapter 3 explores Earth system science, biogeochemical cycles and climate dynamics.
  • Chapter 4 reviews the basics of combustion (fire), its utility since the Industrial Revolution, and its environmental impacts, focusing on anthropogenic (human-forced) global climate destabilization.
  • Chapter 5 discusses non-renewable energy sources (fossil fuels) and related exploration, production, and conversion technologies, such as “fracking” and refining.
  • Chapter 6 covers atomic energy basics and nuclear energy technologies.
  • Chapter 7 overviews renewable energy sources and conversion technologies.
  • Chapter 8 introduces basic concepts of electricity and hydrogen, as well as related infrastructures.
  • Chapter 9 considers contemporary issues surrounding food and water systems and their security in a warming world.
  • Chapter 10 concludes with reflections on science, sustainability, and globalizing human society. 


End-of-chapter homework/quizzes aim to facilitate comprehension, and can be easily adapted for homework assignments and exams.


Accompanying this fourth edition for instructors is an updated website with sample course syllabi, lecture slides, solution to end-of-chapter homework/quizzes, suggested classroom demonstrations and activities and sample multiple-choice exams.

Chapter 1 Human Society and Ecological Footprint
Evolutions, Revolutions and Populations
Modern Day Amenities
Transportation
Lighting/Electricity
Heating and Cooling
Stuff
Life-Cycle Analysis
Human Development and Ecological Footprints
References
Homework/Quiz

Chapter 2 What Is Energy?
Energy Definitions and Forms
Energy Uses (Conversions)
Energy Sources
Power, Work, Heat and Metrics
References
Homework/Quiz

Chapter 3 Earth System Science
The Earth System
Earth’s Lithosphere
Earth’s Hydrosphere
Earth’s Atmosphere
Earth’s Biosphere
Climate Dynamics
Past and Present Climates
Homework/Quiz

Chapter 4 Combustion, Emissions and Environmental Impacts
Combustion and Emissions
Air Pollution Control
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Human-Forced Climate Destabilization
GHG Inventorying, Separation and Storage
Homework/Quiz

Chapter 5 Non-Renewable Energy Sources and Conversion Technologies
Fossil Fuels
Coal
Oil and Natural Gas
Methane Hydrates
Conversion Technologies
Boilers and Furnaces
Engines and Turbines
Electric Power Plants
Homework/Quiz

Chapter 6 Atoms and Atomic Energy
Atoms, Ions, Isotopes and Radiation
Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Power Plants
Nuclear Fusion
References
Homework/Quiz

Chapter 7 Renewable Energy Sources and Conversion Technologies
Direct and Indirect Solar Power
Solar Thermal
Solar Electric (Photovoltaic)
Biomass, Biogas and Biofuels
Geothermal
Wind
Hydro Power
Ocean Energy
Homework/Quiz

Chapter 8 Electricity and Hydrogen
Electricity Basics
Batteries and Fuel Cells
Electric Generators and Motors
Thermoelectrics and Piezoelectrics
Hydrogen
Homework/Quiz

Chapter 9 Food and Water
Food Basics
Food Systems
Food Security
Water Basics
Water Systems
Water Security
Homework/Quiz

Chapter 10 Sustainability and Global Society
Definitions, Components and Metrics
Global Societies, Impacts and Actions
Science and Informed Citizenry
Websites
References
Homework/Quiz

Paul Gannon

Paul grew up in Montana. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Chemical Engineering at Montana State University (MSU), and is now an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at MSU. His research and teaching focuses on sustainable energy and materials science, and he is active in campus sustainability initiatives. Paul directs a research laboratory where students study the behaviors of high-temperature (>500°C) materials used in silicon manufacturing, fuel cell systems, and turbine engines, with work funded by private industry as well as by various State and Federal agencies. Since 2008, Paul’s laboratory has produced over two dozen peer-reviewed journal articles describing the research, and his group enjoys international collaboration with colleagues in industry, national laboratories, and academia. In 2013, Paul was awarded the J. Bruce Wagner, Jr. Young Investigator Award from the Electrochemical Society’s High Temperature Materials Division, in recognition of his accomplishments in research and developing materials for high temperature energy conversion systems.

Paul is also passionate about teaching and learning, and has instructed both new and old courses at MSU, including Materials Science, Thermodynamics, and Energy and Sustainability, which motivated this textbook. He has taught over 1,500 MSU undergraduate students in the classroom, and has worked with several dozen in the laboratory. Paul has also had the pleasure of working with and learning from numerous graduate and post graduate students. Student success in the classroom, laboratory, and beyond drives his work and provides him hope for the future.

Paul also enjoys many forms of outdoor recreation and socializing with friends and family. Along with his incredible spouse (and accomplished artist) Cherlyn Wilcox and their faithful dogs, Zeppelin and June Bug, Paul lives, works, and plays in and around Bozeman, MT, about 50 miles north of Yellowstone Park.

I really like the style, approach, and content. Gannon’s book works well as the foundation for my Honors ‘Energy’ course.” 

—Lynn Vogel Koplitz, Chair & Vicknair Professor of Chemistry, Loyola University New Orleans

I adopted this textbook for my Energy and the Environment course for general education students. The text was well reviewed by my students. They found the text very readable and the figures very clear.”
—Randy Strobel, Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul, Minnesota 

The text (and figures) present an articulate and comprehensive treatment of energy, environment and sustainability topics in an easily accessible manner.
—Diana Lynne Ibarra, Shuyuan Science Programs Manager, The Independent Schools Foundation Academy, Hong Kong 

I think it was very well written, jammed packed with great information.

The book is written in a way that I can understand it and learn a lot from it.” 

The book is nice and easy to understand.” 

—Undergraduate student evaluations, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

Related ISBN's: 9781524995881, 9781524999933

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