EISSN : 25244469
Current Publisher: Springer Nature (10.1186)
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Articles in this journal
BMC Energy, Volume 1; doi:10.1186/s42500-019-0002-9
Abstract:Energy security and climate change mitigation are two of the most significant challenges facing governments in countries across the world. The United Kingdom (UK) government therefore passed the 2008 Climate Change Act that legally commits Britain to reducing ‘greenhouse gas’ (GHG) emissions by 80% over 1990 levels by the year 2050. Bioenergy (as a potentially low carbon and renewable energy source) is recognised as having the potential to contribute to mitigating GHG emissions and, through utilising domestic biomass resources, can help Britain reduce its reliance on fuel imports and thereby enhance energy security. In order to help guide the UK towards achieving its ambitious targets, a number of forecasting studies have been carried out, each proposing different pathways to securing its 2050 GHG emissions reduction target. The extent to which bioenergy can contribute to future energy supply is appraised, given the biomass resources available to Britain. Analysis of three notable low or zero carbon energy scenario sets developed by, respectively, the British Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), and the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) enabled a comparative evaluation to be made of each projection and their realism. They reflect alternative modelling approaches that seek to meet the statutory 2050 carbon reduction target (BEIS and UKERC), to that (by CAT) of fully decarbonising Britain by 2030. The spotlight is on the use of dedicated energy crops and their implications, with a particular emphasis on the critical factors and issues of land availability, conversion technologies [including bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS)], and foreign imports. Likewise, the deployment of bioenergy resources may have significant deleterious impacts in terms of direct and indirect land use change, loss of biodiversity and the impairment of eco-system services, and competition with food production. A ‘gap analysis’ leads to recommendations for the improvement of the next generation scenarios and forecasts in order to provide more realistic projections for bioenergy uptake in the UK, although the lessons learned are applicable across much of the industrialised world. It was found that while all three low or zero carbon scenario studies had internal shortcomings from a bioenergy perspective, the analysis by BEIS stood out as having the greatest level of realism due to the account given to many of the critical factors and underlying issues relating to bioenergy uptake.
BMC Energy, Volume 1; doi:10.1186/s42500-019-0001-x
Abstract:The excess sludge (ES) generated from wastewater treatment plants entails high expenditure for its treatment and disposal. In this study, firstly, the influence of mild-thermal (70 and 90 °C) and alkali-(pH 10 and 11) pretreatment methods on solubilization and acid generation from ES was investigated. The experimental results showed that the solubilization (SCOD/TCOD) increased as pretreatment intensity increased (70 °C < 90 °C < pH 10 < pH 11). However, organic acids generation was not consistent with the increased solubilization (pH 11 < 70 °C < 90 °C < pH 10). As a result of microbial analysis through next generation sequencing (NGS), it was observed that microbial community structure was greatly varied depending on the pretreatment methods. Bacteroidetes (70.8%), and Firmicutes (58.1%) were found to be dominant at thermal conditions of 90 °C and pH 10. Furthermore, the solid residue after acids generation was subjected to anaerobic digestion (AD) for CH4 production. The economic assessment showed that the thermal pretreatment at 90 °C followed by acid recovery and AD process enhanced the net profit of the treatment process with a positive gain of 2.53 USD/ton of sludge. Meanwhile, the alkali-pretreatment at pH 11 showed a negative value of − 2.0 USD/ton of sludge.
BMC Energy, Volume 1; doi:10.1186/s42500-019-0003-8
Abstract:This editorial accompanies the full launch of the latest new BMC Series journal, BMC Energy. Written jointly by the journal Section Editors, the Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board and the Editor at Springer Nature, this editorial outlines how this new journal plans to serve the energy research community and describes in detail the scope of the work that it hopes to attract. BMC Energy joins a number of new physical science journals that have been launched recently in the BMC Series, each following BMC Series’ ethos of openness and inclusivity, aiming to publish quality research that is accessible for all.
BMC Energy, Volume 1; doi:10.1186/s42500-019-0004-7
Abstract:Scientific studies have demonstrated that it is possible to generate a wide variety of bioenergy from biomass residues and waste, and however its cost is not competitive with petro-fuels and other renewable energy. On-going efforts are continued extensively to improve conversion technologies in order to reduce production costs. The present review focuses on the conversion technologies for transforming biomass residues and waste to biofuels, specifically their technological concepts, options and prospects for implementation are addressed. The emerging developments in the two primary conversion pathways, namely the thermochemical (i.e. gasification, liquefaction, and pyrolysis) and biochemical (i.e. anaerobic digestion, alcoholic fermentation and photobiological hydrogen production) conversion techniques, are evaluated. Additionally, transesterification, which appears to be the simplest and most economical route to produce biodiesel in large quantity, is discussed. Lastly, the strategies for direct conversion of biomass residues and waste to bioelectricity including the use of combustion and microbial fuel cells are reviewed.