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EISSN : 1996-1073
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
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Published: 28 January 2022
by MDPI
Energies, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030954

Abstract:
Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) aims to use the temperature difference between surface and deep seawater to generate electricity and (possibly) freshwater
Published: 28 January 2022
by MDPI
Energies, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030953

Abstract:
Virtual power plants (VPP) emerge as a new participant that, in order to maximise their visibility and income, represents a group of distributed energy resources (DER) in the electricity market. However, this DER aggregation brings challenges, such as fluctuating renewable sources dependent on weather variables and guaranteeing power set points. One way to deal with these intermittencies is to incorporate the energy storage system (ESS) into the VPPs. Therefore, this paper presents a novel bidding strategy of VPP that includes modelling the uncertainty associated with solar generation using information gap decision theory (IGDT) and the optimal sizing of ESS systems so as to deal with solar generation fluctuations. Additionally, a study is carried out to determine the economic viability of this methodology in the short, medium and long terms using the return on investment (ROI).
Published: 28 January 2022
by MDPI
Energies, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030952

Abstract:
In this paper, the panel data of 30 provinces in China from 2011 to 2019 are analyzed by the spatial measure model and the threshold regression model. The results show that the air quality level is positively correlated with green finance, but there is no spatial effect. The spatial effect of the three influencing factors, including the degree of openness, the level of infrastructure, and the level of education, is the crowding-out effect. At the same time, variables such as human resource level, air quality, and infrastructure construction level all have threshold effects in the relationship between green finance and economic development. The research conclusions suggested that local governments at all levels should formulate policies according to the actual situation to promote the development of provinces’ intensive, intelligent, and green development, and build a regionally-linked green finance development model, thereby promoting the improvement of green finance.
Published: 28 January 2022
by MDPI
Energies, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030955

Abstract:
Photocatalytic degradation is one of the environmentally friendly methods used in treating dye wastewater. In this study, a series of MXene/g-C3N4 heterostructure photocatalysts with different loading amounts of MXene (1, 4, 8, and 12 wt.%) were successfully synthesized via the wet impregnation method and their photocatalytic activity was evaluated via the degradation of methylene blue under visible-light irradiation. As such, the 1 wt.% MXene/g-C3N4 heterostructure photocatalyst achieved a high degradation of methylene blue compared to the pure g-C3N4 under visible-light illumination of 180 min. This significant improvement was attributed to the intimate interfacial contact, evidently from the FESEM analysis, which allows the smooth photocharge carriers to transport between g-C3N4 and MXene. Additionally, the larger BET surface area demonstrated by the 1 wt.% MXene/g-C3N4 heterostructure allowed this sample to have higher adsorption of dye molecules and provided a higher number of reactive sites, which was beneficial for the enhancement of the photocatalytic activity. Nevertheless, it was found that the excessive loading of MXene can substantially impede photocatalytic activity. This was attributed to the decrease in the active sites, as well as the weakened crystallinity of the MXene/g-C3N4 heterostructure photocatalyst, evident from the FTIR and XRD analysis. All in all, this study has shown the potential of the MXene/g-C3N4 photocatalyst as a promising photocatalyst for highly efficient wastewater treatment applications.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Energies, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030916

Abstract:
In a context of energy abundance for industrial applications, industrial systems are exploited with minimal attention to their actual energy consumption requirements to meet the loads imposed on them. As a result, most of them are used at maximal capacity, regardless of the varying operational conditions. First, the paper studies pneumatic conveying systems and thoroughly reviews previously published work. Then, we overview simulations and operating data of the experimental parameters and their effects on the flow characteristics and transport efficiency. Finally, we summarize with a conclusion and some suggestions for further work. The primary goal of this study is to identify the parameters that influence the energy consumption of industrial dust collector systems. It is differentiated from previously published overviews by being concentrated on wood particles collection systems. The results will permit a better selection of an appropriate methodology or solution for reducing an industrial system’s power requirements and energy consumption through more precise control. The anticipated benefits are not only on power requirement and energy consumption but also in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This aspect shows more impacts in regions that rely on electricity supplied by thermal power stations, especially those that use petrol or coal.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Energies, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030950

Abstract:
This study examines the kinetics of pyrolysis and oxidation of hydrochars through thermal analysis. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) techniques were used to investigate the decomposition profiles and develop two distributed activation energy models (DAEM) of hydrochars derived from the hydrothermal carbonization of grape seeds produced at different temperatures (180, 220, and 250 °C). Data were collected at 1, 3, and 10 °C/min between 30 and 700 °C. TGA data highlighted a decomposition profile similar to that of the raw biomass for hydrochars obtained at 180 and 220 °C (with a clear distinction between oil, cellulosic, hemicellulosic, and lignin-like compounds), while presenting a more stable profile for the 250 °C hydrochar. DSC showed a certain exothermic behavior during pyrolysis of hydrochars, an aspect also investigated through thermodynamic simulations in Aspen Plus. Regarding the DAEM, according to a Gaussian model, the severity of the treatment slightly affects kinetic parameters, with average activation energies between 193 and 220 kJ/mol. Meanwhile, the Miura–Maki model highlights the distributions of the activation energy and the pre-exponential factor during the decomposition.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Energies, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030931

Abstract:
The emerging bioeconomy requires new supply chain paradigms for biomass materials to reach processing centers. Forest bio-hubs can be thought of as networks of collection points to facilitate biomass supply chains that feed from forest to central processing facilities. The design and functionality of forest bio-hubs depends on the form (e.g., vertically and horizontally integrated), and the quality and volume of feedstocks. In this paper we conceptually develop the potential role of forest bio-hubs. We then compare current bio-hub development in three U.S. regions—the Pacific Northwest, the southwest region, and the southeastern U.S. We use a “SWOT” framework to compare strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for each region. We consider transportation distances, topography, proximity to markets, harvesting methods, and wood products development. Innovation and adaptability would play key roles in forest bio-hub development, especially with dynamic conditions related to markets, wildfire risks, biomass utilization policy, and community socioeconomic factors.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Energies, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030922

Abstract:
The present paper indicates that hydropower, including small hydropower plants (SHPs), may play a very important role in Poland’s energy transformation in the near future. The development of SHPs may also increase water resources in the steppe Poland. Additionally, the aim of the present research is to conduct the PEST analysis of SHPs in Poland, taking into account the SHP potential. For the first time, maps showing the power and location of potential SHPs on the existing dams in Poland are presented. SHPs should be an important element of energy transition in Poland, especially on a local scale—it is stable energy production. Our analysis shows that there are 16,185 such dams in Poland, while the total capacity of potential hydropower plants in Poland would be 523.6 MW, and the total number of new jobs is estimated at 524. It was calculated that the annual avoided carbon dioxide emissions will amount to 4.4 million tons, which will reduce Poland’s emissions by 1.4%. The construction of SHPs can bring significant environmental and economic benefits. As far as the PEST analysis is concerned, the political environment of SHPs in Poland can be described as unfavorable (2.86 points). The economical nature of PEST analysis (3.86 points) should be considered as friendly for the development of SHPs. The social nature of PEST analysis can be considered as neutral (3.36 points). The technological nature of the PEST analysis can be considered as neutral (3.21 points).
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Energies, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030947

Abstract:
With the development of remote monitoring technology and highly integrated circuit technology, the achievement and usage of self-powered wireless low-power electronic components has become a hot research topic nowadays. Harvesting vibration energy from the environment can meet the power consumption requirements of these devices, while it is also of great significance to fully utilize the hidden energy in the environment. The mechanism and three typical working modes of piezoelectric vibration energy harvesting technology are introduced, along with the classification of different excitation types of collectors. The progress of research related to piezoelectric vibration energy harvesting technology is reviewed. Finally, challenging problems in the study of piezoelectric energy harvesting technology are summarized, and the future research and development trend of piezoelectric vibration energy harvesting technology is discussed in the light of the current research status of piezoelectric vibration energy harvesting technology.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Energies, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030913

Abstract:
Shale reservoir heterogeneity is strong, which seriously affects shale gas reservoir evaluation and reserves estimation. The Longmaxi Formation shale of the Luzhou block in southern Sichuan was taken as an example to characterize the pore distribution of shale over the full scale using micro-computed tomography (CT), focusing on ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS); further, the heterogeneity of the shale pore distribution over the full scale was explored quantitatively within different scales. The results show that shale micropores are dominated by microfractures that are mainly developed along the bedding direction and associated with organic matter, contributing 1.24% of porosity. Shale nanopores are more developed, contributing 3.57–4.72% porosity and have strong heterogeneity locally at the microscale, but the pore distribution characteristics show lateral homogeneity and vertical heterogeneity at the macroscale. In the same layer, the porosity difference is only 0.1% for the sheet samples with 2 cm adjacent to each other. Therefore, in shale core experiments in which parallel samples are needed for comparison, parallel samples should be in the same bedding position. This paper explores the extent of heterogeneity over the full scale of pore distribution from macro to micro, which has important significance for accurately characterizing the pore distribution of shale and further carrying out reservoir evaluation and estimation of reserves.
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