energies-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Sustainable Technologies for Decarbonising the Energy Sector

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A: Sustainable Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 13433

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Advanced Low Carbon Propulsion Systems (C-ALPS), Coventry University, Coventry CV1 2TL, UK
Interests: decarbonising transportation; decarbonising heating and cooling; hydrogen-based economy; renewable energy generation; electric vehicles; free-piston engines; combined heat and power systems; modelling and simulation of energy systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, Higginson Building, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
Interests: energy conversion; engine combustion; alternative fuels; free-piston engines; waste heat recovery; combined heat and power systems

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, Higginson Building, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
Interests: low-grade heat recovery; liquid desiccant technology; sorption technologies; energy-efficient temperature and humidity control; thermochemical energy storage; low-carbon manufacturing; techno-economic analyses

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The rising energy costs and the need to reduce carbon emissions require the development of sustainable and energy-saving technologies. Transitions in the transportation, power, building and industry sectors toward a clean and sustainable future poses many challenges in terms of energy resources and suitable technology. Efficiency improvement, the better exploitation of the available resources and emission-control techniques are important for the sustainable development of these sectors. There is significant interest in the decarbonisation of the energy sector, particularly in the transportation sector, with many techniques for combustion and after-treatment systems currently evolving, and in the building and industry sector with advanced technologies for heating, cooling and air-conditioning.

This Special Issue will introduce the decarbonisation of the energy sector by using renewable energy resources and waste heat sources and improving existing fuel processing technologies. This Special Issue will focus on reporting on technological progress and novel ideas for the emission control and efficiency improvement of combustion engines, sustainable heating and cooling, and it will define the key paths for future research and development activities in the field.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Decarbonising transportation and its impact: engine designs and capacity for alternative fuel application, advanced combustion technologies, advanced emission control strategies, fuel additives and nano-coating;
  • Waste heat recovery: power production, heating and cooling;
  • Sustainable heating and cooling: adsorption and absorption cooling and heating;
  • Energy-efficient temperature and humidity control: solid and liquid desiccant technology;
  • Thermal energy storage: innovative solutions for thermal storage and thermo-chemical storage.

Dr. Sumit Roy
Dr. Shivaprasad Kumar Vijayalakshmi
Dr. Alessandro Giampieri
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • decarbonising energy
  • sustainability
  • combustion
  • alternative fuels
  • sustainable heating and cooling
  • thermal energy storage

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

17 pages, 3019 KiB  
Article
Environmental Impact Evaluation of CO2 Absorption and Desorption Enhancement by Membrane Gas Absorption: A Life Cycle Assessment Study
by Fuzhao Li, Yuexia Lv, Jinpeng Bi, Hui Zhang, Wei Zhao, Yancai Su, Tingting Du and Junkun Mu
Energies 2024, 17(10), 2371; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17102371 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 320
Abstract
Membrane gas absorption technology has been considered a promising approach to mitigate CO2 emissions from power plants. The aim of this study is to evaluate the environmental impacts of CO2 absorption and desorption processes by hollow fiber membrane contactors using a [...] Read more.
Membrane gas absorption technology has been considered a promising approach to mitigate CO2 emissions from power plants. The aim of this study is to evaluate the environmental impacts of CO2 absorption and desorption processes by hollow fiber membrane contactors using a life cycle assessment methodology. On the basis of the ReCipe 2016 Midpoint and the ReCipe 2016 Endpoint methods, the research results show that membrane gas absorption systems exhibit the lowest environmental impacts across the majority of assessed categories in comparison with chemical absorption and membrane gas separation systems. The CO2 capture process via membrane gas absorption has the most significant impact on the METP category, with heat consumption as the primary contributing factor accounting for 55%, followed by electricity consumption accounting for 43.1%. According to the sensitivity analysis, heating by natural gas shows better performance than other heat supply sources in improving overall environmental impacts. In addition, the increasing utilization of renewable energy in electricity supply reduces the global warming potential, fossil resource consumption and ozone formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for Decarbonising the Energy Sector)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 3326 KiB  
Article
Techno-Economic Evaluation on Solar-Assisted Post-Combustion CO2 Capture in Hollow Fiber Membrane Contactors
by Junkun Mu, Jinpeng Bi, Yuexia Lv, Yancai Su, Wei Zhao, Hui Zhang, Tingting Du, Fuzhao Li and Hongyang Zhou
Energies 2024, 17(9), 2139; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17092139 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 376
Abstract
In this study, a novel system which integrates solar thermal energy with membrane gas absorption technology is proposed to capture CO2 from a 580 MWe pulverized coal power plant. Technical feasibility and economic evaluation are carried out on the proposed system in [...] Read more.
In this study, a novel system which integrates solar thermal energy with membrane gas absorption technology is proposed to capture CO2 from a 580 MWe pulverized coal power plant. Technical feasibility and economic evaluation are carried out on the proposed system in three cities with different solar resources in China. Research results show that the output capacity and net efficiency of the SOL-HFMC power plant are significantly higher than those of the reference power plant regardless of whether a TES system is applied or not. In addition, the CEI of the SOL-HFMC power plant with the TES system is 4.36 kg CO2/MWh, 4.45 kg CO2/MWh and 4.66 kg CO2/MWh lower than that of the reference power plant. The prices of the membrane, vacuum tube collector and phase change material should be reduced to achieve lower LCOE and COR values. Specifically for the SOL-HFMC power plant with the TES system, the corresponding vacuum tube collector price shall be lower than 25.70 $/m2 for Jinan, 95.20 $/m2 for Xining, and 128.70 $/m2 for Lhasa, respectively. To be more competitive than a solar-assisted ammonia-based post-combustion CO2 capture power plant, the membrane price in Jinan, Xining and Lhasa shall be reduced to 0.012 $/m, 0.015 $/m and 0.016 $/m for the sake of LCOE, and 0.03 $/m, 0.033 $/m and 0.034 $/m for the sake of COR, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for Decarbonising the Energy Sector)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 3912 KiB  
Article
Energy and Economic Sustainability of a Small-Scale Hybrid Renewable Energy System Powered by Biogas, Solar Energy, and Wind
by Rafał Figaj
Energies 2024, 17(3), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17030706 - 1 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 989
Abstract
Reduction or elimination of reliance on traditional fossil fuels and of the emission of greenhouse gases and pollutants into the environment are affecting energy technologies, systems, and applications. In this context, one potential approach to achieving sustainability, decarbonization, and ensuring the energy and [...] Read more.
Reduction or elimination of reliance on traditional fossil fuels and of the emission of greenhouse gases and pollutants into the environment are affecting energy technologies, systems, and applications. In this context, one potential approach to achieving sustainability, decarbonization, and ensuring the energy and economic viability of existing and future energy systems involves adopting one or more renewable sources. The presented paper concentrates on examining the performance of a small-scale hybrid renewable polygeneration system. This system utilizes biogas produced through anaerobic digestion, which is then supplied to an internal combustion engine, along with solar energy converted into electrical energy by photovoltaic modules and wind energy harnessed through a wind turbine. A small-scale user, represented by residential buildings and a zootechnical farm with heating, cooling, and electrical energy demands, serves as the case study. TRNSYS software is employed to design and model the system, considering realistic assumptions about technical aspects and user energy requirements. The investigation involves analyzing the system’s operation, considering both energy and economic perspectives. The paper discusses the pros and cons of combining biogas, solar, and wind energy in the proposed hybrid system under the considered case study. Despite non-satisfactory economic profitability without incentives, the proposed system allows one to save significant amounts of primary energy and carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for Decarbonising the Energy Sector)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 7257 KiB  
Article
Energy Saving, Energy Efficiency or Renewable Energy: Which Is Better for the Decarbonization of the Residential Sector in Italy?
by Marco Noro and Filippo Busato
Energies 2023, 16(8), 3556; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16083556 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1486
Abstract
The residential sector is currently responsible for approximately 30% of the final energy consumption and 12% of direct CO2 emissions in Italy, mainly due to the heating and cooling of buildings and the use of domestic hot water. Such figures show a [...] Read more.
The residential sector is currently responsible for approximately 30% of the final energy consumption and 12% of direct CO2 emissions in Italy, mainly due to the heating and cooling of buildings and the use of domestic hot water. Such figures show a significant potential for reducing non-renewable primary energy utilization to comply with the decarbonization constraints of the European Union. In this context, the purpose of this work is to provide a quantitative assessment of the effect of a different number of actions (eight for energy savings, four for energy efficiency and two for the installation of renewable energy plants) that could be implemented at the national level to reduce the consumption of natural gas in the residential sector. Two typical residential buildings are dynamically simulated using Trnsys®, and the savings from energy, economic and CO2 emissions points of view are evaluated in the different climatic zones of Italy. The most effective action foresees the replacement of natural gas boilers and old air conditioners with modern heat pumps and air/air chillers as well as the installation of a controlled mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery. This solution allows for non-renewable primary energy savings of 58% and an economic savings on annual energy costs of 72%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for Decarbonising the Energy Sector)
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 4174 KiB  
Article
Implementing Optimization Techniques in PSS Design for Multi-Machine Smart Power Systems: A Comparative Study
by Aliyu Sabo, Theophilus Ebuka Odoh, Hossien Shahinzadeh, Zahra Azimi and Majid Moazzami
Energies 2023, 16(5), 2465; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16052465 - 5 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1592
Abstract
This study performed a comparative analysis of five new meta-heuristic algorithms specifically adopted based on two general classifications; namely, nature-inspired, which includes artificial eco-system optimization (AEO), African vulture optimization algorithm (AVOA), gorilla troop optimization (GTO), and non-nature-inspired or based on mathematical and physics [...] Read more.
This study performed a comparative analysis of five new meta-heuristic algorithms specifically adopted based on two general classifications; namely, nature-inspired, which includes artificial eco-system optimization (AEO), African vulture optimization algorithm (AVOA), gorilla troop optimization (GTO), and non-nature-inspired or based on mathematical and physics concepts, which includes gradient-based optimization (GBO) and Runge Kutta optimization (RUN) for optimal tuning of multi-machine power system stabilizers (PSSs). To achieve this aim, the algorithms were applied in the PSS design for a multi-machine smart power system. The PSS design was formulated as an optimization problem, and the eigenvalue-based objective function was adopted to improve the damping of electromechanical modes. The expressed objective function helped to determine the stabilizer parameters and enhanced the dynamic performance of the multi-machine power system. The performance of the algorithms in the PSS’s design was evaluated using the Western System Coordinating Council (WSCC) multi-machine power test system. The results obtained were compared with each other. When compared to nature-inspired algorithms (AEO, AVOA, and GTO), non-nature-inspired algorithms (GBO and RUN) reduced low-frequency oscillations faster by improving the damping of electromechanical modes and providing a better convergence ratio and statistical performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for Decarbonising the Energy Sector)
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 6202 KiB  
Article
Optimal Installation of Heat Pumps in Large District Heating Networks
by Martina Capone, Elisa Guelpa and Vittorio Verda
Energies 2023, 16(3), 1448; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16031448 - 1 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2013
Abstract
Power-to-heat technology represents a promising solution for the decarbonization of the energy sector. The installation of large-scale heat pumps within district heating systems is widely recognized to be a cost-effective and competitive way to provide flexibility to the electric system, enhancing the use [...] Read more.
Power-to-heat technology represents a promising solution for the decarbonization of the energy sector. The installation of large-scale heat pumps within district heating systems is widely recognized to be a cost-effective and competitive way to provide flexibility to the electric system, enhancing the use of intermittent renewable energy sources. The goal of this paper is to show how the economic and environmental benefits provided by the installation of a large-scale heat pump in existing district heating systems vary according to the installation location in different scenarios. To do that, an integrated methodology is developed. This includes a physical model of the thermo-fluid dynamic of the district heating network and a detailed modeling of the heat pump. To compare the different positions and also the different operating conditions, an approach based on exergy analysis is adopted. Moreover, a specific control strategy of the mass-flow rate is analyzed to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The application to a real large-scale district heating network shows that reductions in CO2 emissions of almost 4% can be obtained by installing a single heat pump of about 4 MWe (over a total thermal load of about 305 MWt), while this positive effect can be reduced by up to 63% if placing the heat pump at non-optimal locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for Decarbonising the Energy Sector)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

23 pages, 1532 KiB  
Review
An Overview of the Thermochemical Valorization of Sewage Sludge: Principles and Current Challenges
by Bruna Rijo, Catarina Nobre, Paulo Brito and Paulo Ferreira
Energies 2024, 17(10), 2417; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17102417 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 251
Abstract
With the increase in the world population and economic activity, the production of sewage sludge has grown, and its management has become an environmental problem. The most traditional method of managing sewage sludge is to dispose of it in landfills and on farmland. [...] Read more.
With the increase in the world population and economic activity, the production of sewage sludge has grown, and its management has become an environmental problem. The most traditional method of managing sewage sludge is to dispose of it in landfills and on farmland. One way to valorize sewage sludge is to use thermochemical conversion processes to produce added-value products such as biochar, biofuels, and renewable gases. However, due to the high moisture content, thermochemical conversion using processes such as pyrolysis and traditional gasification involves multiple pre-treatment processes such as material drying. Hydrothermal thermochemical processes usually require high pressures, which pose many challenges to their application on a large scale. In this work, the advantages and disadvantages of the different existing thermochemical processes for the recovery of sewage sludge were analyzed, as well as the resulting industrial and environmental challenges. A SWOT analysis was carried out to assess the different thermochemical processes in terms of technical feasibility, economic viability, and broader market considerations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for Decarbonising the Energy Sector)
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 4470 KiB  
Review
Exploring Social Capital in Situation-Aware and Energy Hub-Based Smart Cities: Towards a Pandemic-Resilient City
by Mahdi Nozarian, Alireza Fereidunian, Amin Hajizadeh and Hossein Shahinzadeh
Energies 2023, 16(18), 6479; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16186479 - 7 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1798
Abstract
Although the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has appears to have subsided in most parts of the world, nevertheless, in addition to six million deaths, it has yielded unprecedented challenges in the economy, energy, education, urban services, and healthcare sectors. Meanwhile, based on [...] Read more.
Although the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has appears to have subsided in most parts of the world, nevertheless, in addition to six million deaths, it has yielded unprecedented challenges in the economy, energy, education, urban services, and healthcare sectors. Meanwhile, based on some reports, smart solutions and technologies have had significant success in achieving pandemic-resilient cities. This paper reviews smart city initiatives and contributions to the prevention and treatment of coronavirus disease, as well as reducing its destructive impact, leading towards pandemic-resilient economic and health systems. Furthermore, the situational awareness contributions are reviewed in pandemic-resilient governance. The main contribution of this study is to describe the construction of social capital in smart cities as a facilitator in creating a pandemic-resilient society in crisis through two analyses. Moreover, this research describes smart cities’ energy as interconnection of energy hubs (EHs) that leads to a high level of resiliency in dealing with the main challenges of the electricity industry during the pandemic. Energy-hub-based smart cities can contribute to designing pandemic-resilient energy infrastructure, which can significantly affect resilience in economic and health infrastructure. In brief, this paper describes a smart city as a pandemic-resilient city in the economic, energy, and health infrastructural, social, and governmental areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for Decarbonising the Energy Sector)
Show Figures

Figure 1

38 pages, 4838 KiB  
Review
Prospect of Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Technology and Its Impact on the Circular Economy
by A. G. Olabi, Tabbi Wilberforce, Enas Taha Sayed, Nabila Shehata, Abdul Hai Alami, Hussein M. Maghrabie and Mohammad Ali Abdelkareem
Energies 2022, 15(22), 8639; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15228639 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3700
Abstract
The sudden increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere due to the high dependency on fossil products has created the need for an urgent solution to mitigate this challenge. Global warming, which is a direct result of [...] Read more.
The sudden increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere due to the high dependency on fossil products has created the need for an urgent solution to mitigate this challenge. Global warming, which is a direct result of excessive CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, is one major issue that the world is trying to curb, especially in the 21st Century where most energy generation mediums operate using fossil products. This investigation considered a number of materials ideal for the capturing of CO2 in the post-combustion process. The application of aqueous ammonia, amine solutions, ionic liquids, and activated carbons is thoroughly discussed. Notable challenges are impeding their advancement, which are clearly expatiated in the report. Some merits and demerits of these technologies are also presented. Future research directions for each of these technologies are also analyzed and explained in detail. Furthermore, the impact of post-combustion CO2 capture on the circular economy is also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Technologies for Decarbonising the Energy Sector)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop