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Fuels of the Future

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A4: Bio-Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019) | Viewed by 21270

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Sir Joseph Swan Centre of Energy Research, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
Interests: CHP, trigeneration and energy storage; renewable thermal energy system design; alternative fuel use (biofuel and hydrogen); engine thermal overload prediction; dynamic modelling and control of complex systems; system identification, modelling and control; intelligent decision making and control; marine propulsion safety, environmental impact, efficiency and operation

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Guest Editor
Department of Energy Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
Interests: vehicle thermal management systems and control strategies; heat transfer study of internal combustion engine; fatigue design theory and test methods of automotive parts; novel and emission-free automotive propulsion system (new energy vehicle/hybird vehicle system)
Sir Joseph Swan Centre of Energy Research, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
Interests: engine waste heat recovery technologies; adsorption and adsorbents; engine thermal management; engineering thermodynamics; cogeneration, chemisorption cycles and expansion machines for power generation system
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite original research or review articles to a Special Issue of the journal Energies on the topic of “Fuels of the Future”. Fuels are the main energy sources providing power for transportation, power plants, chemical plants and space exploration. Concerns over the depletion of fossil fuels and environmental problems caused by using conventional fuels have promoted the development and search for sustainable alternatives.

The Special Issue of aims to gather innovative and original research articles on various solid, liquid and gaseous fuels from the perspective of production, properties and performance in engines, combustion processes and other energy system applications.

The specific topics of interest for the Special Issue include biomass, biofuels, hydrogen, ammonia and other novel fuels.

Prof. Dr. Tony Roskilly
Prof. Dr. Xiaoli Yu
Dr. Yiji Lu
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

  • alternative fuel
  • biomass
  • biofuels
  • hydrogen
  • ammonia
  • other novel fuels

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 2346 KiB  
Article
Resources and Future Availability of Agricultural Biomass for Energy Use in Beijing
by Fengli Zhang, Chen Li, Yajie Yu and Dana M. Johnson
Energies 2019, 12(10), 1828; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12101828 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2922
Abstract
The increasing importance of lignocellulosic biomass based energy production has led to an urgent need to conduct a reliable resource supply assessment. This study analyses and estimates the availability of agricultural residue biomass in Beijing, where biomass energy resources are relatively rich and [...] Read more.
The increasing importance of lignocellulosic biomass based energy production has led to an urgent need to conduct a reliable resource supply assessment. This study analyses and estimates the availability of agricultural residue biomass in Beijing, where biomass energy resources are relatively rich and is mainly distributed in the suburbs. The major types of crops considered across Beijing include food crops (e.g., maize, winter wheat, soybean, tubers and rice), cotton crops and oil-bearing crops (e.g., peanuts). The estimates of crop yields are based on historical data between 1996 and 2017 collected from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics. The theoretical and collectable amount of agricultural residues was calculated on the basis of the agricultural production for each crop, multiplied by specific parameters collected from the literature. The assessment of current and near future agricultural residues from crop harvesting and processing resources in Beijing was performed by employing three advanced modeling methods: the Time Series Analysis Autoregressive moving average (ARMA) model, Least Squares Linear Regression and Gray System Gray Model (GM) (1,1). The results show that the time series model prediction is suitable for short-term prediction evaluation; the least squares fitting result is more accurate but the factors affecting agricultural waste production need to be considered; the gray system prediction is suitable for trend prediction but the prediction accuracy is low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fuels of the Future)
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13 pages, 1386 KiB  
Article
Two-Stage Pretreatment to Improve Saccharification of Oat Straw and Jerusalem Artichoke Biomass
by Urszula Dziekońska-Kubczak, Joanna Berłowska, Piotr Dziugan, Piotr Patelski, Maria Balcerek, Katarzyna Pielech-Przybylska and Katarzyna Robak
Energies 2019, 12(9), 1715; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091715 - 7 May 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3790
Abstract
Pretreatment is a necessary step when lignocellulosic biomass is to be converted to simple sugars; however single-stage pretreatment is often insufficient to guarantee full availability of polymeric sugars from raw material to hydrolyzing enzymes. In this work, the two-stage pretreatment with use of [...] Read more.
Pretreatment is a necessary step when lignocellulosic biomass is to be converted to simple sugars; however single-stage pretreatment is often insufficient to guarantee full availability of polymeric sugars from raw material to hydrolyzing enzymes. In this work, the two-stage pretreatment with use of acid (H2SO4, HNO3) and alkali (NaOH) was applied in order to increase the susceptibility of Jerusalem artichoke stalks (JAS) and oat straw (OS) biomass on the enzymatic attack. The effect of the concentration of reagents (2% and 5% w/v) and the order of acid and alkali sequence on the composition of remaining solids and the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis was evaluated. It was found that after combined pretreatment process, due to the removal of hemicellulose and lignin, the content of cellulose in pretreated biomass increased to a large extent, reaching almost 90% d.m. and 95% d.m., in the case of JAS and OS, respectively. The enzymatic hydrolysis of solids remaining after pretreatment resulted in the formation of up to 45 g/L of glucose, for both JAS and OS. The highest glucose yield was achieved after pretreatment with 5% nitric acid followed by NaOH, and 90.6% and 97.6% of efficiency were obtained, respectively for JAS and OS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fuels of the Future)
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14 pages, 2244 KiB  
Article
Feasibility Studies of Micro Photosynthetic Power Cells as a Competitor of Photovoltaic Cells for Low and Ultra-Low Power IoT Applications
by Hemanth Kumar Tanneru, Kiran Kuruvinashetti, Pragasen Pillay, Raghunathan Rengaswamy and Muthukumaran Packirisamy
Energies 2019, 12(9), 1595; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091595 - 26 Apr 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3069
Abstract
In this work, we provide a cost comparison of micro-photosynthetic power cells (µPSC) with the well-established photovoltaic (PV) cells for ultra-low power and low power applications. We also suggest avenues for the performance improvement of µPSC. To perform cost comparison, we considered two [...] Read more.
In this work, we provide a cost comparison of micro-photosynthetic power cells (µPSC) with the well-established photovoltaic (PV) cells for ultra-low power and low power applications. We also suggest avenues for the performance improvement of µPSC. To perform cost comparison, we considered two case studies, which are development of energy systems for: (i) A typical mobile-phone battery charging (low power application) and (ii) powering a humidity sensor (ultra-low power application). For both the cases, we have elucidated the steps in designing energy systems based on PV and µPSC technologies. Based on the design, we have considered the components needed and their costs to obtain total cost for developing energy systems using both PV and µPSC technologies. Currently, µPSCs based energy systems are costlier compared to their PV counterparts. We have provided the avenues for improving µPSC performance, niche application areas, and aspects in which µPSCs are comparable to PV cells. With a huge potential to develop low-cost and high performing technologies, this emerging technology can share the demand on PV technologies for ultra-low power applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fuels of the Future)
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14 pages, 2519 KiB  
Article
Experimental Analysis of Brewers’ Spent Grains Steam Gasification in an Allothermal Batch Reactor
by Sérgio Ferreira, Eliseu Monteiro, Paulo Brito, Carlos Castro, Luís Calado and Cândida Vilarinho
Energies 2019, 12(5), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12050912 - 8 Mar 2019
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 3503
Abstract
In this work, brewers’ spent grains (BSG) were evaluated and studied in order to obtain a combustible gas by means of allothermal steam gasification. BSG were preprocessed in a rotary dryer and a pelletizer prior to gasification in an indirectly heated batch reactor. [...] Read more.
In this work, brewers’ spent grains (BSG) were evaluated and studied in order to obtain a combustible gas by means of allothermal steam gasification. BSG were preprocessed in a rotary dryer and a pelletizer prior to gasification in an indirectly heated batch reactor. BSG characterization was conducted by means of proximate, ultimate, and thermogravimetric analysis, allowing us to conclude that BSG have characteristics comparable to those of regular lignocellulosic biomasses. Gasification tests were performed in an allothermal bench-scale batch reactor in order to determine the effect of temperature and steam-to-biomass ratio (S/B) in the produced gas. The produced gas was mainly composed of 22.8–30.2% H2, 15.1–22.3% CO, and 7.2–11.1% CH4, contributing to a heating value of 8.11–9.0 MJ/Nm3 with the higher values found for a low S/B ratio and for high temperatures. The performance of the process was assessed by evaluating the cold gas and carbon conversion efficiencies. These indicators were found to be in the ranges 47.0%–52.1% and 57.0%–62.7%, respectively. The main conclusion of this work is that the produced gas obtained from BSG steam gasification has sufficient quality to open other options to beer producers to use their own brewing wastes to satisfy their energy needs, allowing them to progress toward the circular economy concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fuels of the Future)
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12 pages, 2015 KiB  
Article
Reaction Mechanism Reduction for Ozone-Enhanced CH4/Air Combustion by a Combination of Directed Relation Graph with Error Propagation, Sensitivity Analysis and Quasi-Steady State Assumption
by Yingzu Liu, Zhihua Wang, Liang Li, Kaidi Wan and Kefa Cen
Energies 2018, 11(6), 1470; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11061470 - 6 Jun 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3231
Abstract
In this study, an 18-steps, 22-species reduced global mechanism for ozone-enhanced CH4/air combustion processes was derived by coupling GRI-Mech 3.0 and a sub-mechanism for ozone decomposition. Three methods, namely, direct relation graphics with error propagation, (DRGRP), sensitivity analysis (SA), and quasi-steady-state [...] Read more.
In this study, an 18-steps, 22-species reduced global mechanism for ozone-enhanced CH4/air combustion processes was derived by coupling GRI-Mech 3.0 and a sub-mechanism for ozone decomposition. Three methods, namely, direct relation graphics with error propagation, (DRGRP), sensitivity analysis (SA), and quasi-steady-state assumption (QSSA), were used to downsize the detailed mechanism to the global mechanism. The verification of the accuracy of the skeletal mechanism in predicting the laminar flame speeds and distribution of the critical components showed that that the major species and the laminar flame speeds are well predicted by the skeletal mechanism. However, the pollutant NO was predicated inaccurately due to the precursors for generating NO were removed as redundant components. The laminar flame speeds calculated by the global mechanism fit the experimental data well. The comparisons of simulated results between the detailed mechanism and global mechanism were investigated and showed that the global mechanism could accurately predict the major and intermediate species and significantly reduced the time cost by 72%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fuels of the Future)
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14 pages, 8341 KiB  
Article
Verification and Validation of a Low-Mach-Number Large-Eddy Simulation Code against Manufactured Solutions and Experimental Results
by Yingzu Liu, Kaidi Wan, Liang Li, Zhihua Wang and Kefa Cen
Energies 2018, 11(4), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11040921 - 13 Apr 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3513
Abstract
To investigate turbulent reacting flows, a low-Mach number large-eddy simulation (LES) code called ‘LESsCoal’ has been developed in our group. This code employs the Germano dynamic sub-grid scale (SGS) model and the steady flamelet/progress variable approach (SFPVA) on a stagger-structured grid, in both [...] Read more.
To investigate turbulent reacting flows, a low-Mach number large-eddy simulation (LES) code called ‘LESsCoal’ has been developed in our group. This code employs the Germano dynamic sub-grid scale (SGS) model and the steady flamelet/progress variable approach (SFPVA) on a stagger-structured grid, in both time and space. The method of manufactured solutions (MMS) is used to investigate the convergence and the order of accuracy of the code when no model is used. Finally, a Sandia non-reacting propane jet and Sandia Flame D are simulated to inspect the performance of the code under experimental setups. The results show that MMS is a promising tool for code verification and that the low-Mach-number LES code can accurately predict the non-reacting and reacting turbulent flows. The validated LES code can be used in numerical investigations on the turbulent combustion characteristics of new fuel gases in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fuels of the Future)
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