Chemistry of Sustainable Energy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Chemistry of Sustainable Energy

1st Edition

By Nancy E. Carpenter

Chapman and Hall/CRC

446 pages | 12 Color Illus. | 296 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781466575325
pub: 2014-03-25
SAVE ~$17.39
Hardback: 9781138465299
pub: 2017-11-28
SAVE ~$41.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429101922
pub: 2014-03-25
from $41.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Understanding the chemistry underlying sustainable energy is central to any long-term solution to meeting our future energy needs. Chemistry of Sustainable Energy presents chemistry through the lens of several sustainable energy options, demonstrating the breadth and depth of research being carried out to address issues of sustainability and the global energy demand. The author, an organic chemist, reinforces fundamental principles of chemistry as they relate to renewable or sustainable energy generation throughout the book.

Written with a qualitative, structural bias, this survey text illustrates the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of chemistry research with examples from the literature to provide relevant snapshots of how solutions are developed, providing a broad foundation for further exploration. It examines those areas of energy conversion that show the most promise of achieving sustainability at this point, namely, wind power, fuel cells, solar photovoltaics, and biomass conversion processes. Next-generation nuclear power is addressed as well.

This book also covers topics related to energy and energy generation that are closely tied to understanding the chemistry of sustainable energy, including fossil fuels, thermodynamics, polymers, hydrogen generation and storage, and carbon capture. It offers readers a broad understanding of relevant fundamental chemical principles and in-depth exposure to creative and promising approaches to sustainable energy development.


"… a useful resource for faculty teaching chemistry students who are unsure about what specialty they would like to explore more deeply or for specialty courses on the topic. … Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty."

D. H. Stedman, University of Denver in CHOICE Magazine

"Overall, the book is concise and easy to follow for readers with an understanding of A-level chemistry or above. It will be a valuable and handy reference to various stakeholders of energy technologies, including policy makers, company managers, postgraduate students, school teachers and even some energy specialists."

Reviewed by George Chen in Chemistry World

Table of Contents

Energy Basics

What Is Energy?

Energy, Technology, and Sustainability

Energy Units, Terms, and Abbreviations

Electricity Generation and Storage

Other Resources


Fossil Fuels

Formation of Oil and Gas

Extraction of Fossil Fuels


Carbon Capture and Storage


Other Resources

Online Resources Related to Carbon Capture and





The First Law of Thermodynamics

The Second Law and Thermodynamic Cycles: the Carnot Efficiency

Exergy and Life-Cycle Assessment


Polymers and Sustainable Energy

Polymer Basics


Characterization of Polymers

Polymer Properties

Polymer Chemistry and Wind Energy

Green Chemistry

Other Resources


Catalysis and Hydrogen Production


Hydrogen Production

Hydrogen Storage

Other Resources


Fuel Cells


Thermodynamics and Fuel Cells

Efficiency and Fuel Cells

Cell Performance: Where Do Inefficiencies Come From?

Fuel Cell Electrocatalysts

Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Microbial Fuel Cells

Fuel Cell Summary

Electrochemical Energy Storage


Other Resources


Solar Photovoltaics


Solar PV Basics

Inorganic Solar Cells

Organic Photovoltaics

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Quantum Dot Solar Cells

Sustainability, Photovoltaics, and the CZTS Cell


Other Resources




Chemical Composition of Biomass

Reactivity and Conversion Options

Biomass Beginnings: Harvesting and Processing

Thermochemical Processes

Biochemical Processes


Other Resources


Nuclear Energy


Nuclear Chemistry Basics

Uranium Production

Future of Nuclear Energy


Other Resources


Closing Remarks


Appendix I: SI Units and Prefixes

Appendix II: Unit Conversions

Appendix III: Electricity: Units and Equations

Appendix IV: Fossil Fuel Units and Abbreviations

Appendix V: Important Constants

Appendix VI: Acronyms

About the Author

Professor Nancy E. Carpenter obtained her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Northwestern University under the guidance of Professor Anthony G.M. Barrett. After a postdoctoral appointment with Professor Larry Overman at the University of California, Irvine, she came to the University of Minnesota, Morris, a four-year public liberal arts campus on the prairies of west-central Minnesota. Her research interests have spanned a diverse range of areas, from synthetic organometallic methodology to environmental remediation of chlorinated ethylenes and exploration of biodiesel from oilseeds and algae. She has been recognized with two teaching awards at the undergraduate level and was a co-recipient of the 2012 ACS-CEI Award for Incorporating Sustainability into Chemistry Education.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection
SCIENCE / Chemistry / General
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Power Resources / Alternative & Renewable