Chemistry of Sustainable Energy  book cover
1st Edition

Chemistry of Sustainable Energy

ISBN 9781466575325
Published March 25, 2014 by Chapman & Hall
446 Pages 12 Color & 296 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

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

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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.


"… 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