Energy Modeling and Efficiency
in the Built Environment

 

Fossil fuels are the main energy source for community and industrial activities. The world petroleum fuel production in the year 2007 was approximately 179 quadrillion BTU, and increased to 181 quadrillion BTU in 2008. Of the fuels used, 17% is natural gas, 40% is coal and 43% is petroleum. Petroleum diesel, the highest contributor of petroleum derivatives, widely serves society’s needs in the form of heat, electricity and transportation fuel. Its high density and ease of transport make it an ideal source of energy. However, since petroleum diesel is currently the main energy source for industrial activities, it is quickly being depleted.

 

Moreover, our society’s dependence on petroleum diesel has resulted in contributing to environmental disruption, i.e., global warming, which is occurring due to large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Example GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), which are generated from petroleum diesel production and consumption processes, resulting in several environmentally detrimental phenomena such as escalating temperatures, rising sea levels, declining lake and reservoir levels and extreme weather phenomena. Other pollutants from the consumption of petroleum diesel are particulate matters and volatile organic carbons (VOCs). Another concern related to the use of petroleum diesel is its recent increase in price, which is affecting industrial society and the global economy. However, one way to control or even solve global warming and economic problems stemming from petroleum diesel consumption is to substitute for it using sustainable renewable energy sources that have the potential to be produced on a scale as large as petroleum diesel without having any significant environmental impact. In order to do this and to reduce reliance on petroleum diesel, scientists have begun to investigate oil-crop biodiesel.

Projects Members

Projects under Energy Modeling & Efficiency in the Built Environment:

Project B-01:

A Comparative Analysis of Performance and Cost Metrics Associated with Diesel to Biodiesel Fleet Transition

 

Project B-02:

Regional Life Cycle Assessment of Soybean Derived Biodiesel for Transportation Fleet