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Special Issue "Energy for Agriculture"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Talal Yusaf

Federation University Australia, Office A101c, Building A, Mt Helen Campus, PO Box 663, Ballarat,VIC, 3353, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +61 7 4631 2526
Interests: renewable energy; energy generation; conversion and Storage; alternative fuels for internal combustion engine; microalgae fuel; mechanical method for water treatment
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gholamhassan Najafi

Biosystem Engineering Department, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +982148292322
Fax: +982148292200
Interests: renewable energy; biofuel; bioenergy; water treatment; microalgae; IC engines and emissions; biogas applications; energy recovery

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue addresses the daunting challenges that face today’s world, such as limited access to energy resources and clean water. The available conventional energy resources might suffice for living requirements in some part of the world. However, the extensive use of such resources can produce detrimental pollutants in the ecosystem. Similar to the limited energy issue, water scarcity is another concerning matter that has polarized the attention of researchers worldwide.

This issue is amid to serve as a platform for researchers from different disciplines to contribute innovative solutions to the abovementioned challenges. Paucity of energy and water resources is a broad topic. Thus, to objectively tackle the problems in this issue, the focus of the issue will be directed towards finding alternative, environmentally friendly ways of making these resources more accessible. The areas that will be targeted are alternative energy resources for agricultural applications, green and energy efficient techniques of water treatment, and the common topics between these two themes.

Prof. Dr. Talal Yusaf
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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 monthly 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 1600 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

  • energy
  • machinery
  • tractor
  • renewable energy
  • fuel
  • biofuel
  • water

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Efficient Use of Energy Resources on French Farms: An Analysis through Technical Efficiency
Energies 2016, 9(8), 601; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9080601
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Integrating natural resources and ecological services in the production process is crucial to implement sustainable agriculture. However, the measurement of natural resource efficiency remains difficult. This paper aims at contributing to this issue, by investigating French farms’ use and excess (slack) of energy
[...] Read more.
Integrating natural resources and ecological services in the production process is crucial to implement sustainable agriculture. However, the measurement of natural resource efficiency remains difficult. This paper aims at contributing to this issue, by investigating French farms’ use and excess (slack) of energy resources through Data Envelopment Analyses (DEA). Results show that disentangling energy resources from the rest of intermediate consumption highlights energy use excess which is masked when considering intermediate consumption as a whole. The analysis of the determinants of energy use excess and of intermediate consumption shows a discrepancy in results, which policy-makers should take into account when designing energy policies. In addition, results show that large and highly capital intensive farms perform better in terms of energy use excess, while the dependence on public subsidies is a constraint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of Biodiesel-Diesel Blended Fuel Properties and Engine Performance with Ether Additive Using Statistical Analysis and Response Surface Methods
Energies 2015, 8(12), 14136-14150; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81212420
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 29 November 2015 / Accepted: 2 December 2015 / Published: 16 December 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (4217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, the fuel properties and engine performance of blended palm biodiesel-diesel using diethyl ether as additive have been investigated. The properties of B30 blended palm biodiesel-diesel fuel were measured and analyzed statistically with the addition of 2%, 4%, 6% and 8%
[...] Read more.
In this study, the fuel properties and engine performance of blended palm biodiesel-diesel using diethyl ether as additive have been investigated. The properties of B30 blended palm biodiesel-diesel fuel were measured and analyzed statistically with the addition of 2%, 4%, 6% and 8% (by volume) diethyl ether additive. The engine tests were conducted at increasing engine speeds from 1500 rpm to 3500 rpm and under constant load. Optimization of independent variables was performed using the desirability approach of the response surface methodology (RSM) with the goal of minimizing emissions and maximizing performance parameters. The experiments were designed using a statistical tool known as design of experiments (DoE) based on RSM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Combustion of Microalgae Oil and Ethanol Blended with Diesel Fuel
Energies 2015, 8(12), 13985-13995; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81212409
Received: 12 October 2015 / Revised: 2 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2875 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using renewable oxygenated fuels such as ethanol is a proposed method to reduce diesel engine emission. Ethanol has lower density, viscosity, cetane number and calorific value than petroleum diesel (PD). Microalgae oil is renewable, environmentally friendly and has the potential to replace PD.
[...] Read more.
Using renewable oxygenated fuels such as ethanol is a proposed method to reduce diesel engine emission. Ethanol has lower density, viscosity, cetane number and calorific value than petroleum diesel (PD). Microalgae oil is renewable, environmentally friendly and has the potential to replace PD. In this paper, microalgae oil (10%) and ethanol (10%) have been mixed and added to (80%) diesel fuel as a renewable source of oxygenated fuel. The mixture of microalgae oil, ethanol and petroleum diesel (MOE20%) has been found to be homogenous and stable without using surfactant. The presence of microalgae oil improved the ethanol fuel demerits such as low density and viscosity. The transesterification process was not required for oil viscosity reduction due to the presence of ethanol. The MOE20% fuel has been tested in a variable compression ratio diesel engine at different speed. The engine test results with MOE20% showed a very comparable engine performance of in-cylinder pressure, brake power, torque and brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) to that of PD. The NOx emission and HC have been improved while CO and CO2 were found to be lower than those from PD at low engine speed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle TOPSIS Multi-Criteria Decision Modeling Approach for Biolubricant Selection for Two-Stroke Petrol Engines
Energies 2015, 8(12), 13960-13970; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81212408
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 10 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 9 December 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3816 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Exhaust pollutants from two-stroke petrol engines are a problem for the environment. Biolubricants are a new generation of renewable and eco-friendly vegetable-based lubricants, which have attracted a lot of attention in recent years. In this paper, the applicability of the Technique for Order
[...] Read more.
Exhaust pollutants from two-stroke petrol engines are a problem for the environment. Biolubricants are a new generation of renewable and eco-friendly vegetable-based lubricants, which have attracted a lot of attention in recent years. In this paper, the applicability of the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method to support the process of building the scoring system for selecting an appropriate two-stroke lubricant has been analyzed. For this purpose, biolubricants (TMP-triesters) based on castor oil, palm oil, and waste cooking oil were produced and then utilized in a 200 cc two-stroke gasoline engine to investigate their effects on its performance and exhaust emissions. The results obtained from the use of the entropy technique in the TOPSIS algorithm showed that palm oil-based lubricant took up the greatest distance from the Negative Ideal Solution (NIS) and was selected as the most optimal lubricant for these types of engines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle An Assessment of Direct on-Farm Energy Use for High Value Grain Crops Grown under Different Farming Practices in Australia
Energies 2015, 8(11), 13033-13046; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81112353
Received: 21 October 2015 / Revised: 10 November 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 17 November 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (757 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several studies have quantified the energy consumption associated with crop production in various countries. However, these studies have not compared the energy consumption from a broad range of farming practices currently in practice, such as zero tillage, conventional tillage and irrigated farming systems.
[...] Read more.
Several studies have quantified the energy consumption associated with crop production in various countries. However, these studies have not compared the energy consumption from a broad range of farming practices currently in practice, such as zero tillage, conventional tillage and irrigated farming systems. This study examines direct on-farm energy use for high value grain crops grown under different farming practices in Australia. Grain farming processes are identified and “typical” farming operation data are collected from several sources, including published and unpublished literature, as well as expert interviews. The direct on-farm energy uses are assessed for 27 scenarios, including three high value grain crops―wheat, barley and sorghum―for three regions (Northern, Southern and Western Australia) under three farming conditions with both dryland (both for conventional and zero-tillage) and irrigated conditions. It is found that energy requirement for farming operations is directly related to the intensity and frequency of farming operations, which in turn is related to tillage practices, soil types, irrigation systems, local climate, and crop types. Among the three studied regions, Western Australia requires less direct on-farm energy for each crop, mainly due to the easily workable sandy soils and adoption of zero tillage systems. In irrigated crops, irrigation energy remains a major contributor to the total on-farm energy demand, accounting for up to 85% of total energy use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Glycerin, a Biodiesel By-Product with Potentiality to Produce Hydrogen by Steam Gasification
Energies 2015, 8(11), 12765-12775; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81112339
Received: 3 September 2015 / Revised: 30 October 2015 / Accepted: 4 November 2015 / Published: 11 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (983 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work investigates the possibility of providing a use to one of the major byproducts generated during biodiesel processing: glycerin. In particular, the steam gasification of water/glycerin mixtures is studied, analysing the influence of temperature (range 600–900 °C), inlet flow rate (0.5–3 mL·min
[...] Read more.
This work investigates the possibility of providing a use to one of the major byproducts generated during biodiesel processing: glycerin. In particular, the steam gasification of water/glycerin mixtures is studied, analysing the influence of temperature (range 600–900 °C), inlet flow rate (0.5–3 mL·min1) and water/glycerin ratio (6–12 wt/wt, %) on the gas composition (H2, CO, CH4 and CO2), higher heating value, and generated power. In general, a more diluted water/glycerin mixture is more interesting in order to provide a higher fraction of hydrogen in the gas produced, although it also involves a decrease in the power obtained. Higher temperatures cause a greater contribution of water gas and water gas shift reactions in all cases, thus increasing the H2 proportion of the gas. Finally, a greater inlet flow rate increases gas production, but decreases the hydrogen proportion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Techno-Economic Performance Evaluation for Olive Mills Powered by Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems
Energies 2015, 8(10), 11939-11954; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81011939
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 5 October 2015 / Accepted: 14 October 2015 / Published: 21 October 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (547 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, due to the rise in petroleum prices and greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy has been recommended as a power source for different types of facilities. For the period 2010 to 2020 the European Commission has established three key objectives related
[...] Read more.
In recent years, due to the rise in petroleum prices and greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy has been recommended as a power source for different types of facilities. For the period 2010 to 2020 the European Commission has established three key objectives related to climatic change and energy sustainability, such as reductions of CO2 emissions, increases in the use of renewable energy, and improvements in energy efficiency. A key industry is olive oil production in olive mills, where there is a great opportunity to reduce electricity consumption, increase additional profits related to the reduction of technologies that are harmful to the environment, and to cut back maintenance costs. For this reason, a feasibility study of grid-connected photovoltaics (PV) systems has been carried out for different types of olive mills in Andalusia (southern Spain). This region is highly energy dependent, but has an abundance of “green” resources to be exploited. The results of this study contemplate a reduction in spending on electrical power of between 2% and 37%, and an increase in the use of renewable energy of between 2% and 26%. These results are according to the self-consumption or net metering policy and the production capacity of olive oil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Household Carbon Emission Patterns of Urban and Rural China over the 17 Year Period (1995–2011)
Energies 2015, 8(9), 10537-10557; https://doi.org/10.3390/en80910537
Received: 11 August 2015 / Revised: 3 September 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 22 September 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The household sector consumes a large amount of goods and services and is therefore a major source of global carbon emissions. This study aims to analyze per person household carbon emission (HCEs) patterns of urban and rural China over the period from 1995
[...] Read more.
The household sector consumes a large amount of goods and services and is therefore a major source of global carbon emissions. This study aims to analyze per person household carbon emission (HCEs) patterns of urban and rural China over the period from 1995 to 2011. Annual macroeconomic data for the study were obtained from authentic Chinese government sources. Direct HCE estimates for each fossil fuel were obtained using the IPCC’s reference approach, and indirect HCEs were calculated by input-output analysis. In 1995, per person HCEs from direct sources for urban and rural China were 0.50 tCO2 and 0.22 tCO2, respectively; by 2011, these values had increased to 0.60 tCO2 and 0.61 tCO2, an increase of 20% and 177.27%, respectively. Similarly, in 1995, per person HCEs from indirect sources for urban and rural China were 0.43 tCO2 and 0.16 tCO2, respectively; by 2011, these values had increased to 1.77 tCO2 and 0.53 tCO2, respectively, an increase of 306% and 235%. The reasons for these differences and the sets of policies required to rectify increasing emissions are discussed. If current trends and practices continue, with a RMB1000 increase in per capita income from 2011 levels, per person HCEs in urban and rural China will increase by 0.119 tCO2 and 0.197 tCO2, respectively. This result indicates that the sector of society which is most vulnerable will contribute most to China’s increasing HCEs. Therefore, while developing energy consumption and emissions reduction policies and programs, principles of fairness and equity need to be followed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Agriculture)
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