Special Issue "Energy for Sustainable Future"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Environment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. T M Indra Mahlia
grade E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Information, Systems and Modelling, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia
Interests: energy and environement; energy systems; renewable energy; energy policy; techno-economic analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Islam Md Rizwanul Fattah
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Information, Systems, and Modelling, Faculty of Engineering and I.T., University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia
Interests: sustainable material; renewable energy; emissions; nanoparticles; combustion; alternative fuel; machine learning
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy and the environment are interrelated to one another, and they are one of the important factors that influence the development of societies. The pollution of the environment without taking into account various consequences has become one of the most important global issues today. This environmental pollution is mainly the result of increases in economic activities, population, transportation, electricity generation, agriculture, forestry, and land use. The exigency of energy for these activities, the rapidly rising price of petroleum oil, the deleterious effect of greenhouse gases, and the quest for energy security have steered our attention towards sustainable sources of energy. It is fundamental to find innovative solutions that are sustainable from the perspective of energy management and environmental protection technologies. This will provide a promising future in terms of energy sources meeting energy demand, together with maintaining the environment. This Special Issue solicits original research articles as well as critical review articles that cover relevant up-to-date topics related to energy and environmental technologies which have become established ways of thinking, unifying the various methodologies. This “Energy for Sustainable Future” Special Issue in Energies is dedicated to sharing ideas in the area of energy and environment and advancing knowledge among practitioners, scientists, researchers, policymakers, and professionals to nurture innovative ideas required to solve problems in energy and environment for a sustainable future.

Prof. Dr. T M Indra Mahlia
Dr. Islam Md Rizwanul Fattah
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 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 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 2000 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

  • sustainable energy technologies
  • bioenergy and biofuels
  • energy and environmental impact
  • nanotechnology for Green Energy and the environment
  • waste to energy
  • energy efficiency in the built environment
  • adoption of clean energy and energy security
  • CO2 capture and storage
  • energy policy and economics
  • air pollution policy

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Modeling and Optimization of Microwave-Based Bio-Jet Fuel from Coconut Oil: Investigation of Response Surface Methodology (RSM) and Artificial Neural Network Methodology (ANN)
Energies 2021, 14(2), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020295 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 397
Abstract
In this study, coconut oils have been transesterified with ethanol using microwave technology. The product obtained (biodiesel and FAEE) was then fractional distillated under vacuum to collect bio-kerosene or bio-jet fuel, which is a renewable fuel to operate a gas turbine engine. This [...] Read more.
In this study, coconut oils have been transesterified with ethanol using microwave technology. The product obtained (biodiesel and FAEE) was then fractional distillated under vacuum to collect bio-kerosene or bio-jet fuel, which is a renewable fuel to operate a gas turbine engine. This process was modeled using RSM and ANN for optimization purposes. The developed models were proved to be reliable and accurate through different statistical tests and the results showed that ANN modeling was better than RSM. Based on the study, the optimum bio-jet fuel production yield of 74.45 wt% could be achieved with an ethanol–oil molar ratio of 9.25:1 under microwave irradiation with a power of 163.69 W for 12.66 min. This predicted value was obtained from the ANN model that has been optimized with ACO. Besides that, the sensitivity analysis indicated that microwave power offers a dominant impact on the results, followed by the reaction time and lastly ethanol–oil molar ratio. The properties of the bio-jet fuel obtained in this work was also measured and compared with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D1655 standard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Sustainable Future)
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Open AccessArticle
The Energy Lock-In Effect of Solar Home Systems: A Case Study in Rural Nigeria
Energies 2020, 13(24), 6682; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13246682 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Ongoing reductions in the costs of solar PV and battery technologies have contributed to an increased use of home energy systems in Sub-Saharan African regions without grid access. However, such systems can normally support only low-power end uses, and there has been little [...] Read more.
Ongoing reductions in the costs of solar PV and battery technologies have contributed to an increased use of home energy systems in Sub-Saharan African regions without grid access. However, such systems can normally support only low-power end uses, and there has been little research regarding the impact on households unable to transition to higher-wattage energy services in the continued absence of the grid. This paper examines the challenges facing rural energy transitions and whether households feel they are energy ‘locked in’. A mixed-methods approach using questionnaire-based household energy surveys of rural solar home system (SHS) users was used to collect qualitative and quantitative data. Thematic analysis and a mixture of descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were applied. The results showed that a significant number of households possessed appliances that could not be powered by their SHS and were willing to spend large sums to connect were a higher-capacity option available. This implied that a significant number of the households were locked into a low-energy future. Swarm electrification technology and energy efficient, DC-powered plug-and-play appliances were suggested as means to move the households to higher tiers of electricity access. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Sustainable Future)
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Open AccessArticle
Mathematical Modelling and Operational Analysis of Combined Vertical–Horizontal Heat Exchanger for Shallow Geothermal Energy Application in Cooling Mode
Energies 2020, 13(24), 6598; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13246598 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 499
Abstract
Geothermal heat exchangers (GHEs) represent a buried pipe system, which can be utilised to harness renewable thermal energy stored in the ground to improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. Two basic arrangements of GHEs have been widely used: vertical and horizontal. [...] Read more.
Geothermal heat exchangers (GHEs) represent a buried pipe system, which can be utilised to harness renewable thermal energy stored in the ground to improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. Two basic arrangements of GHEs have been widely used: vertical and horizontal. Vertical GHEs generally have a better performance in comparison with the horizontal arrangement, and these systems are particularly suitable for confined spaces. Nevertheless, the main technical challenge associated with GHEs, for either the vertical or the horizontal arrangement, is the performance deterioration associated with an increase in the operation times during summer or winter seasons. In this paper, a combined horizontal-vertical GHE arrangement is proposed to address the current challenges. The combined GHE arrangement can be operated in five different modes, corresponding to different thermal loading conditions. These five operation modes of the combined GHE are analysed based on the transient finite difference models previously developed for the horizontal and vertical arrangements. The simulation results reveal that for the single operation mode (horizontal or vertical only), the vertical GHE performs better than the horizontal GHE due to relatively stable ground temperature deep down. While, for the combined operation mode, the series operations (horizontal to vertical or vertical to horizontal) of the GHE are superior to the split mode. It is found that the effect of the fluid mass flow rate ratio is trivial on the heat dissipation of the split mode GHE. The highest heat transfer rate in the split flow operational mode is rendered by the ratio of the mass flow rate of 40% horizontal and 60% vertical. In addition, the climate condition has more effect on GHE’s performance and the increase of the fluid flow rate it can enhance the amount of energy released by the GHE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Sustainable Future)
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Open AccessArticle
Catalyst Characteristics and Performance of Silica-Supported Zinc for Hydrodeoxygenation of Phenol
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2802; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112802 - 01 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 583
Abstract
The present investigation aimed to study the physicochemical characteristics of supported catalysts comprising various percentages of zinc dispersed over SiO2. The physiochemical properties of these catalysts were surveyed by N2 physisorption (BET), thermogravimetry analysis (TGA), H2 temperature-programmed reduction, field-emission [...] Read more.
The present investigation aimed to study the physicochemical characteristics of supported catalysts comprising various percentages of zinc dispersed over SiO2. The physiochemical properties of these catalysts were surveyed by N2 physisorption (BET), thermogravimetry analysis (TGA), H2 temperature-programmed reduction, field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), and NH3 temperature-programmed desorption (NH3-TPD). In addition, to examine the activity and performance of the catalysts for the hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of the bio-oil oxygenated compounds, the experimental reaction runs, as well as stability and durability tests, were performed using 3% Zn/SiO2 as the catalyst. Characterization of silica-supported zinc catalysts revealed an even dispersion of the active site over the support in the various dopings of the zinc. The acidity of the calcinated catalysts elevated clearly up to 0.481 mmol/g. Moreover, characteristic outcomes indicate that elevating the doping of zinc metal led to interaction and substitution of proton sites on the SiO2 surface that finally resulted in an increase in the desorption temperature peak. The experiments were performed at temperature 500 °C, pressure 1 atm; weight hourly space velocity (WHSV) 0.32 (h−1); feed flow rate 0.5 (mL/min); and hydrogen flow rate 150 (mL/min). Based on the results, it was revealed that among all the prepared catalysts, that with 3% of zinc had the highest conversion efficiency up to 80%. However, the selectivity of the major products, analyzed by gas chromatography flame-ionization detection (GC-FID), was not influenced by the variation in the active site doping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Sustainable Future)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Barriers and Solutions for Increasing the Integration of Solar Photovoltaic in Kenya’s Electricity Mix
Energies 2020, 13(20), 5502; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13205502 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 710
Abstract
Currently, Kenya depends mainly on oil, geothermal energy and hydro resources for electricity production, however all three have associated issues. Oil-based electricity generation is environmentally harmful, expensive and a burden to the national trade balance. The rivers for hydropower and their tributaries are [...] Read more.
Currently, Kenya depends mainly on oil, geothermal energy and hydro resources for electricity production, however all three have associated issues. Oil-based electricity generation is environmentally harmful, expensive and a burden to the national trade balance. The rivers for hydropower and their tributaries are found in arid and semi-arid areas with erratic rainfall leading to problems of supply security, and geothermal exploitation has cost and risk issues amongst others. Given these problems and the fact that Kenya has a significant yet underexploited potential for photo voltaic (PV)-based power generation, the limited—although growing—exploitation of solar PV in Kenya is explored in this paper as a means of diversifying and stabilising electricity supply. The potential for integration of PV into the Kenyan electricity generation mix is analysed together with the sociotechnical, economic, political, and institutional and policy barriers, which limit PV integration. We argue that these barriers can be overcome with improved and more robust policy regulations, additional investments in research and development, and improved coordination of the use of different renewable energy sources. Most noticeably, storage solutions and other elements of flexibility need to be incorporated to balance the intermittent character of electricity generation based on solar PV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy for Sustainable Future)
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