Annotated Bibliography: Land Use and Finance Sustainable Local Development

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Land Use Sustainable Energy

This annotated bibliography will look at current research on the production, distribution and use of renewable energy technologies in the U.S. The work stresses the breadth of such research as well as the breadth and scale of its real implementation and potential implementation. This researcher tried to seek out renewable technologies and issues that demonstrate the potential as well as the variety of research and implementation that is being done in the U.S. In the area of renewable energy as well as discussions of the types of political, social and economic barriers that exists and will likely limit progress for both good and bad reasons. There are also a few articles stressing the need to further research some alternatives before implementation due in large part to the need to make sure they will or are not causing more harm than they are doing good in the race toward energy independence on a local and national level and a reduction in planetary harm being done in the race for human used energy. The work discusses everything from the destruction of municipal public waste and conversion of it to usable energy to the necessary demands of the local and national political forces to change policy and redirect it to better answer the call for renewable resources. It is also important to note that I tried to look for novel technologies, and though the traditional known renewable are discussed some cutting edge research on presently under represented technologies is stressed.

(2009). Sun, wind, geothermal - now microbes?. Ecos, (152), 31. Retrieved from GreenFILE database.

The article reports on the application of bioelectrochemical system (BEC) on microbial fuel cell (MFC) for electrical generation. The research is through the application of wastewater treatment, where the system utilizes electrochemical capture systems to glean the electrical energy from the chemical reactions that are associated with the breakdown of microbial matter in the waste water. The system not only effectively recycles the water to a reintroduction level but also captures the bioelectrochemical energy through the use of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) this set of discs rotating through the waste water is similar to those which have been used in the past for secondary and tertiary waste water treatment for more than 30 years utilize the introduction of microbes into the water to further break down waste, by adding a minimal amount of technology the same system can be 15% more efficient and has the potential for becoming a full scale MFC.

For the purpose of better understanding renewable fuel source options this work is a substantial expansion of the ideation regarding the types of resources we already know about, i.e. solar, nuclear, hydro, wind and even methane recovery from waste. The researchers featured in this work are clearly thinking outside the box, even though the concepts have been around since NASA proposed a similar idea in the 1960s to help resolve the human and solid waste problem in spacecraft. This application is clearly illuminating and the article offers substantial evidence of its efficacy.

Brune, D., Lundquist, T., & Benemann, J. (2009). Microalgal biomass for greenhouse gas reductions: potential for replacement of fossil fuels and animal feeds. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 135(11), 1136-1144. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0000100.

According to the Brune, Lundquist & Benemann current feedstock debates for biofuel include challenges to replacing food with fuel during the production of feedstocks for biofuel. The argument is that by utilizing arable land that could be used to grow crops the feedstock industry may be causing more problems than it solves with its biofuel. According to the researchers the answer lays in seeking biomass feedstock that does not require arable land for production. The work looks very closely at a form of feedstock, microalgal, that could solve rather than cause problems by using undesirable land, such as brackish water, or salinated and even polluted standing water to produce it as well as allowing the system to recover valuable resources from otherwise unused water and to possibly even reuse CO2 from power-plant flue gas or other CO2 sources that might otherwise go into the atmosphere. The work claims that such biomass is currently unused, can reduce greenhouse gas production and can even resolve issues regarding animal waste and sludge from industry. The researchers also claim that the 20% oil (for biofuel) and 50% protein waste (could be further generative as the protein could then be used to make animal feed) and the additional 30% algae would be used to produce methane gas which would again be recovered to generate energy. The work also stresses that it would be creating this model in close proximity to a current natural gas plant which would provide the necessary CO2 by scrubbing its flue. The researchers estimate that the savings of green house gas emissions would be between 36.3% and 26.3% as some energy would be required in the process. Lastly the device would also require 53 tons of municipal sludge, waste paper or animal manure per day to operate. Though the researchers do not discuss the financial costs of such a system they contend that the research is in very early stages and will require more research and productivity testing to be realized in any substantive manner.

DiStefano, T., & Belenky, L. (2009). Life-cycle analysis of energy and greenhouse gas emissions from anaerobic biodegradation of municipal solid waste. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 135(11), 1097-1105. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0000098.

In this research study DiStefano & Belenky look at current landfill procedures in municipalities and compare the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to a type of biodegradation system that would both eliminate solid waste or seriously reduce it and create usable fuel from it. The type of system they used as a research comparison is an anaerobic biodegradation unit that will transform the greenhouse gas from waste into usable methane. The solid waste that was treated was biodegradable. The researchers claim that landfill space would be considerably reduced and saved for non-biodegradable waste. The review of pilot and full scale studies demonstrates that 127 million ton of biodegradable waste could be converted to 5.9 billion units of methane with and estimate value of $1.5 billion dollars per year and produce enough energy to serve 1.3 million U.S. households or 15 billion kilowatt hours per year. Additionally the conversion of this solid waste would reduce green house gas emissions by 146 million ton per year which would reduce the overall emissions by 1.9% compared to green house gas emission figures for 2006. Further, nationwide implementation would reduce energy consumption to landfill such solid waste by 15 million and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7.2 ton billion over a 50-year period. The researchers also note that such a wide scale conversion would be costly in logistics and plant development and that national policy initiatives would be needed to develop large scale implementation. Carbon credit systems that rebate $30-$60 dollars per ton would help municipalities break even and allow anaerobic biodegradation systems to eventually profit.

It must be said that this article is important because it tests real data on this type of conversion and makes no qualms about demonstrating its cost, but currently municipalities have considerable completely unclaimed resources being sucked in to solid waste landfilling and even those that are recycling a great deal of it are still not breaking even and still using a good deal of land to deal with this enduring problem. This type of system would eventually be a win, as municipalities could generate renewable energy seriously reduce waste, landfill land usage and possibly even eventually make a profit on this currently unused and even a serious liability.

Dollard, J. (2010). Hot fix for renewable energy. Pollution Engineering, 42(9), 22-29. Retrieved from GreenFILE database.

Dollard introduces in this article the concept of plasma gasification of municipal solid wastes. In this type of system the solid wastes would be burned in a gasifier that would be capable of reclaiming the byproduct, allowing the fuel (syngas) to be a source of feedstock for bio-ethanol and biodiesel. The article notes that though the technology is not at all new there are very few scale models for research comparison but where those plants exist the potential for such a system is being realized with the development of usable goods including syngas as well as value products such as reusable industrial chemicals and even construction materials. The researcher also notes that as compared to other management solutions for municipal solid waste this system is safer and would also considerably reduce non-biodegradable and biodegradable solid waste from landfills. The only question I had after reading the article is the relative safety of gasses and/or byproducts of the burning process. In traditional gasifier technology the reclamation of most of the materials is near complete when done correctly and that which is emitted is basically vaporized water but the article does not fully explore if this is the case in plasma gasification, as proposed here. Either way it is yet another example… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Land Use and Finance Sustainable Local Development.  (2010, November 29).  Retrieved August 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/land-use-finance-sustainable-local/4378

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