ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ENERGY SYSTEMS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim of the module is the study of interactions between the environment and energy conversion systems and plants, with particular reference to pollution (chemical and thermal) and the impacts related to energy systems.
Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course the student will be acquainted with major issues and main solutions applied today to reduce the environmental impact resulting from the processes of generation and use of energy. The student will also acquire basic knowledge concerning the assessment of pollutant emissions from power plants through the parameters and their units of measurement used to quantify these aspects. He/she will know problems, limitations, advantages and disadvantages of current solutions to reduce environmental impacts with reference to the total amount of generated energy.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
The student will be able to assess in a qualitative and quantitative way the most relevant environmental impacts resulting from energy generation processes taking account of the amount of generated and used energy.
The student will have the skills and knowledge needed to critically evaluate and compare different solutions for power generation, with particular reference to fossil fuel plants and alternatives currently available.
The student will acquire the necessary tools to effectively present evaluations and comparisons of different systems for the generation and use of energy, with particular reference to the environmental impacts caused by them.
The student will be able, through the acquisition of information and technical data on the systems under investigation, to keep his/her knowledge up-to-date about the solutions proposed and / or applied for the energy generation and use and related environmental impacts.
Attendance to the course requires knowledge provided by the courses of Applied Thermodynamics and Thermal Machines and Power Plants.
Course contents summary
General aspects. Recall on power plants and on renewable energy. Energy conversion processes. Energy transformations in power plants: efficiency, specific fuel consumption and specific emissions. General information on chemical and thermal pollution. Measurement of pollutant concentrations. Basics on the environment and its parts (hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere). Basics on meteorology and fate of pollutants. Combustion processes. Fuels and their characteristics. Steam-power plants: fuels, combustion systems, solutions to reduce the formation of emissions. After-treatment of exhaust gases. Gas turbines: fuels, combustion systems, solutions to reduce the formation of emissions. After-treatment of exhaust gases. Internal combustion engines: combustion processes in spark ignition and Diesel engines, systems and devices for controlling the intake phase and the combustion process. Emissions of pollutants from spark ignition and Diesel engines: solutions to reduce the formation of emissions and exhaust after-treatment systems. Other energy sources and their environmental impact. Tools and methodologies for measuring emissions. National and international legislation.
M.Bianchi, A.De Pascale, A.Gambarotta, A.Peretto – “Sistemi energetici - Impatto ambientale” - vol.3, pp.1-544, ISBN 88-371-1754-X, Pitagora Editrice, Bologna, 2008.
S.Turns, “An introduction to Combustion. Concepts and Applications”, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1996
K.Owen, T.Coley, "Automotive Fuels Reference Handbook", SAE, 1995 R.Vismara, "Ecologia Applicata", Hoepli, 1992M.L.Davis, D.A.Cornwell, "Introduction to Environmental Engineering", McGraw-Hill Int.Ed., 1991 P.A.Vesilind, J.J.Peirce, R.Weiner, "Environmental Engineering", Butterworth Publishers, 1988
A.H.Lefebvre, "Gas Turbine Combustion", McGraw-Hill, 1983 I.Glassman, "Combustion", Academic Press, 1977 J.B.Edwards, "Combustion: the formation and emission of trace species", Ann Arbor Science, 1974
Additional material is available via the portal "Web Learning in the University" (lea.unipr.it), where it is available a copy of the slides used during the course.
Lectures will be focused on the general problems associated with energy conversion processes and the related impacts on the environment. The course will be accompanied by exercises aimed to evaluate quantitatively pollutant emissions and causes of impact resulting from energy conversion processes as well as technical visits to plants and seminars on specific topics.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment is accomplished through an oral interview based on theoretical questions and the application of theory to problems even original: in particular the critical capacity, explanation capacities and the ability to correlate the topics covered it will be assessed.
Attendance to the course lectures is highly recommended.