Monthly Archives February 2016
Studies of the costs and benefits of energy-efficient technologies typically employ an engineering approach that accounts for purchase price, operations and maintenance costs, and anticipated energy savings. However, energy use technologies can have intangible costs that are not easily measured. The failure to include such hidden costs introduces a potential bias or source of error in financial analysis.
Consider the case of compact fluorescent light bulbs mentioned previously. Although this technology yields well-documented direct cost savings, it involves two types of hidden costs that are well recognized in the literature. First, compact fluorescent bulbs tend to be bigger and bulkier than the conventional incandescents that they replace...Read More
Argonne National Laboratory Argonne, Illinois, United States
2. Alternative Transportation Fuels and Alternative Fuel Vehicles
3. Fuel Cycle Analyses of Vehicles and Transportation Fuels
4. Fuel Pathways and Vehicle/Fuel Combinations
5. Energy and Emissions: Items of Interest
6. Issues Involved in Transportation Fuel Cycle Analyses
7. Completed Studies
8. Fuel Cycle Energy and Emission Results of Vehicle/Fuel Systems
advanced vehicle technologies The engineering and design processes that lead to vehicles with high energy efficiencies and low emissions; include direct-injection, hybrid electric, fuel cell, and battery-powered electric vehicle systems.
alternative transportation fuels Energy sources other than petroleum gasoline and diesel...Read More
RICHARD B. HOWARTH
Hanover, New Hampshire, United States
The logic behind discounting is linked to people’s observed behavior in financial markets. Suppose, for example, that an investor would receive an r percent rate of return on standard financial instruments such as corporate stocks. If the investor was well informed and rational, then he or she would be willing to pay no more than B/(1 + r) dollars in the present for an asset that he or she could resell to obtain B dollars t years in the future; otherwise, the investor would be better off investing his or her money at the market rate of return. In this example, economists say that r measures the discount rate or time value of money (i. e...Read More
In a research project titled ‘‘Urban Households and Consumption-Related Resource Use,’’ 10 households participated in an experiment where they tried to reduce life cycle energy inputs related to their food consumption. A manual for low-energy foods habits was developed, and based on this information, the households planned and implemented food habits demanding fewer life cycle energy inputs. The effect of participation in the experiment was evaluated.
Among the changes of most importance for lowering energy inputs were a reduction in consumption of meat (mostly pork); an increase in vegetables and fruits, especially vegetables grown in the open; an increase in poultry, eggs, and fish; and an increase in legumes...Read More
A team of environmental psychologists tested the impact of negative versus positive ecolabels on consumer behavior. The background was that all ecolabels today signal a positive outcome, for example, ‘‘Choose this product; it is better for the environment than the average product.’’ Another strategy would be to signal a negative outcome with the purpose of making consumers avoid a product. A laboratory test was carried out on 40 students in Sweden who were asked to choose between products labeled with a three-level ecolabel inspired by traffic lights: red, green, and yellow. The red label was defined as much worse in terms of environmental consequences than the average, the green label was defined as much better than the average, and the yellow label was defined as average...Read More
The ultimate appeal of fuel cell vehicles rests on whether they can provide superior environmental performance (low emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases) while meeting or exceeding the driving performance and other consumer expectations of competing technologies. At the same time, fuel cell vehicles will need to be affordable in terms of providing such features with customer value sufficient to be marketed successfully.
A fuel cell vehicle’s environmental performance advantage is determined largely by the operating efficiency of the stack and associated components...Read More
How to make everyday behavior more environmentally friendly has been on the agenda for nearly a half-century, and much has been learned. Both external and internal barriers must be overcome. There has been an optimistic belief in the use of information in the hope of fostering environmentally
sound behavior among members of the general public. However, it has been found that there is no automatic link between knowing and doing. Norms, values, feelings, and consumption opportunities have been shown to be a vital part of the picture.
However, there are several policy tools, in addition to information, that can be used for changing everyday behavior, and they differ in influence and effect (Table III).
Four groups of policy instruments can be identi – fied—information, economic instruments...Read More
The challenges of supplying hydrogen and storing it onboard a vehicle and have prompted efforts to develop onboard fuel processors (reformers) for converting liquid hydrocarbon or alcohol fuels into a hydrogen-rich anode feed gas. In general, such fuel processing involves two major steps: (1) dissociating the hydrogen from the fuel and (2) purifying the resulting gaseous stream to have maximum hydrogen levels and minimal constituents such as CO that can poison the stack. Each step involves multiple reactions and processes and a preliminary cleanup stage is needed if sulfur or other detrimental substances are present in the fuel.
Methanol can be processed by steam reforming, a catalytic process that is endothermic (requiring heat input)...Read More