Daily Archives March 9, 2016

FOSSIL FUELS AND ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION, 1955-1971

Parallel to the growth and development of the oil and natural gas industries in the United States and other advanced economies, geographers began to give more attention to the other fossil fuels, their development, and use patterns in the mid-1950s. Another exciting new energy source gained attention with the commercialization of atomic power plants in Britain, Russia, and the United States during this period. Nuclear power development attracted con­siderable attention among geographers in North America and Europe. This topic is considered separately since the economics, spatial diffusion, risks, social acceptance, waste problems, and other dimensions of nuclear power were highly uncertain in the 1950s and thus it was treated differently.

Although a quantitative revolution in geography fi...

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EARLY RESEARCH ON THE COAL INDUSTRY, 1934-1955

Coal, as the fossil fuel of greatest abundance and widest distribution, has long attracted attention from geographers. In the early years, this attention focused on the location of deposits and their transport and much of it mirrored the major coal fields of Britain, Germany, Poland, and the United States. The accounts in geography journals were largely descrip­tive, economic, and cartographic. Little or no interest was evident regarding the environmental costs. Later, when the public mood shifted and impacts were widespread, more attention was paid to environ­mental impacts, especially air pollution and its dispersal, impacts of acid rain, landscapes altered by strip mining and waste heaps, and the forced relocation of residents...

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Geographic Thought, Energy in

BARRY D. SOLOMON

Michigan Technological University Houghton, Michigan, United States

MARTIN J. PASQUALETTI

Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona, United States

1. Early Research on the Coal Industry, 1934-1955

2. Fossil Fuels and Electric Power Generation,

1955-1971

3. The Birth of Commercial Nuclear Energy,

1951-1973

4. Modeling the Spatial Development and Transportation of Fossil Fuels and Power Plant Siting

5. Hazards, Risks, and Technological Diffusion: Behavioral Research by Geographers Since the TMI Accident

6. Development of Sustainable Energy Resources

Glossary

econometric analysis A test of economic theory with linear or nonlinear regression and other multivariate statistical methods using socioeconomic and technical data.

geography of energy The study of energy development, tra...

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CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

There have been significant air quality benefits since the implementation of the oxygenated fuels program. Although some of the improvement in air quality indices may be simply due to fleet turnover, increase in fuel efficiency over time, and improvements in vehicle testing and maintenance programs, the oxygenates have also been credited for air quality benefits. For example, 10 to 14% reduction in ambient CO concentrations has been attributed to use of oxygenated in winter months in CO non­attainment areas. Although the National Research Council concluded that little air quality impact in terms of ozone reduction can be gained from the use of oxygenates in RFG, the EPA’s blue ribbon panel acknowledged major reductions in VOCs, especially, some of the carcinogenic air toxics (e. g...

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HUMAN HEALTH EFFECTS OF ETHANOL

Ethanol used as oxygenate in gasoline is produced from grains or other renewable agricultural and forestry feedstocks. The U. S. Congress has approved a 5.4 cents/gallon federal subsidy for this biomass – based source of fuel in nations’ gasoline supply. Ethanol production in 2000 was 1.5 billion gallons. Approximately 30% of this amount is used in RFG during the summer in ozone nonattainment areas. About 20% is used in the winter oxygenate program to control CO air pollution. The remainder 50% is used in conventional gasoline in the United States to enhance octane and extend fuel supplies. Ethanol is highly volatile when spilled; it will evaporate five times faster than MTBE...

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ELECTRICAL POWER

In early Greece, it was found that the elektron (amber), when rubbed, acquired the power of attracting low-density materials. The widespread use of electricity for heat, light, and power depended on the development of mechanical methods of generation. During the 17th and 18th centuries, static electricity was found to be distinct from electric currents. Electricity could be positive or negative as charged bodies repelled or attracted each other, distinguishing conductors from nonconductors.

In 1754, John Canton devised an instrument to measure electricity based on the repulsion of like- charged pith suspended by threads, and this was later standardized and redesigned as the gold leaf electro­scope...

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Carcinogenic Effects of MTBE

There are no human data on which carcinogeni­city of MTBE can be evaluated. However, the evidence from chronic exposure by inhalation and oral exposure routes demonstrate that MTBE is carcinogenic in rats and mice. Two chronic animal cancer bioassays with inhalation exposure to MTBE resulted in rare kidney tumors and testicular tumors in the mid – and high-dose groups of male rates, and liver tumors in mice at the high-dose group. Sprague – Dawley rats exposed to MTBE in olive oil as the vehicle for oral gavage for 2 years showed dose – related increases in lymphomas and leukemias in females and in interstitial cell tumors of the testes in males. The biological mechanism responsible for MTBE cancer production in animals is not known...

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