Utilization of Non-Fossil Fuel Energy Options to Mitigate Climate Change and
Professor Marc A. Rosen
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
also: President-Elect, Engineering Institute of Canada
Abstract: Non-fossil fuel energy options can help humanity combat
climate change and provide the opportunity for sustainable energy solutions.
Non-fossil fuel energy options are diverse, ranging from renewables like
solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, biomass, ocean, tidal and wave energy,
through to nuclear energy. The latter may not be a renewable resource, but
it avoids greenhouse gas emissions and thus contributes to efforts to avoid
climate change. Renewable energy resources are normally free of greenhouse
gas emissions, although some like biomass can lead to such emissions if not
Non-fossil fuel energy options are not sufficient for avoiding climate
change, in that they are not necessarily readily utilizable in their natural
forms. Hydrogen energy systems are needed to facilitate the use of
non-fossil fuels by allowing them to be converted to two main classes of
energy carriers: hydrogen and select hydrogen-derived fuels and electricity.
The former allow humanity to meet most of its chemical energy needs, while
the latter can satisfy most non-chemical energy demands.
High efficiency is also needed to allow the greatest benefits to be attained
from all energy options, including non-fossil fuel ones, in terms of climate
change and other factors. Efficiency improvements efforts have many
dimensions, including energy conservation, improved energy management, fuel
substitution, better matching of energy carriers and energy demands, and
more efficiency utilization of both energy quantity and quality. The latter
two concepts are best considered via the use of exergy analysis, a
thermodynamic tool based primarily on the second law of thermodynamics.
A case study is considered involving the production of hydrogen from
non-fossil energy sources via thermochemical water decomposition. This
process is mainly driven by thermal energy, and is anticipated to be usable
for large-scale hydrogen production. In thermochemical hydrogen production,
a series of complex chemical and other processes occur, with the net result
being the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen. Most preliminary
designs of thermochemical hydrogen production processes are based on nuclear
energy and solar energy, thus providing different types of non-fossil fuel
options for combating climate change.
Brief biography of the speaker:
Dr. Marc A. Rosen is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University
of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Canada, where he served as
founding Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science from 2002 to
2008. Dr. Rosen became President of the Engineering Institute of Canada in
2008. He was President of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering
from 2002 to 2004, and is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario.
Dr. Rosen has received numerous awards and honours, including an Award of
Excellence in Research and Technology Development from the Ontario Ministry
of Environment and Energy, the Engineering Institute of Canada’s Smith Medal
for achievement in the development of Canada, and the Canadian Society for
Mechanical Engineering’s Angus Medal for outstanding contributions to the
management and practice of mechanical engineering. He is a Fellow of the
Engineering Institute of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the
Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering, the American Society of
Mechanical Engineers and the International Energy Foundation.
With over 60 research grants and contracts and 500 technical publications,
Dr. Rosen is an active teacher and researcher in thermodynamics, energy
technology (including cogeneration, district energy, thermal storage and
renewable energy), and the environmental impact of energy and industrial
systems. Much of his research has been carried out for industry. Dr. Rosen
has worked for such organizations as Imatra Power Company in Finland,
Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, and the Institute for Hydrogen
Systems near Toronto. He was also a professor in the Department of
Mechanical, Aerospace and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University in
Toronto, Canada for 16 years. While there, Dr. Rosen served as department
Chair and Director of the School of Aerospace Engineering.