This course examines electricity generation from traditional sources including coal, gas and nuclear, and describes recent developments to improve efficiency and environmental performance. This includes the use of carbon capture and storage technology as a way of decarbonising electricity. We will also examine carbon intensive industries such as cement, steel making, paper, pulp and fertiliser production as well as carbon intensive transportation fuels.
You will be exposed to a number of the arguments for and against the use of fossil fuels. The course will help you to understand their role in the transition to a sustainable future and what the trade-offs might include.
This course is part of the Sustainable Energy MicroMasters Program.
What you’ll learn
– Current features of coal, gas and nuclear power generation technologies and their future development
– Basic principles and emissions intensity of oil refining and coal to liquids processes for transportation fuels
– New developments in carbon capture, transportation and storage processes
– Case study of an unconventional gas industry
– The implications of improving efficiencies in carbon intensive industrial processes.
Topic 1: Introduction to Primary Energy Sources
This topic covers introductory thermodynamics and investigates primary energy sources and the meaning of technology readiness.
Topic 2: Electricity from Coal
This topic discusses the emissions profile, current deployment level and future development of different coal based power producing technologies.
Topic 3: Electricity from Gas
This topic discusses the environmental impact, current deployment level and future developments of different gas based power producing technologies.
Topic 4: Transportation Fuels
In this topic we present the basic processes of oil refining, emissions to the environment, current usage profile and future alternatives.
Topic 5: Industrial Carbon Intensive Processes
This topic introduces learners to the basics of energy intensive industrial processes.
Topic 6: Nuclear Power
This topic covers the basics of nuclear power generation including reactor types, fuel cycles, waste and safety.
Topic 7: Carbon Capture Technology Options and Developments
In this topic learners will explore the purpose of carbon capture and storage and also different options for carbon capture.
Topic 8: Carbon Transport and Storage Options
This topic explores the different carbon transport and storage options and includes an overview of key carbon capture and storage projects globally.