Atmospheric impact of the fossil fuel cycle
Fossil fuels supply about 86% of the global primary energy consumption for transportation, industrial, commercial, and residential uses. While a minor part of fossil fuels is used as a raw material for the chemical industry, the vast majority is combusted providing heat, mechanical, and electric energy for the urban-industrial society. Owing to the combustion of fossil fuels, copious quantities of pollutants are emitted into the air and impact on the local, regional, and global air quality. It is technologically possible to significantly reduce the emissions of most pollutants, albeit at considerable energy and economic penalty. However, the reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the principal products of fossil fuel combustion, poses technological, economic, societal, and political problems of enormous magnitude. In recent decades it has become evident that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) will cause global warming and other climate changes.
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Energy, Waste and the Environment: a Geochemical Perspective
This book provides incentives for further development of sustainable fuel cycles through a novel and interdisciplinary approach to an Earth science-related topic. The main focus is on geochemical concepts in immobilizing, isolating or neutralizing waste derived from energy production and consumption. The book also addresses the issue of using some types of energy-derived waste as alternative raw materials. Moreover, it highlights research on how certain wastes can be used for energy production, an increasingly important aspect of modern integrated waste management strategies. The main objectives are to: (a) identify the most serious environmental problems related to various types of power generation and associated waste accumulation; (b) present strategies, based on natural analogue materials, for the immobilization of toxic and radioactive waste components through mineralogical barriers; (c) discuss modern procedures for reuse of waste or certain waste components; and (d) review the importance of geochemical modelling in describing and predicting the interaction between waste and the environment.