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Our Energy Future is an introductory textbook for the study of energy production, alternative and renewable fuels, and ways to build a sustainable energy future. Jones and Mayfield explore the creation and history of fossil fuels, their impact on the environment, and how they have become critical to our society. The authors also outline how adopting sustainable biofuels will be key to the future of energy stability and discuss a number of renewable energy options and biofuel feedstocks that are replacements for petroleum-based products.
Our society is consuming energy at an alarming rate, and the authors warn that continuing fuel-usage patterns could permanently damage the environment. This book emphasizes the importance of continued scientific, agricultural, and engineering development while it outlines the political and environmental challenges that will accompany a complete shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy and biomass. Our Energy Future is an accessible resource for undergraduate students studying biofuels and bioenergy.
1 OVERVIEW OF ENERGY USAGE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD
2 WHY FOSSIL FUELS ENERGIZE OUR SOCIETY
3 THE IMPACT OF ENERGY USAGE ON CLIMATE
4 METHODS FOR REDUCING OUR FOSSIL FUEL USAGE: RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES AND USES
5 LINKING FOOD AND FUEL: THE IMPACT OF INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE
6 THE PAST AND PRESENT OF BIOETHANOL: CORN, SUGARCANE, AND CELLULOSICS
7 BIOFUELS FROM FATS AND OILS: BIODIESEL
8 GASEOUS BIOFUELS: BIOGAS AND BIOHYDROGEN
9 AQUATIC VERSATILITY FOR BIOFUELS: CYANOBACTERIA, DIATOMS, AND ALGAE
10 BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR BIOFUELS DEVELOPMENT
11 THERMOCHEMICAL CONVERSION TECHNOLOGIES
12 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF BIOFUELS: WATER, LAND, AND NUTRIENTS BIOFUELS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
13 LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENTS FOR EVALUATING BIOFUELS PRODUCTION
14 ECONOMICS AND POLITICS OF BIOFUELS
15 OUR ENERGY FUTURE: THE PROSPECTS FOR DEVELOPING AND USING SUSTAINABLE BIOFUELS
Carla S. Jones is Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. She teaches classes on creating a sustainable future, including topics such as energy, climate change, biodiversity, and water.
Stephen P. Mayfield is Professor in the Section of Molecular Biology, Director of the California Center for Algae Biotechnology, and codirector of the Food and Fuel for the 21st Century Research Unit at University of California, San Diego.
"Our Energy Future provides an excellent topical examination of the state of energy and the upcoming technologies being developed to mitigate the depletion of fossil fuels. The scope of the text is such that it will be of interest to those pursuing an interest in fields ranging from biotechnology and applied biosciences through to economics and sustainability studies, and it is sufficiently approachable to be accessible to a broad range of readers, from students to senior academics." —Maria Ghirardi, Principal Scientist, National Renewable Energy Institute, U.S. Department of Energy
“There are many university programs focused on renewable energy that could use a book such as this one. While Our Energy Future is targeted to the biosciences, it describes chemical processes as well, which makes it particularly useful." —Ian Blaby, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles