0

IN THIS ISSUE


Select Articles

Mechanical Engineering. 2014;136(10):32-37. doi:10.1115/10.2014-Oct-1.
FREE TO VIEW

This article presents an overview of clean coal technologies that promise to produce electricity with fewer emissions. The 600 MW John W. Turk Jr. power plant built by American Electric Power near Fulton is the first “ultra-supercritical” electric-generating clean coal unit in the U.S. Turk’s efficiency is 39 percent to 40 percent, versus about 35 percent for conventional plants. Turk burns roughly 11 percent less coal than a subcritical plant would need to produce the same amount of power. Less coal means fewer emissions, and what’s left – aside from carbon dioxide – is further reduced by the state-of-the-art emission control technologies. Another clean coal technology that has seen wider adoption is the circulating fluidized bed combustion (CFBC) technology. One of CFBS’ greatest advantages is that since the furnaces burn at low temperatures, it can use very low-quality fuel, such as waste piles left over from mining and even chicken litter.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2014;136(10):38-43. doi:10.1115/10.2014-Oct-2.
FREE TO VIEW

This article discusses the potential use of solar energy in various industrial processes. Solar energy is usually considered in terms of making electricity, but it also has the potential to replace fossil fuels in the production of liquid fuels, and in driving endothermic industrial processes. Solar thermochemical processes are feasible, and a solar power concentration process that harnesses sunlight's infrared energy is the best-suited technology for making solar fuels a reality. However, in spite of their appeal, solar thermochemical processes also have the same drawback that direct solar power has: the transient and diurnal nature of sunshine. Fluctuations of available solar radiation – over the course of a day, across different types of weather, and from season to season – present considerable challenges for potential solar-thermal systems. While there are economically affordable and commercially available solutions to some of those problems, substantial research and development is still required.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2014;136(10):44-47. doi:10.1115/10.2014-Oct-3.
FREE TO VIEW

This article discusses how Singapore is amassing a brain trust to compensate for resources that nature didn’t provide to it. CREATE or “Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise” is one of the most ambitious projects of Singapore’s National Research Foundation. CREATE seeks to unite Singapore’s universities with world-class research institutions to study issues ranging from urban planning to medical treatment. The organization has partnerships with 10 foreign universities, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Technical University of Munich, Cambridge University, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. There are five research groups in CREATE’s partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The research areas are infectious diseases, environmental sensing and modeling, biosystems and micromechanics, urban mobility, and low-energy electronic systems. The University of California, Berkeley, has two research programs with CREATE. One aims to improve the efficiency of buildings in the tropics, and the other is working on raising the electrical output of photovoltaic devices.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In