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env100 note 53.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga

ENV100 Lecture NotesMar 12 2012 Conventional Energy continued Readings Chapter 16 Most serious proposed solutions for permanent disposal of radioactive waste involve storage by geological isolationFusion remains a dreamNuclear fusionforcing together the nuclei of lightweight elements under extremely high temperature and pressure o Scientists have not yet achieved cold fusion useable for commercial power generation o If we could control fusion we could produce vast amounts of energy from waterBiomass energy comes from organic matterPeople have long harvested biomass energy from many types of organic matter o Wood from trees o Charcoal from burned wood o Matter from agricultural crops o Combustible animal waste products Fuelwood and other biomass sources constitute 80 of all renewable energy used worldwide Traditional biomass sources are widely used in the developing worldIn some areas almost total dependence on fuelwood for energyAbout i billion people depend on fuelwood as a primary energy sourceCan lead to deforestationbiomass is only renewable if it grows faster than we harvest it o main causes of deforestation are still land clearing logging disease environmental changeElectricity generation from biomass is called biopowerMany sources of biomass o Waste products of existing industries or processes o Woody debris from logging operations and sawsmills o Crops can be specifically grown such as fastgrowing willow trees or bamboo o Cofiring combines biomass with coal o Bacterial breakdown of waste to produce methane
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