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Unit 10: Energy Challenges // Visuals

Animation(s)

Deep rock carbon dioxide sequestration
Deep rock carbon dioxide sequestration
Carbon dioxide, in a liquid state, can be stored underground by being injected through deep rock layers into saltwater reservoirs. View animation

Enzymes used in sugar chain
Enzymes used in sugar chain
At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, one particular enzyme is used to break apart the sugar chains in cellulose. Another "processive" enzyme is used to release the sugars from the chain. View animation

Ethanol production from cellulosic material
Ethanol production from cellulosic material
The basic constituents of biomass are lignen, cellulose, and hemicellulose. Biomass is treated with acid and heated in the first stages of cellulosic ethanol production. View animation

Photograph(s)

A ceramic cook stove saves fuel in Myanmar
A ceramic cook stove saves fuel in Myanmar
Using a ceramic cook stove helps rural families reduce their use of wood for cooking. View image

Aerial view of the Three Gorges Dam, China
Aerial view of the Three Gorges Dam, China
The reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam will stretch more than 600 kilometers upstream, submerging towns, factories, mines, and archaeological sites. View image

Athabasca tar sands, Alberta, Canada
Athabasca tar sands, Alberta, Canada
Producing oil from tar sands consumes massive quantities of energy and water. View image

Berkeley Pit, Montana
Berkeley Pit, Montana
Water flows continuously into the Berkeley Pit from surface runoff and groundwater seepage. To prevent the pit from contaminating surface aquifers, the cleanup plan calls for pumping and treating water from the pit to keep the water surface at a safe level. View image

Iron smelting, Carrie furnaces, Rankin, Pennsylvania, 1952
Iron smelting, Carrie furnaces, Rankin, Pennsylvania, 1952
The Carrie blast furnaces were built in the early 1900s and operated until 1983. Two remaining furnaces have been designated as national historic landmarks. View image

Main tunnel shaft, Yucca mountain repository site
Main tunnel shaft, Yucca mountain repository site
The main tunnel shaft descends more than five miles into Yucca Mountain. View image

Mountaintop removal site, Kayford Mountain, West Virginia (2005)
Mountaintop removal site, Kayford Mountain, West Virginia (2005)
Mountaintop removal can involve blasting and shearing away 500 or more feet from the summit of a mountain to expose buried coal seams. View image

Offshore oil drilling platform, Gulf of Mexico
Offshore oil drilling platform, Gulf of Mexico
Offshore drilling rigs are hundreds of feet high and weigh many thousands of tons. A single drilling platform can cost more than $1 billion. View image

Offshore wind turbines near the southwest coast of Denmark
Offshore wind turbines near the southwest coast of Denmark
Placing wind turbines offshore is more expensive than siting them on land, but is a promising option for densely populated regions. View image

Pump offering bio-based fuels, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Pump offering bio-based fuels, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Many countries are developing bio-based fuels to reduce dependence on imported oil and emissions from fossil fuel combustion. View image

Solar-powered housing complex, Watsonville, California
Solar-powered housing complex, Watsonville, California
Some U.S. states and electric power companies offer rebates for installing home solar systems, which reduce peak demand for electricity and help avoid the need to build new generating facilities. View image

View under the hood of a fuel cell car
View under the hood of a fuel cell car
Some researchers believe that fuel cells could eventually replace internal combustion engines. But converting to hydrogen for transportation would require the development of a new fleet of fuel-cell vehicles, efficient methods for producing hydrogen on a large scale, and a hydrogen storage and distribution system. View image

Graphic(s)

Coal formation
Coal formation
During the Carboniferous Period, from about 354 to 290 million years ago, Earth's climate was tropical and humid. Plant material buried in swamps formed rich coal deposits in what are now Europe, Asia, and North America. View image

Cross-section of a hydrocarbon system
Cross-section of a hydrocarbon system
Predicting the location, type, and quality of hydrocarbon systems is critical to successful oil and gas development. Technology, such as seismic imaging and computer modeling, has improved the process in recent decades. View image

Hydrogen fuel cell
Hydrogen fuel cell
Fuel cells use hydrogen’s chemical energy to generate electricity without emitting pollutants. View image

Hydropower system
Hydropower system
Bodies of water that flow swiftly or fall rapidly from a very high point are good hydropower sources. View image

Pressurized-water reactor
Pressurized-water reactor
Pressurized-water reactors, so named because the water in the primary coolant loop is circulated under pressure to keep from boiling, are widely used around the world. View image

Products from a barrel of crude oil
Products from a barrel of crude oil
Most petroleum products are used to produce energy, but some are used for other industrial and manufacturing purposes. View image

Profile of domestic natural gas resources
Profile of domestic natural gas resources
Energy resources are not static because the boundaries between recoverable and unrecoverable reserves shift as technology improves. View image

Profitability of energy efficiency upgrades
Profitability of energy efficiency upgrades
Owners have many options for making their homes more energy-efficient. Home energy audits, which some energy suppliers offer to customers at no charge, can help owners set priorities for improvements. View image

Switchgrass
Switchgrass
Switchgrass can grow up to 12 feet tall and has deep roots that stabilize soil and sequester large amounts of carbon. View image

U.S. geothermal resources (estimated temperature at 6 kilometers depth)
U.S. geothermal resources (estimated temperature at 6 kilometers depth)
Most geothermal energy production in the United States today is in California, Utah, Nevada, and Hawaii. View image

World energy use by fuel source
World energy use by fuel source
Most of the energy used worldwide today comes from fossil fuels. Other sources include non-hydropower renewable energy such as solar, geothermal, and wind power. View image

World marketed energy consumption, 1980-2030
World marketed energy consumption, 1980-2030
This is EIA’s “reference case” scenario, which assumes that current laws and policies remain unchanged. Many factors, including economic growth rates, world oil prices, and energy intensity (the ratio of energy use to gross domestic product) could alter these projections. View image

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