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  • Journal article
    Funke SW, Farrell PE, Piggott MD, 2017,

    Reconstructing wave profiles from inundation data

    , COMPUTER METHODS IN APPLIED MECHANICS AND ENGINEERING, Vol: 322, Pages: 167-186, ISSN: 0045-7825

    This paper applies variational data assimilation to inundation problems governed by the shallow water equations with wetting and drying. The objective of the assimilation is to recover an unknown time-varying wave profile at an open ocean boundary from inundation observations. This problem is solved with derivative-based optimisation and an adjoint wetting and drying scheme to efficiently compute sensitivity information. The capabilities of this approach are demonstrated on an idealised sloping beach setup in which the profile of an incoming wave is reconstructed from wet/dry interface observations. The method is robust to noise in the observations if a regularisation term is added to the optimisation objective. Finally, the method is applied to a laboratory experiment of the Hokkaido-Nansei-Oki tsunami, where the wave profile is reconstructed with a relative L∞ error of less than 1%.

  • Journal article
    Fennell PS, hallett J, Brandt-Talbot A, Gschwend Fet al., 2017,

    An economically viable ionic liquid for the fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass

    , RSC Green Chemistry, Vol: 19, Pages: 3078-3102, ISSN: 1757-7047

    Cost-effective fractionation (pretreatment) of lignocellulosic biomass is necessary to enable its large-scale use as a source of liquid fuels, bio-based materials and bio-derived chemicals. While a number of ionic liquids (ILs) have proven capable of highly effective pretreatment, their high cost presents a barrier to commercial viability. In this study, we investigate in detail the application of the low-cost (ca. $1 kg−1) ionic liquid triethylammonium hydrogen sulfate for the fractionation of the grass Miscanthus x giganteus into a cellulose rich pulp, a lignin and a distillate. We found that up to 85% of the lignin and up to 100% of the hemicellulose were solubilized into the IL solution. The hemicellulose dissolved mainly in monomeric form, and pentoses were partially converted into furfural. Up to 77% of the glucose contained in the biomass could be released by enzymatic saccharification of the pulp. The IL was successfully recovered and reused four times. A 99% IL recovery was achieved each time. Effective lignin removal and high saccharification yields were maintained during recycling, representing the first demonstration that repeated IL use is feasible due to the self-cleaning properties of the non-distillable solvent. We further demonstrate that furfural and acetic acid can be separated quantitatively from the non-volatile IL by simple distillation, providing an easily recoverable, valuable co-product stream, while IL degradation products were not detected. We further include detailed mass balances for glucose, hemicellulose and lignin, and a preliminary techno-economic estimate for the fractionation process. This is the first demonstration of an efficient and repeated lignocellulose fractionation with a truly low-cost IL, and opens a path to an economically viable IL-based pretreatment process.

  • Journal article
    Bridgestock L, Rehkamper M, van de Flierdt T, Murphy K, Khondoker R, Baker AR, Chance R, Strekopytov S, Humphreys-Williams E, Achterberg EPet al., 2017,

    The Cd isotope composition of atmospheric aerosols from the tropical Atlantic Ocean

    , Geophysical Research Letters, Vol: 44, Pages: 2932-2940, ISSN: 1944-8007

    Stable isotope compositions can potentially be used to trace atmospheric Cd inputs to the surface ocean and anthropogenic Cd emissions to the atmosphere. Both of these applications may provide valuable insights into the effects of anthropogenic activities on the cycling of Cd in the environment. However, a lack of constraints for the Cd isotope compositions of atmospheric aerosols is currently hindering such studies. Here we present stable Cd isotope data for aerosols collected over the Tropical Atlantic Ocean. The samples feature variable proportions of mineral dust-derived and anthropogenic Cd, yet exhibit similar isotope compositions, thus negating the distinction of these Cd sources by using isotopic signatures in this region. Isotopic variability between these two atmospheric Cd sources may be identified in other areas, and thus warrants further investigation. Regardless, these data provide important initial constraints on the isotope composition of atmospheric Cd inputs to the ocean.

  • Journal article
    Stucky de Quay G, Roberts GG, Watson J, Jackson CA-Let al., 2017,

    Incipient mantle plume evolution: constraints from ancient landscapes buried beneath the North Sea

    , Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Vol: 18, Pages: 973-993, ISSN: 1525-2027

    Geological observations that constrain the history of mantle convection are sparse despite its importance in determining vertical and horizontal plate motions, plate rheology, and magmatism. We use a suite of geological and geophysical observations from the northern North Sea to constrain evolution of the incipient Paleocene-Eocene Icelandic plume. Well data and a three-dimensional seismic survey are used to reconstruct a 58–55 Ma landscape now buried ∼1.5 km beneath the seabed in the Bressay region. Geochemical analyses of cuttings from wells that intersect the landscape indicate the presence of angiosperm debris. These observations, combined with presence of coarse clastic material, interpreted beach ridges, and a large dendritic drainage network, indicate that this landscape formed subaerially. Longitudinal profiles of palaeo-rivers were extracted and inverted for an uplift rate history, indicating three distinct phases of uplift and total cumulative uplift of ∼350 m. Dinoflagellate cysts in the surrounding marine stratigraphy indicate that this terrestrial landscape formed in <3 Ma and was rapidly drowned. This uplift history is similar to that of a slightly older buried landscape in the Faeroe-Shetland basin ∼400 km to the west. These records of vertical motion are consistent with pulses of anomalously hot asthenosphere spreading out from the incipient Icelandic plume. Using simple isostatic calculations we estimate that the maximum thermal anomaly beneath Bressay was 50–100◦C. Our observations suggest that a thermal anomaly departed the Icelandic plume around 57.4±2.2 Ma at the latest, and travelled with a velocity >∼150 km/Ma.

  • Journal article
    parkinson SD, Funke SW, Hill J, Piggott MD, Allison PAet al., 2017,

    Application of the adjoint approach to optimise the initial conditions of a turbidity current with the AdjointTurbidity 1.0 model

    , Geoscientific Model Development, Vol: 10, Pages: 1051-1068, ISSN: 1991-9603

    Turbidity currents are one of the main drivers ofsediment transport from the continental shelf to the deepocean. The resulting sediment deposits can reach hundredsof kilometres into the ocean. Computer models that simulateturbidity currents and the resulting sediment deposit can helpus to understand their general behaviour. However, in orderto recreate real-world scenarios, the challenge is to find theturbidity current parameters that reproduce the observationsof sediment deposits.This paper demonstrates a solution to the inverse sedimenttransportation problem: for a known sedimentary deposit, thedeveloped model reconstructs details about the turbidity cur-rent that produced the deposit. The reconstruction is con-strained here by a shallow water sediment-laden density cur-rent model, which is discretised by the finite-element methodand an adaptive time-stepping scheme. The model is differ-entiated using the adjoint approach, and an efficient gradient-based optimisation method is applied to identify the turbidityparameters which minimise the misfit between the modelledand the observed field sediment deposits. The capabilities ofthis approach are demonstrated using measurements taken inthe Miocene Marnoso-arenacea Formation (Italy). We findthat whilst the model cannot match the deposit exactly dueto limitations in the physical processes simulated, it providesvaluable insights into the depositional processes and repre-sents a significant advance in our toolset for interpreting tur-bidity current deposits.

  • Journal article
    Green RJ, Staffell IL, 2017,

    “Prosumage” and the British electricity market

    , Economics of Energy and Environmental Policy, Vol: 6, Pages: 33-49, ISSN: 2160-5882

    Domestic electricity consumers with PV panels have become known as “prosumers”; some of them also have energy storage and we have named the combination “prosumage”. The challenges of renewable intermittency could be offset by storing power, and many engineering studies consider the role and value of storage which is properly integrated into the ‘smart grid’. Such a system with holistic optimal control may fail to materialise for regulatory, economic, or behavioural reasons. We therefore model the impact of naïve prosumage: households which use storage only to maximise self-consumption of PV, with no consideration of the wider system. We find it is neither economicfor arbitrage nor particularly beneficial for shaving peaks and filling troughs in national net demand. The extreme case of renewable self-sufficiency, becoming completely independent of the grid, is still prohibitively expensive in Britain and Germany, and even in a country like Spain with a much better solar resource.

  • Journal article
    Deaney EL, Barker S, van de Flierdt T, 2017,

    Timing and nature of AMOC recovery across Termination 2 and magnitude of deglacial CO2 change

    , Nature Communications, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2041-1723

    Large amplitude variations in atmospheric CO2were associated with glacial terminationsof the Late Pleistocene. Here we provide multiple lines of evidence suggesting that theB20 p.p.m.v. overshoot in CO2at the end of Termination 2 (T2)B129 ka was associated withan abrupt (r400 year) deepening of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).In contrast to Termination 1 (T1), which was interrupted by the Bølling-Allerød (B-A), AMOCrecovery did not occur until the very end of T2, and was characterized by pronouncedformation of deep waters in the NW Atlantic. Considering the variable influences of oceancirculation change on atmospheric CO2, we suggest that the net change in CO2across thelast 2 terminations was approximately equal if the transient effects of deglacial oscillations inocean circulation are taken into account.

  • Journal article
    Mechleri E, Fennell PS, Mac Dowell N, 2017,

    Optimisation and evaluation of flexible operation strategies for coal- and gas-CCS power stations with a multi-period design approach

    , INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GREENHOUSE GAS CONTROL, Vol: 59, Pages: 24-39, ISSN: 1750-5836

    Thermal power plants are increasingly required to balance power grids by compensating for the intermittent electricity supply from renewable energy resources. As CO2 capture and storage is integrated with both coal- and gas-fired power plants, it is vital that the emission mitigation technology does not compromise their ability to provide this high-value service. Therefore, developing optimal process operation strategies is vital to maximise both the value provided by and the profitability of these important assets. In this work, we present models of coal- and gas-fired power plants, integrated with a post-combustion CO2 capture process using a 30 wt% monoethanolamine (MEA) solvent. With the aim to decoupling the power and capture plants in order to facilitate profit maximising behaviour, a multi-period dynamic optimisation problem was formulated and solved using these models. Four distinct scenarios were evaluated: load following, solvent storage, exhaust gas by-pass and variable solvent regeneration (VSR). It was found that for both coal- and gas-fired power plants, the VSR strategy is consistently the most profitable option. The performance of the exhaust by-pass scenario is a strong function of the carbon prices and is only selected at very low carbon prices. The viability of the solvent storage strategy was found to be a strong function of the capital cost associated with the solvent storage infrastructure. When the cost of the solvent tanks has been paid off, then the solvent storage scenario is 3.3% and 8% more profitable than the baseline for the pulverised coal and gas-fired power plants, respectively. Sensitivity analyses showed that, for all strategies, the flexibility benefit declined with reduced carbon and fuel prices, while a “peakier” electricity market, characteristic of one with significant quantities of intermittent renewables deployment, more significantly rewarded flexible operation.

  • Journal article
    Davis T, Prentice IC, Stocker BD, Thomas RT, Whitley RJ, Wang H, Evans BJ, Gallego-Sala AV, Sykes MT, Cramer Wet al., 2017,

    Simple process-led algorithms for simulating habitats (SPLASH v.1.0): robust indices of radiation, evapotranspiration and plant-available moisture

    , Geoscientific Model Development, Vol: 10, Pages: 689-708, ISSN: 1991-9603

    Bioclimatic indices for use in studies of ecosystem function, species distribution, and vegetation dynamics under changing climate scenarios depend on estimates of surface fluxes and other quantities, such as radiation, evapotranspiration and soil moisture, for which direct observations are sparse. These quantities can be derived indirectly from meteorological variables, such as near-surface air temperature, precipitation and cloudiness. Here we present a consolidated set of simple process-led algorithms for simulating habitats (SPLASH) allowing robust approximations of key quantities at ecologically relevant timescales. We specify equations, derivations, simplifications, and assumptions for the estimation of daily and monthly quantities of top-of-the-atmosphere solar radiation, net surface radiation, photosynthetic photon flux density, evapotranspiration (potential, equilibrium, and actual), condensation, soil moisture, and runoff, based on analysis of their relationship to fundamental climatic drivers. The climatic drivers include a minimum of three meteorological inputs: precipitation, air temperature, and fraction of bright sunshine hours. Indices, such as the moisture index, the climatic water deficit, and the Priestley–Taylor coefficient, are also defined. The SPLASH code is transcribed in C++, FORTRAN, Python, and R. A total of 1 year of results are presented at the local and global scales to exemplify the spatiotemporal patterns of daily and monthly model outputs along with comparisons to other model results.

  • Journal article
    Shevchenko I, Berloff P, 2017,

    On the roles of baroclinic modes in eddy-resolving midlatitude ocean dynamics

    , Ocean Modelling, Vol: 111, Pages: 55-65, ISSN: 1463-5011

    This work concerns how different baroclinic modes interact and influence solutions of the midlatitude oceandynamics described by the eddy-resolving quasi-geostrophic model of wind-driven gyres. We developedmulti-modal energetics analysis to illuminate dynamical roles of the vertical modes, carried out a systematicanalysis of modal energetics and found that the eddy-resolving dynamics of the eastward jet extension of thewestern boundary currents, such as the Gulf Stream or Kuroshio, is dominated by the barotropic, and thefirst and second baroclinic modes, which become more energized with smaller eddy viscosity. In the absenceof high baroclinic modes, the energy input from the wind is more efficiently focused onto the lower modes,therefore, the eddy backscatter maintaining the eastward jet and its adjacent recirculation zones is thestrongest and overestimated with respect to cases including higher baroclinic modes. In the presence of highbaroclinic modes, the eddy backscatter effect on the eastward jet is much weaker. Thus, the higher baroclinicmodes play effectively the inhibiting role in the backscatter, which is opposite to what has been previouslythought. The higher baroclinic modes are less energetic and have progressively decreasing effect on the flowdynamics; nevertheless, they still play important roles in inter-mode energy transfers (by injecting energyinto the region of the most intensive eddy forcing, in the neighborhood of the eastward jet) that have to betaken into account for correct representation of the backscatter and, thus, for determining the eastward jetextension.

  • Journal article
    Daina N, Sivakumar A, Polak JW, 2017,

    Modelling electric vehicles use: a survey on the methods

    , Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol: 68, Pages: 447-460, ISSN: 1364-0321

    In the literature electric vehicle use is modelled using of a variety of approaches in power systems, energy and environmental analyses as well as in travel demand analysis. This paper provides a systematic review of these diverse approaches using a twofold classification of electric vehicle use representation, based on the time scale and on substantive differences in the modelling techniques. For time of day analysis of demand we identify activity-based modelling (ABM) as the most attractive because it provides a framework amenable for integrated cross-sector analyses, required for the emerging integration of the transport and electricity network. However, we find that the current examples of implementation of AMB simulation tools for EV-grid interaction analyses have substantial limitations. Amongst the most critical there is the lack of realism how charging behaviour is represented.

  • Report
    Heptonstall PJ, Gross R, Steiner F, 2017,

    The costs and impacts of intermittency - 2016 update

    , Publisher: UK Energy Research Centre
  • Report
    Heptonstall PJ, Gross R, Steiner F, 2017,

    The costs and impacts of intermittency - 2016 update

    , London, Publisher: UK Energy Research Centre
  • Journal article
    Dong N, Prentice IC, Evans BJ, Caddy-Retalic S, Lowe AJ, Wright IJet al., 2017,

    Leaf nitrogen from first principles: field evidence for adaptive variation with climate

    , Biogeosciences, Vol: 14, Pages: 481-495, ISSN: 1726-4189

    Nitrogen content per unit leaf area (Narea) is a key variable in plant functional ecology and biogeochemistry. Narea comprises a structural component, which scales with leaf mass per area (LMA), and a metabolic component, which scales with Rubisco capacity. The co-ordination hypothesis, as implemented in LPJ and related global vegetation models, predicts that Rubisco capacity should be directly proportional to irradiance but should decrease with increases in ci : ca and temperature because the amount of Rubisco required to achieve a given assimilation rate declines with increases in both. We tested these predictions using LMA, leaf δ13C, and leaf N measurements on complete species assemblages sampled at sites on a north–south transect from tropical to temperate Australia. Partial effects of mean canopy irradiance, mean annual temperature, and ci : ca (from δ13C) on Narea were all significant and their directions and magnitudes were in line with predictions. Over 80 % of the variance in community-mean (ln) Narea was accounted for by these predictors plus LMA. Moreover, Narea could be decomposed into two components, one proportional to LMA (slightly steeper in N-fixers), and the other to Rubisco capacity as predicted by the co-ordination hypothesis. Trait gradient analysis revealed ci : ca to be perfectly plastic, while species turnover contributed about half the variation in LMA and Narea.

  • Journal article
    Kolster C, Mechleri E, Krevor S, Mac Dowell Net al., 2017,

    The role of CO<inf>2</inf> purification and transport networks in carbon capture and storage cost reduction

    , International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Vol: 58, Pages: 127-141, ISSN: 1750-5836

    A number of Carbon Capture and Storage projects (CCS) are under way around the world, but the technology's high capital and operational costs act as a disincentive to large-scale deployment. In the case of both oxy-combustion and post-combustion CO 2 capture, the CO 2 compression and purification units (CO 2 CPU) are vital, but costly, process elements needed to bring the raw CO 2 product to a quality that is adequate for transport and storage. Four variants of the CO 2 CPU were modelled in Aspen HYSYS each of which provide different CO 2 product purities at different capital and operating costs. For each unit, a price of CO 2 is calculated by assuming that it is an independent entity in which to invest and the internal rate of return (IRR) must be greater or equal to the minimum rate of return on investment. In this study, we test the hypothesis that, owing to the fact that CO 2 will likely be transported in multi-source networks, not all CO 2 streams will need to be of high purity, and that it may be possible to combine several sources of varying purity to obtain an end-product that is suitable for storage. We find that, when considering study generated costs for an example network in the UK, optimally combining these different sources into one multi-source transport network subject to a minimum CO 2 purity of 96% can reduce the price of captured CO 2 by 17%.

  • Journal article
    Terrer C, Vicca S, Hungate BA, Phillips RP, Reich PB, Franklin O, Stocker BD, Fisher JB, Prentice ICet al., 2017,

    Response to Comment on "Mycorrhizal association as a primary control of the CO2 fertilization effect"

    , Science, Vol: 355, ISSN: 0036-8075

    Norby et al. center their critique on the design of the data set and the response variable used. We address these criticisms and reinforce the conclusion that plants that associate with ectomycorrhizal fungi exhibit larger biomass and growth responses to elevated CO2 compared with plants that associate with arbuscular mycorrhizae.

  • Journal article
    Few SPM, Gambhir A, Napp T, Hawkes A, Mangeon S, Bernie D, Lowe Jet al., 2017,

    The impact of shale gas on the cost and feasibility of meeting climate targets - a global energy system model analysis and an exploration of uncertainties

    , Energies, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1996-1073

    There exists considerable uncertainty over both shaleand conventional gas resource availability and extraction costs, as well as the fugitive methane emissions associated with shale gas extractionand its possible role in mitigating climate change. This study uses a multi-region energy system model, TIAM (TIMES Integrated Assessment Model),to consider the impact of a range of conventional and shale gas cost and availability assessments on mitigation scenariosaimed at achieving a limit to global warming of below 2°C in 2100, with a 50% likelihood. When adding shale gas to the global energy mix, the reduction to the global energy system cost is relatively small (up to0.4%), and the mitigation cost increases by 1-3% under all cost assumptions. The impact of a “dash for shale gas”, of unavailability of carbon capture and storage, of increased barriers to investment in low carbon technologies, and of higher than expectedleakage rates, are also considered;andare each found to have the potential to increase the cost and reduce feasibility of meeting globaltemperature goals. We concludethat the extraction of shale gas is not likely to significantly reduce the effort required to mitigate climate change under globallycoordinatedaction, but could increase required mitigation effort if not handled sufficiently carefully.

  • Journal article
    Coleman MA, Cetina-Heredia P, Roughan M, Feng M, van Sebille E, Kelaher BPet al., 2017,

    Anticipating changes to future connectivity within a network of marine protected areas

    , Global Change Biology, Vol: 23, Pages: 3533-3542, ISSN: 1365-2486

    Continental boundary currents are projected to be altered under future scenarios of climate change. As these currents often influence dispersal and connectivity among populations of many marine organisms, changes to boundary currents may have dramatic implications for population persistence. Networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) often aim to maintain connectivity, but anticipation of the scale and extent of climatic impacts on connectivity are required to achieve this critical conservation goal in a future of climate change. For two key marine species (kelp and sea urchins), we use oceanographic modelling to predict how continental boundary currents are likely to change connectivity among a network of MPAs spanning over 1000 km of coastline off the coast of eastern Australia. Overall change in predicted connectivity among pairs of MPAs within the network did not change significantly over and above temporal variation within climatic scenarios, highlighting the need for future studies to incorporate temporal variation in dispersal to robustly anticipate likely change. However, the intricacies of connectivity between different pairs of MPAs were noteworthy. For kelp, poleward connectivity among pairs of MPAs tended to increase in the future, whereas equatorward connectivity tended to decrease. In contrast, for sea urchins, connectivity among pairs of MPAs generally decreased in both directions. Self-seeding within higher-latitude MPAs tended to increase, and the role of low-latitude MPAs as a sink for urchins changed significantly in contrasting ways. These projected changes have the potential to alter important genetic parameters with implications for adaptation and ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. Considering such changes, in the context of managing and designing MPA networks, may ensure that conservation goals are achieved into the future.

  • Journal article
    Chen SS, Sun Y, Tsang DC, Graham NJ, Ok YS, Feng Y, Li XDet al., 2017,

    Insights into the subsurface transport of As(V) and Se(VI) in produced water from hydraulic fracturing using soil samples from Qingshankou Formation, Songliao Basin, China.

    , Environmental Pollution, Vol: 223, Pages: 449-456, ISSN: 1873-6424

    Produced water is a type of wastewater generated from hydraulic fracturing, which may pose a risk to the environment and humans due to its high ionic strength and the presence of elevated concentrations of metals/metalloids that exceed maximum contamination levels. The mobilization of As(V) and Se(VI) in produced water and selected soils from Qingshankou Formation in the Songliao Basin in China were investigated using column experiments and synthetic produced water whose quality was representative of waters arising at different times after well creation. Temporal effects of produced water on metal/metalloid transport and sorption/desorption were investigated by using HYDRUS-1D transport modelling. Rapid breakthrough and long tailings of As(V) and Se(VI) transport were observed in Day 1 and Day 14 solutions, but were reduced in Day 90 solution probably due to the elevated ionic strength. The influence of produced water on the hydrogeological conditions (i.e., change between equilibrium and non-equilibrium transport) was evidenced by the change of tracer breakthrough curves before and after the leaching of produced water. This possibly resulted from the sorption of polyacrylamide (PAM (-CH2CHCONH2-)n) onto soil surfaces, through its use as a friction reducer in fracturing solutions. The sorption was found to be reversible in this study. Minimal amounts of sorbed As(V) were desorbed whereas the majority of sorbed Se(VI) was readily leached out, to an extent which varied with the composition of the produced water. These results showed that the mobilization of As(V) and Se(VI) in soil largely depended on the solution pH and ionic strength. Understanding the differences in metal/metalloid transport in produced water is important for proper risk management.

  • Journal article
    Levontin P, Baranowski P, Leach AW, Bailey A, Mumford JD, Quetglas A, Kell LTet al., 2017,

    On the role of visualisation in fisheries management

    , Marine Policy, Vol: 78, Pages: 114-121, ISSN: 1872-9460

    Environmental change has focused the attention of scientists, policy makers and the wider public on the uncertainty inherent in interactions between people and the environment. Governance in fisheries is required to involve stakeholder participation and tobe more inclusive in its remit, which is no longer limited to ensuring a maximum sustainable yield from a single stock but considers species and habitat interactions, as well as social and economic issues. The increase in scope, complexity and awareness of uncertainty in fisheries management has brought methodological and institutional changes throughout the world. Progress towards comprehensive, explicit and participatory risk management in fisheries depends on effective communication. Graphic design and data visualisation have been underused in fisheries for communicating science to a wider range of stakeholders. In this paper, some of the general aspects of designing visualisations of modeling results are discussed and illustrated withexamples from the EU funded MYFISH project. These infographicswere tested in stakeholder workshops, and improved through feedbackfrom that 2process. It is desirable to convey not just modelling results but a sense of how reliable various models are. A survey was developed to judge reliability of different components of fisheries modelling: the quality of data, the quality of knowledge, model validation efforts, and robustness to key uncertainties. The results of these surveys were visualized for ten different models, and presented alongside the main case study.

  • Journal article
    Napp T, Bernie D, Thomas R, Lowe J, Hawkes A, Gambhir Aet al., 2017,

    Exploring the feasibility of low-carbon scenarios using historical energy transitions analysis

    , Energies, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1996-1073

    The scenarios generated by energy systems models provide a picture of the range of possible pathways to a low-carbon future. However, in order to be truly useful, these scenarios should not only be possible but also plausible. In this paper, we have used lessons from historical energy transitions to create a set of diagnostic tests to assess the feasibility of an example 2 °C scenario (generated using the least cost optimization model, TIAM-Grantham). The key assessment criteria included the rate of deployment of low carbon technologies and the rate of transition between primary energy resources. The rates of deployment of key low-carbon technologies were found to exceed the maximum historically observed rate of deployment of 20% per annum. When constraints were added to limit the scenario to within historically observed rates of change, the model no longer solved for 2 °C. Under these constraints, the lowest median 2100 temperature change for which a solution was found was about 2.1 °C and at more than double the cumulative cost of the unconstrained scenario. The analysis in this paper highlights the considerable challenge of meeting 2 °C, requiring rates of energy supply technology deployment and rates of declines in fossil fuels which are unprecedented.

  • Journal article
    Mechleri E, Brown S, Fennell PS, Mac Dowell Net al., 2017,

    CO2 capture and storage (CCS) cost reduction via infrastructure right-sizing

    , CHEMICAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH & DESIGN, Vol: 119, Pages: 130-139, ISSN: 0263-8762
  • Journal article
    Pedersen M, Andersen ZJ, Stafoggia M, Weinmayre G, Galassi C, Sorensen M, Eriksen KT, Tjonneland A, Loft S, Jaensch A, Nagel G, Concin H, Tsai M-Y, Grioni S, Marcon A, Krogh V, Riccerin F, Sacerdote C, Ranzi A, Sokhi R, Vermeulen R, de Hoogh K, Wang M, Beelen R, Vineis P, Brunekreef B, Hoek G, Raaschou-Nielsen Oet al., 2017,

    Ambient air pollution and primary liver cancer incidence in four European cohorts within the ESCAPE project

    , ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, Vol: 154, Pages: 226-233, ISSN: 0013-9351
  • Journal article
    Gambhir A, Drouet L, McCollum D, Napp T, Bernie D, Hawkes A, Fricko O, Havlik P, Riahi K, Bosetti V, Lowe Jet al., 2017,

    Assessing the feasibility of global long-term mitigation scenarios

    , Energies, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1996-1073

    This study explores the critical notion of how feasible it is to achieve long-term mitigation goals to limit global temperature change. It uses a model inter-comparison of three integrated assessment models (TIAM-Grantham, MESSAGE-GLOBIOM and WITCH) harmonized for socio-economic growth drivers using one of the new shared socio-economic pathways (SSP2), to analyse multiple mitigation scenarios aimed at different temperature changes in 2100, in order to assess the model outputs against a range of indicators developed so as to systematically compare the feasibility across scenarios. These indicators include mitigation costs and carbon prices, rates of emissions reductions and energy efficiency improvements, rates of deployment of key low-carbon technologies, reliance on negative emissions, and stranding of power generation assets. The results highlight how much more challenging the 2OC goal is, when compared to the 2.5-4OC goals, across virtually all measures of feasibility. Any delay in mitigation or limitation in technology options also renders the 2OC goal much less feasible across the economic and technical dimensions explored. Finally, a sensitivity analysis indicates that aiming for less than 2OC is even less plausible, with significantly higher mitigation costs and faster carbon price increases, significantly faster decarbonization and zero-carbon technology deployment rates, earlier occurrence of very significant carbon capture and earlier onset of global net negative emissions. Such a systematic analysis allows a more in-depth consideration of what realistic level of long-term temperature changes can be achieved and what adaptation strategies are therefore required.

  • Journal article
    Romagnoli A, Vorraro G, Rajoo S, Copeland C, Martinez-Botas Ret al., 2017,

    Characterization of a supercharger as boosting & turbo-expansion device in sequential multi-stage systems

    , Energy Conversion and Management, Vol: 136, Pages: 127-141, ISSN: 0196-8904

    This paper proposes a detailed performance analysis and experimental characterization of a high-pressure supercharger in a multi-stage boosting system (turbo-super arrangement). Infact, besides the technical challenges associated with achieving adequate tuning, interoperability and driveability of multi-stage boosting systems, another challenge lies in their performance prediction during engine design. Indeed, performance maps of single boosting systems are usually provided by manufacturers and used as look-up tables in 1-D engine models. Tests are usually conducted in a standalone mode, with no information provided on the behaviour and performance of the combination of more than one boosting device. The supercharger was tested with varying inlet pressures and temperatures matching on-engine operating conditions and the results were then used to assess the effectiveness of 1-D engine models performance prediction when dealing with multi-stage boosting systems. An assessment on heat transfer in superchargers was also carried out together with the analysis on the nature of non-dimensional performance maps when dealing with a pressurized inlet. Finally, the analysis also looked into the opportunity to use the superchargers as expanders (‘expansion mode’) in order to cool the air charge entering the engine. The results showed that there is discrepancy between the efficiency values computed by 1-D engine models and those obtained experimentally under pressurized/heated inlet air conditions; the correction of the efficiency maps for heat transfer plays a significant role in the final measured efficiency and the correction of the maps for varying inlet temperatures must be carried out in order to avoid incurring in apparent efficiencies greater than unity. The experiments on the supercharger in ‘expansion mode’ showed that low isentropic efficiencies can be achieved; despite this, 1-D engine simulations showed that it is possible to achieve savings

  • Conference paper
    Latinopoulos C, Sivakumar A, Polak JW, 2017,

    Modeling electric vehicle charging behaviour: What is the relationship between charging location, driving distance and range anxiety?

    , Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board

    For parking operators and charging service providers it is critical to understand the factors that influence the demand for charging electric vehicles away from home. This information will not only help them to better anticipate the impact on the power grid, but also to develop revenue maximizing demand response strategies. Recent studies suggest that observable and unobservable attributes of travel demand affect the location and the frequency of charging events. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that there is a simple one way causality in the relationship, since the distinctive characteristics of electric vehicles might also lead to transformations in travel behaviour. In order to examine these ambiguous interrelationships we develop two models: a binary logistic regression for home charging vs out-of-home charging and an ordered logit regression for the daily distance driven with an electric vehicle. Attitudes and perceptions of individuals towards range constraints are indirectly captured with latent constructs like schedule flexibility or mobility necessity. The data used for the analysis were collected through the administration of an online survey to electric vehicle drivers in the UK and Ireland. Results show that there is an intrinsic link between charging and travel behaviour with potential implications both in a strategic and an operational level.

  • Journal article
    Bhave A, Taylor RHS, Fennell P, Livingston WR, Shah N, Mac Dowell N, Dennis J, Kraft M, Pourkashanian M, Insa M, Jones J, Burdett N, Bauen A, Beal C, Smallbone A, Akroyd Jet al., 2017,

    Screening and techno-economic assessment of biomass-based power generation with CCS technologies to meet 2050 CO2 targets

    , APPLIED ENERGY, Vol: 190, Pages: 481-489, ISSN: 0306-2619

    Biomass-based power generation combined with CO2 capture and storage (Biopower CCS) currently represents one of the few practical and economic means of removing large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere, and the only approach that involves the generation of electricity at the same time. We present the results of the Techno-Economic Study of Biomass to Power with CO2capture (TESBiC) project, that entailed desk-based review and analysis, process engineering, optimisation as well as primary data collection from some of the leading pilot demonstration plants. From the perspective of being able to deploy Biopower CCS by 2050, twenty-eight Biopower CCS technology combinations involving combustion or gasification of biomass (either dedicated or co-fired with coal) together with pre-, oxy- or post-combustion CO2 capture were identified and assessed. In addition to the capital and operating costs, techno-economic characteristics such as electrical efficiencies (LHV% basis), Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE), costs of CO2 captured and CO2 avoided were modelled over time assuming technology improvements from today to 2050. Many of the Biopower CCS technologies gave relatively similar techno-economic results when analysed at the same scale, with the plant scale (MWe) observed to be the principal driver of CAPEX (£/MWe) and the cofiring % (i.e. the weighted feedstock cost) a key driver of LCOE. The data collected during the TESBiC project also highlighted the lack of financial incentives for generation of electricity with negative CO2 emissions.

  • Journal article
    Raaschou-Nielsen O, Pedersen M, Stafoggia M, Weinmayr G, Andersen ZJ, Galassi C, Sommar J, Forsberg B, Olsson D, Oftedal B, Krog NH, Aasvang GM, Pyko A, Pershagen G, Korek M, De Faire U, Pedersen NL, OEstenson C-G, Fratiglioni L, Sorensen M, Eriksen KT, Tjonneland A, Peeters PH, Bueno-de-Mesquita HBA, Plusquin M, Key TJ, Jaensch A, Nagel G, Foeger B, Wang M, Tsai M-Y, Grioni S, Marcon A, Krogh V, Ricceri F, Sacerdote C, Migliore E, Tamayo I, Amiano P, Dorronsoro M, Sokhi R, Kooter I, de Hoogh K, Beelen R, Eeftens M, Vermeulen R, Vineis P, Brunekreef B, Hoek Get al., 2017,

    Outdoor air pollution and risk for kidney parenchyma cancer in 14 European cohorts

    , INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CANCER, Vol: 140, Pages: 1528-1537, ISSN: 0020-7136

    Several studies have indicated weakly increased risk for kidney cancer among occupational groups exposed to gasoline vapors, engine exhaust, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other air pollutants, although not consistently. It was the aim to investigate possible associations between outdoor air pollution at the residence and the incidence of kidney parenchyma cancer in the general population. We used data from 14 European cohorts from the ESCAPE study. We geocoded and assessed air pollution concentrations at baseline addresses by land-use regression models for particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5, PMcoarse, PM2.5 absorbance (soot)) and nitrogen oxides (NO2, NOx), and collected data on traffic. We used Cox regression models with adjustment for potential confounders for cohort-specific analyses and random effects models for meta-analyses to calculate summary hazard ratios (HRs). The 289,002 cohort members contributed 4,111,908 person-years at risk. During follow-up (mean 14.2 years) 697 incident cancers of the kidney parenchyma were diagnosed. The meta-analyses showed higher HRs in association with higher PM concentration, e.g. HR = 1.57 (95%CI: 0.81–3.01) per 5 μg/m3 PM2.5 and HR = 1.36 (95%CI: 0.84–2.19) per 10−5m−1 PM2.5 absorbance, albeit never statistically significant. The HRs in association with nitrogen oxides and traffic density on the nearest street were slightly above one. Sensitivity analyses among participants who did not change residence during follow-up showed stronger associations, but none were statistically significant. Our study provides suggestive evidence that exposure to outdoor PM at the residence may be associated with higher risk for kidney parenchyma cancer; the results should be interpreted cautiously as associations may be due to chance.

  • Journal article
    Prentice IC, Cleator SF, Huang YH, Harrison SP, Roulstone Iet al., 2017,

    Reconstructing ice-age palaeoclimates: Quantifying low-CO2 effects on plants

    , Global and Planetary Change, Vol: 149, Pages: 166-176, ISSN: 0921-8181

    We present a novel method to quantify the ecophysiological effects of changes in CO2 concentration during the reconstruction of climate changes from fossil pollen assemblages. The method does not depend on any particular vegetation model. Instead, it makes use of general equations from ecophysiology and hydrology that link moisture index (MI) to transpiration and the ratio of leaf-internal to ambient CO2 (χ). Statistically reconstructed MI values are corrected post facto for effects of CO2 concentration. The correction is based on the principle that e, the rate of water loss per unit carbon gain, should be inversely related to effective moisture availability as sensed by plants. The method involves solving a non-linear equation that relates e to MI, temperature and CO2 concentration via the Fu-Zhang relation between evapotranspiration and MI, Monteith's empirical relationship between vapour pressure deficit and evapotranspiration, and recently developed theory that predicts the response of χ to vapour pressure deficit and temperature. The solution to this equation provides a correction term for MI. The numerical value of the correction depends on the reconstructed MI. It is slightly sensitive to temperature, but primarily sensitive to CO2 concentration. Under low LGM CO2 concentration the correction is always positive, implying that LGM climate was wetter than it would seem from vegetation composition. A statistical reconstruction of last glacial maximum (LGM, 21±1 kyr BP) palaeoclimates, based on a new compilation of modern and LGM pollen assemblage data from Australia, is used to illustrate the method in practice. Applying the correction brings pollen-reconstructed LGM moisture availability in southeastern Australia better into line with palaeohydrological estimates of LGM climate.

  • Journal article
    Staffell IL, 2017,

    Measuring the progress and impacts of decarbonising British electricity

    , Energy Policy, Vol: 102, Pages: 463-475, ISSN: 1873-6777

    Britain’s ambitious carbon targets require that electricity be immediately and aggressively decarbonised, so it is reassuring to report that electricity sector emissions have fallen 46% in the three years to June 2016, their lowest since 1960. This paper analyses the factors behind this fall and the impacts they are having.The main drivers are: demand falling 1.3% per year due to efficiency gains and mild winters; gas doubling its share to 60% of fossil generation due to the carbon price floor; and the dramatic uptake of wind, solar and biomass which now supply up to 45% of demand. Accounting conventions also play their part: imported electricity and biomass would add 5% and 2% to emissions if they were included.The pace of decarbonisation is impressive, but raises both engineering and economic challenges. Falling peak demand has delayed fears of capacity shortage, but minimum net demand is instead becoming a problem. The headroom between inflexible nuclear and intermittent renewables is rapidly shrinking, with controllable output reaching a minimum of just 5.9 GW as solar output peaked at 7.1 GW. 2015 also saw Britain’s first negative power prices, the highest winter peak prices for six years, and the highest balancing costs.

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