Concerns about high fossil fuels prices and energy security and efforts towards climate change mitigation feature highly in local and the international agenda. Based on these concerns’ efforts have been focused on the development and utilisation of renewable energy which is environmentally benign. Bioenergy is one of such renewable energy options which has potential to provide clean energy to many populaces in the world particularly in developing and emerging countries such as Ghana. Bioenergy is the most widely used renewable source of energy in the world, providing about 10% of the world primary energy supplies. Biomass energy is derived from plant-based material whereby solar energy has been converted into organic matter. Sources include forestry and agricultural crops and residues; by-products from food, feed, fiber, and materials processing plants; and post-consumer wastes such as municipal solid waste, wastewater, and landfill gas. Based on the potential of bioenergy to provide sustainable and clean energy to developing countries such as Ghana, this course is aimed at providing the principles behind bioenergy technologies. It is designed to provide students the fundamentals in bioenergy technologies in the quest to provide efficient tailor-made technological solutions for developing countries and the world as a whole. The content of this course includes: Introduction to bioenergy, bioenergy feedstocks, bio-methanation, liquid biofuels and thermal gasification of biomass.
The chemical industry is a crucial part of the world economy; however, the development of the sector has resulted in environmental pollution. This has resulted in increased pressure by government and society for the industry to develop eco-friendly processes and products that can prevent the introduction of toxic substances into the environment as well as reduction of waste. In other to ensure environmental and social acceptability of chemical products there must be adoption of greener and cleaner chemical processes. Green chemistry is therefore an approach to the synthesis, processing and use of chemicals that reduces risks to the environment and humans. Over the past years environmentally friendly chemical products have been developed but a lot more research is required.
This course introduces students to the fundamental of green chemistry and prepare the grounds for the development of eco-friendly chemicals and products. The course will help student understand, the need for green chemistry, introduction to chemistry, organic chemistry biological molecules, microbial metabolism, water quality chemistry as well as chemistry and Environmental remediation.
In this course you will explore the impacts of climate change; why we should care about them, the science that underpins our understanding and how we can fix the problem before it’s too late. It starts with the composition and structure of the atmosphere, weather and climate as discussed in Chapter 1. We will also be exploring how the Earth's global mean surface temperature is determined through a global “balancing act” of the rate of energy that comes from the Sun and the rate at which the planet returns that energy into space. Chapter 2 explains the physical science of climate change and its impact on human and natural resources. We will begin by discussing natural greenhouse effect, and how this contributes to a balanced global climate. We will then go on to consider the human impact on the atmosphere, including the impact of industrialisation, other sources of greenhouse gases that are connected to humans. This chapter will be concluded with the discussion on potential adaptation strategies related to the impact of climate change on human and natural resources, while mitigation responses are explored in Chapter 3.
Chapter 4 deals with life cycle assessment (LCA) as a method of dealing with the global impact of a product, process or service on environment. This means their impact on the environment, from birth to death. The method can be applied to product in order to assess their overall impact instead of their direct impact. For instance, the use of a solar panel which is supposedly clean regarding pollution is not pollution free as implied, because the manufacturing of the panel consumes presumably fossil energy. This is why life cycle assessment used in calculating carbon footprint of product is considered and presented in Chapter 5. Increasing public concern about global warming drives the market for carbon trading. This chapter also deals with carbon credits which is set up by the international community to limit the emission of greenhouse gases and yet allow a steady development of countries. To become more sustainable i.e., development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, we need to understand and measure the global environmental impact of our everyday decisions and actions. Therefore, Chapter 6 deals with Ecological Footprint which addresses this particular research question: how much of the regenerative capacity of the biosphere is being occupied by human activities? This analysis gauges how our lifestyles impact not only on the planet, but also on other people.
In this course, Energy efficiency and conservation are discussed.
The various approaches and technology to ensure sustainable and efficient use
of energy in order to use less energy to achieve the same output are explained. This is captured under five main chapters.