Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Dublin, Ireland

The Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown , established in 1999, is , the last-founded Institute of Technology in Ireland. It is located within the Business & Technology Park on Blanchardstown Road North, about 15 km from Dublin City and close to the N3 .ITB provides full-time and part-time higher education courses in Applied Social Studies, Business, Computing, Digital Media, Engineering, Horticulture, Languages, Social and Community Development, Sports Management and Early Childhood Care & Education at higher certificate, ordinary degree, honours degree and Master's Degree levels. Wikipedia.

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Poeschl M.,University College Dublin | Ward S.,University College Dublin | Owende P.,University College Dublin | Owende P.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2010

The prospects for expanded utilization of biogas systems in German was analysed, by identifying the operational and policy factors affecting the complete chain of processes from implementation process for biogas plants, through to biogas production and utilization. It was found that the Renewable Energies Act (EEG) and energy tax reliefs provide bases for the support of expanded utilization. Upgrading of biogas to natural gas quality for utilization in the transportation sector was arguably the most promising technology that could support rapid utilization expansion. Sustainable deployment of biogas systems in light of the unstable feedstock prices and availability, and the need for subsidy-free operation in the long term requires; enhancement of feedstock flexibility and quality characteristics to maximise gas yield, and optimisation of the anaerobic digestion process management. Assessment of energy balance and potential environmental impacts of the integrated process chain provides a holistic assessment of sustainability. The results also support the development and foster of policies and framework for development of biogas as environmentally friendly energy resource, among a mix of renewable energy sources, hence, compete favourably with fossil fuels to enhance the prospects for expanded utilization. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Poeschl M.,University College Dublin | Ward S.,University College Dublin | Owende P.,University College Dublin | Owende P.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2012

Energy security concerns and the need for mitigation of environmental impacts associated with energy generation from fossil fuels (e.g.; greenhouse gas emissions), has accelerated the deployment of renewable fuels such as biogas. The objective of this study was to conduct an attributional Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of multiple biogas production and utilization pathways in order to identify areas where further mitigation of potential environmental impacts could be realized to enhance environmental sustainability of biogas deployment. The LCA of pre-defined small (<500 kW el) and large-scale (≥500 kW el) biogas systems was conducted in accordance with the ISO 14040 standards, using SimaPro 7.2 computer software. The functional unit was the anaerobic digestion of 1 tonne of feedstock mixture to produce biogas with the digestate as process end product with multiple utilization options. The analyses quantified the impacts of feedstock type (both single feedstock and co-digestion), biogas utilization pathways, and the digestate processing and handling unit processes. Analyses also considered the replacement of fossil fuels and chemical fertilizer with equivalent energy value of the biogas and nutrient content of the digestate, respectively. The recorded variations in life-cycle impact categories for the scenarios compared indicated the importance of judicious selection of biogas pathways for environmental impact mitigation. The LCA and life-cycle energy analyses for single feedstock scenarios considered indicated that straw and corn silage as most efficient feedstocks for biogas. For example, straw mixture improved the environmental performance by almost 830% compared to the base scenario of cattle manure feedstock. This was mainly ascribed to the higher energy density, which exceeded the primary energy inputs for feedstock supply logistics. In order to minimize the environmental damage associated with feedstock type in all impact categories considered, and simultaneously maintain a positive energy balance, the analyses suggest that co-digestion of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) with agricultural and food industry residues are most appropriate for both small and large-scale biogas plants; co-digestion of waste and residues accounted for just 1% of the estimated impacts on agricultural land occupation, compared to the co-digestion of predominantly energy crop feedstock, and also reduced the climate change impacts by up to 30%. The results also indicated for the small-scale plants, the most promising pathway for sustainable biogas utilization would be in tri-generation; compared to electricity only generation in Combined Heat and Power (CHP), tri-generation could reduce the overall environmental impact by almost 200%. For the scenarios that included purification and upgrading biogas to biomethane for gas grid injection (arguably the most promising technology that could support rapid utilization expansion), it was noted that only the scenario with coupled small-scale CHP unit covering internal heat demands was capable of reducing the overall impact on fossil fuel depletion, compared to electricity generation alone. This was explained by the higher potential for fossil fuel substitution with biomethane, due to higher conversion efficiency (ca. 100%). It was also found that, the recovery of residual biogas from digestate storage reduced the environmental impacts of digestate management process by ca. tenfold, due to combined reduction of the potential biogas leakage to the atmosphere and subsequent use of the extra yield for energy generation. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Poschl M.,University College Dublin | Ward S.,University College Dublin | Owende P.,University College Dublin | Owende P.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Applied Energy | Year: 2010

The energy efficiency of different biogas systems, including single and co-digestion of multiple feedstock, different biogas utilization pathways, and waste-stream management strategies was evaluated. The input data were derived from assessment of existing biogas systems, present knowledge on anaerobic digestion process management and technologies for biogas system operating conditions in Germany. The energy balance was evaluated as Primary Energy Input to Output (PEIO) ratio, to assess the process energy efficiency, hence, the potential sustainability. Results indicate that the PEIO correspond to 10.5-64.0% and 34.1-55.0% for single feedstock digestion and feedstock co-digestion, respectively. Energy balance was assessed to be negative for feedstock transportation distances in excess of 22. km and 425. km for cattle manure and for Municipal Solid Waste, respectively, which defines the operational limits for respective feedstock transportation. Energy input was highly influenced by the characteristics of feedstock used. For example, agricultural waste, in most part, did not require pre-treatment. Energy crop feedstock required the respect cultivation energy inputs, and processing of industrial waste streams included energy-demanding pre-treatment processes to meet stipulated hygiene standards. Energy balance depended on biogas yield, the utilization efficiency, and energy value of intended fossil fuel substitution. For example, obtained results suggests that, whereas the upgrading of biogas to biomethane for injection into natural gas network potentially increased the primary energy input for biogas utilization by up to 100%; the energy efficiency of the biogas system improved by up to 65% when natural gas was substituted instead of electricity. It was also found that, system energy efficiency could be further enhanced by 5.1-6.1% through recovery of residual biogas from enclosed digestate storage units. Overall, this study provides bases for more detailed assessment of environmental compatibility of energy efficiency pathways in biogas production and utilization, including management of spent digestate. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Poeschl M.,University College Dublin | Ward S.,University College Dublin | Owende P.,University College Dublin | Owende P.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2012

A Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) was developed to identify the unit processes in the life-cycle of biogas production and utilization offering the greatest opportunities for emission to air reduction, hence potential for environmental improvement. The systems investigated included single feedstock digestion and multiple feedstock co-digestion, small (<500 kW el) and large-scale (≥500 kW el) biogas plants, and selected biogas utilization pathways and digestate management options. Analysis was performed in accordance with ISO 14040 and 14044 standards, using SimaPro 7.2 software and Ecoinvent ® v2.1 database. The analysis is based on published data considering primarily conditions for Germany. Results indicated significant variation of emission levels for all unit processes related to biogas production and utilization. Emissions from the feedstock supply logistics were highly influenced by the origin of feedstock used. For example, the fossil fuel related carbon dioxide (CO 2,fossil) emissions associated with feedstock supply were over 50 times higher for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) compared to cattle manure. The higher value for MSW was associated with the requisite collection, transport and pre-treatment, whereas only transportation was required for cattle manure. Emissions from unit processes in biogas plant operation and biogas utilization depended on combined efficiency of energy generation (electricity and thermal), potential substitution of fossil fuels with biogas and utilization of the heat by-product of electricity generation. For example, the results indicated that upgrading of biogas to biomethane, with almost 100% conversion efficiency, caused 6 times less non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) emissions if plant heating was supplied from coupled small-scale CHP unit as opposed to heating with natural gas. Harnessing of the residual biogas from digestate storage areas was estimated to reduce methane emission by a factor up to 14. Overall, this study provides basic data required for identification and mitigation of emission 'hot-spots' in biogas production and utilization, including the evaluation of environmental and public health impacts of biogas technology options by attributional Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Goodbody C.,University College Dublin | Walsh E.,University College Dublin | McDonnell K.P.,University College Dublin | Owende P.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
International Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems | Year: 2013

Due to a lack of indigenous fossil energy resources, Ireland's energy supply constantly teeters on the brink of political, geopolitical, and geographical unease. The potential risk to the security of the energy supply combined with the contribution of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to climate change gives a clear indication of Ireland's need to reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels as primary energy source. A feasibility analysis to investigate the available renewable energy options was conducted using HOMER software. The net present cost, the cost of energy, and the CO 2 emissions of each potential energy combination were considered in determining the most suitable renewable and non-renewable hybrid energy system. Wind energy was shown to have the greatest potential for renewable energy generation in Ireland: wind energy was a component of the majority of the optimal hybrid systems both in stand-alone and grid-connected systems. In 2010 the contribution of wind energy to gross electricity consumption in Ireland approximated 10%, and the results of this feasibility study indicate that there is great potential for wind-generated energy production in Ireland. Due to the inherent variability of wind energy the grid-connected system results are particularly relevant, which show that in more than half of the analyses investigating electrical energy demand the incorporation of wind energy offset the CO 2 emissions of the non-renewable elements to such a degree that the whole system had negative CO 2 emissions, which has serious implications for Kyoto Protocol emissions limits. Ireland also has significant potential for hydropower generation despite only accounting for 2% of the gross electricity consumption in 2010. Wind and hydro energy should therefore be thoroughly explored to secure an indigenous primary energy source in Ireland. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Brennan L.,Charles Parsons Energy Research Programme | Owende P.,Charles Parsons Energy Research Programme | Owende P.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2010

Sustainability is a key principle in natural resource management, and it involves operational efficiency, minimisation of environmental impact and socio-economic considerations; all of which are interdependent. It has become increasingly obvious that continued reliance on fossil fuel energy resources is unsustainable, owing to both depleting world reserves and the green house gas emissions associated with their use. Therefore, there are vigorous research initiatives aimed at developing alternative renewable and potentially carbon neutral solid, liquid and gaseous biofuels as alternative energy resources. However, alternate energy resources akin to first generation biofuels derived from terrestrial crops such as sugarcane, sugar beet, maize and rapeseed place an enormous strain on world food markets, contribute to water shortages and precipitate the destruction of the world's forests. Second generation biofuels derived from lignocellulosic agriculture and forest residues and from non-food crop feedstocks address some of the above problems; however there is concern over competing land use or required land use changes. Therefore, based on current knowledge and technology projections, third generation biofuels specifically derived from microalgae are considered to be a technically viable alternative energy resource that is devoid of the major drawbacks associated with first and second generation biofuels. Microalgae are photosynthetic microorganisms with simple growing requirements (light, sugars, CO2, N, P, and K) that can produce lipids, proteins and carbohydrates in large amounts over short periods of time. These products can be processed into both biofuels and valuable co-products. This study reviewed the technologies underpinning microalgae-to-biofuels systems, focusing on the biomass production, harvesting, conversion technologies, and the extraction of useful co-products. It also reviewed the synergistic coupling of microalgae propagation with carbon sequestration and wastewater treatment potential for mitigation of environmental impacts associated with energy conversion and utilisation. It was found that, whereas there are outstanding issues related to photosynthetic efficiencies and biomass output, microalgae-derived biofuels could progressively substitute a significant proportion of the fossil fuels required to meet the growing energy demand. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Thethi N.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown | Keane A.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Souvenir of the 2014 IEEE International Advance Computing Conference, IACC 2014 | Year: 2014

The essentially infinite storage space offered by Cloud Computing is quickly becoming a problem for forensics investigators in regards to evidence acquisition, forensic imaging and extended time for data analysis. It is apparent that the amount of stored data will at some point become impossible to practically image for the forensic investigators to complete a full investigation. In this paper, we address these issues by determining the relationship between acquisition times on the different storage capacities, using remote acquisition to obtain data from virtual machines in the cloud. A hypothetical case study is used to investigate the importance of using a partial and full approach for acquisition of data from the cloud and to determine how each approach affects the duration and accuracy of the forensics investigation and outcome. Our results indicate that the relation between the time taken for image acquisition and different storage volumes is not linear, owing to several factors affecting remote acquisition, especially over the Internet. Performing the acquisition using cloud resources showed a considerable reduction in time when compared to the conventional imaging method. For a 30GB storage volume, the least time was recorded for the snapshot functionality of the cloud and dd command. The time using this method is reduced by almost 77 percent. FTK Remote Agent proved to be most efficient showing an almost 12 percent reduction in time over other methods of acquisition. Furthermore, the timelines produced with the help of the case study, showed that the hybrid approach should be preferred to complete approach for performing acquisition from the cloud, especially in time critical scenarios. © 2014 IEEE.

Murphy K.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy | Year: 2012

There is a need to develop a clearer understanding of what the social pillar of sustainable development means and how it relates to the environmental pillar. This article contributes to this process by presenting a conceptual frame-work that identifies four overarching social concepts and links them to environmental imperatives. These concepts are: public awareness, equity, participation, and social cohesion. The framework builds on concepts and policy objectives outlined in research on international sustainable development indicators and the social sustainability literature. The social pillar can be expanded to include environmental, international, and intergenerational dimensions. This framework can then be used to examine how states and organizations understand the social pillar and its environ-mental links. © 2012 Murphy.

Saleh M.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Proceedings of 2014 International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, ICL 2014 | Year: 2015

With the appearance of globalization and hence the digital era, education has become more accessible and challenging than ever. Consequently, each field of education becomes broader, knowledge has been reduced to a commodity, authorities ripen into management schisms and information becomes redundant and somehow uncontrolled. Perhaps the contemporary young generation are more savvy, cunning and market oriented than their counterparts in the 20th Century. Certainly, this questions the stereotypical concepts of traditional engineering education at graduate and post graduate levels. This paper is an attempt to highlight and share some experience towards contemporary teaching and learning in Engineering with practical examples. © 2014 IEEE.

Saleh M.,Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown
Proceedings - ICELIE 2010, 4th IEEE International Conference on E-Learning in Industrial Electronics | Year: 2010

The paper explains the effectiveness of flexible learning methodology in engineering courses. This is an attempt to explore the traditional educational methods and to discuss the implications of flexible learning tools in engineering courses. It takes into account the latest application of Web 2.0 and other relevant techniques as well as components of delivery and material and resources needed. The content of this paper is part of ongoing research in engineering education and is a revised and expanded version of a lead paper [18]. ©2010 IEEE.

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