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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.

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.

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.

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 - 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.

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.

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