Reports and Papers

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AGS Urban Futures Initiatives Reports:

  • The AGS meeting offered a forum for all those concerned about our urban future, from academia, industry and public administration, in the spirit of the quote by Klaus Toepfer ‘The battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in the urban environment’. Key messages from the meeting are highlighted in this report. The report also includes summaries of the presentations and discussions on energy governance, urban ecology, architecture for the open city, size, shape and sustainability of cities, options for pro-poor urban development, transforming the building stock for sustainability, and whether more mobility increases happiness.
    Download report
  • Under the AGS, the University of Tokyo is focusing on the Asian city-region and playing a leading role in developing a new concept for sustainable city regions for Asia, through a new approach to the integration of urban and rural areas in which increased urban-rural interactions are expected to contribute to establishing sustainable urban communities in Asia. These proceedings describe Asian research on urban-rural systems, city regional forms, water management, and culture and settlements.
    Download SCRWS2009 report
  • This seminar illustrated the dimensions of research that tackles the complex reality of urban futures, and aimed to achieve a better understanding of how interdisciplinary research must be designed and carried out. The report illustrates new approaches to understanding the complexity of cities. It describes three in-depth case studies from research carried out in the ETH domain, and reports the results of the AGS workshop Interdisciplinary Dialogue on Urban Futures.
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Pathways to Sustainable European Energy Systems reports:

  • The performance of future or long-term energy investments at industrial sites can be evaluated using consistent scenarios. By using a number of different scenarios that outline possible cornerstones of the future energy market, robust investments can be identified and the climate benefit can be evaluated. Consistent scenarios can be achieved by using the Energy Price and Carbon Balance Scenarios tool (the ENPAC tool) which is presented in this report. The tool is also used to develop eight scenarios from 2010 to 2050 with energy prices and associated CO2 emissions for marginal use of the energy carriers.
    Download Scenarios for assessing investments in industry report
  • Co-combustion of biomass or waste together with a base fuel in a boiler is a simple and economically suitable way to replace fossil fuels by biomass and to utilise waste. Cocombustion in a high-efficiency power station means utilisation of biomass and waste with a higher thermal efficiency than what otherwise had been possible. Due to transport limitations, the additional fuel will only supply a minor part (less than a few hundreds MWfuel) of the energy in a plant. There are several options: Co-combustion with coal in pulverized or fluidised bed boilers, combustion on added grates inserted in pulverised coal boilers, combustors for added fuel coupled in parallel to the steam circuit of a power plant, external gas producers delivering its gas to replace an oil, gas or pulverised fuel burner. Furthermore biomass can be used for reburning in order to reduce NO emissions or for afterburning to reduce N2O emissions in fluidised bed boilers. Combination of fuels can give rise to positive or negative synergy effects, of which the best known are the interactions between S, Cl, K, Al and Si that may give rise to or prevent deposits on tubes or on catalyst surfaces, or that may have an influence on the formation of dioxins. With better knowledge of these effects the positive ones can be utilised and the negative ones can be avoided.
    Download Co-combustion, a summary of technology report
  • With respect to anthropogenic emissions of CO2 there are different technological options for reducing these emissions. Widespread introduction of these measures requires research and development to improve performance, reliability and efficiency. Nevertheless, no matter how promising an option is from a technological and economic perspective, it has to be socially accepted by the public if implementation is to be successful.
    This report gives results from two different studies of public and stakeholder attitudes. The first study investigates public attitudes towards energy policy and global warming, including technical options for mitigating emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. The study is based on surveys which poll the general public and is unique in that it compares four regions: the UK, USA, Japan and Sweden.
    The second study examines attitudes towards Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) among stakeholders active within the fields of energy and environment (public authorities, companies etc.).
    Download Public and stakeholder attitudes toward energy, environment and CCS report
  • In pace with the ever-growing complexity of environmental problems, new types of measures based on a holistic perspective are needed. Focusing on only one problem at a time is impossible, as this can at worst make another environmental problem even more serious, or at best prevent taking advantage of potential synergy effects. Biomass production for energy purposes is a good example of where a holistic perspective must be adopted. The present report deals with such so-called multifunctional bioenergy systems. These are bioenergy systems which – through well-chosen localisation, design, management and system integration – offer extra environmental services that, in turn, create added value for the systems.
    Download Multifunctional bioenergy systems report
  • Global climate change resulting from emissions of carbon dioxide and other green house gases is one of the greatest environmental problems of our time. Capture and storage of carbon dioxide has the potential to contribute to a significant and relatively quick reduction in CO2 emissions from power generation, allowing fossil fuels to be used as a bridge to a non-fossil future while taking advantage of the existing power-plant infrastructure. One capture technology is the oxy-fuel combustion process, which combines a conventional combustion process with a cryogenic air separation process. In the first part of this work, the oxy-fuel process is applied to commercial data from an 865 MWe lignite-fired reference power plant in Lippendorf, Germany. The second part focuses on the experimental and modeling work on the process carried out at the Chalmers 100 kW oxy-fuel test facility.
    Download The carbon dioxide free power plant report
  • The Chalmers database 2006 – The Chalmers databases are separated into one Supply and one Demand side and one Policy part. The Supply side consists of three sub-databases designed to give a comprehensive description of the supply side of the stationary European Energy system. The Demand side database, which is not yet ready to use, will present a comprehensive and realistic view of the demand side of the stationary energy system. The Policy part contains current European energy policies.
    Download European energy infrastructure report
  • Energy Flagship coffee table

Food and Water reports:

AGS ETH reports:

  • In this report, two ETH Zurich students have carried out a careful investigation of the sustainability impacts of the AGS Annual Meeting 2009. As well as analysing the sustainability impacts of the travel, hotel use, catering and printing, the report describes communication measures for conference participants such as how to calculate compensation measures for a printed abstracts book, and provides recommendations for what steps conference organizers can take to improve the sustainability footprint of their conference.We recommend these guidelines for conference organizers at the ETH and other AGS universities.
    Download report

Link to AGS Todai (The University of Tokyo) reports

AGS Chalmers reports:

  • In the Skagerrak there are 261 ship wrecks which have been identified as potentially polluting wrecks. Twenty of these are located close to the Swedish coast, within the Västra Götaland County. The majority of the potentially polluting wrecks originate from the Second World War, hence many are heavily corroded and some are already leaking oil. In Sweden this problem has been discussed now and then since the mid seventies, yet there is no legislation regulating the liability for preventive actions to avoid future oil spills from the actual wrecks. This pre-study highlights potentially polluting wrecks in the Skagerrak, but the problem is present along the rest of the Swedish coastline. Therefore, there is a need for the establishment of a national database over recognized potentially polluting wrecks. Present salvage technology allows for offloading the oil onboard the wrecks, but the remediation operation can be very expensive (about 20-250 million SEK per wreck). This cost has to be compared to the socioeconomic consequences occurring in case of a sudden leak of the corresponding amount of oil along the coast. To ensure that the environmental benefits of a remediation are economically justified, it is of great importance to initially conduct a detailed wreck assessment which in addition to verification of the amount and type of oil onboard, also ascertains that wreck stability will allow remediation. The cost of such an assessment ranges from 0.5-2 million SEK per ship wreck. To finance both ship wreck assessment and remediation of wrecks where no owner can be held responsible, establishment of a fund similar to that intended for remediation of contaminated land sites could be used. Additionally, the formation of a national competence centre to support the fund, gather knowledge in the field of ship wreck assessment and remediation and coordinate actions is recommended.
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  • I Skagerrak finns 261 kända vrak som identifierats som potentiella miljöhot. Tjugo av dessa återfinns så nära den svenska kusten att de är inom länsgränsen för Västra Götalands län. Den största andelen vrak härrör från andra världskriget, varför många idag är sönderrostade och en del har redan börjat läcka olja. Trots att problemet uppmärksammats periodvis sedan mitten av sjuttiotalet finns fortfarande ingen lagstiftning som reglerar ansvaret för förebyggande åtgärder, avseende att förhindra framtida oljeutsläpp från de riskklassade vraken. Den här förstudien behandlar vrak i Skagerrak, men med stor sannolikhet finns det många ytterligare potentiellt miljöfarliga vrak längs resterande del av Sveriges kust. Således finns det ett behov av att upprätta en nationell databas över kända potentiellt miljöfarliga vrak. Idag finns i princip inga teknologiska hinder för att tömma vraken på olja, men tömningen kan vara mycket kostsam (uppskattningsvis 20-250 miljoner SEK per vrak). Kostnaden för en tömning måste dock jämföras med de socioekonomiska konsekvenser som uppkommer ifall motsvarande olja istället plötsligt kommer ut och förorenar kusten. För att befästa att en sanering är ekonomiskt försvarbar ur ett miljönyttoperspektiv är det därför av stor vikt att initialt genomföra en noggrann vrakinspektion, som kan verifiera mängd och typ av olja ombord, samt om vrakets skick tillåter sanering. Kostnaden för en detaljerad inspektion och riskbedömning är i storleksordningen 0.5-2 miljoner SEK per vrak. Finansieringen av såväl detaljerade inspektioner och riskbedömningar, som saneringsinsatser rörande vrak där ingen ägare kan ställas ansvarig, skulle kunna lösas på liknande sätt som tidigare gjorts vid instiftandet av en fond med medel för sanering av förorenad mark. I anslutning till en dylik fond skulle det vara gynnsamt att upprätta ett nationellt kompetenscentrum som samlar all kunskap inom området och kan stå för samordning av aktioner för att försäkra ett effektivt resursutnyttjande.
    Download report (in Swedish)
  • The background for this report is an anticipated shift in fuels from residual oils to marine diesel. It is a summary of the available literature on emissions of particles from sea traffic. Included are short descriptions of engines and fuels emitting the particles, together with description of the particles, different particle measures and effects on health and the environment. Particle emissions impose a threat both to human health and to the environment. Health effects are mainly studied either related to specific sources or related to the mass of particles in the air. According to this study, particle emissions for all particle sizes decrease when fuel is shifted from residual oil to marine diesel. The content of the particle also shifts into less harmful compounds. Thus this shift has, with present knowledge, neither negative impact on the environment nor human health.
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  • It is shown that seawater scrubbing is a promising technology for reducing sulphur oxide emissions from ships. The marine chemical aspects of shipboard seawater scrubbing have been modelled and analysed, based on a 12 MW engine burning fuel with a 3% sulphur content. Calculations have been made for different efficiencies of sulphur scrubbing, different water temperatures, and for six different water types (open ocean, Kattegatt, Baltic Proper, Bothnian Sea, Bothnian Bay, and river freshwater). The results of the calculations give the volumes of water required for (i) uptake of SOx (the scrubbing process), (ii) dilution of the scrubbing water to achieve a pH of 6.5, (iii) further dilution to achieve a pH within 0.2 units of that in the ambient water, and no more than a 1% reduction in dissolved oxygen concentration. The volumes of water required for a given efficiency of the scrubbing process increase with decreasing salinity and with increasing water temperature. The salinity dependence is non-linear, such that operation in the Bothnian Sea, Bothnian Bay and low alkalinity river freshwater would require significantly larger water volumes for scrubbing and dilution that operation in the Baltic Proper, Kattegatt or open ocean. The calculations assume access to large volumes of unaffected, ambient water. This is reasonable for a ship under way in open water, but not in enclosed or semi-enclosed waters, which would therefore require detailed case studies. It may be possible to reduce the volumes of dilution water required by, for example, aeration of the scrubbing water and addition of base to neutralise the acidic sulphur oxides. Further studies would be needed in order to assess these options.
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The main objective of the EESD Observatory is to monitor the progress of the Barcelona Declaration on EESD worldwide.
The primary aim is to disseminate the process of embedding EESD in engineering universities, through a process of designing, managing and maintaining a system of collection, evaluation, storage and dissemination of expertise. The EESD Observatory provides a network of contacts worldwide facilitating information exchange and experience sharing common methodologies and minimizing duplication of efforts. It is presented as a platform for best practices, case studies and research on EESD. The Barcelona Declaration expresses the importance of ESD in technological education, and encourages other institutions in higher education to gradually establish and implement their objectives through concrete actions.

Link to Individual Papers>>
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