Energy Publications


More energy related publications are available at the Georgia Tech EPICenter website.


Hydrogen Combustion

Today, natural gas is the largest fuel source used to produce electricity in the US, as well as a major energy source for industry. But hydrogen can be burned in combustion energy systems as well. These papers explore how hydrogen might replace natural gas in the energy mix as a means to achieve a low carbon energy future while utilizing much of our existing energy infrastructure.

Valuation of US Infrastructure Assets Related to Liquid Hydrocarbons and Transportation:

With Implications on the Decarbonization of Mobility and the Grid as of Sept. 2019

This report summarizes existing asset values and investments for U.S. infrastructure related to liquid hydrocarbon transportation systems. This includes primarily assets in the hydrocarbon fuel supply chain as well as the engines and equipment that consume hydrocarbon fuels. The motivation prompting this effort is generally stated as a desire to better understand near-, medium-, and long-term pathways to decarbonize transportation. As such, this particular effort was a part of a broader scoping effort in which researchers with Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute sought to compare the economic viability of renewable hydrocarbons as a substitute for petroleum-derived fuels. This includes both biofuels and synthetically produced alternative fuels. Doing so is believed to help facilitate a more direct and holistic comparison of renewable fuels with other forms of sustainable transportation, such as electric vehicles (EVs).

Read the Report

Industrial Internet of Things (iIoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) that most people know about are net-connected kitchen appliances, robot vacuums, doorbells, and thermostats. But in the industrial context, the types of devices that might send data through the internet range from electricity generating gas turbines, to optical sensors on a food packaging line. The availability of data in energy and industrial supply chains has enormous implications for resource and energy efficiency, reduced pollution, and cost savings.  However, there are many issues that arise with this fluidity of data. Cybersecurity, data ownership, intellectual property, and public transparency are just a few of these issues.

Fossil Electricity Retirement Deadlines for a Just Transition

Meeting a 2035 deadline for decarbonizing U.S. electricity production, as proposed by the current U.S. presidential administration, would eliminate just 15% of the capacity-years left in current portfolio of fossil fuel powered generation plants, says the article by Emily Grubert, Assistant Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Plant retirements are already underway, with 126 gigawatts of fossil generation capacity taken offline between 2009 and 2018, including 33 gigawatts in 2017 and 2018 alone. A generator-level model described in the Dec. 4, 2020 issue of the journal Science suggests that most fossil fuel power plants could complete normal lifespans and still close by 2035 because so many facilities are nearing the end of their operational lives.

Link to Published Article

Translating a Global Emission-Reduction Framework for Subnational Climate Action: A Case Study from the State of Georgia

From the abstract: "Subnational entities are recognizing the need to systematically examine options for reducing their carbon footprints. However, few robust and comprehensive analyses are available that lay out how US states and regions can most effectively contribute. This paper describes an approach developed for Georgia—a state in the southeastern United States called “Drawdown Georgia”, our research involves (1) understanding Georgia’s baseline carbon footprint and trends, (2) identifying the universe of Georgia-specific carbon-reduction solutions that could be impactful by 2030, (3) estimating the greenhouse gas reduction potential of these high-impact 2030 solutions for Georgia, and (4) estimating associated costs and benefits while also considering how the solutions might impact societal priorities, such as economic development opportunities, public health, environmental benefits, and equity."

Link to Published Article


Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage: Economic Assessment and System Impacts in Georgia

This paper, by authors Sadegh Vejdan, Adam Kline, Mason Totri, Santiago Grijalva, all from the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and SEI's Richard Simmons presents an optimization approach to maximize the value of behind-the-meter energy storage that is owned and operated by customers. The objective of the optimization problem is to minimize the customer's electricity bill under various utility tariff rates.

Link to Published Article


Economics for the Internet of Energy: A Techno‐Economic Framework for Transactive Energy Prosumers

In this report to the Strategic Energy Institute “Energy in an Information Age” call for papers, authors Santiago Grijalva (Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering), Juan Moreno‐Cruz (Associate Professor, School of Economics), and Evgeniya Tsybina (Graduate Student, School of Economics), argue that traditional electricity consumers are becoming prosumers. These are energy subsystems such as homes, buildings, microgrids, etc. that not only consume, but can produce and store energy. Prosumers are economically motivated, goal‐oriented, and smart. In this project the team developed initial models for the interaction of energy prosumers in an electricity market context and developed concepts on a transactive framework that: a) supports decentralized system and scheduling of distributed energy resources (DER) while maintaining a reliable grid, b) enables prosumer bidding and hence societal global surplus maximization, and c) describes a cyber‐infrastructure that enables real‐time control and supports financial transactions.

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Georgia Model Solar Ordinance

The Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and the University of Georgia have come together to develop a model solar zoning ordinance to provide county and city officials and other decision-makers in Georgia access to best practices and a common baseline from which to work. We have produced a set of resources that address multiple scales and types of solar energy systems that counties and cities can adopt and adapt to their needs. Georgia Tech's EPICenter sponsored this work.


White Paper - The Evolving Energy Ecosystem: Federal Organizational Recommendations
The energy ecosystem, and the political and regulatory environment in which it operates, is evolving quickly, with new suppliers, delivery methods, and energy sources, and new relationships developing amongst all of these players. In addition, the federal government has renewed their engagement in the Paris agreement, and has made clear the seriousness with which the U.S. will combat climate change. The implication of pursuing a whole of government approach begs the question: How should the federal government be organized to most effectively contribute to, partner, as well as lead the needed energy system transition within its different roles? This whitepaper, authored by SEI Executive Director Tim Lieuwen and former DOE Deputy Undersecretary for Science and Energy Andy Cohen, considers implications of this question on the US Department of Energy.
Read "The Evolving Energy Ecosystem: Federal Organizational Recommendations."

White Paper - Fuels of the Future: Chemical Energy Carriers for a Decarbonized Economy
SEI Executive Director Tim Lieuwen and Georgia Tech Professor Matthew Realff argue that federal research and development funding for expediting the decarbonization of energy should leverage existing infrastructure to minimize costs and speed the decarbonization of the energy sector.
Read "Fuels of the Future: Chemical Energy Carriers for a Decarbonized Economy."

White Paper on Cybersecurity and Energy Infrastructure
The Strategic Energy Institute and the Institute for Information Security and Privacy have released a new whitepaper providing solutions for the inevitability of cybersecurity attacks on our energy infrastructure.
Read "Preparing for the Inevitable: Cybersecurity Attacks on our Energy Infrastructure."

Separations Technology

Green Engineering Principle #3 - Design for Separation
Matthew J. Realff, ChBE Professor and David Wang Sr. Fellow​
American Chemistry Society
Separation and purification operations should be designed to minimize energy consumption and materials use. Read more

Interfacial Microfluidic Processing of Metal-organic Framework Hollow Fiber Membranes
Andrew J. Brown, Nicholas A. Brunelli, Kiwon Eum, Fereshteh Rash, J. R. Johnson, William J. Koros, Christopher W. Jones, Sankar Nair
Science 4 July 2014:
Vol. 345 no. 6192 pp. 72-75
DOI: 10.1126/science.1251181
Membranes for gas separation require a combination of high surface area and selective transport pathways. Brown et al. present a potentially scalable route for making high-quality gas separation membranes in a high-surface-area configuration. Using two different solvents flowing in opposite directions, a metal-organic framework material was selectively deposited within hollow polymer fibers. The membranes showed high-performance separation capabilities when tested with mixtures of hydrocarbon gases. ​Read more.