Energy and Mineral Engineering

The following courses have been developed by and for the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Credit: Anacortes Refinery by Walter Siegmund is licensed under CC BY 2.5

Resource Description

This course on petroleum refining reviews how a refinery integrates different physical processes and chemical reactions to process crude oil for the production of transportation fuels and materials according to commercial specifications and environmental regulations. Classification of crude oils using standard analytical protocols helps the refiners select the optimum conditions for the most efficient and most profitable production of fuels and materials.

Reactive Transport in the Subsurface

Credit: Waterfall 192984 by FrankWinkler is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

This course teaches principles of flow, transport, and reaction processes in the natural subsurface.

Geo-Resource Evaluation and Investment Analysis

Credit: Port Arthur Texas by user:12019 is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

We often face investment decisions, whether in our personal lives or our jobs. Investment projects involve payments at different times in a project's life. Capital costs are usually paid at early stages, but revenue is generated in the future. Time affects the value of money, and these values can't be compared directly. In EME 460, Geo-Resources Evaluation and Investment Analysis, we will learn methods to evaluate investment projects.

Resource Description

Is climate change real? Yes, it is! And technologies to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are being developed. One type of technology that is imperative in the short run is biofuels; however, biofuels must meet specifications for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, or catastrophic damage could occur. This course will examine the chemistry of technologies of bio-based sources for power generation and transportation fuels.

Resource Description

Global Finance for the Earth, Energy, and Materials Industry covers the physical and financial aspects of energy commodities with the focus on crude and natural gas. The physical "path" of each commodity from the point of production to the point of use will be explained, as well as the "value chain" that exists for each. Commodity market pricing, both cash and financial, will be presented, encompassing industry "postings" for cash, commodity exchanges, and "over-the-counter" markets.

Resource Description

EME 812 explores the main physical principles of core solar energy conversion systems, including direct power conversion photovoltaics, concentrating photovoltaics (CPV), and thermal conversion to electricity via concentrating solar power strategies (CSP). It also covers the fundamentals of enabling technologies such as light concentration, solar tracking, power conversion cycles, power conditioning and distribution.

Global Energy Enterprise

Credit: Lobbying 161689 by OpenClipart-Vectors is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Have you seen a Clean Coal baseball cap? In the challenge to meet soaring energy demand with limited resources, volatile issues like those related to the environment, national security and public health are often addressed outside of normal market transactions and are called externalities, or nonmarket factors. Stakeholders can act in resourceful ways to create a nonmarket environment that best serves their interest. A firm may challenge a law that makes it expensive or difficult to do business or compete with others, for example.

Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

Credit: Photovoltaic System by andreas160578 is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Are you interested in Solar Energy? Solar Resource Assessment and Economics explores the methods, economic criteria, and meteorological background for assessing the solar resource with respect to project development of solar energy conversion systems for stakeholders in a given locale. It provides students with an in-depth exploration of the physical qualities of the solar resource, estimation of the fractional contributions of irradiance to total demand, and economic assessment of the solar resource.

Energy in a Changing World

Credit: Green city concept, cut the leaves of plants, isolated over white by kirillov alexey, licensed through Shutterstock used with permission

Resource Description

What is energy? It's the hot in heat, the glow in light, the push in wind, the pound in water, the sound of thunder and the crack of lightning. It is the pull that keeps us (and everything else!) from simply flying apart, and the promise of an oak deep in an acorn. It is all the same, and it is all different. Sunshine and waterfalls won't start your car, and wind won't run the dishwasher. But, if we match the form and timing of the energy with your needs, all of these things could be true.

Utility Solar Thermal and Industrial Solar Processes

Credit: Photovoltaic Panels by U.S. Department of Energy is public domain

Resource Description

Solar thermal energy is a vast renewable energy resource that has been harvested by human civilizations for centuries. Now as energy conversion technologies quickly develop, we look at solar thermal energy as a significant contributor to the future world's energy profile. Solar heat, when properly collected and stored, can provide cost-effective benefits to a wide array of industrial and residential applications.