Critical Materials Problems in Energy Production discusses the most challenging of the materials problems in the areas of production, distribution, and energy storage. This book is a result of the Distinguished Lecture Series on “Critical Materials Problems in Energy Production sponsored by the Joint Center for Materials Science in New Mexico. This text is organized into eight sections encompassing 29 chapters that cover topics on nuclear power, materials for high-temperature applications, solar energy, direct solar conversion, coal and other fossil fuels, superconducting materials, and energy storage devices.
After a brief introduction to overall perspective of the energy program, the book goes on discussing the problems encountered in nuclear power generation, including the complication of their interdependence, the severity of the service parameters, and the need for safety and reliability. Section II examines the progress made in the development of high-temperature materials suitable for use in magnetohydrodynamic converts and advanced turbines and jet engines. The subsequent two sections address the thermal/optical requirements for solar utilization devices and the limitations encountered in solar cell materials. Section V deals with the metallurgical problems emanating from the materials used for confinement and the flow of energy in steam generating systems. This section also describes the close dependence of catalytic performance on technological innovations in the field of materials science. Section VI discusses the basics of superconductivity phenomena. Section VII deals with the materials problems related to the development of more efficient batteries. Discussions on new electrode materials, solid electrolytes, and high-temperature battery systems are included in this section. The concluding section provides supplemental texts containing references and readings.