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Long-Term Economic Growth: Modeling the Race between Energy and Technology and the Stratospheric Effects of Hydrogen as a General Purpose Energy Source

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Long-Term Economic Growth: Modeling the Race between Energy and Technology and the Stratospheric Effects of Hydrogen as a General Purpose Energy Source

Noce, Anthony A. (2015) Long-Term Economic Growth: Modeling the Race between Energy and Technology and the Stratospheric Effects of Hydrogen as a General Purpose Energy Source. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis presents an alternative approach to modeling economic growth by constructing a biosphere-energy-technology (BET) model that incorporates energy, technology and entropy as distinct factors that generate transitional competitive equilibria. Technological progress under BET models assumptions is limited by recognized and available energy sources/carriers, named general purpose energy sources (GPESs), and that the recognition of such sources affect choices in technological development. This thesis represents a first attempt at incorporating the biosphere, which can experience catastrophic bifurcations, into a model of economic growth. The BET model, which puts strict conditions on the idea that no innovative society need accept Malthusian diminishing returns, predicts that energy and technology are both required for sustained growth given some temporal relationship between them.

The main findings from the BET model are that pervasive technology shocks lead to large increases in consumption, but that technology alone will not sustain economic growth; and, that energy shocks cause permanent labour resource movements from the consumption sector to the energy knowledge sector. Energy shocks in the BET model result in an increase in consumption and utility; however, the effect of a particular energy source that gives rise to the energy shock depends on various parameters that embody institutional factors and policy.

Using hydrogen as a GPES candidate that can give rise to an energy shock, the effects of deuterated molecular hydrogen and deuterated methane on the kinetic rate constants for selected stratospheric radical reactions, including the rate of ozone destruction, were examined computationally. In the case of a tethered hydrogen economy, an increase in deuterated molecular hydrogen in the stratosphere may result in a marked change in the rate at which chlorine radical acts as a sink for H2 and can contribute to decreasing ozone concentrations. However, the kinetic isotope effect results for methane oxidation reactions imply that decreases in polar stratospheric clouds formation and decreased solid HCl are possible with a tethered hydrogen economy resulting in less ozone destruction. In sum, monodeuterated molecular hydrogen and methane may not contribute to appreciable stratospheric ozone loss and may even have a net positive effect.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies > Individualized Program
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Noce, Anthony A.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Special Individualized Program
Date:11 September 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Koreshkova, Tatyana and Peslherbe, Gilles
ID Code:980813
Deposited By: ANTHONY A. NOCE
Deposited On:16 Jun 2016 15:54
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52

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