Beyond Learning: E-Learning Models for Scientific Research

Beyond Learning: E-Learning Models for Scientific Research

Andrea Corleto (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), Italy) and Veronica Tomassetti (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), Italy)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6567-5.ch010
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The chapter analyzes the theme of collaboration in scientific research through Web 2.0 IT tools and a constructivist approach to knowledge, learning, and e-learning. It analyzes, in particular, the case of Sulcis CCS Summer School. Organized by ENEA, Sotacarbo, and the University of Cagliari, the school provided information and materials on technological aspects of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). This work might become the model for a new approach to education and research thanks to collaborative learning using the LMS Moodle. In this case study, the construction of knowledge moves from a teacher-centered model to one based on a community of practice. This model is naturally a “prototype,” an experiment in progress, that needs to be refined through further experiences.
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The Research Field: Carbon Capture And Storage

Global warming is already taking place and it is one of the biggest challenges mankind is facing. Failing to tackle it could have dramatic consequences. In order to have a reasonable chance of avoiding such consequences, the global average temperature must not increase by more than 2°C above the pre-industrial level. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this requires an overall 50 to 85% reduction of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.

Achieving a 85% cut in global GHG emissions by 2050 seems to be possible, but it requires a tremendous effort to transform society into a low carbon emitting economy. This can only be achieved using a combination of solutions, as no single measure would be capable of reducing CO2 emissions on the massive scale required. This includes adopting measures for energy efficiency, a vast increase in use of renewable energies – and CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS).

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology that can prevent large amounts of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. The technology involves capturing CO2 produced by large industrial plants, compressing it for transportation and then injecting it deep into a rock formation at a carefully selected and safe site, such as depleted natural gas fields, deep saline aquifers and unmineable coal seams, where it is permanently stored.

Europe is recognised as one of the global leaders in the development of CCS technologies and the European Union adopted its CCS Directive in 2009 to help CCS become commercially viable, starting to recognise its potential as an important technology capable of reducing carbon emissions globally.

The CCS technology is currently being demonstrated worldwide at commercial scale, but without further study the role of CCS in meeting future climate goals will remain uncertain. CCS is expensive and energy intensive and it has been repeatedly stated that adding CCS to existing coal plants can lead to an increase in electricity prices, whilst reducing plant efficiency.

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