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SPECIAL TOPICS

Biofuels - Published: August 2008

The baseline time span for this database is (publication years) 1998-2008 from the second bimonthly update (a 10-year + 4-month period). The resulting database contained 2,231 (10 years) and 1,262 (2 years) papers; 5,241 authors; 88 nations; 264 journals; and 1,575 institutions.

Top 20 Papers

  10-year period
  2-year period

Top 20 Overall

  Authors
  Institutions
  Journals
  Nations

Research Front Maps

  Title: "ETHANOL BIOFUELS"
  Title: "DIRECT ETHANOL FUEL CELLS"
  Title: "FOSSIL ORGANIC BLACK CARBON"
  Title: "BIODIESEL PRODUCTION"
  Title: "MICROBIAL FUEL CELLS"
  Title: " Global Potential Bioethanol Production" - (from Emerging Research Fronts; June 2008)

Time Series

  1- & 5-year periods

Field Distribution

Interviews

  Interviews, first-person essays, and profiles about people in a wide variety of fields which pertain to this special topic of Biofuels.
   

OVERVIEW

Due to rising oil prices and growing advocacy for environmental issues, especially climate change, research in alternative energy sources is on the rise. Of particular interest are biofuels, such as biodiesel, bioalcohols, and vegetable oil, all of which are being viewed as a potential alternative to conventional fossil fuels. This month, ScienceWatch.com examines the research on biofuels over the past decade, and over the past two years.

Biodiesel production processes dominate the 10-year papers list. Among the methods and materials explored are transesterification and homogenous catalysis systems for the conversion of triglycerides, rapeseed oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, and cooking-oil waste into biodiesel. Other alternative fuel options discussed include solid-state fermentation, hydroloysis of lignocellulosic materials to create ethanol, and microbial fuel cells. One review explores the possibilities of establishing a hydrogen energy infrastructure. Two papers address the levels of air pollution in China, particularly black carbon, some of which is the result of biofuel use. Finally, a 1998 NARSTO study reports on the levels of air pollution from mobile sources, i.e., industrial and private motor vehicles and airplanes.

The two-year papers list also puts emphasis on the possible methods, materials, and technical aspects of biofuel production. Proposed materials include soybean oil, poultry fat, crude palm kernel oil, crude coconut oil, and waste cooking oil. Other alternative energy methods are discussed, including microbial fuel cells, biofuel cells, biosensor systems, dimethyl ether, nanomaterials for the collection of solar energy, and thermoelectric materials. One study reports emission reduction using a blended convention diesel/biodiesel fuel. There are also two surveys of trends in the production and utilization of biofuels—one examines the European use, and the other covers the global stage.

Methodology: To construct this database, papers were extracted based on title-supplied keywords for Biofuels. The keywords used were as follows:

Keywords: "alternative fuel*" OR "alternative energ*" OR biofuel* OR biodiesel* OR "green fuel*") OR Topic=(ethanol AND biofuel*

Subject Categories: Engineering, Chemical or Engineering, Environmental or Engineering, Industrial or Nanoscience & Nanotechnology or Environmental Sciences or Chemistry, Applied or Materials Science, Biomaterials or Materials Science, Multidisciplinary or Energy & Fuels.

The baseline time span for this database is (publication years) 1998-2008 from the second bimonthly update (a 10-year + 4-month period). The resulting database contained 2,231 (10 years) and 1,262 (2 years) papers; 5,241 authors; 88 nations; 264 journals; and 1,575 institutions.

Rankings: Once the database was in place, it was used to generate the lists of top 20 papers (two- and ten-year periods), authors, journals, institutions, and nations, covering a time span off 1998-2008 from the second bimonthly update (a 10-year + 4-month period).

The top 20 papers are ranked according to total cites. Rankings for author, journal, institution, and country are listed in three ways: according to total cites, total papers, and total cites/paper. The paper thresholds and corresponding percentages used to determine scientist, institution, country, and journal rankings according to total cites/paper, and total papers respectively are as follows:

Entity Authors Institutions Nations Journals
Thresholds 7 5 6 2
Percentage: 1% 10% 50% 50%


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