Number of Monash Research Outputs: 252

Mean Field Weighted Citation Impact of Monash Outputs: 1.53

3 Year Rolling Mean FWCI of Monash Outputs: 1.94

Climate change, peak demand, the rise of distributed energy sources and digital-enabled lifestyles are leading to increasingly uncertain energy futures. In response to this, the Energy Futures Program in the cross-faculty Emerging Technologies Research Lab is developing non-predictive methodologies and speculations for future energy demand, to help guide policy and planning in the energy sector. Drawing on socio-technical concepts and theories the program is building future scenarios, principles and strategies of understanding, forecasting and intervening in emerging and possible energy futures.

The research team’s applied work collaborates with energy partners, including electricity distributors, consumer advocacy organisations and peak bodies such as Energy Consumers Australia. Through its research, the Program is helping to show how emerging technologies can contribute towards affordable, equitable and sustainable energy futures.

Energy Future

Other SDGs: 

SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production SDG 13 Climate Action

Monash University Malaysia School of Engineering researchers have demonstrated the possibility of developing an efficient, cost effective and sustainable process to produce biodiesel from waste oil using enzymes. The process uses a low-cost and commercial liquid lipase produced from genetically modified aspergillus oryzae, a mould used in food making. The output power from the enzymatic-produced biodiesel and its blends were comparable with that of the commercial petro-diesel B10. Furthermore, carbon monoxide emissions for the purified biodiesel was found to be the lowest among tested fuels. The findings from this work provide an opportunity to improve process economics and sustainability of biodiesel production.

Other SDGs:

SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Groundbreaking research by Monash microbiologists in the Biomedicine Discovery Institute has revealed that an enzyme made by a bacterium common in soil is capable of producing electricity from thin air. The research, published in Nature, showed that the enzyme Huc works as a hydrogen gas scavenger, and unlike all other known enzymes and chemical catalysts, it can consume the gas below atmospheric levels. In this way the enzyme functions like a natural battery, making a small electrical current from air or added hydrogen.

Among a variety of other potential applications, the finding opens the way to create small super-clean and sustainable energy sources that make electricity from air or low concentrations of hydrogen.

Other SDGs: 

SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production SDG 13 Climate Action

Low-carbon resources could potentially add $13 billion to GDP and save Australians $6 billion in power bills by 2040. At the same time, digital technologies are reshaping the energy sector, making production and consumption more efficient and reliable. The wide adoption of these devices is also enabling greater connectivity between operations, businesses and customers.

The Faculty of IT is leveraging these advances by leading a CSIRO-funded Next Generation Graduates Program on AI for Clean Energy and Sustainability. A multi-disciplinary cohort of PhD, masters and honours students at Monash and RMIT are participating in the program to explore innovative technologies to help drive the transition toward clean power in areas including energy and demand forecasting, AI optimisation for systems and consumer energy management.

AI and Sustainability

With advances in solar energy generation and distribution, buildings may generate more solar energy than they consume and sell the excess to other buildings. Conversely, they can buy electricity from others, ultimately reducing fossil fuel usage. This leads to the idea of peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading, where energy is traded without an intermediary at an agreed price. In South East Asia, P2P energy trading is a nascent technology, only implemented in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. A multidisciplinary team led by the School of Engineering at Monash University Malaysia are developing algorithms to enhance energy usage, minimising transmission loss and optimal pricing. This project also strives to create an optimal pricing mechanism and trading platform, making a positive contribution to P2P technology.

Amid depletion of oil and gas reserves, surging fuel prices, global warming and other environmental concerns, the search is accelerating for viable alternatives to fossil fuels.

Monash University Malaysia’s School of Engineering is driving this endeavour through research on solar-derived fuels, or solar fuels, with the aim to develop products that are compatible with our energy infrastructure today. Inspired by natural photosynthesis, the research teams have made significant advances to unravel the full potential of Photo-Driven Catalysis, the process in which solar energy is harnessed to knit together energy-rich products such as hydrogen (via water splitting), methane (via CO2/H2O conversion) and ammonia (via artificial N2 fixation).

Other SDGs:

SDG 13 Climate Action