The Covid-19 pandemic is still setting the pulse of humanity. Although great progress has been achieved in its treatment, developed countries have managed to vaccinate large portions of their population and many developing countries are struggling to significantly increase their vaccination rates; more contagious variants of the virus are emerging that have forced governments to propose new strategies such as booster doses, health passports, and more rigorous control on their borders.
Such situations are being reflected on the energy markets that are showing significant demand recoveries, although some uncertainty is perceived due to the possible need to impose new mobility restrictions.
This 2021 summer has been the warmest of the last century and a half, which is one more evidence of climate change effects. Droughts, forest fires, and record temperatures in several regions of the United States and Canada, floods and landslides never experienced in Germany, and extreme heat waves in various regions of Europe were recent news. The UN's group of experts on climate change has just published its sixth report in which it insists on the imminent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we do not want to have points of no return regarding the planet's climate.
This environment suggests that the energy sector will undergo significant changes in the future. A significant growth in electric power demand and the development of renewable technologies will be the lead agents of energy transition.
In the same vein, our scientific journal CT&F has been expanding its spectrum of action from oil and gas themes to issues related to biofuels and renewable energies, so that we can promote communication and scientific and technological development that is so much needed in these times of energy transition. The exchange of ideas can lead us to new ways of addressing the enormous challenges that we are facing as a society.
This issue includes several articles on power generation from renewable sources and its social acceptance, evaluation of performance over time of photovoltaic cells, production of reducible sugar from residual biomass, as well as the evaluation of biodegradable polymers to increase the recovery factor of crude oil fields, and the use of ultraviolet light to control bacteria that produce biocorrosion in injection wells.
It also includes several articles on seismic processing techniques, an assessment of how innovation leveraged on international peers has enabled several countries to develop their unconventional sources, and the use of computational fluid dynamics in the simulation of a down – flow reactor.