Open AccessReview
Aquatic-Derived Biomaterials for a Sustainable Future: A European Opportunity
Resources 2017, 6(4), 65; doi:10.3390/resources6040065 -
Abstract
The valorization of aquatic-derived biowastes as possible feedstock for the production of value-added chemicals and materials is proposed here as a sustainable alternative compared to the exploitation of the more conventional (fossil) resources. In this context, the comprehension of the opportunity related to
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The valorization of aquatic-derived biowastes as possible feedstock for the production of value-added chemicals and materials is proposed here as a sustainable alternative compared to the exploitation of the more conventional (fossil) resources. In this context, the comprehension of the opportunity related to the valorization of the shellfish industry biowaste for the production of useful materials, especially focusing on chitin and its derived byproducts, is investigated. The large amount of waste produced each year by the shellfish processing industry seems to be an appealing opportunity for the European market to produce valuable products from underutilized waste. In order to highlight this important market-opportunity, the actual European situation concerning the shellfish volume of production is presented. The industrial processes necessary for the recovery of chitin, chitosan, and their derivatives are largely described, together with a wide description of their peculiar (and interesting) physicochemical properties. Even if nowadays the scientific literature suggests that this class of biopolymers is very appealing, further research is still necessary for overcoming some criticisms still present in the extraction and valorization of such substrates. However, the principles of both circular economy and green chemistry encourage the reduction of such biowastes and their exploitation as an alternative resource for a global sustainable future. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Evaluation of Wet Digestion Methods for Quantification of Metal Content in Electronic Scrap Material
Resources 2017, 6(4), 64; doi:10.3390/resources6040064 -
Abstract
Recent advances in the electronics sector and the short life-span of electronic products have triggered an exponential increase in the generation of electronic waste (E-waste). Effective recycling of E-waste has thus become a serious solid waste management challenge. E-waste management technologies include pyrometallurgy,
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Recent advances in the electronics sector and the short life-span of electronic products have triggered an exponential increase in the generation of electronic waste (E-waste). Effective recycling of E-waste has thus become a serious solid waste management challenge. E-waste management technologies include pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, and bioleaching. Determining the metal content of an E-waste sample is critical in evaluating the efficiency of a metal recovery method in E-waste recycling. However, E-waste is complex and of diverse origins. The lack of a standard digestion method for E-waste has resulted in difficulty in comparing the efficiencies of different metal recovery processes. In this study, several solid digestion protocols including American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)-D6357-11, United States Environment Protection Agency Solid Waste (US EPA SW) 846 Method 3050b, ultrasound-assisted, and microwave digestion methods were compared to determine the metal content (Ag, Al, Au, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb, Pd, Sn, and Zn) of electronic scrap materials (ESM) obtained from two different sources. The highest metal recovery (mg/g of ESM) was obtained using ASTM D6357-11 for most of the metals, which remained mainly bound to silicate fractions, while a microwave-assisted digestion protocol (MWD-2) was more effective in solubilizing Al, Pb, and Sn. The study highlights the need for a judicious selection of digestion protocol, and proposes steps for selecting an effective acid digestion method for ESM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Proposal of a Sustainable Circular Index for Manufacturing Companies
Resources 2017, 6(4), 63; doi:10.3390/resources6040063 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Recently the circular economy has increasingly received attention worldwide due to the recognition that the security of the supply of resources and environmental sustainability are crucial for the prosperity of all the countries and businesses. G20 countries are stimulating the development of frameworks
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Recently the circular economy has increasingly received attention worldwide due to the recognition that the security of the supply of resources and environmental sustainability are crucial for the prosperity of all the countries and businesses. G20 countries are stimulating the development of frameworks that enhance the circular economy and generally more sustainable production and consumption modes. In this context, this paper aims to suggest an index to assess the sustainability and the circularity of manufacturing companies. With this tenet, a Sustainable Circular Index (SCI) is proposed based on a five-phase framework. This index could support managers in assessing their level of sustainability and circularity and in implementing some practices that could improve the performances of their companies regarding these two topics. This index represents an important benchmarking tool for manufacturing companies to assess their sustainable and circular behavior and represents a guideline for managers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analyzing Platinum and Palladium Consumption and Demand Forecast in Japan
Resources 2017, 6(4), 61; doi:10.3390/resources6040061 -
Abstract
Platinum and palladium are used in small but essential quantities in a variety of advanced industrial sectors. Platinum and palladium are used as catalysts in various industrial sectors, especially in the car industry. However, their sources are typically concentrated in South Africa and
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Platinum and palladium are used in small but essential quantities in a variety of advanced industrial sectors. Platinum and palladium are used as catalysts in various industrial sectors, especially in the car industry. However, their sources are typically concentrated in South Africa and Russia, and there are concerns about supply security. In terms of resource security, it is important to verify domestic platinum and palladium consumption trends and future demand. In order to understand the domestic platinum and palladium consumption trends in Japan, we tracked the historical platinum and palladium consumption structures from 2001 to 2013, applying a bottom-up approach, and illustrated recent domestic platinum and palladium flow by using a substance flow analysis. The results showed that catalytic converters (9.1–12.8 t) and jewelry (5.3–15.5 t) for platinum, and catalytic converters (14.2–20.0 t) and dental use (9.5–16.4 t) for palladium, have marked the biggest consumption sectors during 2001–2013, where the total consumption of platinum and palladium have fluctuated by 18.4–31.6 t for platinum and from 33.0–46.3 t for palladium. We also forecasted the demand for each end-use of both up to the year 2025 using multiple regression analysis. Our results suggest that platinum demand could decrease from 18.9 t in 2013 to 11.9 t in 2025 and palladium demand could slightly decrease from 33.0 t in 2013 to 13.8 t in 2025. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Composite Index for Greenhouse Gases: Climate Science Meets Social Science
Resources 2017, 6(4), 62; doi:10.3390/resources6040062 -
Abstract
Global greenhouse gas emissions have increased at a rate of nearly 2% per year since 1970, and the rate of increase has been increasing. The contribution of greenhouse gases to global warming constitutes an environmental management challenge requiring interdisciplinary effort and international cooperation.
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Global greenhouse gas emissions have increased at a rate of nearly 2% per year since 1970, and the rate of increase has been increasing. The contribution of greenhouse gases to global warming constitutes an environmental management challenge requiring interdisciplinary effort and international cooperation. In an effort to meet this challenge, the Kyoto Protocol imposes limits on aggregate CO2-equivalent emissions of four greenhouse gases, although it permits countries to trade off one gas for another at specified rates. This requires a definition of trade-off rates, which the Protocol specifies as Global Warming Potentials, although these have been controversial since their introduction. The primary source of concern has been the constancy of the trade-off rates, both across countries and through time. We propose a new composite index that allows freely variable trade-off rates, thereby facilitating the design of efficient abatement policy. In a pair of exercises we compare our composite index with that used by the Protocol. In both exercises we reject the constancy of trade-off rates, although despite the significantly different weighting schemes we find a degree of concordance between the two greenhouse gas indices. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Governance and Risk–Value Constructions in Closing Loops of Rare Earth Elements in Global Value Chains
Resources 2017, 6(4), 59; doi:10.3390/resources6040059 -
Abstract
This article addresses a research gap on the challenges—specifically risk and value—connected to realizing the potential for closing loops for rare earth elements (REE). We develop an analytical framework from conceptual elements of the global value chain (GVC) framework and the relational theory
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This article addresses a research gap on the challenges—specifically risk and value—connected to realizing the potential for closing loops for rare earth elements (REE). We develop an analytical framework from conceptual elements of the global value chain (GVC) framework and the relational theory of risk to examine several empirical REE industry cases for loop closure. The aim of the paper is to identify how risk–value relationships are constructed by different actors as governance structures form in transactions prior to price setting and how these have impacts on the closure of REE loops. Often, REE loops are not closed, and we find that constructions of the risk–value relationship by industrial actors and by government agencies are unstable as they pursue different motivations, consequently hindering REE loop closure in GVCs. In light of this, we propose that governments mediate against the construction of risk–value relationships by facilitating information on the characteristics of end-of-life materials that qualify these for re-entry into loops. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Tool for the Sustainability Assessment of Farms: Selection, Adaptation and Use of Indicators for an Italian Case Study
Resources 2017, 6(4), 60; doi:10.3390/resources6040060 -
Abstract
Indicator-based tools are widely used for the assessment of farm sustainability, but analysts still face methodological and conceptual issues, including data availability, the complexity of the concept of sustainability and the heterogeneity of agricultural systems. This study contributes to this debate through the
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Indicator-based tools are widely used for the assessment of farm sustainability, but analysts still face methodological and conceptual issues, including data availability, the complexity of the concept of sustainability and the heterogeneity of agricultural systems. This study contributes to this debate through the illustration of a procedure for farm sustainability assessment focussed on the case study of the South Milan Agricultural Park, Italy. The application is based on a set of environmental, social and economic indicators retrieved from the literature review. The framework is based on three main steps: (i) Data collection mainly through interviews with farmers and institutions; (ii) data elaboration through an aggregative structure; and (iii) score analysis. The latter step includes a descriptive analysis that allows a comparison among farms or groups of farms and a principal components analysis that helps to confirm the dimensions in which indicators were previously included (components). Results derived from the sampled farms show that the framework can provide easy-to-read results useful at different levels. The study highlighted the procedures for the framework construction that is compatible with the region’s context and objectives, using an analytical approach that aims at the use of balanced features of availability and reliability of data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biomethane: A Renewable Resource as Vehicle Fuel
Resources 2017, 6(4), 58; doi:10.3390/resources6040058 -
Abstract
The European Union (EU) has set a mandatory target for renewable fuels of 10% for each member state by 2020. Biomethane is a renewable energy representing an alternative to the use of fossil fuels in the transport sector. This resource is a solution
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The European Union (EU) has set a mandatory target for renewable fuels of 10% for each member state by 2020. Biomethane is a renewable energy representing an alternative to the use of fossil fuels in the transport sector. This resource is a solution to reach this target. Furthermore, it contributes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, gives social benefits and increases the security supply. Sustainability is reached also when the economic opportunities are verified. This work studies the profitability of small plants of biomethane, which is sold as vehicle fuel using the Net Present Value (NPV) and Discounted Payback Time (DPBT). The paper shows in detail the method used for the economic assessment of two typologies of feedstock recovered: (i) municipal solid waste and (ii) agricultural waste. Detailed information about the various parameters that affect the profitability of biomethane is given, and several case studies are analyzed as a function of two variables: subsidies and selling price. The results support the commercialization of small-scale plants, reducing also several environmental issues. The role of subsidies is strategic, and the profitability is verified only in some case studies Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Historical Review of Waste Management and Recycling in South Africa
Resources 2017, 6(4), 57; doi:10.3390/resources6040057 -
Abstract
Recycling has been taking place in South Africa for more than three decades, driven by social and economic needs. While the waste hierarchy is embedded in national policy, an extensive legislative framework has made it more and more challenging for the public and
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Recycling has been taking place in South Africa for more than three decades, driven by social and economic needs. While the waste hierarchy is embedded in national policy, an extensive legislative framework has made it more and more challenging for the public and private sector to remain compliant and competitive in a local and global market, and still drive waste away from landfill towards reuse, recycling and recovery. A local recycling economy, on par with many developed countries, is in part due to a large and active informal waste sector. In the absence of separation at source across South African cities and towns, informal waste pickers have been key to accessing resources which the private sector has struggled to access, due to gatekeeping by municipalities. The South African waste and recycling sector can be defined in terms of four main stages of development—“The Age of Landfilling”, “The Emergence of Recycling”, “The Flood of Regulation” and “The Drive for EPR”, and is currently standing on the brink of a fifth stage—“The future is a Circular Economy”. The low hanging fruit, the easy to collect and recycle products, has been reaped. Moving to higher diversion from landfill targets will require more investment by the private sector and by government in the future. The social, economic and environmental benefits of doing this are clear, but must be balanced against the cost that will ultimately be borne by society, as consumers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Analysis of Slinky Horizontal Ground Heat Exchangers for a Ground Source Heat Pump System
Resources 2017, 6(4), 56; doi:10.3390/resources6040056 -
Abstract
This paper highlights the thermal performance of reclined (parallel to ground surface) and standing (perpendicular to ground surface) slinky horizontal ground heat exchangers (HGHEs) with different water mass flow rates in the heating mode of continuous and intermittent operations. A copper tube with
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This paper highlights the thermal performance of reclined (parallel to ground surface) and standing (perpendicular to ground surface) slinky horizontal ground heat exchangers (HGHEs) with different water mass flow rates in the heating mode of continuous and intermittent operations. A copper tube with an outer surface protected with low-density polyethylene was selected as the tube material of the ground heat exchanger. Effects on ground temperature around the reclined slinky HGHE due to heat extraction and the effect of variation of ground temperatures on reclined HGHE performance are discussed. A higher heat exchange rate was experienced in standing HGHE than in reclined HGHE. The standing HGHE was affected by deeper ground temperature and also a greater amount of backfilled sand in standing HGHE (4.20 m3) than reclined HGHE (1.58 m3), which has higher thermal conductivity than site soil. For mass flow rate of 1 L/min with inlet water temperature 7 °C, the 4-day average heat extraction rates increased 45.3% and 127.3%, respectively, when the initial average ground temperatures at 1.5 m depth around reclined HGHE increased from 10.4 °C to 11.7 °C and 10.4 °C to 13.7 °C. In the case of intermittent operation, which boosted the thermal performance, a short time interval of intermittent operation is better than a long time interval of intermittent operation. Furthermore, from the viewpoint of power consumption by the circulating pump, the intermittent operation is more efficient than continuous operation. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Ranking of Sustainability Indicators for Assessment of the New Housing Development Projects: Case of the Baltic States
Resources 2017, 6(4), 55; doi:10.3390/resources6040055 -
Abstract
Sustainable development is inconceivable without healthy real estate market. A housing project can be regarded as sustainable only when all the dimensions of sustainability (environmental, economic, and social) are dealt with. There has been an increased interest in using sustainability indicators for evaluating
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Sustainable development is inconceivable without healthy real estate market. A housing project can be regarded as sustainable only when all the dimensions of sustainability (environmental, economic, and social) are dealt with. There has been an increased interest in using sustainability indicators for evaluating the impacts of the new development projects. Although international literature is rich in sustainability assessments, there are no tools developed for assessment of new residential projects in the specific context of the Baltic States. Therefore, the aim of this article is to fill this gap and to propose an integrated, hierarchically structured system of sustainability indicators to be used for assessment of the new housing development projects. This aim is achieved through accomplishing three objectives. First, based on a review of literature related to assessing building project performance and sustainable development in construction, the paper proposes an original hierarchically structured system of sustainability indicators suitable for the Baltic context. Second, based on a survey of experts, significances of criteria are estimated by the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method. Finally, paper proposes recommendations to government authorities and real estate developers as to how to enhance the performance of new residential projects according to the principles of sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Participatory Process to Develop a Landslide Warning System: Paradoxes of Responsibility Sharing in a Case Study in Upper Austria
Resources 2017, 6(4), 54; doi:10.3390/resources6040054 -
Abstract
During a participatory process in Gmunden, Austria, the organizational and responsibility-sharing arrangements for a landslide warning system proved to be contested issues. While questions on the warning system technology and the distribution of information, including the alarm for evacuation, could be resolved with
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During a participatory process in Gmunden, Austria, the organizational and responsibility-sharing arrangements for a landslide warning system proved to be contested issues. While questions on the warning system technology and the distribution of information, including the alarm for evacuation, could be resolved with the support of experts, controversies arose on the financial and legal responsibilities that ensure long-term and effective monitoring for the protection of the landslide-prone community. This paper examines how responsibilities can be shared among the residents, experts, and public authorities during the design and operation of landslide warning systems. In particular, we discuss the outcome and implications of three stakeholder workshops where participants deliberated on warning-system options that, in turn, were based on a discourse analysis of extensive stakeholder interviews. The results of the case study show that an end-user orientation requires the consideration of stakeholder worldviews, interests, and conflicts. Paradoxically, the public did not fully support their own involvement in the maintenance and control of the warning system, but the authorities promoted shared responsibility. Deliberative planning does not then necessarily lead to responsibility sharing, but it proved effective as a platform for information and for shared ownership in the warning system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Incremental Economic Analysis of Establishing Early Successional Habitat for Biodiversity
Resources 2017, 6(4), 53; doi:10.3390/resources6040053 -
Abstract
Early successional habitat (ESH) is an important component of natural landscapes and is crucial to maintaining biodiversity. ESH also impacts endangered species. The extent of forest disturbances resulting in ESH has been diminishing, and foresters have developed timber management regimes using standard silvicultural
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Early successional habitat (ESH) is an important component of natural landscapes and is crucial to maintaining biodiversity. ESH also impacts endangered species. The extent of forest disturbances resulting in ESH has been diminishing, and foresters have developed timber management regimes using standard silvicultural techniques that enhance ESH. We developed a financial framework to evaluate these ESH-enhancing forest management regimes, driven by differences in timber harvest costs and timber revenue. The economic model was applied to on-the-ground prescriptions in the Nantahala National Forest (NNF) designed to increase biodiversity and foster improved public awareness of the importance of ESH. Bats, a current conservation concern, commonly exploit ESH and were the focus of our prescriptions. The prescriptions were based on shelterwood cuts of varying patch size, spacing between the cuts, and the trail area required to move from patch to patch. The results showed that prescriptions with large patch areas were effective in increasing ESH, with minimal impact on the financial performance of timber harvesting operations. This information can be used to minimize financial losses while catering to wildlife species that prefer ESH, in addition to increasing overall biodiversity. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Geochemistry of Monazite within Carbonatite Related REE Deposits
Resources 2017, 6(4), 51; doi:10.3390/resources6040051 -
Abstract
Approximately >50% of global rare earth element (REE) resources are hosted by carbonatite related deposits, of which monazite is one of the most important REE minerals. Monazite dominates more than 30 carbonatite-related REE deposits around the world, including currently exploited mineralization at Bayan
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Approximately >50% of global rare earth element (REE) resources are hosted by carbonatite related deposits, of which monazite is one of the most important REE minerals. Monazite dominates more than 30 carbonatite-related REE deposits around the world, including currently exploited mineralization at Bayan Obo and Mount Weld. These deposits are widely distributed across all continents, except Antarctica. Though rare, monazite occurs as the primary mineral in carbonatite, and mostly presents as a secondary mineral that has a strong association with apatite. It can partially or completely replace thin or thick overgrowth apatite, depending on the availability of REE. Other mineral phases that usually crystallize together with monazite include barite, fluorite, xenotime, sulfide, and quartz in a carbonate matrix (e.g., dolomite, calcite). This review of monazite geochemistry within carbonatite-related REE deposits aims to provide information regarding the use of monazite as a geochemical indicator to track the formation history of the REE deposits and also supply additional information for the beneficiation of monazite. The chemical compositions of monazite are highly variable, and Ce-monazite is the dominant solid solution in carbonatite related deposits. Most monazite displays steep fractionation from La to Lu, absent of either Eu or Ce anomalies in the chondrite normalized REE plot. The other significant components are huttonite and cheratite. Some rare sulfur-bearing monazite is also identified with an SO3 content up to 4 wt %. A 147Sm/144Nd ratio with an average ~0.071 for monazite within carbonatite-related ores is similar to that of their host rocks (~0.065), and is the lowest among all types of REE deposits. Sm/Nd variation of monazite from a single complex reflects the differentiation stage of magma, which decreases from early to late. Based on the differences of Nd and Sr abundances, Nd isotopic composition for monazite can be used to track the magma source, whereas Sr isotopic composition records the signatures of the fluid source. Th-(U)-Pb age determination of the secondary monazite records variable thermal or metasomatic disturbances, and careful geochronological interpretation should be brought forward combined with other lines of evidence. ThO2 is the most difficult contamination in the beneficiation of monazite, luckily, the ThO2 content of monazite within carbonatite is generally low (<2 wt %). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Waste Picker Organizations and Their Contribution to the Circular Economy: Two Case Studies from a Global South Perspective
Resources 2017, 6(4), 52; doi:10.3390/resources6040052 -
Abstract
The discussion on the circular economy (CE) has attracted a rising interest within global policy and business as a way of increasing the sustainability of production and consumption. Yet the literature mostly portrays a Global North perspective. There is a diverse spectrum of
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The discussion on the circular economy (CE) has attracted a rising interest within global policy and business as a way of increasing the sustainability of production and consumption. Yet the literature mostly portrays a Global North perspective. There is a diverse spectrum of community-based organizations playing important roles in resource recovery and transformation, particularly, but not only, in Global South countries, providing innovative examples for grassroots involvement in waste management and in the CE. This article proposes to add a Southern lens, situated in the context of waste picker organizations, to the concept of CE. The discursive framework in this article couples ecological economy (EE) with social/solidarity economy (SSE), focusing not only on environmental sustainability but also on social, economic, political and cultural dimensions involved in production, consumption and discard. We acknowledge that grassroots movements contribute to policy making and improve urban waste management systems. The paper outlines two empirical studies (Argentina, Brazil) that illustrate how waste picker organizations perform selective waste collection services, engage with municipalities and industries, and practice the CE. The research reveals that social and political facets need to be added to the debate about the CE, linking environmental management and policy with community development and recognizing waste pickers as protagonists in the CE. Our findings emphasize a need for a change of persisting inequalities in public policy by recognizing the importance of popular waste management praxis and knowledge, ultimately redefining the CE. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving the Sustainability of Farming Practices through the Use of a Symbiotic Approach for Anaerobic Digestion and Digestate Processing
Resources 2017, 6(4), 50; doi:10.3390/resources6040050 -
Abstract
The dairy sector in the Netherlands aims for a 30% increase in efficiency and 30% carbon dioxide emission reduction compared to the reference year of 1990, and a 20% share of renewable energy, all by the year 2020. Anaerobic Digestion (AD) can play
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The dairy sector in the Netherlands aims for a 30% increase in efficiency and 30% carbon dioxide emission reduction compared to the reference year of 1990, and a 20% share of renewable energy, all by the year 2020. Anaerobic Digestion (AD) can play a substantial role in achieving these aims. However, results from this study indicate that the AD system is not fully optimized in combination with farming practices regarding sustainability. Therefore, the Industrial Symbiosis concept, combined with energy and environmental system analysis, Life Cycle Analysis and modeling is used to optimize a farm-scale AD system on four indicators of sustainability (i.e., energy efficiency, carbon footprint, environmental impacts and costs). Implemented in a theoretical case, where a cooperation of farms share biomass feedstocks, a symbiotic AD system can significantly lower external energy consumption by 72 to 92%, carbon footprint by 71 to 91%, environmental impacts by 68 to 89%, and yearly expenditures by 56 to 66% compared to a reference cooperation. The largest reductions and economic gains can be achieved when a surplus of manure is available for upgrading into organic fertilizer to replace fossil fertilizers. Applying the aforementioned symbiotic concept to the Dutch farming sector can help to achieve the stated goals indicated by the Dutch agricultural sector for the year 2020. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bacterial Pathogen Occurrence and Persistence in Livestock Mortality Biopiles
Resources 2017, 6(4), 49; doi:10.3390/resources6040049 -
Abstract
Properly managed biopiles can be used for slaughterhouse-residual degradation and bacterial pathogen inactivation, which otherwise represent a major health risk in the environment. Biopiles were used to dispose of slaughterhouse-residuals and determine the occurrence and persistence patterns of indicators of pathogenic bacteria. The
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Properly managed biopiles can be used for slaughterhouse-residual degradation and bacterial pathogen inactivation, which otherwise represent a major health risk in the environment. Biopiles were used to dispose of slaughterhouse-residuals and determine the occurrence and persistence patterns of indicators of pathogenic bacteria. The indicator bacteria included the family Enterobacteriaceae, total coliforms, Escherichia coli, nalidixic acid-resistant E. coli, and Streptococcus fecalis. The slaughterhouse-residual biopiles remained static for 164 d in 2006 and 141 d in 2007. In biopile effluent samples, exponentially decreasing populations of the indicator bacteria were observed. Indicator bacteria presence in biopile and soil samples suggested their retention and persistence in, but not migration from, the media. Though the family Enterobacteriaceae, total coliforms, and Escherichia coli shared behavioral correlations, they exhibited different fates in all media compared to S. fecalis, which was observed to persist and re-grow. The behavior of inoculated nalidixic acid-resistant E. coli suggested that inactivation was the primary process in the biopiles. However, the biopiles constituted continual sources of the indicator bacteria due to their persistence in isolated and protected locations, and changes in dominant species. While biopiling slaughterhouse-residuals was effective to inactivate >99% (log reductions) of indicator bacteria, tertiary methods and biopiling phases should be employed to ensure inactivation of pathogenic bacteria in animal waste biopiles. The fate of bacterial indicators in this system exhibited trends not-as-yet observed for animal waste biopiling activities, which generates numerous questions for further research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Policy Integration of Sustainable Consumption and Production into National Policies
Resources 2017, 6(4), 48; doi:10.3390/resources6040048 -
Abstract
Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) was adopted as a stand-alone goal and reflected as one of the cross-cutting objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a central role to address global resource consumption and its associated environmental impacts, as well as numerous
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Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) was adopted as a stand-alone goal and reflected as one of the cross-cutting objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a central role to address global resource consumption and its associated environmental impacts, as well as numerous social and economic issues. With this broad characterization of SCP, policy integration is crucial in addressing it at national level. This paper analyzes characteristics of SCP policy integration based on a survey of national government policies. It reveals that SCP is not fully integrated in national policy-making; high resource consumption sectors such as urban planning, building, and tourism are not fully incorporated into national SCP policies, and there is only limited participation of relevant government ministries other than environment ministries. We find that among countries with horizontal policy integration, those with Green Economy/Green Growth frameworks tend to have better sectoral integration; and those with SCP-specific frameworks are likely to have broader coordination of ministries. By conducting cross-analysis using income level and region, the different characteristics of SCP policy-making approaches were identified. The results of this study provide a better understanding of how SCP is integrated into policy for effective national policy-making and measurement of the SDG Goal 12. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Is Sustainable Intensification Pro-Poor? Evidence from Small-Scale Farmers in Rural Tanzania
Resources 2017, 6(3), 47; doi:10.3390/resources6030047 -
Abstract
The transition of farming systems to higher levels of productivity without overusing natural resources is of rising interest especially in African countries, where population growth has often been larger than past productivity increases. This paper aims to contribute to the debate on whether
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The transition of farming systems to higher levels of productivity without overusing natural resources is of rising interest especially in African countries, where population growth has often been larger than past productivity increases. This paper aims to contribute to the debate on whether environmentally friendly agricultural practices are compatible with economic interests. In the context of small-scale farm households in Tanzania, the analysis focuses on Conservation Agriculture (CA) at different levels of agricultural output, as CA is a promising toolbox for sustainable intensification. The results are based on a household survey conducted in 2014 with 900 randomly selected small-scale farmers in rural Tanzania, i.e., in semi-arid Dodoma and in semi-humid Morogoro region. We find that mulching is most frequently applied, followed by crop rotation, fallowing, intercropping and tree planting. Logit regressions show that CA adoption is influenced by socio-economic factors, farm characteristics and the regional context. Quantile regressions explain different levels of agricultural output through variables related to the extent of using CA. They indicate that marginalized farmers have the strongest crop income effect from an increased use of mulching. With increasing levels of agricultural output, the use of mulching remains beneficial for farmers, but the effect appears less pronounced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rules of Engagement: A Review of Regulatory Instruments Designed to Promote and Secure Local Content Requirements in the Oil and Gas Sector
Resources 2017, 6(3), 46; doi:10.3390/resources6030046 -
Abstract
Regulatory interventions, such as Local Content (LC) requirements, have been incorporated to counter market forces to maximise petroleum revenues. This has been undertaken with the hypothesis that the governments of petroleum-producing countries depend heavily on petroleum sectors for development, yet energy markets inadequately
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Regulatory interventions, such as Local Content (LC) requirements, have been incorporated to counter market forces to maximise petroleum revenues. This has been undertaken with the hypothesis that the governments of petroleum-producing countries depend heavily on petroleum sectors for development, yet energy markets inadequately allocate these resources. Thus, governments revise existing, and often out-of-date, petroleum laws and introduce new petroleum legislation to specifically promote socio-economic objectives. This article explores the key legislative instruments of LC as developed and implemented in the oil and gas sectors both from developed and developing countries’ perspectives. In assessing the overall policy approach, this article evaluates instruments used to secure Local Content requirements in the oil and gas industry. In conclusion, governments must identify appropriate frameworks that consider the political and regulatory challenge of striking a balance between incentivising upstream investors and fulfilling national interests, such as creating jobs. Full article