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Special Issue "Theoretical and Applicability Problems of Agricultural Engineering and Associated Research Areas—Sustainable Agricultural Engineering—Sustainable Biomass to Energy Conversion"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2017

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Józef Szlachta

Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Life Sciences and Technology, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Cełmońskiego 37a, 51-144 Wrocław, Poland
E-Mail
Phone: +48-407-1320-5731
Interests: sustainable agricultural engineering, development; energy; efficiency; environmental impact; economics; ecology; sustainable engineering and design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue comprises selected papers from the XIV Conference, “Theoretical and Applicability Problems of Agricultural Engineering and Associated Research Areas (June 2017)”. Sustainability and sustainable development cover environmental, social, and economic dimensions, and require a multi-disciplinary approach in order to examine, explore, and critically engage with issues and advances in these and related areas. The XIV conference facilitated debates on theoretical and practical investigations, and allowed participants to “make a difference” through on-line discussions regarding the role of agricultural engineering for sustainable agriculture. In addition to covering the three pillars of sustainable development, other areas were covered, including renewable energy self-sufficiency, energy return-on-investment, governance and sustainability, sustainability assessment and policies, and remote sensing for sustainable management of land and biodiversity.

Sustainable agricultural engineering depends on a number of social, economic, technical and environmental, such as energy prices, fuel, labor, cultural change, air and water pollution and the costs of agricultural technology. Processing waste and agricultural residues into bioenergy is an important part of agricultural engineering. Conversion of biomass to energy is still the basis of renewable energy systems. Efforts are being made to search for new biomass resources and to improve processes in order to increase the efficiency of conversion techniques. At the same time, there are conflicting conclusions regarding the sustainability and environmental performance of existing strategies and techniques of bio-energy.

This Special Issue invites papers dealing with the various aspects of sustainability in agricultural engineering and bioenergy production, covering all integral technical chains from biomass production to residue management. Papers are preferably sought that critically examine the advantages and disadvantages of bioenergy concepts and techniques, by presenting pilot applications, desk-top reviews of case studies, proposal of analytical methods, and tools.

Papers selected for this Special Issue are subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments and applications.

Topics of interests include, but are not restricted to:

  • sustainable problems of agricultural engineering in plant and animal production,
  • sustainable biomass resources,
  • sustainable technical processes for energetic conversion of biomass,
  • residue management after energetic conversion,
  • assessment of efficiency of energetic conversion,
  • socio-economic evaluation of bioenergy value chains,
  • life-cycle assessment of concepts,
  • analysis of trade-offs in bioenergy production.

Prof. Józef Szlachta
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agricultural engineering
  • agricultural residues
  • biomass
  • energy crops
  • green waste
  • bioeconomy
  • ecosystem services
  • conversion efficiency

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Automation of the Acorn Scarification Process as a Contribution to Sustainable Forest Management. Case Study: Common Oak
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2276; doi:10.3390/su9122276
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract
The basic principle of silviculture is the rational use of natural regeneration. The acceleration and equalisation of seed germination and an increase of the field seed germination ability are affected by seed scarification, which results in the destruction or weakening of the seed
[...] Read more.
The basic principle of silviculture is the rational use of natural regeneration. The acceleration and equalisation of seed germination and an increase of the field seed germination ability are affected by seed scarification, which results in the destruction or weakening of the seed cover. Acorn scarification is performed manually, in the standing position, most often in adapted work stations, whose geometry is adjusted by the staff to their own anthropometric dimensions. An added value of acorn scarification consists in the ability to visually assess the health status of the cotyledons visible on the cross-section, making it possible to infer the potential use of a seed for sowing. However, due to the scope and duration of the activities involved, manual scarification is a process that is monotonous and physically as well as psychologically tiring for its performer. Automating of this process allows for effective replacement of human labour. The results obtained from the use of the vision system designed to determine the length and orientation of acorns may be considered satisfactory. The implementation of the seed orientation detection algorithm using the Harris detector was 90% accurate. Studies and analyses have shown that the process of acorn scarification has a positive effect on the later improvement of uniformity and acceleration of seedling emergence. In the case of seeds subjected to scarification, 83% of the acorns germinated within 4 to 6 weeks after sowing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Analysis of Selected Physical Properties of Ancient Wheat Species
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1970; doi:10.3390/su9111970
Received: 3 October 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
Recent years have witnessed a revived interest in ancient wheats on account of their health-promoting properties. The aim of this study was to determine selected physical properties of hulled and hulless kernels of ancient wheats for optimizing the parameters of seed processing operations
[...] Read more.
Recent years have witnessed a revived interest in ancient wheats on account of their health-promoting properties. The aim of this study was to determine selected physical properties of hulled and hulless kernels of ancient wheats for optimizing the parameters of seed processing operations such as husking, cleaning, and sorting. The geometric parameters (length, width and thickness), mass, and angle of external friction (on steel and PVC) of hulled and hulless spelt, emmer, and einkorn kernels were determined. The spikelets and kernels of ancient wheats are characterized by similar physical properties and differ most considerably in mass. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

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