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Sustainability, Volume 14, Issue 1 (January-1 2022) – 585 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The amount of solid and liquid organic waste as well as wastewater is continuously increasing all over the world; therefore, the necessity to reuse and recycle them is becoming more and more pressing. Furthermore, the limited amount of fossil fuel resources and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions advocate for the production of renewable fuels. In this work, we analyze a sustainable second-generation process to produce biodiesel via the transesterification of waste cooking oil coupled with a third-generation process in cascade to recycle incoming wastewater rich in glycerol. This is used as a feed for microalgae, from which oil is extracted to further produce biodiesel and close the cycle. The experimental results at the pilot scale confirm the quality of biodiesel; the obtained yields for the two-stage process prove its competitiveness on the global market. View this paper
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Article
Statistical Study Based on the Kriging Method and Geographic Mapping in Rigid Pavement Defects in Southern Chile
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010585 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3655
Abstract
ASTM D6433 is used to assess the need for maintenance of pavement sections. Although the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) factor calculation method provides reliable values, this method analyzes sections and defects individually and indicates current maintenance needs, but it cannot be used to [...] Read more.
ASTM D6433 is used to assess the need for maintenance of pavement sections. Although the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) factor calculation method provides reliable values, this method analyzes sections and defects individually and indicates current maintenance needs, but it cannot be used to predict the occurrence of new defects. Therefore, it is necessary to complement this method by considering variables that influence the occurrence of faults, among which are the geospatial distribution and the specific characteristics of the slabs. This research focuses on the identification of multiple types of disturbances that exist in Portland Cement Pavements (PCC), located in a high traffic area in the city of Valdivia (Chile). A spatial geostatistical relationship is established through visual inspection using geographical maps, as well as distribution, using the kriging method. This technique makes use of variograms that allow quantifying the parameters used in this study, thus expressing the spatial autocorrelation of the faults analyzed. From the results obtained by spatial geostatistics and kriging, it is possible to generate a data correlation for the distribution and characteristics of the streets considered. In addition, a co-kriging method is established instead of an ordinary kriging method. The relationship between observed and predicted values improved from 0.3327 to 0.5770. The width of the slabs, as well as some streets, is shown in our analysis to be unimportant. For better model accuracy, the number of covariates associated with the type of vehicle traffic, the age and shape of the slabs, and the construction techniques used for the pavement needs to increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Road Traffic and Pavement Engineering toward Sustainable Development)
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Article
Key Concerns and Drivers of Low-Cost Air Quality Sensor Use
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010584 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2130
Abstract
Low-cost sensors are revolutionizing air pollution monitoring by providing real-time, highly localized air quality information. The relatively low-cost nature of these devices has made them accessible to the broader public. Although there have been several fitness-of-purpose appraisals of the various sensors on the [...] Read more.
Low-cost sensors are revolutionizing air pollution monitoring by providing real-time, highly localized air quality information. The relatively low-cost nature of these devices has made them accessible to the broader public. Although there have been several fitness-of-purpose appraisals of the various sensors on the market, little is known about what drives sensor usage and how the public interpret the data from their sensors. This article attempts to answer these questions by analyzing the key themes discussed in the user reviews of low-cost sensors on Amazon. The themes and use cases identified have the potential to spur interventions to support communities of sensor users and inform the development of actionable data-visualization strategies with the measurements from such instruments, as well as drive appropriate ‘fitness-of-purpose’ appraisals of such devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability)
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Article
Does Postural Feedback Reduce Musculoskeletal Risk?: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010583 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1288
Abstract
Background: There is a high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among personnel working in the healthcare sector, mainly among nursing assistants and orderlies. Objective: The objective is to analyze the effectiveness of a multi-component intervention that included postural feedback in reducing musculoskeletal risk. Method: [...] Read more.
Background: There is a high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among personnel working in the healthcare sector, mainly among nursing assistants and orderlies. Objective: The objective is to analyze the effectiveness of a multi-component intervention that included postural feedback in reducing musculoskeletal risk. Method: A total of 24 nursing assistants and orderlies in a hospital setting were randomly assigned to an intervention group or a control group. After collecting sociodemographic information, a selection of tasks was made and assessed using the REBA (rapid entire body assessment) method. A multi-component intervention was designed combining theoretical and practical training, including feedback on the postures performed by the professionals involved, especially those involving high musculoskeletal risk. This program was applied only to participants in the intervention group. Subsequently, eight months after the first assessment and intervention, the second assessment was carried out using the same method and process as in the first evaluation. Results: The results indicate that the musculoskeletal risk in the second assessment in the intervention group was significantly reduced. However, no significant changes were observed in the control group. Conclusion: The multi-component intervention applied can significantly reduce the musculoskeletal risk of nursing assistants and orderlies. In addition, it is a low-cost intervention with great applicability. Full article
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Article
Incorporating Vegetation Type Transformation with NDVI Time-Series to Study the Vegetation Dynamics in Xinjiang
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010582 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
Time-series normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is commonly used to conduct vegetation dynamics, which is an important research topic. However, few studies have focused on the relationship between vegetation type and NDVI changes. We investigated changes in vegetation in Xinjiang using linear regression [...] Read more.
Time-series normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is commonly used to conduct vegetation dynamics, which is an important research topic. However, few studies have focused on the relationship between vegetation type and NDVI changes. We investigated changes in vegetation in Xinjiang using linear regression of time-series MOD13Q1 NDVI data from 2001 to 2020. MCD12Q1 vegetation type data from 2001 to 2019 were used to analyze transformations among different vegetation types, and the relationship between the transformation of vegetation type and NDVI was analyzed. Approximately 63.29% of the vegetation showed no significant changes. In the vegetation-changed area, approximately 93.88% and 6.12% of the vegetation showed a significant increase and decrease in NDVI, respectively. Approximately 43,382.82 km2 of sparse vegetation and 25,915.44 km2 of grassland were transformed into grassland and cropland, respectively. Moreover, 17.4% of the area with transformed vegetation showed a significant increase in NDVI, whereas 14.61% showed a decrease in NDVI. Furthermore, in areas with NDVI increased, the mean NDVI slopes of pixels in which sparse vegetation transferred to cropland, sparse vegetation transferred to grassland, and grassland transferred to cropland were 9.8 and 3.2 times that of sparse vegetation, and 1.97 times that of grassland, respectively. In areas with decreased NDVI, the mean NDVI slopes of pixels in which cropland transferred to sparse vegetation, grassland transferred to sparse vegetation were 1.75 and 1.36 times that of sparse vegetation, respectively. The combination of vegetation type transformation NDVI time-series can assist in comprehensively understanding the vegetation change characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geography and Sustainability)
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Article
A DMAIC Framework to Improve Quality and Sustainability in Additive Manufacturing—A Case Study
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010581 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2012
Abstract
Additive manufacturing as a key Industry 4.0 technology brings radical changes to how we execute production and services operations. However, this innovative technology has not reached maturity and research and development are still in progress to unleash its full sustainability potential. This paper [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing as a key Industry 4.0 technology brings radical changes to how we execute production and services operations. However, this innovative technology has not reached maturity and research and development are still in progress to unleash its full sustainability potential. This paper aims to provide operational guidance to decision makers to jointly improve quality and sustainability performance of additive manufacturing processes. We propose a framework based on the DMAIC (Define/Measure/Analyze/Improve/Control) methodology and comprehensive pool of targeted key performance indicators (KPIs) and illustrate this framework through a single case study. The paper evidences the feasibility of extending DMAIC to the growing additive manufacturing domain to achieve quality and sustainability objectives. The case study uncovered some challenges, e.g., the need for customization to a company/industry context, which must be addressed in order to widely apply the proposed framework successfully. Full article
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Article
The Impact of the Dynamics of Agglomeration Externalities on Air Pollution: Evidence from Urban Panel Data in China
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010580 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1242
Abstract
Air pollution in China has become a matter of increasing public concern. In this paper, we attempted to build a theoretical model to explore the impact of the dynamics of agglomeration externalities on haze pollution in urban China, where agglomeration is differentiated by [...] Read more.
Air pollution in China has become a matter of increasing public concern. In this paper, we attempted to build a theoretical model to explore the impact of the dynamics of agglomeration externalities on haze pollution in urban China, where agglomeration is differentiated by regional specialization and geographical concentration. Based on China’s panel data for 289 cities during the period of 1998–2018, the empirical result shows that the relationship between industrial agglomeration and urban haze pollution is not simply linear or of an inversed U-type but turns out to be dynamically N-shaped. To be specific, the increase in local haze pollution can be explained by agglomeration externalities in the beginning stage, whereas the reducing effect only occurs during the mature stage. The heterogeneity test indicated that the effect of the type of agglomeration on haze pollution seems to be mixed in different groups of cities, but is still consistent with the hypothesis of the dynamic change of agglomeration externalities. The results are found to be quite robust and consistent after replacing variables and using other regression methods. This paper provides answers to the question of how to coordinate the relationship between developing industry parks and air pollution in terms of the life cycle of agglomeration as well as the types of city. Full article
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Article
Searching for New Technology Acceptance Model under Social Context: Analyzing the Determinants of Acceptance of Intelligent Information Technology in Digital Transformation and Implications for the Requisites of Digital Sustainability
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010579 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2207
Abstract
Intelligent information technology (IIT) based on AI and intelligent network communication technology is rapidly changing the social structure and the personal lives. However, IIT acceptancefrom various perspectives still requires extensive research. The research question in this paper examines how five factors—psychological, technological, resource, [...] Read more.
Intelligent information technology (IIT) based on AI and intelligent network communication technology is rapidly changing the social structure and the personal lives. However, IIT acceptancefrom various perspectives still requires extensive research. The research question in this paper examines how five factors—psychological, technological, resource, risk perception, and value factors—influence IIT acceptance. Based on an analysis of survey data, it was first found that the acceptance rate of IIT itself was generally very high. Second, in terms of IIT acceptance, among twenty-five predictors, voluntariness (+), positive image of technology (+), performance expectancy (+), relative advantage (+), radical innovation (+), and experience of use (+) were found to have significant effects on the IIT acceptance. Third, in addition to technological factors, psychological factors and risk perception factors also played an important role in individuals’ decisions regarding IIT acceptance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Digital Business and Information Technology)
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Article
Consumers’ Knowledge and Use of Nutritional Labelling Information in Lagos, Nigeria
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010578 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1122
Abstract
Nutrition labelling is a topical issue, being a vital aid that shapes consumers’ food choices and could be an efficient tool for the prevention of consumer vulnerability to diet-related diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, hypertension, and obesity. However, data on the [...] Read more.
Nutrition labelling is a topical issue, being a vital aid that shapes consumers’ food choices and could be an efficient tool for the prevention of consumer vulnerability to diet-related diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, hypertension, and obesity. However, data on the public use of nutritional labels as an information source on nutritional properties of foods and health claims, especially as it relates to Nigeria, are not popular in the literature. This study seeks to examine consumers’ use of labelling information: knowledge; attitude, and practice. A cross-sectional study with the aid of a survey elicited information from 374 randomly selected shoppers in five shopping malls in Lagos State. Data were analysed using the T-test method. Findings show that while the majority of the respondents (70.6%) read the nutritional information, only 64.9% understand the information presented on food labels. The study also reveals that the majority of the respondents (57.5%) do not know that information on food labels should be presented in the English language before any other language as recommended by the National Agency Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). While 57.9% of consumers have a positive attitude towards using food labels, 58% of the respondents’ buying decisions are influenced by food labels. The study concludes that consequent upon the importance of nutritional knowledge and wellbeing, consumers of Fast Moving Goods in Nigeria are beginning to consciously pay attention to nutritional labels. The study recommends that producers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) products in Nigeria should adopt the total disclosure of ingredients and nutritional content of their products. Also, regulatory bodies in charge of pre-packaged food products in Nigeria (NAFDAC) should go the whole way and make nutritional labelling mandatory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Food)
Article
Infrastructure Service Assessment Model Based on a Service Quality Gap Model—Focused on South Korea
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010577 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1133
Abstract
To improve the quality of life (QOL) of the citizen, it is essential to not only to secure a quantitative stock, such as the number or extension of individual infrastructure, but to also understand the perspective of the public on service levels and [...] Read more.
To improve the quality of life (QOL) of the citizen, it is essential to not only to secure a quantitative stock, such as the number or extension of individual infrastructure, but to also understand the perspective of the public on service levels and the demand for infrastructure. In this study, an infrastructure service level assessment model that reflects the demands of citizens is proposed, and the importance and adequacy of infrastructure service indexes for setting priorities and goals for the investment of government funds in infrastructure are verified. The evaluation items used in this model included usability, accessibility, and recovery speed. The infrastructure service level for 12,500 Korean citizens was surveyed using the proposed assessment model, and the results reveal that the satisfaction of citizens with their residences had a significant effect on the QOL improvement, and that the level of infrastructure performance in a residential area significantly affected the satisfaction of citizens with their residences. In addition, the results revealed that the quantitative and qualitative aspects of infrastructure should be simultaneously considered. Lastly, the possible application of this model for the evaluation of the effectiveness of investment for infrastructure improvement is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Territorial Project Assessment)
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Article
Climate Adaptation and Indoor Comfort Improvement Strategies for Buildings in High-Cold Regions: Empirical Study from Ganzi Region, China
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010576 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1066
Abstract
The improvement of building and living conditions in high-cold areas has always been an issue worthy of attention, but there is currently no research using field survey data for evaluation. The Ganzi region, based in the western plateau of China, is a typical [...] Read more.
The improvement of building and living conditions in high-cold areas has always been an issue worthy of attention, but there is currently no research using field survey data for evaluation. The Ganzi region, based in the western plateau of China, is a typical example for such a study. Restricted by factors such as natural conditions and economic level, the winter indoor thermal environment of western plateau houses is generally poor. Taking the new residential houses in the Ganzi region as a case study, the authors of this paper conducted field research and analyses. First, the authors analyzed the construction technology and functional layout of the building through thermal environment testing and investigation; second, the authors analyzed the user’s activity path according to the production and lifestyle; thirdly, the authors comprehensively evaluated the indoor thermal comfort through questionnaires and a predicated mean vote (PMV)-predicted percentage dissatisfied (PPD) evaluation model. The research results showed that: (1) the construction technology, functional layout, and temperature distribution of the new residential building were consistent with the user’s activity path, which could effectively improve thermal insulation ability and thermal comfort; (2) compared to the developed eastern regions, the users in the building showed a stronger tolerance and wider acceptable temperature range in the extreme climate environment; and (3) under certain cooperative work conditions, an indoor temperature of 10–14 °C could meet basic thermal environment requirements and thus lower the limits of the standards. The author’s method was proven to be more resilient than current standards in dealing with climate change. Therefore, this research can provide a practical reference for the improvement of peoples’ living conditions and sustainable development in cold regions and other harsh areas. Full article
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Article
Suitability and Sustainability of Anti-Graffiti Treatments on Natural Stone Materials
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010575 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 977
Abstract
Graffiti vandalism represents an aesthetic and structural phenomenon of degradation both for buildings and cultural heritage: the most used sprays and markers can permeate the stone materials exposing them to degradation. Hence, great attention is being currently devoted to new non-invasive chemical approaches [...] Read more.
Graffiti vandalism represents an aesthetic and structural phenomenon of degradation both for buildings and cultural heritage: the most used sprays and markers can permeate the stone materials exposing them to degradation. Hence, great attention is being currently devoted to new non-invasive chemical approaches to face this urgent problem. This work is aimed at deeply examining the effects of some of the most sustainable chemical protective methods on the physical properties of natural building materials (e.g., tuff and limestone) by testing two commercial anti-graffiti products. It was found that the nanotechnological product Ector (E) was more effective than Nord Resine (NR) in anti-graffiti applications even if its permanent character hinders its application to the cultural heritage. Conversely, the less performant NR could be used in this field due to its sacrificial behavior, according to the guidelines of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. The findings highlight the importance of developing new sustainable methods for the preservation of cultural and building materials from vandal graffiti, which should combine the high hydrophobia, the ecological characteristics, and the effectiveness of E, with the sacrificial properties of NR. Full article
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Article
On the Issues of Spatial Modeling of Non-Standard Profiles by the Example of Electromagnetic Emission Measurement Data
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010574 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 764
Abstract
This paper examines the possibility of the spatial modelling of the Earth’s natural pulsed-electromagnetic-field measured values, which form a closed profile without the data inside. This geophysical method allows us to map active tectonic movement which breaches the integrity of pipes. During the [...] Read more.
This paper examines the possibility of the spatial modelling of the Earth’s natural pulsed-electromagnetic-field measured values, which form a closed profile without the data inside. This geophysical method allows us to map active tectonic movement which breaches the integrity of pipes. During the experiment, 4.5 km of profiles were measured in the Admiralteysky district of St. Petersburg, Russia. Regular electromotive force (EMF) values and anomalous EMF values were obtained, ranging from 0 to 900 µV and above 900 µV, respectively. The anomalous values are associated with tectonic faults in the bedrock. The data obtained are characterized by complex spatial anisotropy associated with the development of two groups of tectonic faults of different orientations. The authors have considered the problems of the spatial modeling of the data obtained. The main problems, the solutions to which should allow the obtaining of adequate models, have been identified. Based on the analysis of the measurement results, geological features of the studied areas, as well as variography, the following possible solutions were proposed: changing the measurement technique; dividing the data array according to the main directions of anisotropy; the need to introduce additional correction coefficients. The problem revealed in this article requires further research on the basis of the obtained results, which will reduce the cost and timing of such studies, and, as a result, give an opportunity to take into account active tectonic disturbances during the construction and scheduled maintenance of underground utilities, which is especially important within the framework of the concept of sustainable development. Full article
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Article
Functionalization of Smart Recycled Asphalt Mixtures: A Sustainability Scientific and Pedagogical Approach
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010573 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 997
Abstract
The sustainable development of our societies demands strong efforts on scientific and technological research while informing and educating students and the general population. Air pollution and road safety hazards constitute two main public health problems that are insufficiently addressed pedagogically. With this work, [...] Read more.
The sustainable development of our societies demands strong efforts on scientific and technological research while informing and educating students and the general population. Air pollution and road safety hazards constitute two main public health problems that are insufficiently addressed pedagogically. With this work, we aim to contribute to tackeling the problem by presenting the results of scientific research on the development of photocatalytic, superhydrophobic, and self-cleaning recycled asphalt mixtures to achieve an eco-social friendly and smart material able to mitigate socioenvironmental impacts. The functionalization of asphalt is implemented by spraying particles’ solutions over a conventional AC 10, then evaluated by dye degradation and wettability. Firstly, different particles’ solutions (with nano-TiO2 and/or micro-PTFE under water, ethyl alcohol, and dimethyl ketone) were sprayed to select the best solution (BS), which was composed of TiO2-PTFE (4 g/L each) in ethyl alcohol. Two successive spraying coatings (diluted epoxy resin and BS) were performed over conventional and recycled AC 10 (with reclaimed asphalt pavement and steel slags). Their efficiency decreases with the highest resin amounts. The best results were obtained with 0.25 g resin and BS. For the lowest resin amount, all mixtures achieved superhydrophobicity and performed similarly regarding wettability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hands-On Science: Developing a Sustainable Education System)
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Article
Decision-Making Procedures and Their Relation to Knowledge Management and Quality Management
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010572 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1363
Abstract
The environment in which managers currently operate is dynamic and turbulent. This fact affects the great complexity and dynamism of changes. Thus, decision-making becomes more complex in the context of sustainability. Decisive decision-making is becoming rare, and the challenge of globalization is increasing. [...] Read more.
The environment in which managers currently operate is dynamic and turbulent. This fact affects the great complexity and dynamism of changes. Thus, decision-making becomes more complex in the context of sustainability. Decisive decision-making is becoming rare, and the challenge of globalization is increasing. Under its influence, decision-making is no longer deterministic. Decision-making processes prevail in conditions of uncertainty. In this context, there is a very intense need to be acquainted with progressive tools to support decision-making and management and to apply the acquired knowledge in practice. This paper focuses on three related areas. We are talking about knowledge management in connection with the most important contributing element—decision-making with quality management. We deal with the characteristics of the individual areas, defining their mutual relationship on a systemic basis. The paper also points to the necessary connection between theory and practice. More specifically, it points to the practical applications of management to decision-making as a managerial function and, at the same time, related to decision-making in quality management. Subsequently, we define the links to knowledge management with an emphasis on the use of procedures, methods, and knowledge in the decision-making process, which we use in theory and practice in quality management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge Sharing and Sustainable Development)
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Article
Social Network Relationships between Biomass Industry Stakeholders in the Agricultural Waste Power Generation Industry—A Case of Northern Jiangsu, China
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010571 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 913
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the impact of the interaction between stakeholders in the sustainable development of the biomass industry and to reveal network issues relating to material flow and information flow under the current biomass energy development model. This study focused on [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the impact of the interaction between stakeholders in the sustainable development of the biomass industry and to reveal network issues relating to material flow and information flow under the current biomass energy development model. This study focused on the agriculture and forestry waste power generation industry. Taking the biomass industry in Nanjing, Suqian, and Yancheng as examples, the study selected six stakeholder groups involved in the industry and conducted field investigations by using semi-open interviews and questionnaires. The research mainly applied social network analysis methods, combined with UCINET software, to draw a network diagram of the stakeholder relationships and to quantitatively analyze stakeholder centrality and overall network density. The results revealed that (1) the biomass enterprises had the highest centrality in the overall network, which played a vital role in the construction of the overall network; (2) the farmers were positioned at the outer fringes of the industrial social network and their information acquisition capabilities and degree of control over the network were the lowest; and (3) the overall network density was low, which showed that the connections between stakeholders were not close enough to support the circulation of material and information in the overall network. Full article
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Article
Biobased Innovation as a Fashion and Textile Design Must: A European Perspective
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010570 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1902
Abstract
Fashion industry investments drive the choice for textile solutions characterized by radical experimentation and a firm commitment to sustainability. In the last five years, textile innovations have been strongly related to biobased textile solutions evolving to become effectively feasible and strategic. The produced [...] Read more.
Fashion industry investments drive the choice for textile solutions characterized by radical experimentation and a firm commitment to sustainability. In the last five years, textile innovations have been strongly related to biobased textile solutions evolving to become effectively feasible and strategic. The produced qualitative knowledge implementations consider new production patterns, innovative technical and digital know-how, and new consumption scenarios. The directions the industry is tracing may provide new opportunities for future textile development in the circular biobased economy. This paper presents a map of current European practices. It discusses the possible passage through a holistic paradigm that goes beyond the boundaries of the old productive systems to accompany the sector towards a new sustainable and transversal state. It also presents three selected best practices that return the actual context in which the phenomenon occurs. A model is presented to demonstrate how these circular processes of biobased materials production enable more process innovations which are developed through implementing the process itself: companies’ search for rethinking and implementing the traditional practices or designing new ones (as determined by the doctoral research of one of the authors). Full article
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Article
The RothC Model to Complement Life Cycle Analyses: A Case Study of an Italian Olive Grove
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010569 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a fundamental role in soil health, and its storage in soil is an important element to mitigate climate change. How to include this factor in Life Cycle Assessment studies has been the object of several papers and is [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a fundamental role in soil health, and its storage in soil is an important element to mitigate climate change. How to include this factor in Life Cycle Assessment studies has been the object of several papers and is still under discussion. SOC storage has been proposed as an additional environmental information in some applications of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). In the framework of wider activity aimed at producing the PEF of olive oil, the RothC model was applied to an olive cultivation located in Lazio region (Italy) to calculate the SOC storage and assess four scenarios representing different agricultural practices. RothC applicability, possible use of its results for improving product environmental performance, and relevance of SOC storage in terms of CO2eq compared to greenhouse gas emissions of the life-cycle of olive oil are discussed in this paper. According to the results, in all scenarios, the contribution in terms of CO2eq associated with SOC storage is remarkable compared to the total greenhouse gas emissions of the olive oil life-cycle. It is the opinion of the authors that the calculation of the SOC balance allows a more proper evaluation of the agricultural products contribution to climate change, and that the indications of the scenarios analysis are useful to enhance the environmental performance of these products. The downside is that the application of RothC requires additional data collection and expertise if compared to the execution of PEF studies. Full article
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Article
Online Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic: Teachers’ Experiences from a Chinese University
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010568 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2317
Abstract
This paper explores the experiences of Chinese university teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular emphasis on the teaching and learning methods adopted and the benefits and challenges encountered in the process. It is based on semi-structured interviews with 13 Chinese university [...] Read more.
This paper explores the experiences of Chinese university teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular emphasis on the teaching and learning methods adopted and the benefits and challenges encountered in the process. It is based on semi-structured interviews with 13 Chinese university teachers selected through purposive sampling. The findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the university and teachers to adopt online teaching and learning without necessary preparations. Most of the teachers had no adequate ICT and pedagogical training to engage in online teaching and learning. The teachers used the little knowledge they had to learn creating videos and managing online classes gradually. In addition to the flexibility benefits, online learning is expected to transform the teaching and learning process in China to become more interactive and student-centered, which would be a significant achievement for teachers who have been practicing traditional teaching methods. This research provides a better understanding of the benefits and challenges of online learning, which could be vital for future adjustments or educational reforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenges of Sustainable Education in the 21st Century)
Article
Consumers’ Active Reaction to Brands Taking Stands on Public Issues on Twitter
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010567 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1278
Abstract
With the growing interest in sustainability, brands increasingly use social media not simply to advertise their products but also to share their positions on ongoing public issues. This study investigates the effect of public-issue posts on consumers’ active reactions and provides comparisons between [...] Read more.
With the growing interest in sustainability, brands increasingly use social media not simply to advertise their products but also to share their positions on ongoing public issues. This study investigates the effect of public-issue posts on consumers’ active reactions and provides comparisons between two samples—public-issue posts and all Twitter posts. After collecting data from Twitter based on tweets from official sportswear brand pages, we find that public-issue posts have a positive influence on consumers’ active reaction (i.e., number of retweets, number of quotes, number of replies, and post-social search behavior). Moreover, the effect of brand activeness, which is brand social activity on Twitter, and media type (photo or video presence in a tweet) are included in the analysis. With user engagement in the public-issue post sample, the effect of the media type is not significant, whereas the effect of brand activeness is significant. This study aggregates literature on brand activism and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria to propose a measurement for a public issue in a single post rather than at the corporate level. The results of this study are useful for brands of all scales taking sustainable marketing strategies and aiming to improve interactions with consumers on Twitter. Full article
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Article
Establishing the Relative Importance of Specific Sustainability Themes That Influence Women’s Choice of Engineering as a Career Using the Analytical Hierarchy Process
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010566 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 847
Abstract
Understanding the importance of salient factors associated with sustainability challenges that engineers are known to solve in influencing women’s choice of engineering is particularly important in this present world where a combination of these sustainability issues, the underrepresentation of women and the need [...] Read more.
Understanding the importance of salient factors associated with sustainability challenges that engineers are known to solve in influencing women’s choice of engineering is particularly important in this present world where a combination of these sustainability issues, the underrepresentation of women and the need for more engineers remain a challenge to the profession. However, little is known about the degree of importance of more detailed themes within the social, environmental and economic sustainability pillars in such career decisions. Consequently, the aim of this paper is to understand the relative importance of specific sustainability-themed factors influencing women’s choice of engineering, using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). An AHP structurally designed online survey was used to gather and analyze data from a sample of 414 UK and Nigeria respondents. The results showed that of all the ten sustainability-themed factors examined in this study, water quality/quantity, climate change, waste management, biodiversity, and material consumption/energy use, had a greater influence on the respondents’ choice of engineering relative to other factors. The data revealed specific rather than general sustainability themes that appeal to women’s choice of engineering. This could offer valuable insight from a recruitment strategy perspective to help engineering stakeholders to focus their attention and recruitment efforts on the most salient areas of influence. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Tourism Experience on Tourists’ Environmentally Responsible Behavior at Cultural Heritage Sites: The Mediating Role of Cultural Attachment
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010565 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1683
Abstract
With the rapid development of tourism and the explosive growth of tourist arrivals, the destructive effects of tourist activities on the ecological environment of tourist destinations are becoming increasingly severe, seriously restricting the sustainable development of these destinations. As one of the most [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of tourism and the explosive growth of tourist arrivals, the destructive effects of tourist activities on the ecological environment of tourist destinations are becoming increasingly severe, seriously restricting the sustainable development of these destinations. As one of the most important types of current tourist destinations, cultural heritage sites are in urgent need of a well-protected ecological environment. Environmental protection has already become an important task for their sustainable development. The behavior of tourists during visits, which plays a central role in tourist activities, has gradually become a key factor affecting the environment of tourist destinations. Therefore, approaches to effectively identify the mechanisms underpinning tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior have become a focus of both theoretical and practical domains. Based on a stimulus-organism-response (S-O-R) theoretical framework, our study established a mediation model based on cultural attachments, and explored the mechanisms affecting how cognitive, emotional, and cultural experiences influence tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior. The experience-attachment-behavior transmission mechanism was also considered. A structural equation model was applied to empirically test the 588 pieces of data collected from tourists involved in heritage tourism. The test results show that the cognitive, emotional, and cultural experiences delivered from tourist destinations of cultural heritage, positively affected tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior. Cultural attachment plays a partially mediating role between cognitive, emotional, cultural experiences and tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior. These study results not only support theoretical research on the relationship between tourism experiences and tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior, but also indicate the effective driving pathways of tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior at the practical level. As such, this research provides both theoretical reference and practical guidance for the sustainable development of tourist destinations with diverse cultural heritages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management)
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Article
Expediting the Cost Estimation Process for Aged-Housing Renovation Projects Using a Probabilistic Deep Learning Approach
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010564 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 753
Abstract
Since the early 1980s, the Korean government has rapidly boosted residential buildings to cope with substantial housing shortages. However, as buildings have been aging simultaneously, the performance of a large number of residential buildings has deteriorated. A government plan to upgrade poor housing [...] Read more.
Since the early 1980s, the Korean government has rapidly boosted residential buildings to cope with substantial housing shortages. However, as buildings have been aging simultaneously, the performance of a large number of residential buildings has deteriorated. A government plan to upgrade poor housing performance through renovation is being adopted. However, the difficulty of accurate construction cost prediction in the early stages has a negative effect on the renovation process. Specifically, the relationship between renovation design elements and construction work items has not been clearly revealed. Thus, construction experts use premature intuition to predict renovation costs, giving rise to a large difference between planned and actual costs. In this study, a new approach links the renovation design elements with construction work items. Specifically, it effectively quantifies design factors and applies data-driven estimation using the simulation-based deep learning (DL) approach. This research contributes the following. First, it improves the reliability of cost prediction for a data-scarce renovation project. Moreover, applying this novel approach greatly reduces the time and effort required for cost estimation. Second, several design alternatives were effectively examined in an earlier stage of construction, leading to prompt decision-making for homeowners. Third, rapid decision-making can provide a more sustainable living environment for residents. With this novel approach, stakeholders can avoid a prolonged economic evaluation by selecting a better design alternative, and thus can maintain their property holdings in a smarter way. Full article
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Article
Industrial Buildings with Zero Energy Consumption: Cathedral Warehouse for Sherry Wines
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010563 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 699
Abstract
The industrial sector needs solutions and strategies that allow buildings to reduce their energy consumption and develop their daily business activities. This paper discusses the long-term monitoring measures of indoor thermal conditions in a warehouse with zero energy consumption. The objective is to [...] Read more.
The industrial sector needs solutions and strategies that allow buildings to reduce their energy consumption and develop their daily business activities. This paper discusses the long-term monitoring measures of indoor thermal conditions in a warehouse with zero energy consumption. The objective is to promote the use of passive design strategies within the industrial sector by analyzing an example of the feasibility of achieving controlled environmental conditions with zero energy consumption. In total, more than a million data points were processed and analyzed in different periods of the year. Experimental measurements showed strong gradients in the vertical distribution of temperature, this being a key aspect of the general behavior of the indoor environment of the warehouse. A standard comparison variable was developed to quantify the monthly and daily evolution of vertical stratification of the air to explain in detail the thermal behavior of the warehouse throughout the year. The results showed the efficacy of the design of these constructions to mitigate the high temperatures typical in a Mediterranean-Oceanic climate. This example of ingenuity in passive design demonstrates how, by combining the right strategies, the desired conditions can be obtained without any energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environment in Sustainable Buildings)
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Article
Economic Development and Mountain Tourism Research from 2010 to 2020: Bibliometric Analysis and Science Mapping Approach
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010562 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2112
Abstract
Due to hectic city lives and the growing health concerns in light of the global pandemic, mountain tourism has become increasingly popular worldwide, which has increased the related research. Based on traditional bibliometric laws, such as those authored by Price, Bradford, Lotka, and [...] Read more.
Due to hectic city lives and the growing health concerns in light of the global pandemic, mountain tourism has become increasingly popular worldwide, which has increased the related research. Based on traditional bibliometric laws, such as those authored by Price, Bradford, Lotka, and Zipf, this study acquired 1413 mountain tourism journal articles via bibliometric analysis and identified the most influential journal articles, researchers, and countries in mountain tourism research as indexed in the Web of Science (WoS) database during 2010–2020. The keyword analysis revealed mountain tourism’s emerging research topics, including climate change, sustainable development, sustainability, sustainable tourism, protected areas, rural tourism, and conservation. The most influential journal was Sustainability in the mountain tourism. The research results showed that China, the U.S., and Romania produced the most significant mountain tourism articles indexed in the WoS. Most developed countries in Europe had the highest average and average normalized citations, which indicated that they may have more influence in this field as compared to other countries. Some developing countries, such as India, Nepal, and China, had higher citations, average citations, and/or average normalized citations than other countries. The main research trend was the sustainable development aspect of mountain-based tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. We identified the research gap in WoS; although there is some research shedding light on tourism via bibliometrics, mountain tourism bibliometric analysis and science mapping via VOSViewer is scarce. The paper summarizes the critical aspects of the current discussion of sustainable mountain tourism, such as transport and coopetition (i.e., combing with cooperation and competition) in mountain tourism areas. The results indicated that government agencies and destination managers need to strike a balance between sustainable mountain tourism development and environment and natural landscape conservation after COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Tourism and Sport)
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Article
Effect of Anaerobic Digestate on the Fatty Acid Profile and Biodiesel Properties of Chlorella sorokiniana Grown Heterotrophically
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010561 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 716
Abstract
The growth kinetics and the lipid and protein content of the microalgal species Chlorella sorokiniana (CS) grown heterotrophically in growth media containing glycerol and increasing amounts of anaerobic digestate (AD) equal to 0%, 15%, 30%, and 50% was studied. The effect of the [...] Read more.
The growth kinetics and the lipid and protein content of the microalgal species Chlorella sorokiniana (CS) grown heterotrophically in growth media containing glycerol and increasing amounts of anaerobic digestate (AD) equal to 0%, 15%, 30%, and 50% was studied. The effect of the AD on the fatty acid (FA) distribution of the bio-oil extracted from the CS, as well as on the fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) properties such as the saponification number (SN), the iodine value (IV), the cetane number (CN), and the higher heating value (HHV) was also estimated. The percentage of AD in the growth medium affects the rate of carbon uptake. The maximum carbon uptake rate occurs at about 30% AD. Protein and lipid content ranged from 32.3–38.4% and 18.1–23.1%, respectively. Fatty acid distribution ranged from C10 to C26. In all AD percentages the predominant fatty acids were the medium chain FA C16 to C18 constituting up to about 89% of the total FA at 0% AD and 15% AD and up to about 54% of the total FA at 30% AD and 50% AD. With respect to unsaturation, monounsaturated FA (MUFA) were predominant, up to 56%, while significant percentages, up to about 38%, of saturated FA (SFA) were also produced. The SN, IV, CN, and HHV ranged from 198.5–208.3 mg KOH/g FA, 74.5–93.1 g I/100 g FAME, 52.7–56.1, and 39.7–40.0 MJ/kg, respectively. The results showed that with increasing AD percentage, the CN values tend to increase, while decrease in IV leads to biofuel with better ignition quality. Full article
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Review
The Role of Bioeconomy in the Future Energy Scenario: A State-of-the-Art Review
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010560 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1353
Abstract
The bioeconomy aims at decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, preventing or reducing climate change, eliminating insecurity, and efficiently using resources; however, fierce controversy exists on conceivable pathways to accomplish these objectives. The transport sector alone, which encompasses all other industrial sectors, has grown [...] Read more.
The bioeconomy aims at decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, preventing or reducing climate change, eliminating insecurity, and efficiently using resources; however, fierce controversy exists on conceivable pathways to accomplish these objectives. The transport sector alone, which encompasses all other industrial sectors, has grown with regard to its energy demand by 50% over the past 30 years. The aim of this paper is to promote a dialogue as to whether an economy based on biomass can be more sustainable than today’s existing economies, considering that the economy needs to expand and be boosted, while creating a cascading and recycling system. This semi-systematic review paper discusses four research questions based on findings from the last 20 years: (i) What are the crucial issues in the ongoing debate on the development of a sustainable bioeconomy concept? (ii) Where are the major conflicting points and focuses? (iii) How does the bioeconomy follow current urbanization and land-abandonment trends? (iv) How will the crisis linked to the COVID-19 pandemic change these previous scenarios? As it is not easy to currently predict which pathway will be the most effective, whether it be the one taken as of now or a specific novel pathway, this article recommends following a strategy that is diverse regarding its approaches to shaping the bioeconomy and further funding of renewable energy sources, along with the involvement of urban planning. In addition, conclusions are validated through a questionnaire completed by 51 experts in the field. Full article
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Article
One Billion Years of Earth History: Challenges of Valorizing the Outstanding Geodiversity of Southwest Germany for Sustainable Geotourism
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010559 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 751
Abstract
The German state of Baden-Württemberg boasts outstanding geo-, bio-, and archaeological diversity, and hosts two of the world’s oldest geoparks. Based on this case study, we explore why the outstanding geoheritage has not been valorized to a greater extent for a lay audience [...] Read more.
The German state of Baden-Württemberg boasts outstanding geo-, bio-, and archaeological diversity, and hosts two of the world’s oldest geoparks. Based on this case study, we explore why the outstanding geoheritage has not been valorized to a greater extent for a lay audience and where best to strike the balance between valorization and protection, with a particular focus on recent developments including the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results show that the valorizing of the geopotentials is still insufficient. Better marketing can make an important contribution to regional added value, as well as—in combination with professional geo-education—a relevant contribution to raising awareness of the state’s natural assets. Adequate measures to protect geotopes in a sustainable manner are crucial, notably in light of problems arising from overtourism, as thrown into sharp relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue (A)Biotic Heritage and Sustainable Tourism)
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Review
Measurement and Monitoring of Particulate Matter in Construction Sites: Guidelines for Gravimetric Approach
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010558 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
Studies on particulate matter (PM) from construction activities are still at an early stage. Thus, there is still no consensus on standardized experimental methods for monitoring PM in construction sites, which impedes the advancement of knowledge on this subject. This work proposes guidelines [...] Read more.
Studies on particulate matter (PM) from construction activities are still at an early stage. Thus, there is still no consensus on standardized experimental methods for monitoring PM in construction sites, which impedes the advancement of knowledge on this subject. This work proposes guidelines for measuring and monitoring the concentration of suspended PM and the annoyance generated by sedimented particles on construction sites in urban areas. These guidelines aim to reduce the variability and uncertainties that exist during the PM sampling processes at construction sites. This study adopts a literature review strategy in order to update the available scientific literature based on empirical evidence obtained in experimental PM studies and relevant documents from government agencies. The proposed guidelines were applied in a study protocol for gravimetric monitoring PM and annoyance tracking generated by sedimented particles using sticky pads. As a result, this article details sampling techniques, procedures, and instruments, focusing on gravimetric sampling, highlighting their characteristics compared to other monitoring approaches. Additionally, it points out a series of parameters for the measurement and monitoring of PM. This paper seeks to support future researchers in this area, inform decision making for experimental sampling, and provide a benchmark for measuring and monitoring PM at construction sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability)
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Article
Ultrasound-Assisted Demineralization Process of Sugarcane Straw and Its Influence on the Further Biomass Conversion
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010557 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 794
Abstract
Lignocellulosic materials have been considered as an alternative source from which liquid biofuel and fine chemicals can be produced with a moderate environmental impact. However, they can be contaminated with metals, soil, and ash, owing incrustation and corrosion of industrial reactors and pipelines. [...] Read more.
Lignocellulosic materials have been considered as an alternative source from which liquid biofuel and fine chemicals can be produced with a moderate environmental impact. However, they can be contaminated with metals, soil, and ash, owing incrustation and corrosion of industrial reactors and pipelines. In this work, the use of ultrasound energy was applied for the removal of metals and nonmetals (Ba, Ca, Mg, Mn, P, S, Si, and Sr) from sugarcane straw. Ultrasound-assisted demineralization (UAD) experiments were carried out in ultrasonic baths in several frequencies (from 25 up to 130 kHz). The following experimental conditions were evaluated: demineralization solution (HNO3, HCl, H2SO4, H2O2, and H2O), H2O2 concentration (from 5 to 30% v v−1), extraction temperature (from 30 to 70 °C), sonication time (from 5 to 45 min), and ultrasound amplitude (from 10 to 70%). Better demineralization efficiencies (66%) were obtained employing an ultrasound bath operating at 25 kHz for 30 min, ultrasound amplitude of 60%, and using a diluted H2O2 solution (15% v v−1) at 70 °C. When the obtained results were compared with those obtained by mechanical stirring (MS, 500 rpm), it was observed that the use of ultrasound energy increased the demineralization efficiency up to 16%. Furthermore, acid hydrolysis was performed to evaluate the influence of US and mechanical stirring in fermentable sugars’ production. The total sugars’ yield (glucose, xylose, and arabinose) increased around 55% for both systems (US and MS). To prove the applicability of the proposed process, some experiments for scaling up were performed using several reaction loads (0.5 to 3 L). An attempt for scaling the proposed process up was well succeeded up to a 3 L load. Therefore, the proposed ultrasound-assisted procedure can be considered as a suitable alternative for high-efficiency demineralization from sugarcane straw. Full article
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Article
Two-Lenses Model to Unfold Sustainability Innovations: A Tool Proposal from Sustainable Business Model and Performance Constructs
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010556 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1249
Abstract
This research combines corporate sustainability performance and sustainable business model concepts to improve the corporate sustainability of organizations. The main objective of this article is to propose and apply a tool to identify sustainable innovation opportunities through a structured brainstorming process while providing [...] Read more.
This research combines corporate sustainability performance and sustainable business model concepts to improve the corporate sustainability of organizations. The main objective of this article is to propose and apply a tool to identify sustainable innovation opportunities through a structured brainstorming process while providing a systemic business perspective and a strong multi-stakeholder orientation. The present qualitative research was carried out in two phases. The first phase consisted of a critical analysis of literature that enabled the proposition of the Two-Lenses Model (2LM) for sustainability innovation. The corporate sustainability performance lens encompasses strategic drivers, business processes, capabilities, stakeholders’ satisfaction and contributions. The sustainable business models lens considers value proposition, value creation and delivery system and value capture and sharing. The second phase consists of applying the 2LM in two industrial cases. The results show that the proposed model has the potential to trigger the identification of opportunities through two mechanisms: misalignments between performance dimensions and gaps in stakeholder satisfaction. Further research opportunities lie on deepening into these findings and investigating the implementation process for the identified innovation opportunities. Full article
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