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Sustainability, Volume 15, Issue 17 (September-1 2023) – 613 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The Urban Resilience concept includes the complex interaction of environmental, economic and social dimensions of cities’ sustainable development. In this context, the Maker Movement proposes a paradigm shift having diffuse production and people empowerment at the center of the urban proximization process. This work proposes a multi-criteria methodology to define and assess the characteristics of the resilient approach of bottom-up projects involving Maker practices. A 12-indicator framework has been developed on the principles of inclusiveness, complexity and durability, through the analysis of 94 EU-funded projects. This study reveals the trends of policies and research identifying a pattern of remediation of non-participatory practices, the lack of open innovation initiative and the potential of co-creation as a participatory tool. View this paper
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28 pages, 3022 KiB  
Article
Strategic Patterns in the Concept of Sustainable Development of Manufacturing Processes in the Field of Knowledge Management in Companies Operating in the Metal Industry in Poland
by Rafał Prusak, Monika Górska and Paulina Skalik-Lubieniecka
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13281; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713281 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Sustainable development is an opportunity for modern enterprises to build unique market advantages, but it is always a kind of compromise between financial benefits and activities focused on environmental protection. It also requires companies to be able to acquire and process information, the [...] Read more.
Sustainable development is an opportunity for modern enterprises to build unique market advantages, but it is always a kind of compromise between financial benefits and activities focused on environmental protection. It also requires companies to be able to acquire and process information, the sources of which are both internal and external, and to process it into effective knowledge. Quality management processes are an important element supporting knowledge management as a consequence of similar priorities. There are direct and indirect relationships between quality management, knowledge management and sustainable development. Related issues are an important element of modern research, but there are still some knowledge gaps that need to be filled. The authors, based on the literature analysis, concluded that there are no studies defining the relationship between quality management and knowledge management in the context of sustainable development relating to the Polish metal industry. Therefore, the objective of this study is to identify patterns of company activities in the area of knowledge management relating to the improvement of manufacturing processes in companies operating in the metal industry in Poland. At the same time, it was indicated which aspects of knowledge management are at the centre of management’s concerns. The study was carried out using a survey questionnaire, with 1930 questionnaires collected from employees in 50 companies selected for the study. The study carried out discovered that in the various areas of the Japanese knowledge management model, companies distribute the emphasis differently, which manifests itself in the procedures and ways of operating. At the same time, there are significant differences between large and medium-sized enterprises, indicating that the scale of operation influences the perception of the importance of individual elements of the knowledge management system in the context of sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Business Models and Innovation for Sustainability Transition)
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20 pages, 7911 KiB  
Article
Parameterization of a National Groundwater Model for New Zealand
by James Griffiths, Jing Yang, Ross Woods, Christian Zammit, Rasool Porhemmat, Ude Shankar, Channa Rajanayaka, Jeffrey Ren and Nicholas Howden
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713280 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 830
Abstract
Groundwater is a vital source of water for humanity, with up to 50% of global drinking water and 43% of irrigation water being derived from such sources. Quantitative assessment and accounting of groundwater is essential to ensure its sustainable management and use. TopNet-GW [...] Read more.
Groundwater is a vital source of water for humanity, with up to 50% of global drinking water and 43% of irrigation water being derived from such sources. Quantitative assessment and accounting of groundwater is essential to ensure its sustainable management and use. TopNet-GW is a parsimonious groundwater model that was developed to provide groundwater simulation at national, regional, and local scales across New Zealand. At a national scale, the model can help local government authorities estimate groundwater resource reliability within and between regions. However, as many catchments are ungauged, the model cannot be calibrated to local conditions against observed data. This paper, therefore, describes a method to derive an a priori, reach-scale groundwater model parameter set from national-scale hydrogeological datasets. The parameter set includes coefficients of lateral (kl) and vertical (kr) conductivity and effective aquifer storage (S). When the parameter set was used with the TopNet-GW model in the Wairau catchment in the Marlborough region (South Island, New Zealand), it produced a poor representation of peak river flows but a more accurate representation of low flows (overall NSE 0.64). The model performance decreased in the smaller Opawa catchment (NSE 0.39). It is concluded that the developed a priori parameter set can be used to provide national groundwater modeling capability in ungauged catchments but should be used with caution, and model performance would benefit greatly from local scale calibration. The parameter derivation method is repeatable globally if analogous hydrological and geological information is available and thus provides a basis for the parameterization of groundwater models in ungauged catchments. Future research will assess the spatial variability of parameter performance at a national scale in New Zealand. Full article
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14 pages, 4423 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Application of a Fe3O4/Ag3PO4/g-C3N4 Magnetic Composite Photocatalyst for Sulfonamide Antibiotics Degradation
by Ke Li, Miaomiao Chen, Lei Chen, Songying Zhao, Wencong Xue and Yanchao Han
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713279 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
In this study, a novel Fe3O4/Ag3PO4/g-C3N4 magnetic composite photocatalyst was successfully synthesized, tailored specifically for the visible light-driven photocatalytic degradation of sulfonamide antibiotics, more precisely, sulfamethazine (SMZ). To analyze the fabricated samples, [...] Read more.
In this study, a novel Fe3O4/Ag3PO4/g-C3N4 magnetic composite photocatalyst was successfully synthesized, tailored specifically for the visible light-driven photocatalytic degradation of sulfonamide antibiotics, more precisely, sulfamethazine (SMZ). To analyze the fabricated samples, characterization techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL), and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra (UV-vis) were systematically employed. The composite showcased efficient visible-light absorption and charge separation, with its peak photocatalytic performance recorded at a solution pH value of 6.0. Significantly, the Fe3O4/Ag3PO4/g-C3N4 magnetic composite photocatalyst displayed excellent stability and recyclability, consistently maintaining a high degradation efficiency of over 97% even after five consecutive cycles. Further experimentation with radical scavengers confirmed a significant decrease in photocatalytic activity, establishing that superoxide radicals (•O2) and photo-generated holes (h+) are the primary active species during the degradation of SMZ. Overall, it provides a crucial understanding regarding the photocatalytic decomposition of sulfonamide antibiotics using magnetic composite photocatalysts. It also emphasizes the promising potential of the Fe3O4/Ag3PO4/g-C3N4 composite for tangible applications in environmental remediation. Full article
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22 pages, 8492 KiB  
Article
Effects of Confining Stress on Blast-Induced Damage Distribution of Rock with Discontinuity
by Rongjian Pan, Peiyu Wang, Zilong Zhou, Riyan Lan, Lu Chen, Hongquan Yang, Cuigang Chen, Jinkun Zhang and Yang Liu
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13278; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713278 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 757
Abstract
Discontinuous rock mass, such as joints and fractures, have a great influence on the blasting quality and sometimes induce additional damage at the discontinuity. In deep rock engineering, high in situ stress makes the damage mechanism of rock with discontinuity under blasting loading [...] Read more.
Discontinuous rock mass, such as joints and fractures, have a great influence on the blasting quality and sometimes induce additional damage at the discontinuity. In deep rock engineering, high in situ stress makes the damage mechanism of rock with discontinuity under blasting loading more complicated. Quantitative analysis of blast-induced damage in discontinuous rock under high in situ stress is of great importance in guiding the fine blast design. In this paper, a series of numerical models have been established to quantitatively investigate the effect of confining stress and inclination angle on blast-induced damage of rock with discontinuity. The numerical results show that the discontinuity obviously changes the distribution mode of blast-induced damage, and there is more damage near the discontinuity. The blast-induced damage crack length of discontinuous rock decreases as hydrostatic stress rises. Under non-hydrostatic stress, the damage crack propagation appears to have a higher tendency in the higher confining stress direction. In addition, the inclination angle of discontinuity will affect the damage distribution of rock with discontinuity. The fragmentation degree is greatest when the discontinuity is perpendicular to the direction of higher confining stress. Due to the presence of discontinuity, the guiding effect of higher confining stress on damaged cracks is weakened. The results provide a reference for the tunnel fine-blasting design of rock with discontinuity. Full article
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18 pages, 10495 KiB  
Article
Improving Differential Interferometry Synthetic Aperture Radar Phase Unwrapping Accuracy with Global Navigation Satellite System Monitoring Data
by Hui Wang, Yuxi Cao, Guorui Wang, Peixian Li, Jia Zhang and Yongfeng Gong
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713277 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 736
Abstract
: We developed a GNSS-assisted InSAR phase unwrapping algorithm for large-deformation DInSAR data processing in coal mining areas. Utilizing the Markov random field (MRF) theory and simulated annealing, the algorithm derived the energy function using MRF theory, Gibbs distribution, and the Hammersley–Clifford theorem. [...] Read more.
: We developed a GNSS-assisted InSAR phase unwrapping algorithm for large-deformation DInSAR data processing in coal mining areas. Utilizing the Markov random field (MRF) theory and simulated annealing, the algorithm derived the energy function using MRF theory, Gibbs distribution, and the Hammersley–Clifford theorem. It calculated an image probability ratio and unwrapped the phase through iterative calculations of the initial integer perimeter matrix, interference phase, and weight matrix. Algorithm reliability was confirmed by combining simulated phases with digital elevation model (DEM) data for deconvolution calculations, showing good agreement with real phase-value results (median error: 4.8 × 104). Applied to ALOS-2 data in the Jinfeng mining area, the algorithm transformed interferometric phase into deformation, obtaining simulated deformation by fitting GNSS monitoring data. It effectively solved meter-scale deformation variables between single-period images, particularly for unwrapping problems due to decoherence. To improve calculation speed, a coherence-based threshold was set. Points with high coherence avoided iterative optimization, while points below the threshold underwent iterative optimization (coherence threshold: 0.32). The algorithm achieved a median error of 30.29 mm and a relative error of 2.5% compared to GNSS fitting results, meeting accuracy requirements for mining subsidence monitoring in large mining areas. Full article
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18 pages, 3276 KiB  
Article
Effects of Hydraulic Erosion on the Spatial Redistribution Characteristics of Soil Aggregates and SOC on Pisha Sandstone Slope
by Peng Zhang, Long Li, Jing Wang, Shangxuan Zhang and Zhizhuo Zhu
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713276 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 740
Abstract
Under the long-term effects of hydraulic erosion, soil particles and nutrients are continuously lost and enriched in the process of runoff and sediment movement, leading to a change in soil organic carbon (SOC) in different spatial positions on the slope, which is closely [...] Read more.
Under the long-term effects of hydraulic erosion, soil particles and nutrients are continuously lost and enriched in the process of runoff and sediment movement, leading to a change in soil organic carbon (SOC) in different spatial positions on the slope, which is closely related to the carbon balance of the ecosystem. Therefore, the changes in slope erosion intensity and the spatial redistribution characteristics of soil aggregates and SOC under water erosion conditions were quantitatively analyzed by combining field runoff plots with three-dimensional (3D) laser scanning technology. The results showed that: (1) After rainfall, the slope erosion intensity successively declined from the upper to the lower parts of the slope, and the content of soil aggregates in each soil layer changed obviously. The loss of 1–2 mm soil aggregates was the largest in the sedimentary area of the 2–4 cm soil layer, at 0.38 g/kg. The concentration of 0.5–1 mm soil aggregates was the largest in the micro-erosion area of the 2–4 cm soil layer, at 0.36 g/kg. (2) After rainfall, the overall SOC on the slope showed a loss state in the 0–2 cm soil layer and an enrichment state in the 2–4 cm soil layer. Among them, the loss of SOC in the medium erosion area of the 0–1 cm soil layer was the largest, and its content decreased by 57.58%. The enrichment in the 2–4 cm soil layer was the maximum in the micro-eroded area, with a content increase of 79.23%. (3) Before and after rainfall, the SOC of each soil layer was positively correlated with small aggregates, and the correlation gradually tended to be negative with the increase in the particle size of soil aggregates, and the SOC showed a negative correlation with large aggregates (>2 mm). Full article
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20 pages, 4122 KiB  
Article
A Green Approach to Preparing Vaterite CaCO3 for Clean Utilization of Steamed Ammonia Liquid Waste and CO2 Mineralization
by Xuewen Song, Yuxin Tuo, Dan Li, Xinrui Hua, Ruomeng Wang, Jiwei Xue, Renhe Yang, Xianzhong Bu and Xianping Luo
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13275; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713275 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 783
Abstract
In the salt lake industry, large amounts of steamed ammonia liquid waste are discharged as byproducts. The conversion of the residues into high value-added vaterite-phase calcium carbonate products for industrial applications is highly desirable. In this research, the feasibility of preparing vaterite-phase CaCO [...] Read more.
In the salt lake industry, large amounts of steamed ammonia liquid waste are discharged as byproducts. The conversion of the residues into high value-added vaterite-phase calcium carbonate products for industrial applications is highly desirable. In this research, the feasibility of preparing vaterite-phase CaCO3 in different CaCl2-CO2-MOH-H2O systems using steamed ammonia liquid waste was studied in the absence of additives. The effects of initial CaCl2 concentration, stirring speed and CO2 flow rate on the composition of the CaCO3 crystal phase were investigated. The contents of vaterite were researched by the use of steamed ammonia liquid waste as a calcium source and pure calcium chloride as a contrast. The influence of the concentration of CNH3·H2O/CCa2+ on the carbonation ratio and crystal phase composition was studied. The reaction conditions on the content, particle size and morphology of vaterite influence were discussed. It was observed that single vaterite-phase CaCO3 was favored in the CaCl2-CO2-NH4OH-H2O system. Additionally, the impurity ions in steamed ammonia liquid waste play a key role in the nucleation and crystallization of vaterite, which could affect the formation of single-phase vaterite. The obtained results provided a novel method for the preparation of single vaterite particles with the utilization of CO2 and offered a selective method for the extensive utilization of steamed ammonia liquid waste. Full article
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17 pages, 7903 KiB  
Article
Macro- and Micro-Characteristics and Mechanical Properties of Xigeda Formation Claystone in Luding County, Western Sichuan, China
by Ruian Wu, Xiang Li, Changbao Guo, Jiawei Ni, Yang Wang, Deguang Song and Chang Qi
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713274 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Claystone is actually a type of hard soil or soft rock. To reveal the engineering geological characteristics of the Xigeda formation claystone in Luding County (Western Sichuan, China), some experiments, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and geotechnical tests, are performed. [...] Read more.
Claystone is actually a type of hard soil or soft rock. To reveal the engineering geological characteristics of the Xigeda formation claystone in Luding County (Western Sichuan, China), some experiments, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and geotechnical tests, are performed. The testing results indicate that the Xigeda formation claystone primarily consists of silt, clay, and other fine-grained materials. It is characterized by interbedded yellow and gray thin layers with a horizontal lamination structure. The yellow and gray claystones are made of the same materials but differ in their proportions. Additionally, yellow claystone is characterized by a higher density, resulting in enhanced cementation among clay particles. The permeability coefficient of Xigeda formation claystones ranges from 3.62 × 10−4~7.34 × 10−4 cm/s. The cohesion of yellow and gray claystones decreases with increasing moisture content, and the decline is greater at higher moisture contents. However, the relationship between internal friction angle and moisture content is different. The mechanical properties of the Xigeda formation exhibit significant differences in sensitivity to changes in moisture content across various regions. Notably, the claystone within the study region experiences a particularly pronounced weakening of its mechanical properties when exposed to water. Full article
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20 pages, 18334 KiB  
Article
Research on Community Fitness Spaces under the Guidance of the National Fitness Program
by Keyi Liu, Xia Zhang and Danning Xu
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13273; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713273 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1125
Abstract
In the context of sub-health caused by the sedentary lifestyle, sports for health, as an effective way to promote sustainable urban development, has attracted the attention of the government and residents. The proposal of policies represented by the National Fitness Program has facilitated [...] Read more.
In the context of sub-health caused by the sedentary lifestyle, sports for health, as an effective way to promote sustainable urban development, has attracted the attention of the government and residents. The proposal of policies represented by the National Fitness Program has facilitated the rapid development of community fitness spaces, which constitute an indispensable part of the Chinese outdoor fitness system. Despite this, many of these spaces still remain unused in reality due to unscientific planning, design, and management. To address this issue, we conducted a study in Liaocheng, Shandong Province, focusing on communities with fitness spaces. Through PSPL, questionnaire surveys and data analysis using software such as Urban Quadrant and SPSS 26, five factors impacting the utilization rates and satisfaction levels of these spaces were identified. And based on MLR, the number of rest facilities was verified as the most important factor and should be considered carefully. By providing insight into the utilization of community fitness spaces, our study can serve as a valuable reference for future planning or renovation of these spaces. Full article
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28 pages, 1219 KiB  
Article
Global Value Chains Embedding and Carbon Productivity of China’s Manufacturing Industry: Direct Influence, Adjustment Effect, and Heterogeneity Analysis
by Jingquan Chen, Shiqi Zhang, Xiaojun Ma, Xue Zhao, Yanqi Song, Yijie Fan and Yuanbo Yu
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13272; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713272 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 907
Abstract
In the context of the deepening division of labour in global value chains (GVC) and the goal of “double carbon”, it is important to promote China’s manufacturing industry to break away from the unfavourable situation of “big but not strong” so as to [...] Read more.
In the context of the deepening division of labour in global value chains (GVC) and the goal of “double carbon”, it is important to promote China’s manufacturing industry to break away from the unfavourable situation of “big but not strong” so as to achieve low-carbon transformation and value chain upgrading. Based on the panel data of China’s manufacturing industry from 2006 to 2018, this paper adopts a threshold regression model to analyse the marginal impact of GVC embedding position on carbon productivity. It also comprehensively explores the moderating effects of R&D investment, environmental regulation, industrial structure upgrading, and industrial digitisation on the impact of GVC embedding on carbon productivity in three aspects: forward GVC participation, backward GVC participation, and GVC embedding position. The research shows that forward and backward GVC participation have negative direct effects on carbon productivity in China’s manufacturing sector, but the results of the heterogeneity analysis show that both forward and backward GVC participation are positively associated with carbon productivity in low- and medium-technology manufacturing industries. Improving the GVC embedding position will promote the improvement of carbon productivity, and the promotion effect will be increased and then decreased. Both R&D investment and industrial structure upgrading have strengthened the impact of GVC embedding. Environmental regulation weakens the inhibitory effect of backward GVC participation on carbon productivity, while industry digitisation has a negative moderating effect. Further heterogeneity analysis found that forward simple GVC participation was positively related to carbon productivity. The findings of this paper provide a theoretical and practical foundation for analysing the impact mechanism of GVC embeddedness on carbon productivity in China’s manufacturing industries. It is conducive to promoting China’s manufacturing industries to realise low-carbon transformation and climb up to the high end of the GVC, and it provides certain policy insights for the realization of the goals of “carbon peaking” and “carbon neutrality”. Full article
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29 pages, 7260 KiB  
Review
Integrating Ecological Knowledge into Regenerative Design: A Rapid Practice Review
by Jane Toner, Cheryl Desha, Kimberley Reis, Dominique Hes and Samantha Hayes
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13271; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713271 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 3062
Abstract
While sustainable design practice is working to reduce the ecological impacts of development, many of the earth’s already damaged life support systems require repair and regeneration. Regenerative design theory embraces this challenge using an ecological worldview that recognizes all life as intertwined and [...] Read more.
While sustainable design practice is working to reduce the ecological impacts of development, many of the earth’s already damaged life support systems require repair and regeneration. Regenerative design theory embraces this challenge using an ecological worldview that recognizes all life as intertwined and interdependent to deliver restorative outcomes that heal. Central to regenerative design theory is the mutually beneficial and coevolving ‘stewardship’ relationship between community and place, the success of which requires local ecological knowledge. However, there is a lack of understanding about how—within the design process—practitioners are integrating ‘innate knowledge’ of place held by local people. This rapid practice review sought to collate and evaluate current ‘regenerative design practice’ methods towards ensuring good practice in the integration of place-based ecological knowledge. A comprehensive online search retrieved 345 related articles from the grey literature, academic book chapters, and government reports, from which 83 articles were analyzed. The authors conclude that regenerative design practice is emergent, with the design practice of including community knowledge of ecological systems of place remaining ad hoc, highly variable, and champion-based. The findings have immediate implications for regenerative design practitioners, researchers, and developers, documenting the state of progress in methods that explore innate ecological knowledge and foster co-evolving ecological stewardship. Full article
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19 pages, 9258 KiB  
Article
Factors Influencing Ground Settlement during Tunnel Proximity Construction
by Xun Yuan, Hongchao Wang, Shun Kang, Changwu Liu, Yulin Chen, Xianliang Zhou, Chengzhe Wu, Haowei Zhu, Changyu Yang, Yong Zhu and Hua Wu
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13270; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713270 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 931
Abstract
Adjacent tunnel excavation has an adverse impact on existing structures. Based on the engineering project of the Donghuashan Tunnel under-crossing an existing tunnel, this paper designed 25 sets of orthogonal numerical simulation tests to investigate the influential mechanisms of five parameters on ground [...] Read more.
Adjacent tunnel excavation has an adverse impact on existing structures. Based on the engineering project of the Donghuashan Tunnel under-crossing an existing tunnel, this paper designed 25 sets of orthogonal numerical simulation tests to investigate the influential mechanisms of five parameters on ground displacement and deformation. The influential factors are skew angle (α), proximity distance (l), buried depth (h), clearance (D), and ratio of tunnel clearances (ν). The orthogonal test results revealed that (1) the new tunnel clearance is the main impact factor of both ground settlement and curvature deformation, (2) ground horizontal movement is most significantly influenced by the skew angle between the existing tunnel and the new tunnel, and (3) the new tunnel buried depth is the key influential parameter for ground tilt deformation as well as horizontal deformation. The conclusions of this research suggest that during the period of railway planning, it is very important to plan the buried depths and spans of new tunnels rationally to minimize disturbance to existing tunnels. Full article
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24 pages, 6604 KiB  
Article
Enhancing the Stability of an Isolated Electric Grid by the Utilization of Energy Storage Systems: A Case Study on the Rafha Grid
by Amer S. Alsalman, Talal Alharbi and Ahmed A. Mahfouz
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13269; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713269 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 851
Abstract
A system’s stability is affected by the generation types in the interconnected power system. For example, synchronous generators usually have high inertia sharing with the power system since they have rotating mass, and they usually have primary frequency response capability. On the other [...] Read more.
A system’s stability is affected by the generation types in the interconnected power system. For example, synchronous generators usually have high inertia sharing with the power system since they have rotating mass, and they usually have primary frequency response capability. On the other hand, renewable energy sources (RES) neither provide inertia to the system nor have a primary frequency response capability; hence, adding RES will impact the power system’s voltage, angle, and frequency stability. Battery energy storage systems (BESSs) have many applications in the future electric grid. From the stability perspective, BESSs can be used to increase the power system’s stability. A case study was conducted on the Rafha microgrid in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to inspect a BESS’s influence on the Rafha microgrid’s stability and the impact of changing the BESS’s location, which might cause changes in the system stability after contingencies. In addition, we investigated which dynamic stability is affected if the BESS’s capacity changes. The microgrid is tested using contingencies that affect the system’s frequency, angle, and voltage stability using the power system simulator for engineering (PSS/E) software as a simulation platform. Finally, we investigated the technical impact of utilizing a BESS and its influence on economic operation. Full article
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22 pages, 6122 KiB  
Article
Analysis and Experiments on the Characteristics of Airflow and the Air Cleanliness Protection Region under Fan Filter Units in Cleanrooms
by Hao Li, Chen Huang, Weiqi Yi and Chao Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13268; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713268 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Cleanrooms often utilize large amounts of supply air to achieve a required cleanliness level. To reduce the overall supply air volume, critical processes demanding the highest cleanliness requirements are suggested to be placed directly beneath the air outlet of fan filter units (FFUs). [...] Read more.
Cleanrooms often utilize large amounts of supply air to achieve a required cleanliness level. To reduce the overall supply air volume, critical processes demanding the highest cleanliness requirements are suggested to be placed directly beneath the air outlet of fan filter units (FFUs). In order to determine an appropriate supply air volume, it is necessary to quantitatively analyze the particulate concentration distribution downstream of FFUs with various characteristics to determine an adequate but not excessive supply air volume. Three FFU sizes and four supply air velocities were used in this experiment, and the resulting airstream velocities, jet diffusion widths, and characteristics of particulate concentration distribution were obtained. Fitting expressions were statistically acquired based on the respective experimental data sets, which can be used to predict the airflow velocity value at any point in an FFU flow region and the width of the air cleanliness protection range. Full article
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20 pages, 2578 KiB  
Article
The Study of Carbon Neutralization Effects with Green Credit: Evidence from a Panel Data Analysis for Interprovinces in China
by Jie Jiao, Jiyuan Zhang, Jie Yang, Wenwen Zhang, Fengtao Guang and Liying Liu
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713267 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 813
Abstract
Giving full play to carbon emission reduction of green credits is essential to achieve carbon neutrality. According to low-carbon pilot policies and the condition of industrial transfer, this paper first sorts those provinces into different research zones. The zones are as follows: (Ⅰ) [...] Read more.
Giving full play to carbon emission reduction of green credits is essential to achieve carbon neutrality. According to low-carbon pilot policies and the condition of industrial transfer, this paper first sorts those provinces into different research zones. The zones are as follows: (Ⅰ) the first and second batch of low-carbon municipalities and the first batch of pilot provinces (L1) and other provinces (L2) and (Ⅱ) strong industry transfer-out zone (STR), weak industry transfer-out zone (WTR), and industrial transfer-in area (TIR). Then, we employ a dynamic panel data model and systematic GMM (SYS-GMM) approach to empirically test the impact of green credit and nongreen credit on carbon emissions. Further, this paper analyzes how to coordinate two types of credits to achieve carbon neutrality. The results show that, first, at the national level, the nexus of green credit and carbon emissions with an inverted U-shaped curve and the current impact of green credit is still in the first half of the inverted U-shaped stage. The achievement of carbon neutrality is associated with the ratio structure of green credit to nongreen credit and the scale of green credit. Second, the achievement of carbon neutrality is with regional heterogeneity. The achievement of carbon neutrality is associated with the scale of green credit in L2 and TIR, but also with the ratio structure of nongreen credit to green credit in L2 and STR. However, the carbon neutralization effects with green credit are insignificant in L1 WTR. Finally, based on those conclusions, this paper puts forwards some suggestions to provide references for the policy formulation of green credits and carbon neutrality. Full article
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29 pages, 6109 KiB  
Article
A Transect Method for Promoting Landscape Conservation in the Climate Change Context: A Case-Study in Greece
by Vassiliki Vlami, Ioannis P. Kokkoris, Ioannis Charalampopoulos, Thomas Doxiadis, Christos Giannakopoulos and Miltiades Lazoglou
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13266; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713266 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1156
Abstract
Within an EU Life project aiming to boost climate change adaptation in Greece, this study develops a transect method for rapid landscape-scale assessment. The procedure applies a holistic assessment of terrestrial landscapes at three spatial scales: a broad cross-section transect zone through the [...] Read more.
Within an EU Life project aiming to boost climate change adaptation in Greece, this study develops a transect method for rapid landscape-scale assessment. The procedure applies a holistic assessment of terrestrial landscapes at three spatial scales: a broad cross-section transect zone through the Peloponnese peninsula (240 km long, 1.416.6 km2) and successively the delineation of 35 selected landscape areas and the associated landscape views. Climate change scenarios and relevant indices were incorporated to screen for climate and anthropogenic impacts, including phytoclimatic, erosion and wildfire analyses. The climatic and bioclimatic conditions were examined in three time periods (reference period: 1970–2000 and in the future periods 2031–2060 and 2071–2100). Based on the above framework, the climate change adaptation planning process is reviewed including the Regional Adaptation Action Plan (RAAP) of the Peloponnese Region. The results of this method application effectively assess both the “territorial” and “perceptual” aspects of the selected landscapes; mapping the potential threats, interpreting problems, identifying knowledge gaps and prioritizing vulnerable areas. Analyses show that combined land-use pressures and climatic shifts will cause landscape change, particularly evident in an increase of wildfires, in the near future. Currently, poor conservation measures do not adequately protect landscapes in most areas of the study from expanding anthropogenic pressures (urban sprawl, wetland draining, etc.); these conditions may further aggravate environmental safety concerns during future climate change conditions. The review also documents poor attention to landscape conservation within the current RAAP report. The proposed transect method may assist in promoting landscape appreciation by setting an “enabling framework” for landscape-scale conservation planning during the climate change adaptation process. Full article
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21 pages, 8295 KiB  
Article
Simulation of Surface Settlement Induced by Parallel Mechanised Tunnelling
by Chia Yu Huat, Danial Jahed Armaghani, Sai Hin Lai, Haleh Rasekh and Xuzhen He
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13265; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713265 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 849
Abstract
Mechanised tunnelling is extensively utilised for twin tunnel construction, particularly in urban areas. A common challenge encountered during this construction method is the occurrence of surface settlement (SS) induced by tunnelling activities. The integrity of nearby structures can be compromised by SS, making [...] Read more.
Mechanised tunnelling is extensively utilised for twin tunnel construction, particularly in urban areas. A common challenge encountered during this construction method is the occurrence of surface settlement (SS) induced by tunnelling activities. The integrity of nearby structures can be compromised by SS, making it imperative to accurately quantify and mitigate this phenomenon. Several methods for determining SS exist, including empirical formulas and laboratory studies. However, these methods are often constrained by specific soil types and are time-consuming. Moreover, crucial parameters such as tunnel operational factors and construction stages are often omitted from empirical formulas. Given these limitations, this paper aims to address these challenges by employing 3D numerical analysis to simulate tunnelling-induced SS in twin tunnels. This approach takes into account tunnel geometry, construction sequencing, soil properties, and tunnelling operational factors. By incorporating data from in-situ and laboratory tests conducted on the ground, engineering soil parameters are established as inputs for the numerical analysis. The simulated SS results obtained from the 3D numerical analysis are compared with field measurements of SS taken from available ground surface settlement markers. The transverse SS pattern derived from the numerical analysis closely mirrors the field measurements. Additionally, SS values above the first and second tunnels are compared with field measurements, resulting in coefficient of determination (R2) values of 0.94 and 0.96, respectively. The utilisation of the 3D numerical modelling approach enables the customizable mitigation strategies for managing the SS with project-specific parameters such as tunnel geometry, geotechnical engineering factors, and tunnelling operational variables. This will help plan and construct more sustainable tunnels with minimal effects on the ground and residential areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering)
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24 pages, 692 KiB  
Article
Innovation-Driven Industrial Agglomeration Impact on Green Economic Growth in the Yellow River Basin: An Empirical Analysis
by Ran Feng and Xiaoe Qu
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13264; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713264 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Harnessing empirical analysis, this paper investigates the relationship between innovation-driven industrial agglomeration (IDIA) and economic growth (GEG) in the context of the Yellow River Basin in China. The study employs a non-radial and non-angular SBM ML model to comprehensively evaluate GEG levels. Leveraging [...] Read more.
Harnessing empirical analysis, this paper investigates the relationship between innovation-driven industrial agglomeration (IDIA) and economic growth (GEG) in the context of the Yellow River Basin in China. The study employs a non-radial and non-angular SBM ML model to comprehensively evaluate GEG levels. Leveraging panel data spanning from 2008 to 2020 across 30 provinces and cities, the analysis systematically explores the influence of IDIA on GEG. The research uncovers a significant positive connection between IDIA and GEG, with a noteworthy impact observed particularly in underdeveloped regions, areas in intermediate stages of industrialization, and industries characterized by heightened pollution levels. Importantly, the study reveals that green technology adoption (GTA) acts as a critical mediator between IDIA and GEG, particularly within the context of dirty manufacturing firms that are transitioning from mid-level industrialization. These findings provide valuable insights for policymakers and industry stakeholders, enabling them to devise targeted strategies for driving green technology adoption and fostering sustainable economic growth. While this study contributes significantly to our understanding, it is important to acknowledge its limitations, including the specific geographical focus on the Yellow River Basin and the potential complexities inherent in assessing the intricate relationship between industrial agglomeration and economic growth. Future research avenues could extend to broader geographical contexts and delve into more nuanced mechanisms underlying the observed connections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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19 pages, 882 KiB  
Article
Pesticides, Heavy Metals and Plasticizers: Contamination and Risk Assessment of Drinking-Water Quality
by Noman Adil, Kamran Ashraf, Masooma Munir, Muhammad Mohiuddin, Asim Abbasi, Umair Riaz, Asad Aslam, Samy A. Marey, Ashraf Atef Hatamleh and Qamar uz Zaman
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713263 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2118
Abstract
This study highlights the impact of formal agricultural practices and their adverse effect on the deterioration of underground water quality, with special emphasis on toxic elements, including pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, plasticizer accumulation and heavy-metal contamination. A comprehensive study was conducted at various recently [...] Read more.
This study highlights the impact of formal agricultural practices and their adverse effect on the deterioration of underground water quality, with special emphasis on toxic elements, including pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, plasticizer accumulation and heavy-metal contamination. A comprehensive study was conducted at various recently developed societies of Sadiqabad that were formerly used for agricultural purposes. Ten various societies were selected, and three samples from each society were collected from different regions of these areas. Data regarding the physicochemical properties, metal contamination and accumulation of pesticide residues were determined using standard protocols. The results revealed that almost all the physicochemical properties of water samples selected from these sites were close to the WHO’s recommended limits. The range for physicochemical properties was pH (6.4–7.7), electrical conductivity (168–766 µ S cm−1), turbidity (6–17 NTU), total hardness (218–1030 mg L−1), chloride contents (130–870 mg L−1) and phosphate contents (2.55–5.11 mg L−1). Among heavy metals, lead and arsenic concentrations in all sampling sites were found to be above the recommended limits. The decreasing pattern in terms of water-quality deterioration with respect to physicochemical properties was FFT > USM > CRH > UCS > CHS > MAH > FFC > CGA > GIH > AGS. Overall, 95 different kinds of toxic elements, including pesticides, herbicides, plasticizer, etc., were detected in the groundwater samples. The toxic compounds in the groundwater were categorized into pesticides, herbicides, plasticizer, plant growth regulators, fungicides, acaricides and insecticides. Most of these parameters showed peak values at the Fatima Fertilizer Company area and Chief Residencia Housing Society. Pesticide contamination showed that water-filtration plants have a big positive impact on the drinking quality of water. Proper monitoring of the pesticides must be performed, as the majority of the pesticides showed low priority. The monitoring method of the pesticides needs to be updated so that the occurrence of recently authorized pesticides is demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Environment and Human Health)
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20 pages, 13838 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Stability of Passenger Vehicles Exposed to Water Flows through 3D CFD Modelling
by Ebrahim Hamid Hussein Al-Qadami, Mohd Adib Mohammad Razi, Wawan Septiawan Damanik, Zahiraniza Mustaffa and Eduardo Martinez-Gomariz
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13262; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713262 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 816
Abstract
A vehicle exposed to flooding may lose its stability and wash away resulting in potential injuries and fatalities. Traffic disruption, infrastructure damage, and economic losses are also additional effects of the washed vehicles. Therefore, understanding the responses of passenger vehicles during flood events [...] Read more.
A vehicle exposed to flooding may lose its stability and wash away resulting in potential injuries and fatalities. Traffic disruption, infrastructure damage, and economic losses are also additional effects of the washed vehicles. Therefore, understanding the responses of passenger vehicles during flood events is of the utmost importance to reduce flood risks and develop accurate safety guidelines. Previously, flooded vehicle stability was investigated experimentally, theoretically, and numerically. However, numerical investigations are insufficient, of which only a few studies have been published since 1967. Furthermore, coupled motion simulations have not been employed to investigate the hydrodynamic forces on flooded vehicles. In this paper, a numerical framework was proposed to assess the response of a full-scale medium-size passenger vehicle exposed to floodwaters through three-dimensional computational fluid dynamic modelling. The vehicle was simulated under subcritical and supercritical flows with the Froude number ranging between 0.09 and 2.46. The results showed that the vehicle experienced the floating instability mode once the flow depth reached 0.38 m, while the sliding instability mode was observed once the depth×velocity threshold function exceeded 0.36 m2/s. In terms of hydrodynamic forces, it was noticed that the drag force decreased with the increment of the Froude number and flow velocity. On the other hand, the fraction and buoyancy forces are mainly governed by the flow depth at the vehicle vicinity. The drag coefficient was noticed to be less than 1 for supercritical flows and more than 1 for subcritical flows. The numerical results obtained through the framework introduced in this study demonstrate favorable agreement with three different previously published experimental outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience for Sustainable Development)
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21 pages, 4148 KiB  
Article
Study of the Mechanical Properties and Water Stability of Microbially Cured, Coir-Fiber-Reinforced Clay Soil
by Qizhi Hu, Wensen Song and Jianwen Hu
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13261; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713261 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1017
Abstract
Clay soil is widely distributed in engineering foundations. Because of its poor stability, low load-bearing capacity, and poor water stability, it does not provide a high-quality foundation. Microbial-induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) is a novel soil consolidation technique. The basic principle of this [...] Read more.
Clay soil is widely distributed in engineering foundations. Because of its poor stability, low load-bearing capacity, and poor water stability, it does not provide a high-quality foundation. Microbial-induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) is a novel soil consolidation technique. The basic principle of this technique is that microorganisms induce calcium carbonate deposition in the soil, solidifying it. The reinforcement treatment of clayey soil via MICP with fiber reinforcement can make full use of the advantages of both techniques to improve the mechanical properties and water stability of the soil. In this study, in order to facilitate engineering applications, bacillus pasteurii liquid was mixed with coconut-fiber-reinforced soil using the mixing method, and a microbial solidification test was carried out on the reinforced clayey soil with fiber contents of 0, 0.2%, 0.4%, and 0.6% (mass ratio). By conducting triaxial consolidation without a drainage test, the calcium carbonate content determination test and the disintegration test were combined with SEM microscopic image analysis to compare and analyze the mechanical properties and water stability of clayey soil under different fiber treatments. The results show the following: (1) The coupling of the two techniques can effectively improve the shear strength of the soil. The shear strength first increased and then decreased with the increase in the fiber content. The optimum fiber content is 0.4%, and the shear strength is 120% higher than that of plain soil. (2) The addition of fiber significantly increased the cohesive force of the clayey soil. In addition, the friction angle was also increased by the synergistic effect of the fiber and calcium carbonate. The cohesive force was increased in the range of 3.2~24.4 kPa, and the internal friction angle was increased in the range of 2.2°~6.4°. (3) As the fiber content increased, the disintegration resistance of the solidified soil was obviously improved, and the disintegration rate decreased with the increase in fiber content. When the fiber content was 0.6%, the final disintegration rate was the lowest. (4) Fiber reinforcement increased the colonization space of the microorganisms and improved the deposition efficiency and yield of the calcium carbonate, and the cementing effect of the calcium carbonate promoted fiber reinforcement. Full article
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15 pages, 297 KiB  
Article
Participation of Bulgarian Furniture Manufacturing in Global and Local Value Chains as a Factor Supporting Their Innovation Activities
by Daniela Ventsislavova Georgieva, Nikolay Neykov, Andreja Pirc Barčić, Petar Ćurić and Kristina Klarić
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13260; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713260 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 847
Abstract
Innovations can offer key advantages to companies, but in some EU regions, the design and development of innovation measures are still relatively novel concepts. The aim of this study was to analyze the collaborations of innovative Bulgarian furniture manufacturers with external stakeholders and [...] Read more.
Innovations can offer key advantages to companies, but in some EU regions, the design and development of innovation measures are still relatively novel concepts. The aim of this study was to analyze the collaborations of innovative Bulgarian furniture manufacturers with external stakeholders and the used information channels as factors for the development and implementation of innovation and participation in global value chains over their innovation activities. Out of 3890 Bulgarian companies, the number of companies included in the target group was further reduced to 85 firms due to missing information on some variables. The data for the present study were collected using a large-scale questionnaire distributed on the spot during the months of March and April 2022. Logistic regression was used to reveal the real contribution of the collaborations and the information sources to the ability of companies to innovate. The research results indicated that in Bulgaria, the furniture sector is not considered very innovative, and Bulgarian furniture manufacturing companies do not rely on collaboration with the IT and mechatronics sectors. These companies do not want to participate in GVCs, as they refer to them in relation to supply chains. Therefore, they are less dependent on chain shocks. Companies prefer to hide their innovations for further protection, which might be the reason for the lack of cooperation between the furniture manufacturing companies and academia, NGOs, and other relevant institutions. The findings of the study contribute to new insights into the literature on the participation in GVCs as a factor for collaboration with different stakeholders and hence for product and process innovation development within the furniture industry companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations and Sustainability)
16 pages, 1508 KiB  
Article
Regional Population and Public Services under the Framework of Sustainable Development: Evidence from a Typical High-Tech Zone in China
by Xueyi Wang, Taiyi He and Ke Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13259; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713259 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 704
Abstract
As organic parts of regional systems, the development and connection of the population and public services are of great significance to the realization of regional sustainable development. As the typical development sample of regional systems in China, the development and connection of the [...] Read more.
As organic parts of regional systems, the development and connection of the population and public services are of great significance to the realization of regional sustainable development. As the typical development sample of regional systems in China, the development and connection of the population and public services in high-tech zones deserve more attention. This paper takes the population and public services of the typical high-tech zone in western China as its research object, and uses the entropy method and the coupling coordination degree model to measure the development level, correlation degree and effect of population and public services in the high-tech zone from 2012 to 2021. The empirical results show that: firstly, the development level of the population system in the high-tech zone shows a positive evolutionary trend in the sample period, and the population system development makes a stable contribution to the sustainable development in the high-tech zone. Secondly, the development level of the public services system in the high-tech zone shows a dynamic evolutionary trend in the sample period. The contribution of the public services system to the sustainable development in the high-tech zone is affected by the population system. Thirdly, the correlation degree between the population and public services systems in the high-tech zone is kept at a relatively high level during the sample period, and the two subsystems have a relatively close element fusion. At the same time, the relationship between the population and public services systems is optimized in the sample period. There is positive information exchange, valuable feedback and dynamic adjustment between the two subsystems. The research implication is to dialectically grasp the development and connection between regional population and public services systems under the framework of sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Urban Planning towards Sustainable Cities)
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17 pages, 708 KiB  
Article
Linking Preschool Teachers’ Pay Equity and Turnover Intention in Chinese Public Kindergartens: The Mediating Role of Perceived Organizational Support and Job Satisfaction
by Ying Liu, Yongping Yu, Xiaoying Zeng and Yufei Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13258; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713258 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1101
Abstract
The turnover rate, income levels, and salary distribution among kindergarten teachers in China have gained increasing attention as these issues may negatively affect teacher quality. They largely impede the sustainable development of preschool education. This study aimed to explore the level of perceptions [...] Read more.
The turnover rate, income levels, and salary distribution among kindergarten teachers in China have gained increasing attention as these issues may negatively affect teacher quality. They largely impede the sustainable development of preschool education. This study aimed to explore the level of perceptions of pay equity among preschool teachers and examine the relationships among pay equity, turnover intention, perceived organizational support (POS), and job satisfaction. A survey was conducted with 2029 preschool teachers from Chinese public kindergartens, and descriptive analysis and covariance-based structural equation modeling (CB-SEM) were used to analyze the data. The results showed that the level of pay equity for preschool teachers was moderate, with a significant difference between teachers with Bianzhi and those without. The structural equation model revealed a significant negative relationship between teachers’ pay equity and their intent to leave. Perceived organizational support and job satisfaction independently mediated the relationship between pay equity and turnover intention, with a serial mediation effect observed. These findings highlight the importance of considering teachers’ pay equity, POS, and job satisfaction in order to retain high-quality teachers. Full article
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19 pages, 528 KiB  
Article
Carbon Management for Intelligent Community with Combined Heat and Power Systems
by Yongsheng Cao, Caiping Zhao and Demin Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13257; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713257 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 685
Abstract
In recent years, solar power technology and energy storage technology have advanced, leading to the increased use of solar power devices and energy storage systems in residential areas. Carbon management has become an important method to help the community manager guide energy consumption [...] Read more.
In recent years, solar power technology and energy storage technology have advanced, leading to the increased use of solar power devices and energy storage systems in residential areas. Carbon management has become an important method to help the community manager guide energy consumption in a timely manner, effectively reduce the carbon emissions of the community, and reduce the substantial harm to the environment. This paper aims to study the issue of carbon management and resource allocation in an intelligent community with combined heat and power (CHP) systems and solar power. The presence of heterogeneous load demands in the power grid was considered. The main objective was to minimize the average system cost over time, which included the costs associated with the power grid and gas. The Lyapunov optimization theory was employed to solve the non-convex optimization problem of carbon management and resource allocation without energy sharing. To solve the energy-sharing problem, we designed an energy-sharing algorithm based on the Q-learning algorithm. Lastly, we conducted extensive simulations using actual trace data to validate the effectiveness of our proposed algorithms. Full article
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14 pages, 2011 KiB  
Article
Agricultural Products’ Bundled Pricing Based on Consumers’ Organic Preferences
by Xijia Liu, Xiaoshu Liu, Anna Shi and Chenwei Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13256; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713256 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 794
Abstract
To improve the market competitiveness of agricultural e-retailers, we offer an interactive bundle pricing strategy (IBPS). Compared to existing fixed bundling strategies, IBPS takes into account the variability of customer needs and provides consumers with more and more flexible choice opportunities. As more [...] Read more.
To improve the market competitiveness of agricultural e-retailers, we offer an interactive bundle pricing strategy (IBPS). Compared to existing fixed bundling strategies, IBPS takes into account the variability of customer needs and provides consumers with more and more flexible choice opportunities. As more and more consumers tend to buy more environmentally friendly and healthy organic produce, a hybrid bundle pricing model for organic and inorganic produce is developed with the goal of maximizing retailers’ profit and optimizing consumers’ surplus, taking into account consumers’ organic preferences. Meanwhile, we introduce a free shipping strategy to further stimulate consumption. Then, we propose a heuristic algorithm to solve it and derive the optimal price for various bundled packages. Through numerical analysis, we draw some conclusions and propose corresponding management insights: (1) Compared with traditional online retailing methods, IBPS can effectively stimulate consumption and increase retailers’ profits; (2) as the free shipping threshold increases, total profits show a trend of first increasing and then decreasing, indicating that an appropriate free shipping threshold can optimize retailers’ profits; (3) as consumers’ green preferences increase, the sales of organic products increase while the total profit rises, so it is suggested that retailers increase consumer green preference through appropriate advertising; (4) the higher the consumption level, the higher the total value of consumers’ word purchases, so retailers can appropriately increase the free shipping threshold at high consumption levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Innovation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management)
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28 pages, 20001 KiB  
Article
Enhancing the Community Environment in Populous Residential Districts: Neighborhood Amenities and Residents’ Daily Needs
by Kai Zhang and Dong Yan
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13255; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713255 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Due to urban population growth, dense communities have emerged as a common approach to improve land utilization and minimize resource consumption to foster sustainable development in cities. In densely populated neighborhoods, the accessibility, availability, and appropriateness of amenities play a crucial role in [...] Read more.
Due to urban population growth, dense communities have emerged as a common approach to improve land utilization and minimize resource consumption to foster sustainable development in cities. In densely populated neighborhoods, the accessibility, availability, and appropriateness of amenities play a crucial role in the sustainable development of cities and residents’ quality of life. This study integrates the distribution of amenities within densely populated cities and utilizes residential assessments to analyze the effectiveness of these amenities in meeting the daily needs of residents. This analysis is based on a survey conducted in the three most populated cities in China. The study utilizes two sets of data: amenity distribution information and a questionnaire regarding the state of amenities and residents’ daily needs. The survey began in 2019 and was completed in 2021. A total of 1060 valid questionnaires were collected, with Shanghai accounting for 42%, and Beijing and Chongqing accounting for 30% and 28%, respectively. The findings demonstrate a higher density of amenities in populous areas, indicating a response to the overall requirements of residents. In these areas, the transportation network is extended more widely. Moreover, neighborhoods equipped with outdoor green spaces, ample parking, security services, and accessible public institutions received positive evaluations from residents, as they actively fulfilled their living needs. In neighborhood planning, prioritizing the coverage and quantity of these amenities can enhance the functionality and effectiveness of dense residential areas. This approach promotes sustainable development goals by improving the efficiency of urban resource allocation and establishing a convenient neighborhood environment. Full article
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18 pages, 3809 KiB  
Article
Latent Thermal Energy Storage for Solar Industrial Drying Applications
by Amine Allouhi
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13254; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713254 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Solar heat is an attractive alternative in industrial processes. However, the intermittent and stochastic nature of solar energy necessitates the use of heat storage systems to bridge the gap between heat production and demand. This study introduces a validated numerical analysis approach to [...] Read more.
Solar heat is an attractive alternative in industrial processes. However, the intermittent and stochastic nature of solar energy necessitates the use of heat storage systems to bridge the gap between heat production and demand. This study introduces a validated numerical analysis approach to investigate the performance of latent storage tanks filled with spherical phase-change materials. A 1D thermal model is developed to describe the charging processes of adipic acid as PCM. The study examines the performance characteristics of latent heat storage in terms of stored energy and duration through parametric investigations. For mass flow rates ranging from 600 to 1000 kg/h, storage durations were found to vary from 440 to 582 min. The storage duration decreased significantly from approximately 1150 min at a charging temperature of 160 °C to 470 min at a charging temperature of 240 °C. The bed porosity affected the storage process, with a porosity of 0.5 achieving a thermal energy storage of around 344 MJ but requiring a longer charging time of about 610 min. Higher heating rates allowed for lower storage durations, with storage durations of approximately 460 min for a heating rate of 3 °C/min, compared to 660 min, for a heating rate of 0.5 °C/min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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15 pages, 3158 KiB  
Article
Clinoptilolite—A Sustainable Material for the Removal of Bisphenol A from Water
by Alina Marilena Dura, Daniela Simina Stefan, Florentina Laura Chiriac, Roxana Trusca, Adrian Ionut Nicoara and Mircea Stefan
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13253; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713253 - 04 Sep 2023
Viewed by 873
Abstract
Bisphenol A is a remarkable chemical compound as it has many applications, mainly in the plastics industry, but it also has toxic effects on the environment and human health. This article presents a comparative study regarding the adsorption of BPA on Active carbon [...] Read more.
Bisphenol A is a remarkable chemical compound as it has many applications, mainly in the plastics industry, but it also has toxic effects on the environment and human health. This article presents a comparative study regarding the adsorption of BPA on Active carbon and zeolitic tuff, ZTC. In this paper, the characterization of the zeolitic tuff, adsorbent, was carried out from an elemental and mineralogical point of view, and it noted the pore size and elemental distribution, using SEM, EDAX, and XRD analysis. The pore size varies from 30 nm to 10 µm, the atomic ratio is Si/Al ≥ 4, and 80% of the mineralogical composition represents Ca Clinoptilolite zeolites and Ca Clinoptilolite zeolites ((Na1.32K1.28Ca1.72Mg0.52) (Al6.77Si29.23O72)(H2O)26.84). Moreover, a comparative study of the adsorption capacity of bisphenol A, using synthetic solutions on an activated carbon type—Norit GAC 830 W, GAC—as well as on Clinoptilolite-type zeolitic tuff—ZTC, was carried out. The experiments were carried out at a temperature of 20 °C, a pH of 4.11, 6.98, and 8.12, and the ionic strength was assured using 0.01 M and 0.1 M of KCl. The adsorption capacities of GAC and ZTC were 115 mg/g and 50 mg/g, respectively, at an 8.12 pH, and an ionic strength of 0 M. The Langmuir mathematical model best describes the adsorption equilibrium of BPA. The maximum adsorption capacity for both adsorbents increased with an increasing pH, and it decreased with increasing ionic strength. Full article
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21 pages, 5292 KiB  
Review
Microplastic Pollution: Threats and Impacts on Global Marine Ecosystems
by Ren-Shou Yu and Sher Singh
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13252; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713252 - 04 Sep 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5792
Abstract
This study investigates the scope of global marine microplastic pollution and its implications on marine ecosystems and human health. We first delve into how plastic enters the ocean, with an emphasis on the accumulation of plastic along coastlines, particularly the formation and impact [...] Read more.
This study investigates the scope of global marine microplastic pollution and its implications on marine ecosystems and human health. We first delve into how plastic enters the ocean, with an emphasis on the accumulation of plastic along coastlines, particularly the formation and impact of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). Through a concentration map of marine microplastics across five continents, the global distribution of microplastic pollution is revealed. Furthermore, the effects of microplastics on marine wildlife are explored, as well as their potential entry into the human food chain, posing potential public health risks. The results of our research underscore the serious threats of microplastic pollution to global marine ecosystems and human health, emphasizing the need for more scientific research and policy measures to address this challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fisheries, Resource and Marine Ecosystem)
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