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Resources, Volume 12, Issue 8 (August 2023) – 11 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Effective implementation of renewable energy sources (RES) largely depends on the acceptance and involvement of consumers in the process of sustainable energy transformation. The purpose of this article is to identify the motives for the use of photovoltaic installations in Poland against the background of the share of solar energy in the structure of energy consumption in the developing economies of Central and Eastern Europe. In order to achieve this goal, the scope of the use of renewable energy sources in 11 countries of the analyzed region was determined over the course of the research. Then, on the basis of the results of the survey, the motives for using solar energy by 754 Polish prosumers were identified (a statistically representative sample). The results indicate a low and relatively slow-growing use and a very different structure of RES in the surveyed economies. View this paper
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33 pages, 3284 KiB  
Article
Development of Wind Energy in EU Countries as an Alternative Resource to Fossil Fuels in the Years 2016–2022
by Radosław Wolniak and Bożena Skotnicka-Zasadzień
Resources 2023, 12(8), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080096 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2553
Abstract
The aim of this article is to present solutions related to wind energy in EU countries as an alternative to fossil fuels. This article is based on secondary information and statistical data regarding the development of wind power engineering in EU countries for [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to present solutions related to wind energy in EU countries as an alternative to fossil fuels. This article is based on secondary information and statistical data regarding the development of wind power engineering in EU countries for the years 2016–2022. The main purpose of this paper is to analyze of the relations between the development of wind energy in European Union countries and GPD (gross domestic product) per capita and selected factors. The following hypotheses were formulated: H1—There is a statistically significant correlation between GDP per capita and the use of wind energy in European Union countries. H2—There is a relationship between the length of the coastline and the use of wind energy in European Union countries. H3—There is a statistically significant correlation between the attitude to uncertainty of the inhabitants of a given country and the use of wind energy in said country. The presented research results support all these hypotheses. The results of the research regarding H2 are as follows: in the case of northern European countries (Ireland and Finland) and the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), the development of wind power engineering in the study period was faster than could be inferred from the length of the coastline in these countries. Regarding hypothesis H1, it was concluded on the basis of the analysis that the involvement of countries in the development of wind power engineering is correlated with their wealth. The novelty of this paper emerges from its innovative approach to analyzing wind power engineering, its incorporation of cultural factors, its quantitative assessment of correlations, and its actionable policy recommendations. These elements collectively contribute to a comprehensive and impactful study that advances our understanding of wind energy adoption in the European Union. Full article
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20 pages, 4271 KiB  
Article
Continuous Assessment of the Environmental Impact and Economic Viability of Decarbonization Improvements in Cement Production
by Olurotimi Oguntola and Steven Simske
Resources 2023, 12(8), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080095 - 09 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2258
Abstract
Growing awareness of the importance of mitigating climate change is driving research efforts toward developing economically viable technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The high energy consumption and carbon-intensive nature of cement manufacturing make it worthwhile to examine the environmental and economic characteristics [...] Read more.
Growing awareness of the importance of mitigating climate change is driving research efforts toward developing economically viable technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The high energy consumption and carbon-intensive nature of cement manufacturing make it worthwhile to examine the environmental and economic characteristics of process improvements in cement production. This study examines the environmental impact of cement production and its economic considerations and demonstrates an IoT-inspired deployment framework for continuously assessing these. It contributes a practical approach to integrating sustainability into cement manufacturing and analyzes four different scenarios from a combination of two cement types (ordinary Portland cement, Portland-limestone cement) and two energy sources for thermal heating (coal, dried biosolids). It indicates that increased production and adoption of blended cement that has up to 15% limestone as an alternative to ordinary Portland cement can significantly reduce climate change effects from cement production (6.4% lower carbon footprint). In addition, significant emission reduction is possible with the use of waste from sewage sludge as a combustion fuel for heating in the cement production process (7.9% reduction compared with baseline). The information on environmental and financial trade-offs helps informed decisions on cement production improvements and can potentially contribute to greenhouse gas reduction targets. Full article
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18 pages, 1618 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Potential Adoption of Product-Service Systems in the Luggage Industry to Promote Sustainability
by Donald Wilson and Eleni Iacovidou
Resources 2023, 12(8), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080094 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1088
Abstract
The travel-goods industry is an essential part of the larger travel and tourism sector, but it allegedly creates significant environmental impacts due to resource and energy consumption. This study investigates the potential of the product-service system (PSS) models to promote the transition to [...] Read more.
The travel-goods industry is an essential part of the larger travel and tourism sector, but it allegedly creates significant environmental impacts due to resource and energy consumption. This study investigates the potential of the product-service system (PSS) models to promote the transition to a sustainable travel industry in the future. It explores the drivers and barriers to PSS adoption within the luggage industry from a theoretical perspective and identifies opportunities for value creation using both consumer and luggage industry viewpoints. Four hypothetical PSS models are developed to highlight different pathways to PSS adoption, underpinned with empirical data collected via a consumer survey and semi-structured interviews with industry experts. Even though the analysis revealed shifting consumer attitudes towards servitisation concepts within the travel-goods market, at present, the widespread adoption of PSS is hindered by the fragmented nature of global supply chains and entrenched ownership values. Addressing supply chain issues in a way that empowers end-of-life systems to sustainably manage products beyond their functional obsolescence is critical. In parallel, product-oriented PSS models are more likely to increase, driven by a burgeoning resale market and supported by digital technologies, which in turn can lead to greater prospects for use-oriented PSS adoption in the long-term that would eventually promote sustainability. Full article
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17 pages, 670 KiB  
Article
Factors of Food Waste Reduction Underlying the Extended Theory of Planned Behavior: A Study of Consumer Behavior towards the Intention to Reduce Food Waste
by Johannes Schrank, Aphinya Hanchai, Sahapob Thongsalab, Narakorn Sawaddee, Kirana Chanrattanagorn and Chavis Ketkaew
Resources 2023, 12(8), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080093 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5030
Abstract
Food waste represents an economic, environmental, and social threat, which makes it an important subject of investigation. Food waste behavior has a crucial effect on everyone’s food security, food safety, economic growth, and the environment; hence, it requires further analysis. The article’s objective [...] Read more.
Food waste represents an economic, environmental, and social threat, which makes it an important subject of investigation. Food waste behavior has a crucial effect on everyone’s food security, food safety, economic growth, and the environment; hence, it requires further analysis. The article’s objective is to study the food waste reduction behavior of individual consumers and to examine factors which can explain the intention to reduce food waste. The study’s conceptual foundation is the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), which aims to explain the relationship between an individual’s attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control. The paper extends the TPB by including new factors such as environmental concern, perceived ascription of responsibility, marketing addiction, moral norm, and waste preventing behavior. The data were collected via quota sampling and examined using the structural equation modeling (SEM). The study employed a sample of 369 people in Thailand. The results show that waste preventing behavior, attitude, and perceived behavioral control significantly impact the intention to reduce food waste. The subjective norm and environmental concern positively affects the attitude, which subsequently impacts the intention to reduce food waste. Marketing addiction negatively impacts perceived behavioral control and, hence, increases food waste. This research paper enlarges the understanding of the intention to minimize food waste. Moreover, it points out the implications on how consumers and the government may improve the desire to decrease food waste. Full article
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18 pages, 1996 KiB  
Article
Adapting the ESSENZ Method to Assess the Criticality of Construction Materials: Case Study of Herne, Germany
by Inka Randebrock, Sylvia Marinova, Vanessa Bach, Rosalie Arendt and Matthias Finkbeiner
Resources 2023, 12(8), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080092 - 02 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1152
Abstract
The steady increase in the world’s population combined with the globally growing need for living space by each individual is leading to an ever-faster consumption of limited resources by the construction industry, particularly sand and gravel. While a consensus exists regarding the sand [...] Read more.
The steady increase in the world’s population combined with the globally growing need for living space by each individual is leading to an ever-faster consumption of limited resources by the construction industry, particularly sand and gravel. While a consensus exists regarding the sand and gravel resource availability on a global level for long-term supply, it is important to note that local supply shortages may still occur. Thus, this study aims to identify critical aspects of both locally and globally traded construction materials by adapting the ESSENZ method, which evaluates the criticality of globally traded abiotic resources. For the specific case of the local availability of construction materials, a new indicator is introduced: The Surface Squared Driven Indicator (SSDI), which is adapted to the specific conditions of the German market. The modified ESSENZ method is applied in a case study of materials needed for maintaining the material stock of the city of Herne, Germany. The results indicate that raw materials for concrete production in Germany, such as aggregates, are expected to be sufficient in the long term, but silica sand for glass production is only guaranteed for a few decades. Concrete poses the highest supply risk due to its high material demand, with steel and concrete dominating the environmental impacts. Limitations include data availability and the exclusion of certain materials. The adapted ESSENZ method allows for the comparison of criticality results for materials traded globally and locally, offering valuable insights for decision-makers seeking to promote sustainable construction practices. Full article
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21 pages, 4879 KiB  
Article
A Techno-Economic Analysis of Natural Gas Valuation in the Amazon Region to Increase the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Production in Ecuador
by Darwin Ortiz, Damián Calderón, Alfredo Viloria and Marvin Ricaurte
Resources 2023, 12(8), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080091 - 02 Aug 2023
Viewed by 2098
Abstract
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a C3/C4’s hydrocarbon mixture used as fuel gas, obtained through natural gas processing or crude oil refining. The Ecuadorian LPG production (~1.88 MMbbl/year) comes from the Shushufindi gas plant and the Esmeraldas refinery. However, [...] Read more.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a C3/C4’s hydrocarbon mixture used as fuel gas, obtained through natural gas processing or crude oil refining. The Ecuadorian LPG production (~1.88 MMbbl/year) comes from the Shushufindi gas plant and the Esmeraldas refinery. However, LPG production cannot meet the Ecuadorian market demand, and over 90% of this commodity is imported. At the same time, the natural gas produced in the Amazon region is not fully valued. A significant quantity of the associated gas is flared (~100 MMscfd), representing wasted energy with a significant environmental impact. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a technical and economic assessment of the potential natural gas valuation in the Amazon region to increase LPG production. The study started with a detailed review of the associated gas produced in the Amazon region. The data were analyzed considering the geographic location of the hydrocarbon fields, molar composition, flowrates, and operational conditions. Then, a natural gas value chain visualization was proposed and technically analyzed. Finally, an economic feasibility (class V) study was conducted, considering a preliminary analysis of capital expenditure (CAPEX) and an economic balance. The outcome of this study showed that by processing 21.50 MMscfd of associated gas from the Sacha field, domestic LPG production could increase by 30.9%. The required infrastructure consists of conventional processes for natural gas processing, with an estimated CAPEX of 36.6 MMUSD. Furthermore, despite the domestic subsidies of commodities, the potential savings for the country would be 32.13 MMUSD/year, an alternative more economically viable than the current LPG imports. Thus, the investment cost will be justified. Full article
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22 pages, 7921 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Aerodynamic Plates Subjected to Von Kármán Vortex Street for Enhancing the Wind Energy Generation in Blade-Less Devices
by John Zuluaga, Santiago Ricardo, Andrés Oostra, Gilberto Materano and Apostolos Spanelis
Resources 2023, 12(8), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080090 - 01 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1257
Abstract
This study explores the feasibility of using an oscillating plate downstream of a cylindrical body to produce mechanical energy from a Von Kármán vortex street under sub-critical flow conditions (Re = 72,500). The study aims to quantify the impact of the plate length, [...] Read more.
This study explores the feasibility of using an oscillating plate downstream of a cylindrical body to produce mechanical energy from a Von Kármán vortex street under sub-critical flow conditions (Re = 72,500). The study aims to quantify the impact of the plate length, its separation from the cylinder, and a machine damping factor on the power coefficient and the blade’s displacement to identify the optimal configuration. This preliminary assessment assumes that the plate oscillation is small enough to avoid changes in the vortex dynamics. This assumption allows the construction of a surrogate model using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to evaluate the effect of plate length and separation from the cylinder on the fluctuating lift forces over the plate. Later, the surrogate model, combined with varying machine damping factors, facilitates the description of the device’s dynamics through the numerical integration of an angular momentum equation. The results showed that a plate with a length of 0.52D, a separation of 5.548D from the cylinder, and a damping factor of 0.013 achieved a power coefficient of 0.147 and a perpendicular displacement of 0.226D. These results demonstrate a substantial improvement in the performance of blade-less generators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Optimization of Energy Efficiency)
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16 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
Organizational, Economic and Regulatory Aspects of Groundwater Resources Extraction by Individuals (Case of the Russian Federation)
by Ekaterina Golovina, Vera Khloponina, Pavel Tsiglianu and Runchu Zhu
Resources 2023, 12(8), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080089 - 30 Jul 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1313
Abstract
Fresh groundwater, as an essential component of global water resources and a special type of mineral wealth, has a whole set of features that affect social infrastructure, the economy and the environmental well-being of the population. At the same time, groundwater is vulnerable [...] Read more.
Fresh groundwater, as an essential component of global water resources and a special type of mineral wealth, has a whole set of features that affect social infrastructure, the economy and the environmental well-being of the population. At the same time, groundwater is vulnerable and limited despite its replenishable nature and vast reserves. Recently, in some countries, the practice of extracting groundwater resources by private individuals on their territory has been actively spreading, but not in all states. This is considered acceptable and is enshrined in national regulations. Uncontrolled exploitation of aquifers by small water users can affect the safety of ecosystems and the depletion of drinking groundwater reserves. In this regard, the state policy and system for regulating access to groundwater resources for all subsoil users should be based on a well-thought-out concept. This article is devoted to the organizational, economic, and regulatory issues of groundwater extraction by individuals for their own needs in the Russian Federation. A comparative analysis of the state approach to groundwater extraction by private individuals in other states (mainly in the example of Germany and China) is made. The latest trends in legislation in this area are analyzed, shortcomings in the system of state regulation of groundwater use are identified, and mechanisms for legalizing the activities of individual water users are proposed. Global groundwater regulation should be based on rationality, control, safety, protection, sustainability, and future generations’ care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management 2023: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
25 pages, 2604 KiB  
Article
Motives for the Use of Photovoltaic Installations in Poland against the Background of the Share of Solar Energy in the Structure of Energy Resources in the Developing Economies of Central and Eastern Europe
by Izabela Jonek-Kowalska
Resources 2023, 12(8), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080088 - 28 Jul 2023
Viewed by 939
Abstract
Increasing the use of renewable energy sources (RES) is one of the greatest challenges faced by modern emerging and developing economies. Its effective implementation largely depends on the acceptance and involvement of consumers in the process of sustainable energy transformation. Bearing in mind [...] Read more.
Increasing the use of renewable energy sources (RES) is one of the greatest challenges faced by modern emerging and developing economies. Its effective implementation largely depends on the acceptance and involvement of consumers in the process of sustainable energy transformation. Bearing in mind the above premises, the purpose of this article is to identify the motives for the use of photovoltaic installations in Poland against the background of the share of solar energy in the structure of energy consumption in the developing economies of Central and Eastern Europe. In order to achieve this goal, the scope of the use of renewable energy sources in 11 countries of the analyzed region was determined in the course of the research; then, on the basis of the results of the survey, the motives for using solar energy by 754 Polish prosumers were identified (a statistically representative sample). The results indicate a low and relatively slow-growing use and a very different structure of RES in the surveyed economies. From the pro-consumer perspective, the decision to use solar energy is primarily influenced by economic motives, including, above all, the possibility of reducing costs and using energy also for heating. Independence factors related to the possibility of at least partial independence from energy suppliers and diversification of energy sources are also important. Ecological motivation and promotion of RES, including government incentives, are definitely less important. Full article
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13 pages, 3220 KiB  
Article
Hydrological Model Performance in the Verde River Basin, Minas Gerais, Brazil
by Conceição de M. M. de Oliveira, Lívia A. Alvarenga, Samuel Beskow, Zandra Almeida da Cunha, Marcelle Martins Vargas, Pâmela A. Melo, Javier Tomasella, Ana Carolina N. Santos, Vinicius S. O. Carvalho and Vinicius Oliveira Silva
Resources 2023, 12(8), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080087 - 28 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1089
Abstract
In hydrological modelling, it is important to consider the uncertainties related to a model’s structures and parameters when different hydrological models are used to represent a system. Therefore, an adequate analysis of daily discharge forecasts that takes into account the performance of hydrological [...] Read more.
In hydrological modelling, it is important to consider the uncertainties related to a model’s structures and parameters when different hydrological models are used to represent a system. Therefore, an adequate analysis of daily discharge forecasts that takes into account the performance of hydrological models can assist in identifying the best extreme discharge forecasts. In this context, this study aims to evaluate the performance of three hydrological models—Lavras Simulation of Hydrology (LASH), Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC), and Distributed Hydrological Model (MHD-INPE) in the Verde River basin. The results demonstrate that LASH and MHD can accurately simulate discharges, thereby establishing them as crucial tools for managing water resources in the study region’s basins. Moreover, these findings could serve as a cornerstone for future studies focusing on food and water security, particularly when examining their connection to climate change scenarios. Full article
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21 pages, 2740 KiB  
Article
Methodology for the Formation of a Digital Model of the Life Cycle of an Offshore Oil and Gas Platform
by Nikolay Didenko, Djamilia Skripnuk, Viktor Merkulov, Kseniia N. Kikkas and Konstantin Skripniuk
Resources 2023, 12(8), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12080086 - 26 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1048
Abstract
This article systematizes scientific views on the problems associated with the conditions and patterns of creating a digital model of a sophisticated engineering and technical complex. The main elements of a digital model of the life cycle of an offshore oil and gas [...] Read more.
This article systematizes scientific views on the problems associated with the conditions and patterns of creating a digital model of a sophisticated engineering and technical complex. The main elements of a digital model of the life cycle of an offshore oil and gas platform are considered. An interdisciplinary approach to the study of the essence of the subject space of the life cycle of an offshore oil and gas platform is substantiated on the basis of modeling the subject space of the life cycle of an offshore oil and gas platform using alternative graphs and information technologies. New concepts have been introduced into scientific circulation that reveal the essence of a digital model of the life cycle of an offshore oil and gas platform: life cycle cost, life cycle duration, and the scientific and technical level of the offshore oil and gas platform. The main provisions of the concept of the virtual life cycle of an offshore oil and gas platform are considered. Based on modeling the subject area of the life cycle of an offshore oil and gas platform by alternative graphs, is shown the relationship between the stages of the life cycle. The technology of model-based design of the virtual life cycle of an offshore oil and gas platform is proposed. The developed model of the life cycle of an offshore oil and gas platform based on the display of the life cycle by alternative graphs makes it possible to choose solutions for each stage based on criteria common to the life cycle of an offshore oil and gas platform. A cyclic procedure for managing a virtual life cycle model of an offshore oil and gas platform has been developed. The digital model of the life cycle of an offshore oil and gas platform is constantly updated following the change in physical prototypes, which increases the accuracy of decisions based on it. The application of the model in practice will significantly reduce the number of full-scale tests of everything related to the manufacture of the real material part of a platform. Full article
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