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Resources, Volume 13, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 16 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Geoparks are territorial organizations, whose primary aim is to foster sustainable local development through the promotion of geoheritage, geotourism and geoeducation. However, the distribution of these resources in geoparks may be uneven. We first review four cases of UNESCO Global Geoparks from different European countries (Czechia, Germany, Hungary and Portugal) where such a situation occurs, with consequences on tourism development. Then, we place particular focus on an aspiring geopark of the Land of Extinct Volcanoes in SW Poland, providing evidence of its geoheritage and geodiversity. This aspiring geopark integrates a mountainous, upland terrain and a lowland part, the latter with far fewer sites of interest and, apparently, fewer opportunities to successfully develop geotourism. View this paper
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14 pages, 3043 KiB  
Article
Technogenic Reservoirs Resources of Mine Methane When Implementing the Circular Waste Management Concept
by Vladimir Brigida, Vladimir Ivanovich Golik, Elena V. Voitovich, Vladislav V. Kukartsev, Valeriy E. Gozbenko, Vladimir Yu. Konyukhov and Tatiana A. Oparina
Resources 2024, 13(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020033 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 989
Abstract
From a commercial viewpoint, mine methane is the most promising object in the field of reducing emissions of climate-active gases due to circular waste management. Therefore, the task of this research is to estimate the technogenic reservoirs resources of mine methane when implementing [...] Read more.
From a commercial viewpoint, mine methane is the most promising object in the field of reducing emissions of climate-active gases due to circular waste management. Therefore, the task of this research is to estimate the technogenic reservoirs resources of mine methane when implementing the circular waste management concept. The novelty of the authors’ approach lies in reconstructing the response space for the dynamics of methane release from the front and cross projections: CH4 = ƒ(S; t) and CH4 = ƒ(S; L), respectively. The research established a polynomial dependence of nonlinear changes in methane concentrations in the mixture extracted by type 4 wells when a massif is undermined as a result of mining in a full-retreat panel. And the distance from the face to the start of mining the panel is reduced by 220 m. For this reason, the emission of mine methane, in case of degasification network disruption in 15 days, can amount to more than 660 thousand m3 only for wells of type no. 4. Full article
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14 pages, 5135 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Synthetic-Temporal Imagery as an Environmental Covariate for Digital Soil Mapping: A Case Study in Soils under Tropical Pastures
by Fabio Arnaldo Pomar Avalos, Michele Duarte de Menezes, Fausto Weimar Acerbi Júnior, Nilton Curi, Junior Cesar Avanzi and Marx Leandro Naves Silva
Resources 2024, 13(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020032 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1070
Abstract
Digital soil maps are paramount for supporting environmental process analysis, planning for the conservation of ecosystems, and sustainable agriculture. The availability of dense time series of surface reflectance data provides valuable information for digital soil mapping (DSM). A detailed soil survey, along with [...] Read more.
Digital soil maps are paramount for supporting environmental process analysis, planning for the conservation of ecosystems, and sustainable agriculture. The availability of dense time series of surface reflectance data provides valuable information for digital soil mapping (DSM). A detailed soil survey, along with a stack of Landsat 8 SR data and a rainfall time series, were analyzed to evaluate the influence of soil on the temporal patterns of vegetation greenness, assessed using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Based on these relationships, imagery depicting land surface phenology (LSP) metrics and other soil-forming factors proxies were evaluated as environmental covariates for DSM. The random forest algorithm was applied as a predictive model to relate soils and environmental covariates. The study focused on four soils typical of tropical conditions under pasture cover. Soil parent material and topography covariates were found to be similarly important to LSP metrics, especially those LSP images related to the seasonal availability of water to plants, registering significant contributions to the random forest model. Stronger effects of rainfall seasonality on LSP were observed for the Red Latosol (Ferralsol). The results of this study demonstrate that the addition of temporal variability of vegetation greenness can be used to assess soil subsurface processes and assist in DSM. Full article
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13 pages, 718 KiB  
Review
Biochar: A Key Player in Carbon Credits and Climate Mitigation
by Alaa Salma, Lydia Fryda and Hayet Djelal
Resources 2024, 13(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020031 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1982
Abstract
The creation of the carbon market came forth as a tool for managing, controlling, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, combining environmental responsibility with financial incentives. Biochar has gained recognition as one of potential carbon offset solution. The practical and cost-effective establishment of biochar [...] Read more.
The creation of the carbon market came forth as a tool for managing, controlling, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, combining environmental responsibility with financial incentives. Biochar has gained recognition as one of potential carbon offset solution. The practical and cost-effective establishment of biochar carbon credit standards is crucial for the integration of biochar into carbon trading systems, thus encouraging investments in the biochar industry while promoting sustainable carbon dioxide sequestration practices on a global scale. This communication focuses on the potential of biochar in carbon sequestration. Additionally, it spotlights case studies that highlight how biochar effectively generates carbon credits, as well as discussing the evolving carbon removal marketplace. Furthermore, we address knowledge gaps, areas of concern, and research priorities regarding biochar implementation in carbon credits, with the aim of enhancing our understanding of its role in climate change mitigation. This review positions biochar as a versatile and scalable technology with the potential to contribute significantly to carbon credits, aligning with sustainable development goals. It calls for continued research, transparency, and international cooperation to explore the full potential of biochar in climate change mitigation efforts. Full article
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21 pages, 6779 KiB  
Article
Animals Feed in Transition: Intricate Interplay of Land Use Land Cover Change and Fodder Sources in Kurram Valley, Pakistan
by Kamal Hussain, Fazlur Rahman, Ihsan Ullah, Zahir Ahmad and Udo Schickhoff
Resources 2024, 13(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020030 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1097
Abstract
Land use land cover (LULC) changes have emerged as a pivotal driver of environmental challenges in the Northwestern mountainous belts of Pakistan. These changes are increasingly recognized for their pervasive impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The conversion of pastures and rangelands into [...] Read more.
Land use land cover (LULC) changes have emerged as a pivotal driver of environmental challenges in the Northwestern mountainous belts of Pakistan. These changes are increasingly recognized for their pervasive impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The conversion of pastures and rangelands into other land uses is a key facet of LULC change, posing a substantial threat to the availability of animal feed sources. This study aims to evaluate LULC changes and investigate their consequences on animal feed sources in the Upper Kurram Valley, located in the Koh-e-Safid mountain of Northwestern Pakistan. The study employs a multidisciplinary methodological approach that incorporates remotely sensed data, focus group discussions, interviews, and field observations. The study findings uncover a notable decline in rangeland (26.6%) and forest cover (28.7%) over a span of more than three decades (1987–2019). The shrinkage of rangeland has spurred an increased reliance on crop residues and fodder crops. The free grazing practices have been replaced by stall-feeding and controlled grazing methods. This declining rangeland resources has negatively affected animal husbandry, and the average number of livestock per household decreased from 32 in 1980 to 3.7 in 2019. In essence, this transition has not only impacted animal feed sources but also reshaped the livelihoods of local communities closely connected to animal husbandry. Full article
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16 pages, 3350 KiB  
Article
Edaphic Drivers Influencing Forage Grasslands in Bujagh National Park, Iran
by Mohsen Mahfouzi, Amir Hossein Hamidian and Mohammad Kaboli
Resources 2024, 13(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020029 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 924
Abstract
The edaphic and environmental changes in Bujagh grasslands have led to a gradual decline in the wintering waterbird populations in the associated national park. This has particularly affected forage habitats for birds, especially migratory geese. Our aim was to identify the reasons for [...] Read more.
The edaphic and environmental changes in Bujagh grasslands have led to a gradual decline in the wintering waterbird populations in the associated national park. This has particularly affected forage habitats for birds, especially migratory geese. Our aim was to identify the reasons for the loss of habitat quality by examining the structure of the plant community and the edaphic factors that have been instrumental in shifting the grass community pattern to a Rush–Rubus type along the succession route. Bujagh National Park is surrounded by marine, riverine fresh water, and lagoon habitats, and the seasonal floodings of the Sefidrud and Ushmak rivers impact the grassland area along the deltaic pathway to the Caspian Sea. We used the TWINSPAN classification function to extract plant groups and their dominant species. Subsequently, we analyzed land cover changes in the study area over two times (2010 and 2020) to identify alterations in the coverage of main plants and land uses. Following the evaluation of unconstrained ordination methods and the selection of NMDS ordination, we compared the dominant species of groups to the main edaphic predictors. The results indicated that the chemicals and heavy metals in the soil did not play a direct role in the shift from grassland to Rush–Rubus plant type. However, these elements could have a significant impact on the evolution of the structure and the competitive capability among the main dominant species of the grass group. In conclusion, the dominance of the Rush–Rubus type is likely related to other unmeasured environmental and anthropogenic factors that support and enhance their reproductive attributes and herbal proliferation in the grassland territory. Full article
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17 pages, 3565 KiB  
Article
Multi-Decadal Nutrient Management and Trends in Two Catchments of Lake Okeechobee
by Rachael Z. Cooper, Sarina J. Ergas and Mahmood Nachabe
Resources 2024, 13(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020028 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 972
Abstract
 Despite years of efforts to improve water quality, harmful algal blooms remain a chronic phenomenon, with devastating environmental, economic, and social impacts in many regions worldwide. In this study, we assessed the complexity of nutrient pollution attributed to harmful algal blooms in South [...] Read more.
 Despite years of efforts to improve water quality, harmful algal blooms remain a chronic phenomenon, with devastating environmental, economic, and social impacts in many regions worldwide. In this study, we assessed the complexity of nutrient pollution attributed to harmful algal blooms in South Florida (USA) by analyzing 20 years of flow and nutrient data within two headwater basins in the Lake Okeechobee (LO) watershed. The study used an established advanced regression method, the Weighted Regression on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS) method, as an analysis framework to examine the impact of nutrient management practices on water quality trends. The WRTDS method produced total phosphorus (TP) and total nitrogen (TN) concentration and flux trends, which were then compared with existing and historic nutrient management records within the basin. Results from this study highlight divergences in progress to improve water quality. Nutrient management practices only had a weak impact on TP and TN flux trends in one of the two basins, where TP flux decreased 2% per year, and TN flux decreased 0.1% per year. TP and TN flux increased in the second basin. Variances of improvement between the two basins are likely attributable to differences in contemporary point source loading and legacy nutrient pools from non-point source inputs 20 years or more before the analysis period. The long-lasting impacts of legacy nutrients also emphasize a need for investments in technologies and practices that can withdraw nutrients from enriched soil and water.  Full article
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19 pages, 2016 KiB  
Article
Ways to Improve the Effectiveness of Depressant Additives for the Production of Winter and Arctic Diesel Fuels
by Ilya Bogdanov, Yana Morozova, Andrey Altynov, Alina Titaeva and Maria Kirgina
Resources 2024, 13(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020027 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1062
Abstract
Diesel fuel is the main fuel for transport and power generation for remote areas, especially the Arctic. For these territories, it is important to produce low-freezing fuel grades. The most effective way to improve the low-temperature properties of diesel fuels (cloud point, pour [...] Read more.
Diesel fuel is the main fuel for transport and power generation for remote areas, especially the Arctic. For these territories, it is important to produce low-freezing fuel grades. The most effective way to improve the low-temperature properties of diesel fuels (cloud point, pour point, and cold filter plugging point) is the use of depressant additives. Existing research shows that the depressant additives’ effectiveness is influenced by many factors. The most important factors are diesel fuel composition, additive concentration, and the temperature of additive introduction into the fuel (adding temperature). The purpose of this work is to find ways to increase the efficiency of depressant additives for the production of low-freezing diesel fuels by choosing the most effective additive concentration and adding temperature for fuels of various compositions. During the work, low-temperature properties were determined and the effectiveness of three depressant additives was assessed on four samples of diesel fuel at four concentrations (0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 5.0 c.u., where c.u. (conditional unit) is the concentration recommended by the manufacturer of the additives). In addition, low-temperature properties for blends of six depressant additives and two samples of diesel fuel at five adding temperatures (15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 °C) were determined. In this work, in contrast to existing works, it was established for the first time that the composition of the fuel affects not only the depressant additives effectiveness, but also the dependence of the additive effectiveness on the concentration in which it is used. It is shown that the higher the content of paraffins in the composition of the diesel fuel, the less the depressant additive’s effectiveness in relation to cold filter plugging point depends on the concentration and the more the depressant additive’s effectiveness in relation to the power point depends on the concentration. An inverse relationship was revealed for the content of aromatic hydrocarbons in diesel fuel. It was also found for the first time that an increase in the adding temperature of depressant additives up to 35–55 °C enhances the effectiveness of their action in relation to the cold filter plugging point (maximum at 6–7 °C). It is shown that the greater additive effect on the cold filter plugging point of the diesel fuel, the more strongly the depressant effectiveness depends on the adding temperature. The work provides recommendations for obtaining the most low-freezing classes of fuel based on the samples considered. The regularities identified in the work will make it possible, depending on the composition of the fuel, to select the optimal concentration of the additive and the temperature of its adding, which will increase the efficiency of the additives, as well as the volume of low-freezing grades of diesel fuel production. Full article
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30 pages, 8489 KiB  
Article
Waste Management during the Production Drilling Stage in the Oil and Gas Sector: A Feasibility Study
by Andrey Lebedev and Alexey Cherepovitsyn
Resources 2024, 13(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020026 - 05 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1662
Abstract
Drilling-waste management is of great importance in the oil and gas industry due to the substantial volume of multi-component waste generated during the production process. Improper waste handling can pose serious environmental risks, including soil and water contamination and the release of harmful [...] Read more.
Drilling-waste management is of great importance in the oil and gas industry due to the substantial volume of multi-component waste generated during the production process. Improper waste handling can pose serious environmental risks, including soil and water contamination and the release of harmful chemicals. Failure to properly manage waste can result in large fines and legal consequences, as well as damage to corporate reputation. Proper drilling-waste management is essential to mitigate these risks and ensure the sustainable and responsible operation of oil and gas projects. It involves the use of advanced technologies and best practices to treat and utilize drilling waste in an environmentally safe and cost-effective manner. This article describes a feasibility study of four drilling-waste management options in the context of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug of Russia. For ten years of the project life, the NPV under the base scenario is equal to RUB −3374.3 million, under the first scenario is equal to RUB −1466.7 million, under the second scenario is equal to RUB −1666.8 million and under the third scenario is equal to RUB −792.4 million. When considering projects, regardless of oil production, the project under the third scenario pays off in 7.8 years and the NPV is RUB 7.04 million. The MCD and MCV parameters were calculated to be 106 km and 2290 tons, respectively. Furthermore, the study estimates the ecological damage prevented and the environmental effect of each option. Quantitative risk assessments, conducted through sensitivity analysis, reveal that the fourth option, involving the conversion of drilling waste into construction materials, emerges as the most economically feasible. The study also evaluates the interaction between business and government and analyzes the current situation in the sphere of drilling-waste management, concluding with concise recommendations for both companies and official bodies. Full article
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23 pages, 2112 KiB  
Article
Modelling Possible Household Uses of Grey Water in Poland using Property Fitting Analysis
by Józef Ober, Janusz Karwot and Charli Sitinjak
Resources 2024, 13(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020025 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1186
Abstract
One of the most important methods of optimising water consumption is grey water recycling. From a technological point of view, the treatment of grey water guarantees that it can be reused for domestic or corporate purposes, but it raises the issue of the [...] Read more.
One of the most important methods of optimising water consumption is grey water recycling. From a technological point of view, the treatment of grey water guarantees that it can be reused for domestic or corporate purposes, but it raises the issue of the social acceptance of the use of such water. This study aimed to assess the possibility of using grey water in households in Poland. The originality of this research study lies in the application of the PROFIT method for the separate construction of models of the benefits of grey water according to user groups. Four groups were identified, differentiated by gender and age; age and possession of an irretrievable water meter; gender and place of residence; place of residence and possession of an irretrievable water meter. To answer the formulated research questions, a diagnostic survey method was used, in which 807 randomly selected respondents from all over Poland were surveyed. The results of the survey indicate that homeowners perceive the potential use of grey water as beneficial, pointing most often to the following factors: rebuilding groundwater levels, reduced extraction of drinking water from rivers and other water bodies, and increased vegetation growth. On the other hand, they are concerned about the need to reconstruct the existing water and sewerage systems in order to produce drinking water from grey water as well as about the high cost and parameter stability of drinking water produced from grey water. Furthermore, men and older people attribute less importance to measures related to the introduction of good practices based on the reuse of recycled water in water management. Women, on the other hand, appreciate almost all opportunities to use grey water to a greater extent than men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Water and Energy Systems in the Buildings)
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16 pages, 2941 KiB  
Article
An Investigation of Willingness to Pay for Geopark Management and Conservation: A Case Study of Geotourists in the Greater China Region
by Wei Fang, Gloria Rui Gou, Lewis T. O. Cheung, Lincoln Fok, Alice S. Y. Chow and Ke Zhang
Resources 2024, 13(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020024 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1217
Abstract
Willingness to pay (WTP) for geological protection is essential for market-based geopark conservation tactic formulations. Whether geotourists are willing to pay and how much they prefer to pay might be influenced by different determinants. The present study aims to (1) investigate the probability [...] Read more.
Willingness to pay (WTP) for geological protection is essential for market-based geopark conservation tactic formulations. Whether geotourists are willing to pay and how much they prefer to pay might be influenced by different determinants. The present study aims to (1) investigate the probability of paying and the payment amount for geopark conservation and (2) examine how factors influence the intention and amount to pay for the upkeep of geoparks. The results suggest that geotourists would contribute financially to geological conservation and geopark management. The findings also revealed that geotourists’ intentions and payment for conservation were associated with educational background and monthly income level. In addition, geotourist attachment and satisfaction concerning visiting geoparks positively affected intention and payment. This study might provide empirical references for geopark management and conservation in the Greater China Region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Geodiversity Research)
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22 pages, 7818 KiB  
Article
Non-Uniform Distribution of Geoheritage Resources in Geoparks—Problems, Challenges and Opportunities
by Piotr Migoń and Edyta Pijet-Migoń
Resources 2024, 13(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020023 - 02 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1211
Abstract
Geoparks are territorial organizations, whose primary aim is to foster sustainable local development through the promotion of geoheritage, geotourism and geoeducation. Sites of significant interest from the perspective of geosciences (geosites), as well as the overall geodiversity of the territory, are the fundamental [...] Read more.
Geoparks are territorial organizations, whose primary aim is to foster sustainable local development through the promotion of geoheritage, geotourism and geoeducation. Sites of significant interest from the perspective of geosciences (geosites), as well as the overall geodiversity of the territory, are the fundamental resources for geopark activities. The distribution of these resources in the geographical space of geoparks may, however, be uneven. We first review four cases of UNESCO Global Geoparks from different European countries (Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Portugal) where such a situation occurs, with consequences on tourism development. Then, we place particular focus on an aspiring geopark of the Land of Extinct Volcanoes in SW Poland, providing evidence of its geoheritage and geodiversity values. The aspiring geopark integrates a mountainous–upland terrain and a lowland part, the latter with much fewer sites of interest and, apparently, fewer opportunities to successfully develop geotourism. Recognizing the challenges emerging from the non-uniform distribution of resources and learning from established geoparks, we highlight various opportunities to encourage (geo)tourism in the less diverse sections of the geoparks. Implementation of the ABC (abiotic–biotic–cultural) concept could be particularly helpful, as could be various events organized in these areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geosites as Tools for the Promotion and Conservation of Geoheritage)
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25 pages, 5588 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Capabilities: Unveiling Key Resources for Environmental Sustainability and Economic Sustainability, and Corporate Social Responsibility towards Sustainable Development Goals
by Jacqueline de Almeida Barbosa Franco, Ary Franco Junior, Rosane Aparecida Gomes Battistelle and Barbara Stolte Bezerra
Resources 2024, 13(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020022 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1688
Abstract
This paper examines the role of dynamic capabilities as resources for achieving environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, and corporate social responsibility within the pillars of the Sustainable Development Goals. Economic growth and technological progress, while driving societal advancements, have also contributed to challenges such [...] Read more.
This paper examines the role of dynamic capabilities as resources for achieving environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, and corporate social responsibility within the pillars of the Sustainable Development Goals. Economic growth and technological progress, while driving societal advancements, have also contributed to challenges such as inefficient resource utilization, social inequality, climate change, and unsustainable production. Through an integrative review, the paper identifies sixteen dynamic capabilities incorporated into a business framework. These capabilities aim to support environmental and economic sustainability, along with corporate social responsibility in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The paper emphasizes opportunities for companies and academia to adopt sustainable practices. This contribution aims to advance the broader objective of sustainable development by promoting a balance between societal progress and responsible resource management. Full article
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21 pages, 3237 KiB  
Article
The Bioenergetic Potential from Coffee Processing Residues: Towards an Industrial Symbiosis
by Lorena Torres Albarracin, Irina Ramirez Mas, Lucas Tadeu Fuess, Renata Piacentini Rodriguez, Maria Paula Cardeal Volpi and Bruna de Souza Moraes
Resources 2024, 13(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020021 - 31 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1250
Abstract
Coffee processing generates a large amount of organic waste, which has the potential for energy use through biogas production. Although Brazil dominates world coffee production, treating its residue with biogas technology is not a practice, especially due to this product’s seasonality, which hampers [...] Read more.
Coffee processing generates a large amount of organic waste, which has the potential for energy use through biogas production. Although Brazil dominates world coffee production, treating its residue with biogas technology is not a practice, especially due to this product’s seasonality, which hampers continuous digester operation. The implementation of biogas production from coffee residues in a concept of industrial symbiosis could overcome this. This work evaluates the biogas energy potential from the main liquid residues of coffee processing (i.e., mucilage and wash water) and their integration with glycerin and cattle manure. Around 2773 m3 biogas day−1 would be produced (75% CH4), used as biomethane (734 thousand m3 year−1), or thermal energy (23,000,000 MJ year−1), or electricity (2718 MWh year−1), which could supply, respectively, all the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and diesel demands of the farm, all the thermal energy demands of the grain drying process, as well as electricity for 30 residences. Considering the short coffee season, the results have a broader context for the application of biogas production on coffee processing farms, envisaging that the Agroindustrial Eco-Park concept has the potential to integrate various agroindustrial sectors for energy production, residue exchange, and water recirculation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Waste-to-Energy)
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10 pages, 884 KiB  
Article
Soybean Oil as a Green Solvent for the Recovery of Carotenoids from Banana Peel: Evaluation of the Storage and Processing on Final Product
by Nara Michi de Faria Ishikiriyama, Isabele Policarpo da Silveira, Joyce Viana Silva, Beatriz Pereira de Freitas, Claudete Norie Kunigami, Eliane Przytyk Jung and Leilson de Oliveira Ribeiro
Resources 2024, 13(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020020 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1214
Abstract
This study aimed to recover carotenoids from banana peel by employing a solid-liquid extraction using soybean oil as a green solvent. The oil with the highest total carotenoid content was evaluated for storage stability (30 °C/90 days) and thermal processing (100 and 200 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to recover carotenoids from banana peel by employing a solid-liquid extraction using soybean oil as a green solvent. The oil with the highest total carotenoid content was evaluated for storage stability (30 °C/90 days) and thermal processing (100 and 200 °C/1–2 h). The results for changing temperature (33–67 °C), solid-liquid ratio (1:6–1:74 w/w), and agitation (132–468 rpm) were combined to evaluate the recovery of carotenoids from banana peel in extractions performed for 1 h. The highest total carotenoid concentration obtained from banana peel with 13% residual moisture was 756 µg of β-carotene/mL of oil at 50 °C with a solid-liquid ratio of 1:6 and 300 rpm agitation, resulting in a 55% recovery, which is superior to the extraction using acetone as the solvent (50%). Nutritionally, the carotenoid-rich oil can substantially increase vitamin A intake since a 13-mL serving can correspond to 63–117% of the daily intake of vitamin A for different groups. Regarding storage, no differences were observed in the fatty acid profile of the carotenoid-rich oil and the control (pure soybean oil) after 90 days (p > 0.05). The fatty acid profile also remained the same after thermal processing, regardless of temperature and exposure time, except for linolenic acid. 84% retention of total carotenoids was observed after storage. For thermal processing at 100 and 200 °C, regardless of the processing time, a 91 and 31% retention were observed, respectively. Therefore, the use of banana peel as a raw material to obtain carotenoids using soybean oil as a green solvent can add value to production chains, and it is aligned with Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 12 of the UN 2030 Agenda, which aims to end hunger, achieve food security, promote sustainable agriculture and ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Extraction from Agricultural Products/Waste)
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20 pages, 571 KiB  
Review
Natural Resource Optimization and Sustainability in Society 5.0: A Comprehensive Review
by César Ramírez-Márquez, Thelma Posadas-Paredes, Alma Yunuen Raya-Tapia and José María Ponce-Ortega
Resources 2024, 13(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020019 - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 2181
Abstract
In this study, we examine Society 5.0, defined as a future framework where advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and other digital innovations are integrated into society for sustainable resource management. Society 5.0 represents an evolution from the [...] Read more.
In this study, we examine Society 5.0, defined as a future framework where advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and other digital innovations are integrated into society for sustainable resource management. Society 5.0 represents an evolution from the industrial focus of Industry 4.0, aiming for a harmonious balance between technological progress and human-centric values, consistent with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our methodology involves a detailed literature review, focusing on identifying and evaluating the roles of AI, IoT, and other emerging technologies in enhancing resource efficiency, particularly in the water and energy sectors, to minimize environmental impact. This approach allows us to present a comprehensive overview of current technological advancements and their potential applications in Society 5.0. Our study’s added value lies in its synthesis of diverse technological strategies, emphasizing the synergy between circular economy practices and sustainable economic development. We highlight the necessity for resilience and adaptability to ecological challenges and advocate for a collaborative, data-informed decision-making framework. Our findings portray Society 5.0 as a holistic model for addressing contemporary global challenges in resource management and conservation, projecting a future where technology aligns with sustainable, equitable, and human-centered development. Full article
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19 pages, 6245 KiB  
Article
Saltwater Intrusion and Agricultural Land Use Change in Nga Nam, Soc Trang, Vietnam
by Phan Chi Nguyen, Pham Thanh Vu, Nguyen Quoc Khuong, Huynh Vuong Thu Minh and Huynh Anh Vo
Resources 2024, 13(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13020018 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1463
Abstract
Under the effects of saltwater intrusion from rising sea water levels, climate change, and socioeconomic issues, the Nga Nam district in Vietnam has suffered damage to its agriculture and changes in agricultural land use. This study aimed to investigate the factors that influenced [...] Read more.
Under the effects of saltwater intrusion from rising sea water levels, climate change, and socioeconomic issues, the Nga Nam district in Vietnam has suffered damage to its agriculture and changes in agricultural land use. This study aimed to investigate the factors that influenced land use changes and to propose approaches to limit the changes in agricultural land use. The damage caused by saltwater intrusion on agricultural production was evaluated via the use of secondary data collected from the Department of Infrastructure Economics of the Nga Nam district in the period of 2010–2021. The results show that during the 2010–2015 period, agricultural production areas were affected in 2010, 2012, and 2015. In the period of 2015–2021, the trend of saltwater intrusion along the damaged area remarkably decreased due to the work of saltwater-preventing structures. In this period, the area of annual plants increased, while that of fruit trees decreased. In the area comprising annual plants, the area using the triple rice land use type converted into an area using the double rice and double rice–fish ones. Lands for fruit trees transitioned from mixed farming to specialized farming to raise the economic efficiency for farmers. These changes were affected by four main factors: the physical factor, the economy, society, and the environment. The environmental and economic factors were seen to play the most important role as drivers of changes in land use. The factors of saltwater intrusion and acid-sulfate-contaminated soil, consumer markets, floods, drought, profit, and investments were noted to be significant drivers in agricultural land use change. Thus, both structural and non-structural approaches are suggested to inhibit the safeguard changes in the future. Full article
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