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Resources, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2015) – 11 articles , Pages 172-433

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Article
The Household Cooking Sector in Nigeria: Environmental and Economic Sustainability Assessment
Resources 2015, 4(2), 412-433; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020412 - 18 Jun 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3496
Abstract
This paper studies life cycle environmental impacts and costs of the household cooking sector in Nigeria from 2003 to 2030. Five scenarios are considered: business as usual, dominated by fuel wood stoves; low penetration of improved fuel wood and solar stoves, as planned [...] Read more.
This paper studies life cycle environmental impacts and costs of the household cooking sector in Nigeria from 2003 to 2030. Five scenarios are considered: business as usual, dominated by fuel wood stoves; low penetration of improved fuel wood and solar stoves, as planned by the government; high penetration of these stoves; increased use of fossil fuel stoves; and increased use of electric stoves. If business as usual (BAU) continues, the environmental impacts would increase by up to four times and costs by up to five times, mainly because of high fuel wood consumption. Implementing the government’s plan to introduce improved fuel wood and solar stoves would yield no environmental advantages, as the proposed number of stoves is too low. A higher number of the advanced stoves would lead to significant improvements in some impacts but would worsen others so that some trade-offs are needed. From the economic perspective, the scenario with a high use of advanced stoves has the lowest total costs but its capital costs are three times higher than for BAU. The government should prioritise the introduction of advanced stoves to reduce health impact from indoor pollution and reduce pressures on biomass resources; however, this may require subsidies. Fossil fuel and electric stoves would also help to preserve biomass and reduce health impacts from indoor pollution but would lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and depletion of fossil resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources in Developing and Developed Regions)
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Article
Assessing the Life-Cycle Performance of Hydrogen Production via Biofuel Reforming in Europe
Resources 2015, 4(2), 398-411; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020398 - 17 Jun 2015
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4385
Abstract
Currently, hydrogen is mainly produced through steam reforming of natural gas. However, this conventional process involves environmental and energy security concerns. This has led to the development of alternative technologies for (potentially) green hydrogen production. In this work, the environmental and energy performance [...] Read more.
Currently, hydrogen is mainly produced through steam reforming of natural gas. However, this conventional process involves environmental and energy security concerns. This has led to the development of alternative technologies for (potentially) green hydrogen production. In this work, the environmental and energy performance of biohydrogen produced in Europe via steam reforming of glycerol and bio-oil is evaluated from a life-cycle perspective, and contrasted with that of conventional hydrogen from steam methane reforming. Glycerol as a by-product from the production of rapeseed biodiesel and bio-oil from the fast pyrolysis of poplar biomass are considered. The processing plants are simulated in Aspen Plus® to provide inventory data for the life cycle assessment. The environmental impact potentials evaluated include abiotic depletion, global warming, ozone layer depletion, photochemical oxidant formation, land competition, acidification and eutrophication. Furthermore, the cumulative (total and non-renewable) energy demand is calculated, as well as the corresponding renewability scores and life-cycle energy balances and efficiencies of the biohydrogen products. In addition to quantitative evidence of the (expected) relevance of the feedstock and impact categories considered, results show that poplar-derived bio-oil could be a suitable feedstock for steam reforming, in contrast to first-generation bioglycerol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources in Developing and Developed Regions)
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Article
A Comparison of Single and Multi-Stream Recycling Systems in Ontario, Canada
Resources 2015, 4(2), 384-397; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020384 - 17 Jun 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 7329
Abstract
This study examines differences in cost and recycling performance between single and multi-stream recycling systems in Ontario, Canada. Using panel data from 223 provincial municipalities spanning a ten year period, focus is placed on analyzing: (a) Are material management costs for municipalities who [...] Read more.
This study examines differences in cost and recycling performance between single and multi-stream recycling systems in Ontario, Canada. Using panel data from 223 provincial municipalities spanning a ten year period, focus is placed on analyzing: (a) Are material management costs for municipalities who implement single stream collection less than those that implement multi stream collection? (b) Are recycling rates for single stream municipalities higher than municipalities with multi stream collection? (c) Do municipalities with multi stream collection realize higher revenues from the sale of recyclable material? The results of the analysis show that while single stream recycling programs recycle more than multi stream programs, they face significantly higher material management costs. This was contrary to the prevailing opinion that single stream recycling is a cheaper alternative to multi-stream recycling. As far as can be ascertained, this is one of the few studies of its kind to examine the differences in material management costs and recycling performance between single and multi-stream recycling systems. This topic is of increasing importance, as single stream recycling is being touted as preferred waste management option in both Ontario and abroad. Full article
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Communication
Wind Resource Quality Affected by High Levels of Renewables
Resources 2015, 4(2), 378-383; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020378 - 17 Jun 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2191
Abstract
For solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind resources, the capacity factor is an important parameter describing the quality of the resource. As the share of variable renewable resources (such as PV and wind) on the electric system is increasing, so does curtailment (and the [...] Read more.
For solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind resources, the capacity factor is an important parameter describing the quality of the resource. As the share of variable renewable resources (such as PV and wind) on the electric system is increasing, so does curtailment (and the fraction of time when it cannot be avoided). At high levels of renewable generation, curtailments effectively change the practical measure of resource quality from capacity factor to the incremental capacity factor. The latter accounts only for generation during hours of no curtailment and is directly connected with the marginal capital cost of renewable generators for a given level of renewable generation during the year. The Western U.S. wind generation is analyzed hourly for a system with 75% of annual generation from wind, and it is found that the value for the system of resources with equal capacity factors can vary by a factor of 2, which highlights the importance of using the incremental capacity factor instead. The effect is expected to be more pronounced in smaller geographic areas (or when transmission limitations imposed) and less pronounced at lower levels of renewable energy in the system with less curtailment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Variation of the Wind Resource)
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Article
Geochemical Characterization of Groundwater in a Volcanic System
Resources 2015, 4(2), 358-377; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020358 - 12 Jun 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2654
Abstract
A geochemical investigation was undertaken at Mt. Etna Volcano to better define groundwater characteristics of its aquifers. Results indicate that the Na–Mg ± Ca–HCO3 ± (SO42− or Cl) type accounts for more than 80% of the groundwater [...] Read more.
A geochemical investigation was undertaken at Mt. Etna Volcano to better define groundwater characteristics of its aquifers. Results indicate that the Na–Mg ± Ca–HCO3 ± (SO42− or Cl) type accounts for more than 80% of the groundwater composition in the volcano. The remaining 20% is characterized by elevated Ca2+. Waters along coastal areas are enriched in SO42− or Cl, mainly due to mixing with seawater and anthropogenic effects. The majority of the samples showed values between −4‰ to −9‰ for δ18O and −19‰ to −53‰ for δ2H, suggesting that precipitation is the predominant source of recharge to the aquifers, especially in the west of the study area. The analysis of δ13C and pCO2 shows values 1 to 3 times higher than those expected for waters in equilibrium with the atmosphere, suggesting a partial gas contribution from deep sources. The diffusion of gasses is likely to be controlled by tectonic structures in the volcano. The ascent of deep brines is also reflected in the CO2 enrichment (up to 2.2 bars) and enriched δ2H/δ18O compositions observed in the salt mounts of Paternò. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quantity and Quality)
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Review
Groundwater Quantity and Quality Issues in a Water-Rich Region: Examples from Wisconsin, USA
Resources 2015, 4(2), 323-357; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020323 - 03 Jun 2015
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 7216
Abstract
The State of Wisconsin is located in an unusually water-rich portion of the world in the western part of the Great Lakes region of North America. This article presents an overview of the major groundwater quantity and quality concerns for this region in [...] Read more.
The State of Wisconsin is located in an unusually water-rich portion of the world in the western part of the Great Lakes region of North America. This article presents an overview of the major groundwater quantity and quality concerns for this region in a geologic context. The water quantity concerns are most prominent in the central sand plain region and portions of a Paleozoic confined sandstone aquifer in eastern Wisconsin. Water quality concerns are more varied, with significant impacts from both naturally occurring inorganic contaminants and anthropogenic sources. Naturally occurring contaminants include radium, arsenic and associated heavy metals, fluoride, strontium, and others. Anthropogenic contaminants include nitrate, bacteria, viruses, as well as endocrine disrupting compounds. Groundwater quality in the region is highly dependent upon local geology and land use, but water bearing geologic units of all ages, Precambrian through Quaternary, are impacted by at least one kind of contaminant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quantity and Quality)
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Article
Biodiversity of Food Species of the Solanaceae Family: A Preliminary Taxonomic Inventory of Subfamily Solanoideae
Resources 2015, 4(2), 277-322; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020277 - 12 May 2015
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 6446
Abstract
Over the last fifty years there has been a continual reduction in horticultural and agricultural biodiversity of nutritionally important plants, including those of the Solanaceae family. To add to this, the broad range of traditional crops, previously grown on a sustainable scale in [...] Read more.
Over the last fifty years there has been a continual reduction in horticultural and agricultural biodiversity of nutritionally important plants, including those of the Solanaceae family. To add to this, the broad range of traditional crops, previously grown on a sustainable scale in some parts of the world, has been replaced by a narrow range of major crops grown as large-scale monocultures. In order to counteract this trend, and to help maintain a broad wealth of genetic resources, conservation is essential. This, in turn, helps to safeguard food security. A taxonomic inventory, covering the diversity of species in a plant group, is an important first step in conservation. The Solanaceae is one of the major plant families providing food species. A survey of the biodiversity, ethnobotany and taxonomy of subfamily Solanoideae was undertaken and is presented here as an inventory of food species. Fifteen genera provide species that are utilised for food across the world. Of these, only four genera contain economically significant cultivated food cropspecies. The majority of these are in the genus Solanum, whilst Capsicum, Physalis and Lycium contribute the remainder of cultivated crop species. These genera and others also comprise species that are semi-cultivated, tolerated as useful weeds, or gathered from the wild. Full article
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Article
The Energy-Water Nexus: An Analysis and Comparison of Various Configurations Integrating Desalination with Renewable Power
Resources 2015, 4(2), 227-276; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020227 - 27 Apr 2015
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3853
Abstract
This investigation studies desalination powered by wind and solar energy, including a study of a configuration using PVT solar panels. First, a water treatment was developed to estimate the power requirement for brackish groundwater reverse-osmosis (BWRO) desalination. Next, an energy model was designed [...] Read more.
This investigation studies desalination powered by wind and solar energy, including a study of a configuration using PVT solar panels. First, a water treatment was developed to estimate the power requirement for brackish groundwater reverse-osmosis (BWRO) desalination. Next, an energy model was designed to (1) size a wind farm based on this power requirement and (2) size a solar farm to preheat water before reverse osmosis treatment. Finally, an integrated model was developed that combines results from the water treatment and energy models. The integrated model optimizes performances of the proposed facility to maximize daily operational profits. Results indicate that integrated facility can reduce grid-purchased electricity costs by 88% during summer months and 89% during winter when compared to a stand-alone desalination plant. Additionally, the model suggests that the integrated configuration can generate $574 during summer and $252 during winter from sales of wind- and solar-generated electricity to supplement revenue from water production. These results indicate that an integrated facility combining desalination, wind power, and solar power can potentially reduce reliance on grid-purchased electricity and advance the use of renewable power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quantity and Quality)
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Article
Climate Change Impacts on Oklahoma Wind Resources: Potential Energy Output Changes
Resources 2015, 4(2), 203-226; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020203 - 21 Apr 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2748
Abstract
An extensive literature on climate change modeling points to future changes in wind climates. Some areas are projected to gain wind resources, while others are projected to lose wind resources. Oklahoma is presently wind rich with this resource extensively exploited for power generation. [...] Read more.
An extensive literature on climate change modeling points to future changes in wind climates. Some areas are projected to gain wind resources, while others are projected to lose wind resources. Oklahoma is presently wind rich with this resource extensively exploited for power generation. Our work examined the wind power implications under the IPCC’s A2 scenario for the decades 2040–2049, 2050–2059 and 2060–2069 as compared to model reanalysis and Oklahoma Mesonetwork observations for the base decade of 1990–1999. Using two western Oklahoma wind farms as examples, we used North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) modeling outputs to calculate changes in wind power generation. The results show both wind farms to gain in output for all decades as compared to 1990–1999. Yet, the results are uneven by seasons and with some decades exhibiting decreases in the fall. These results are of interest in that it is clear that investors cannot count on wind studies of the present to adequately characterize future productivity. If our results are validated over time, Oklahoma stands to gain wind resources through the next several decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Variation of the Wind Resource)
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Article
Putting Corporate Social Responsibility to Work in Mining Communities: Exploring Community Needs for Central Appalachian Wastewater Treatment
Resources 2015, 4(2), 185-202; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020185 - 08 Apr 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4426
Abstract
Due to the finite nature of non-renewable mineral and energy resources such as coal, resource extraction is inherently unsustainable; however, mining and related activities can contribute to sustainable development. Indeed, the principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) require that mine operators design and [...] Read more.
Due to the finite nature of non-renewable mineral and energy resources such as coal, resource extraction is inherently unsustainable; however, mining and related activities can contribute to sustainable development. Indeed, the principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) require that mine operators design and conduct their activities in ways that provide for net positive impacts on surrounding communities and environments. In Central Appalachia, there appears to be a particularly ripe opportunity for the coal industry to put CSR to work: participation in sustainable solutions to the long-standing problem of inadequately treated wastewater discharges—which not only represent a potential human health hazard, but also contribute to the relatively high incidence of bacterial impairments in surface waters in the region. In this paper, we outline the underlying factors of this problem and the advantages of industry-aided solutions in a region where limited economic and technical resources are not always aligned with social and environmental needs. We also suggest a framework for problem-solving, which necessarily involves all interested stakeholders, and identify the primary challenges that must be overcome in pursuit of sustainable solutions. Full article
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Article
Groundwater Challenges of the Lower Rio Grande: A Case Study of Legal Issues in Texas and New Mexico
Resources 2015, 4(2), 172-184; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4020172 - 30 Mar 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3098
Abstract
In 1938, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado signed the Rio Grande Compact, establishing terms of apportionment for some of the water from the Rio Grande for the three states. Following congressional approval in 1939, this compact governs water allocation in a region with [...] Read more.
In 1938, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado signed the Rio Grande Compact, establishing terms of apportionment for some of the water from the Rio Grande for the three states. Following congressional approval in 1939, this compact governs water allocation in a region with a variable climate and frequent drought conditions and established the Rio Grande Compact Commission, comprised of a commissioner from each state and one from the federal government, to enforce the compact. With an increasing population and declining surface water supply, the Compact has been tested among the parties and within the states themselves. In a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado (2013), Texas claims New Mexico is violating the Compact and Rio Grande Project Act by using water in excess of its apportionment through its allowance of diversions of surface and groundwater. The issue is further compounded by disputes within Texas over separate legal regimes for groundwater and surface water. Combined with growing scarcity issues, the allocation of water in the Lower Rio Grande presents a timely natural resource challenge. This review explores legal issues involved in the case as well as growing challenges of population growth, agricultural development needs, and water shortages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quantity and Quality)
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