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Resources, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2015) , Pages 736-957

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Open AccessProject Report
A Standard Characterization Methodology for Respirable Coal Mine Dust Using SEM-EDX
Resources 2015, 4(4), 939-957; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040939 - 14 Dec 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2302
Abstract
A key consideration for responsible development of mineral and energy resources is the well-being of workers. Respirable dust in mining environments represents a serious concern for occupational health. In particular, coal miners can be exposed to a variety of dust characteristics depending on [...] Read more.
A key consideration for responsible development of mineral and energy resources is the well-being of workers. Respirable dust in mining environments represents a serious concern for occupational health. In particular, coal miners can be exposed to a variety of dust characteristics depending on their work activities, and some exposures may pose risk for lung diseases like CWP and silicosis. As underscored by common regulatory frameworks, respirable dust exposures are generally characterized on the basis of total mass concentration, and also the silica mass fraction. However, relatively little emphasis has been placed on other dust characteristics that may be important in terms of identifying health risks. Comprehensive particle-level analysis to estimate chemistry, size, and shape distributions of particles is possible. This paper describes a standard methodology for characterization of respirable coal mine dust using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX). Preliminary verification of the method is shown based several dust samples collected from an underground mine in Central Appalachia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Entitlements: Institutional Influence on Mangrove Social-Ecological Systems in Northern Vietnam
Resources 2015, 4(4), 903-938; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040903 - 30 Nov 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2557
Abstract
Environment and development issues are complex and interdependent. Institutions underpinning state, private sector and civil society actions at various levels must address complexity to ensure social-ecological system integrity. However, responses often operate at only one governance level, with limited interactions with other levels, [...] Read more.
Environment and development issues are complex and interdependent. Institutions underpinning state, private sector and civil society actions at various levels must address complexity to ensure social-ecological system integrity. However, responses often operate at only one governance level, with limited interactions with other levels, restricting their ability to support communities who depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. This paper explores institutional factors influencing household entitlements to mangrove system provisioning goods on Vietnam’s northern coast. The environmental entitlements framework is used to identify: (1) current formal and informal institutional structures relating to mangrove systems; (2) the influence of state, private sector and non-governmental organisation actors at various levels; and (3) how actions occurring at and among various levels of governance shape mangrove system entitlements at the local level. Employing a case study approach, this research utilises qualitative methods and a multi-level governance approach to understand prevailing institutional contexts. Results indicate that reforms occurring within weak regulatory frameworks led to the concentration of power at the meso level, reducing the endowments of marginalized households. Market forces facilitated inequality and environmental degradation, negatively impacting household entitlements. Finally, a lack of formally recognised civil society constrained household capabilities to participate in mangrove planning. Mangrove dependent households must be integrated into mangrove planning at the local level, as processes at higher institutional levels affect household environmental entitlements and threaten sustainable outcomes. Ensuring views from the local level feed into the multi-level governance process is vital. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Analysis of Energy Usage and Energy Efficiency Behavior in Low- and High-Income Households: The Case of Kitwe, Zambia
Resources 2015, 4(4), 871-902; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040871 - 25 Nov 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2080
Abstract
Energy efficiency has been an important topic since the latter part of the last century. This is because adoption of energy efficiency measures has been acknowledged as one of the key methods of addressing the negative impact of climate change. In Zambia, however, [...] Read more.
Energy efficiency has been an important topic since the latter part of the last century. This is because adoption of energy efficiency measures has been acknowledged as one of the key methods of addressing the negative impact of climate change. In Zambia, however, the need to adopt energy efficiency measures has not just been driven by the imperative to mitigate the negative effects of climate change but also by a critical shortage of energy. This research looks at households’ energy consumption behavior in low- and high-income areas of Kitwe. Recent studies on the relationship between household energy consumption and behavioral lifestyle have been descriptive, with limited emphasis on the relationships between various variables. In this study, descriptive and inferential statistics have been used to investigate relationships between the two income groups and various energy consumption-related variables such as knowledge about energy reduction measures, energy saving strategies, barriers to the use of energy saving strategies, and the motives for using energy reduction strategies. Methodologically, the study was largely quantitative in nature, with questionnaires administered to a combined total of 56 households. However, key interviews were also conducted that helped us to get a clearer understanding of some of the issues covered in the research. Key findings are that whereas the descriptive statistics show that there are behavioral differences between the two income groups, the inferential statistics show that there is no relationship between income level and the energy efficiency variables. This has been found to be consistent with results from studies done elsewhere. The key lesson is that there is low usage of energy efficiency measures in both low- and high-income areas and that the authorities need to change the way information is disseminated to consumers from the current method of advertising to social diffusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources in Developing and Developed Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Assessment of the Mineral Capital of a Nation: The Case of an Importing and an Exporting Country
Resources 2015, 4(4), 857-870; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040857 - 16 Nov 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2099
Abstract
Intensified mineral consumption and reserve depletion means that it is becoming increasingly important for policymakers to account for and manage national mineral capital. Exergy replacement costs (ERC), an indicator based on the second law of thermodynamics, provides a physical value of mineral loss. [...] Read more.
Intensified mineral consumption and reserve depletion means that it is becoming increasingly important for policymakers to account for and manage national mineral capital. Exergy replacement costs (ERC), an indicator based on the second law of thermodynamics, provides a physical value of mineral loss. When only a unit mass analysis is used, the role of scarcer minerals, such as gold, is obscured. ERC can identify those minerals which are most critical and more difficult to re-concentrate. This paper compares the mineral depletion of that of Colombia and Spain for 2011, both in mass and ERC terms. The Colombian mineral balance for that year is predominately based on fossil fuel extraction and exports, whilst Spain produced industrial minerals but relied heavily upon metals and fossil fuel imports. Using exergy replacement costs, an economic analysis was carried out to determine the impact of mineral extraction, in monetary terms, should the cost of re-concentrating such minerals be taken into account. In 2011, the GDP derived from the extractive sectors of either country did not compensate the mineral resource loss, meaning that mineral patrimony is not being properly evaluated. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Key Challenges and Opportunities for Conjunctive Management of Surface and Groundwater in Mega-Irrigation Systems: Lower Indus, Pakistan
Resources 2015, 4(4), 831-856; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040831 - 13 Nov 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2767
Abstract
This paper focuses on the scope of conjunctive management in the Lower Indus part of the Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS), and the contribution this could make towards food security and socio-economic development. The total Gross Command Area (GCA) of the Lower Indus [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the scope of conjunctive management in the Lower Indus part of the Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS), and the contribution this could make towards food security and socio-economic development. The total Gross Command Area (GCA) of the Lower Indus is 5.92 Mha, with a cultivable command area (CCA) of 5.43 Mha, most of which is in Sindh Province. There is a limited use of groundwater in Sindh (about 4.3 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM)) for two reasons: first, there is a large area where groundwater is saline; and second, there is a high surface irrigation supply to most of the canal commands, e.g., average annual supply to rice command is 1723 mm, close to the annual reference crop evapotranspiration for the area, while there is an additional annual rainfall of about 200 mm. These high irrigation allocations, even in areas where groundwater is fresh, create strong disincentives for farmers to use groundwater. Consequently, areas are waterlogged to the extent of 50% and 70% before and after the monsoon, respectively, which contributes to surface salinity through capillary rise. In Sindh, about 74%–80% of the available groundwater recharge is lost in the form of non-beneficial evaporation. This gives rise to low cropping intensities and yields compared to fresh groundwater areas elsewhere in the IBIS. The drought of 1999–2002 has demonstrated a reduction in waterlogging without any corresponding reduction in crop yields. Therefore, in order to efficiently meet current water requirements of all the sectors, i.e., agriculture, domestic and industrial, an ab initio level of water reallocation and efficient water management, with consideration to groundwater quality and its safe yield, in various areas are recommended. This might systematically reduce the waterlogged areas, support greater cropping intensity than is currently being practiced, and free up water for horizontal expansion, such as in the Thar Desert. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quantity and Quality) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Over Exploitation of Groundwater in the Centre of Amman Zarqa Basin—Jordan: Evaluation of Well Data and GRACE Satellite Observations
Resources 2015, 4(4), 819-830; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040819 - 06 Nov 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3127
Abstract
Jordan faces a sincere water crisis. Groundwater is the major water resource in Jordan and most of the ground water systems are already exploited beyond their estimated safe yield. The Amman Zarqa Basin is one of the most important groundwater systems in Jordan, [...] Read more.
Jordan faces a sincere water crisis. Groundwater is the major water resource in Jordan and most of the ground water systems are already exploited beyond their estimated safe yield. The Amman Zarqa Basin is one of the most important groundwater systems in Jordan, which supplies the three largest cities in Jordan with drinking and irrigation water. Based on new data the groundwater drawdown in the Amman Zarqa Basin is studied. This basin is the most used drainage area in Jordan. Groundwater drawdown in eight central representative monitoring wells is outlined. Based on almost continuous data for the last 15 years (2000–2015) an average drawdown for the whole basin in the order of 1.1 m·a1 is calculated. This result is in accordance with results of previous studies in other areas in Jordan and shows that, until now, no sustainable water management is applied. Groundwater management in such a basin presents a challenge for water managers and experts. The applicability of satellite data for estimating large-scale groundwater over exploitation, such as gravity products of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, along with supplementary data, is discussed. Although the size of the basin is below the minimum resolution of GRACE, the data generally support the measured drawdown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quantity and Quality) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
An Approach to the Integrated Design of PCM-Air Heat Exchangers Based on Numerical Simulation: A Solar Cooling Case Study
Resources 2015, 4(4), 796-818; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040796 - 29 Oct 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2052
Abstract
A novel technique of design of experiments applied to numerical simulations is proposed in this paper as a methodology for the sizing and design of thermal storage equipment integrated in any specific application. The technique is carried out through the response surfaces in [...] Read more.
A novel technique of design of experiments applied to numerical simulations is proposed in this paper as a methodology for the sizing and design of thermal storage equipment integrated in any specific application. The technique is carried out through the response surfaces in order to limit the number of simulation runs required to achieve an appropriate solution. Thus, there are significant savings on the time spent on the design as well as a potential cost saving on the experimentation if similarity relationships between the prototype and the model are met. The technique is applied here to a previously developed and validated numerical model that simulates the thermal behavior of a phase change material-air heat exchanger. The incorporation of the thermal energy storage unit is analyzed in the case of a solar cooling application, improving the system coefficient of performance. The economic viability is mainly conditioned by the price of the macroencapsulated phase change material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources in Developing and Developed Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Taylor Law in Wind Energy Data
Resources 2015, 4(4), 787-795; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040787 - 27 Oct 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
The Taylor power law (or temporal fluctuation scaling), is a scaling relationship of the form σ ~ (P)λ where !! is the standard deviation and hPi the mean value of a sample of a time series has been observed for power output [...] Read more.
The Taylor power law (or temporal fluctuation scaling), is a scaling relationship of the form σ ~ (P)λ where !! is the standard deviation and hPi the mean value of a sample of a time series has been observed for power output data sampled at 5 min and 1 s and from five wind farms and a single wind turbine, located at different places. Furthermore, an analogy with the turbulence field is performed, consequently allowing the establishment of a scaling relationship between the turbulent production IP and the mean value (P). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources in Developing and Developed Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Industrial Ecology Thinking into the Management of Mining Waste
Resources 2015, 4(4), 765-786; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040765 - 22 Oct 2015
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3991
Abstract
Mining legacies are often dominated by large waste facilities and their associated environmental impacts. The most serious environmental problem associated with mine waste is heavy metals and acid leakage through a phenomenon called acid mine drainage (AMD). Interestingly, the toxicity of this leakage [...] Read more.
Mining legacies are often dominated by large waste facilities and their associated environmental impacts. The most serious environmental problem associated with mine waste is heavy metals and acid leakage through a phenomenon called acid mine drainage (AMD). Interestingly, the toxicity of this leakage is partly due to the presence of valuable metals in the waste stream as a result of a diversity of factors influencing mining operations. A more preventive and recovery-oriented approach to waste management, integrated into mine planning and operations, could be both economically attractive and environmentally beneficial since it would: mitigate environmental impacts related to mine waste disposal (and consequently reduce the remediation costs); and increase the resource recovery at the mine site level. The authors argue that eco-efficiency and resilience (and the resulting increase in a mine’s lifetime) are both critical—yet overlooked—characteristics of sustainable mining operations. Based on these arguments, this paper proposes a framework to assist with identification of opportunities for improvement and to measure this improvement in terms of its contribution to a mine’s sustainability performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Productivity and Innovations)
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Open AccessArticle
Recent Trends in Renewable Energy Resources for Power Generation in the Republic of Korea
Resources 2015, 4(4), 751-764; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040751 - 21 Oct 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2834
Abstract
The global demand for renewable energy in recent decades has continued to increase, despite adverse economic conditions such as world economic recessions, trade disputes, and falls in gas and oil prices. During this period, the United States and Europe have led the development [...] Read more.
The global demand for renewable energy in recent decades has continued to increase, despite adverse economic conditions such as world economic recessions, trade disputes, and falls in gas and oil prices. During this period, the United States and Europe have led the development of renewable energy technologies, but now emerging countries such as China, Brazil, India, and the Republic of Korea are also been actively participating in developing and deploying renewable energy. For example, since 1989, the Korea Electric Power Corporation has built a well-known test site for the application of renewable energy resources, including 500 kW photovoltaic systems with smooth integration into power grids in the Gochang area. The main objects of this study are (1) to review the recent trends in renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, bioenergy, hydroelectric, and tidal power, for electric power generation developed in Korea and (2) to introduce the test sites in Korea. For this purpose, this study examines the current activities of industry and government in Korea and compares them with global trends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources in Developing and Developed Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Reflectivity and Cloud Cover on the Optimal TiltAngle of Solar Panels
Resources 2015, 4(4), 736-750; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources4040736 - 29 Sep 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2128
Abstract
Determining the optimum angle for a solar panel is important if tracking systems are not used and a tilt angle remains constant. This article determines the sensitivity of the optimum angle to surface reflectivity at different latitudes using a mathematical model that accounts [...] Read more.
Determining the optimum angle for a solar panel is important if tracking systems are not used and a tilt angle remains constant. This article determines the sensitivity of the optimum angle to surface reflectivity at different latitudes using a mathematical model that accounts for direct, diffuse and reflected radiation. A quadratic correlation is also developed to compute the optimal angle and maximum energy as a function of latitude and reflectivity. We also seek to determine how sensitive the optimal tilt angle is to cloud cover using the 35° latitude of the Prosperity solar facility in Albuquerque, NM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources in Developing and Developed Regions)
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