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Resources, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
ZVI (Fe0) Desalination: Stability of Product Water
Resources 2016, 5(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010015 - 03 Mar 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4439
Abstract
A batch-operated ZVI (zero valent iron) desalination reactor will be able to partially desalinate water. This water can be stored in an impoundment, reservoir or tank, prior to use for irrigation. Commercial development of this technology requires assurance that the partially-desalinated product water [...] Read more.
A batch-operated ZVI (zero valent iron) desalination reactor will be able to partially desalinate water. This water can be stored in an impoundment, reservoir or tank, prior to use for irrigation. Commercial development of this technology requires assurance that the partially-desalinated product water will not resalinate, while it is in storage. This study has used direct ion analyses to confirm that the product water from a gas-pressured ZVI desalination reactor maintains a stable salinity in storage over a period of 1–2.5 years. Two-point-three-litre samples of the feed water (2–10.68 g (Na+ + Cl)·L−1) and product water (0.1–5.02 g (Na+ + Cl)·L−1) from 21 trials were placed in storage at ambient (non-isothermal) temperatures (which fluctuated between −10 and 25 °C), for a period of 1–2.5 years. The ion concentrations (Na+ and Cl) of the stored feed water and product water were then reanalysed. The ion analyses of the stored water samples demonstrated: (i) that the product water salinity (Na+ and Cl) remains unchanged in storage; and (ii) the Na:Cl molar ratios can be lower in the product water than the feed water. The significance of the results is discussed in terms of the various potential desalination routes. These trial data are supplemented with the results from 122 trials to demonstrate that: (i) reactivity does not decline with successive batches; (ii) the process is catalytic; and (iii) the process involves a number of steps. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Abiotic Depletion Potential: Background, Updates, and Future
Resources 2016, 5(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010016 - 02 Mar 2016
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 4517
Abstract
Depletion of abiotic resources is a much disputed impact category in life cycle assessment (LCA). The reason is that the problem can be defined in different ways. Furthermore, within a specified problem definition, many choices can still be made regarding which parameters to [...] Read more.
Depletion of abiotic resources is a much disputed impact category in life cycle assessment (LCA). The reason is that the problem can be defined in different ways. Furthermore, within a specified problem definition, many choices can still be made regarding which parameters to include in the characterization model and which data to use. This article gives an overview of the problem definition and the choices that have been made when defining the abiotic depletion potentials (ADPs) for a characterization model for abiotic resource depletion in LCA. Updates of the ADPs since 2002 are also briefly discussed. Finally, some possible new developments of the impact category of abiotic resource depletion are suggested, such as redefining the depletion problem as a dilution problem. This means taking the reserves in the environment and the economy into account in the reserve parameter and using leakage from the economy, instead of extraction rate, as a dilution parameter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mineral Resources: Reserves, Peak Production and the Future
Resources 2016, 5(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010014 - 29 Feb 2016
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 7302
Abstract
The adequacy of mineral resources in light of population growth and rising standards of living has been a concern since the time of Malthus (1798), but many studies erroneously forecast impending peak production or exhaustion because they confuse reserves with “all there is”. [...] Read more.
The adequacy of mineral resources in light of population growth and rising standards of living has been a concern since the time of Malthus (1798), but many studies erroneously forecast impending peak production or exhaustion because they confuse reserves with “all there is”. Reserves are formally defined as a subset of resources, and even current and potential resources are only a small subset of “all there is”. Peak production or exhaustion cannot be modeled accurately from reserves. Using copper as an example, identified resources are twice as large as the amount projected to be needed through 2050. Estimates of yet-to-be discovered copper resources are up to 40-times more than currently-identified resources, amounts that could last for many centuries. Thus, forecasts of imminent peak production due to resource exhaustion in the next 20–30 years are not valid. Short-term supply problems may arise, however, and supply-chain disruptions are possible at any time due to natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes) or political complications. Needed to resolve these problems are education and exploration technology development, access to prospective terrain, better recycling and better accounting of externalities associated with production (pollution, loss of ecosystem services and water and energy use). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Abiotic Resource LCIA Methods
Resources 2016, 5(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010013 - 29 Feb 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2557
Abstract
In a life cycle assessment (LCA), the impacts on resources are evaluated at the area of protection (AoP) with the same name, through life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods. There are different LCIA methods available in literature that assesses abiotic resources, and the [...] Read more.
In a life cycle assessment (LCA), the impacts on resources are evaluated at the area of protection (AoP) with the same name, through life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods. There are different LCIA methods available in literature that assesses abiotic resources, and the goal of this study was to propose recommendations for that impact category. We evaluated 19 different LCIA methods, through two criteria (scientific robustness and scope), divided into three assessment levels, i.e., resource accounting methods (RAM), midpoint, and endpoint. In order to support the assessment, we applied some LCIA methods to a case study of ethylene production. For RAM, the most suitable LCIA method was CEENE (Cumulative Exergy Extraction from the Natural Environment) (but SED (Solar Energy Demand) and ICEC (Industrial Cumulative Exergy Consumption)/ECEC (Ecological Cumulative Exergy Consumption) may also be recommended), while the midpoint level was ADP (Abiotic Depletion Potential), and the endpoint level was both the Recipe Endpoint and EPS2000 (Environmental Priority Strategies). We could notice that the assessment for the AoP Resources is not yet well established in the LCA community, since new LCIA methods (with different approaches) and assessment frameworks are showing up, and this trend may continue in the future. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Abiotic Raw-Materials in Life Cycle Impact Assessments: An Emerging Consensus across Disciplines
Resources 2016, 5(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010012 - 26 Feb 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2575
Abstract
This paper captures some of the emerging consensus points that came out of the workshop “Mineral Resources in Life Cycle Impact Assessment: Mapping the path forward”, held at the Natural History Museum London on 14 October 2015: that current practices rely in many [...] Read more.
This paper captures some of the emerging consensus points that came out of the workshop “Mineral Resources in Life Cycle Impact Assessment: Mapping the path forward”, held at the Natural History Museum London on 14 October 2015: that current practices rely in many instances on obsolete data, often confuse resource depletion with impacts on resource availability, which can therefore provide inconsistent decision support and lead to misguided claims about environmental performance. Participants agreed it would be helpful to clarify which models estimate depletion and which estimate availability, so that results can be correctly reported in the most appropriate framework. Most participants suggested that resource availability will be more meaningfully addressed within a comprehensive Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment framework rather than limited to an environmental Life Cycle Assessment or Footprint. Presentations from each of the authors are available for download [1]. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Identity and Natural Resources: A Dialogical Learning Process
Resources 2016, 5(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010011 - 25 Feb 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2143
Abstract
In this article, we elaborate on the role of dialogical learning in identity formation in the context of environmental education. First, we distinguish this kind of learning from conditioning and reproductive learning. We also show that identity learning is not self-evident and we [...] Read more.
In this article, we elaborate on the role of dialogical learning in identity formation in the context of environmental education. First, we distinguish this kind of learning from conditioning and reproductive learning. We also show that identity learning is not self-evident and we point out the role of emotions. Using Dialogical Self Theory, we then suggest that individuals do not have an “identity hierarchy” but a dialogical self that attaches meaning to experiences in both conscious and unconscious ways. We describe the learning process that enables the dialogical self to develop itself, and we elaborate on the characteristics of a good dialogue. We conclude with some remarks expanding room for a dialogue that would foster identity learning. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Groundwater Quantity and Quality
Resources 2016, 5(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010010 - 05 Feb 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
The world’s population is facing a water crisis, which is expected to worsen dramatically during the 21st century. Problems due to over exploitation of groundwater, as well as from natural and anthropogenic contamination are major challenges facing humanity. This Special Issue contributes a [...] Read more.
The world’s population is facing a water crisis, which is expected to worsen dramatically during the 21st century. Problems due to over exploitation of groundwater, as well as from natural and anthropogenic contamination are major challenges facing humanity. This Special Issue contributes a selection of topics on groundwater quantity and quality issues that face different parts of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quantity and Quality) Printed Edition available
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Resources in 2015
Resources 2016, 5(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010009 - 29 Jan 2016
Viewed by 3531
Abstract
The editors of Resources would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Ecocentric Assessment Combining Emergy and Data Envelopment Analysis: Application to Wind Farms
Resources 2016, 5(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010008 - 29 Jan 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2822
Abstract
Most of current life-cycle approaches show an anthropocentric standpoint for the evaluation of human-dominated activities. However, this perspective is insufficient when it comes to assessing the contribution of natural resources to production processes. In this respect, emergy analysis evaluates human-driven systems from a [...] Read more.
Most of current life-cycle approaches show an anthropocentric standpoint for the evaluation of human-dominated activities. However, this perspective is insufficient when it comes to assessing the contribution of natural resources to production processes. In this respect, emergy analysis evaluates human-driven systems from a donor-side perspective, accounting for the environmental effort performed to make the resources available. This article presents a novel methodological framework, which combines emergy analysis and dynamic Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) for the ecocentric assessment of multiple resembling entities over an extended period of time. The use of this approach is shown through a case study of wind energy farms. Furthermore, the results obtained are compared with those of previous studies from two different angles. On the one hand, a comparison with results from anthropocentric approaches (combined life cycle assessment and DEA) is drawn. On the other hand, results from similar ecocentric approaches, but without a dynamic model, are also subject to comparison. The combined use of emergy analysis and dynamic DEA is found to be a valid methodological framework for the computation of resource efficiency and the valuation of ecosystem services. It complements traditional anthropocentric assessments while appropriately including relevant time effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Kinetics of Ultrasound-Assisted Flavonoid Extraction from Agri-Food Solid Wastes Using Water/Glycerol Mixtures
Resources 2016, 5(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010007 - 26 Jan 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
Red grape pomace (RGP) and onion solid wastes (OSW) were used as raw material to produce flavonoid-enriched extracts, using ultrasound-assisted solid-liquid extraction. The extraction medium used was composed of water and glycerol and under the conditions used the extraction of flavonoids from both [...] Read more.
Red grape pomace (RGP) and onion solid wastes (OSW) were used as raw material to produce flavonoid-enriched extracts, using ultrasound-assisted solid-liquid extraction. The extraction medium used was composed of water and glycerol and under the conditions used the extraction of flavonoids from both materials was shown to obey first-order kinetics. Maximum diffusivities (De) values were 4.01 × 10−11 and 2.35 × 10−11 m2·s−1, for RGP and OSW extraction, respectively, while the corresponding activation energies (Ea) were 14.00 and 15.23 kJ·mol−1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Grain Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) Germplasm in South West Nigeria Using Morphological, Nutritional, and Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) Analysis
Resources 2016, 5(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010006 - 26 Jan 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2147
Abstract
Efficient utilization of plant genetic resources for nutrition and crop improvement requires systematic understanding of the important traits. Amaranthus species are distributed worldwide with an interesting diversity of landraces and cultivars whose leaves and seeds are consumed. Despite their potential to enhance food [...] Read more.
Efficient utilization of plant genetic resources for nutrition and crop improvement requires systematic understanding of the important traits. Amaranthus species are distributed worldwide with an interesting diversity of landraces and cultivars whose leaves and seeds are consumed. Despite their potential to enhance food security and economic livelihoods, grain amaranth breeding to improve nutritional quality and adoption by farmers in sub-Saharan Africa is scanty. This study assessed the variation among 29 grain amaranth accessions using 27 phenotypic (10 morphological and 17 nutritional) characters and 16 random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) primers. Multivariate analysis of phenotypic characters showed the first four principal components contributing 57.53% of observed variability, while cluster analysis yielded five groups at 87.5% similarity coefficient. RAPD primers generated a total of 193 amplicons with an average of 12.06 amplicons per primer, 81% of which were polymorphic. Genetic similarities based on Jaccard’s coefficient ranged from 0.61 to 0.88. The RAPD-based unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean dendrogram grouped the accessions into nine clusters, with the same species clustering together. RAPD primers distinguished the accessions more effectively than phenotypic markers. Accessions in the different clusters as obtained can be exploited for heterotic gain in desired nutritional traits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Resource Efficiency Assessment—Comparing a Plug-In Hybrid with a Conventional Combustion Engine
Resources 2016, 5(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010005 - 21 Jan 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2550
Abstract
The strong economic growth in recent years has led to an intensive use of natural resources, which causes environmental stress as well as restrictions on the availability of resources. Therefore, a more efficient use of resources is necessary as an important contribution to [...] Read more.
The strong economic growth in recent years has led to an intensive use of natural resources, which causes environmental stress as well as restrictions on the availability of resources. Therefore, a more efficient use of resources is necessary as an important contribution to sustainable development. The ESSENZ method presented in this article comprehensively assesses a product’s resource efficiency by going beyond existing approaches and considering the pollution of the environment as well as the physical and socio-economic availability of resources. This paper contains a short description of the ESSENZ methodology as well as a case study of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W 205)—comparing the conventional C 250 (petrol engine) with the C 350 e Plug-In Hybrid (electric motor and petrol engine). By applying the ESSENZ method it can be shown that the use of more and different materials for the Plug-In-Hybrid influences the dimensions physical and socio-economic availability significantly. However, for environmental impacts, especially climate change and summer smog, clear advantages of the C 350 e occur due to lower demand of fossil energy carriers. As shown within the case study, the when applying the ESSENZ method a comprehensive evaluation of the used materials and fossil energy carriers can be achieved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Linking Material Flow Analysis with Resilience Using Rice: A Case Study in Global, Visual MFA of a Key Food Product
Resources 2016, 5(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010004 - 20 Jan 2016
Viewed by 3148
Abstract
This article uses the rice price crisis of 2007–2008 to show how material flow analysis (MFA) can be combined with resilience research. After presentation of fundamental information and methods, resilience-related concepts are illustrated using graphical methods and MFA data. Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) and [...] Read more.
This article uses the rice price crisis of 2007–2008 to show how material flow analysis (MFA) can be combined with resilience research. After presentation of fundamental information and methods, resilience-related concepts are illustrated using graphical methods and MFA data. Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) and node-link diagrams are used to highlight potential vulnerability hotspots and show response to, recovery from disturbance and adaptation following a disruption of the global rice market. The methods presented are especially useful in rapid screening for potential impact of supply-side disruptions, such as export restrictions or poor harvests. The article concludes by discussing other potential applications of the chosen approach and stressing the importance of visual communication in dissemination of results and cross-pollination between disciplines. All the data used in this study is available online, as interactive visualizations, at: http://ricestudyvis.weebly.com. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Consumers’ Perspective on Full-Scale Adoption of Smart Meters: A Case Study in Västerås, Sweden
Resources 2016, 5(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010003 - 06 Jan 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2454
Abstract
Large-scale deployment of reliable smart electricity metering networks has been considered as the first step towards a smart, integrated and efficient grid. On the consumer’s side, however, the real impact is still uncertain and limited. This paper evaluates the consumer’s perspective in the [...] Read more.
Large-scale deployment of reliable smart electricity metering networks has been considered as the first step towards a smart, integrated and efficient grid. On the consumer’s side, however, the real impact is still uncertain and limited. This paper evaluates the consumer’s perspective in the city of Västerås, Sweden, where full implementation of smart meters has been reached. New services, such as consumption feedback and the possibility to choose dynamic electricity pricing contracts, have been available from the adoption of this infrastructure. A web-based survey evaluating customers’ perception of these new services was carried out. The survey included consumers’ personal information, preferences about the type of information and the frequency of delivery and the preference for electricity pricing contracts. The results showed that the electricity consumption information offered by distribution system operators (DSOs) today is not detailed enough for customers to react accordingly. Additionally, while variable pricing contracts are becoming more popular, the available pricing schemes do not encourage customers to increase their consumption flexibility. Therefore, more detailed information from the smart meters should be made available, including disaggregated electricity consumption per appliance that would allow consumers to have more control over their energy consumption activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Surplus Cost Potential as a Life Cycle Impact Indicator for Metal Extraction
Resources 2016, 5(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010002 - 06 Jan 2016
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2926
Abstract
In the evaluation of product life cycles, methods to assess the increase in scarcity of resources are still under development. Indicators that can express the importance of an increase in scarcity of metals extracted include surplus ore produced, surplus energy required, and surplus [...] Read more.
In the evaluation of product life cycles, methods to assess the increase in scarcity of resources are still under development. Indicators that can express the importance of an increase in scarcity of metals extracted include surplus ore produced, surplus energy required, and surplus costs in the mining and the milling stage. Particularly the quantification of surplus costs per unit of metal extracted as an indicator is still in an early stage of development. Here, we developed a method that quantifies the surplus cost potential of mining and milling activities per unit of metal extracted, fully accounting for mine-specific differences in costs. The surplus cost potential indicator is calculated as the average cost increase resulting from all future metal extractions, as quantified via cumulative cost-tonnage relationships. We tested the calculation procedure with 12 metals and platinum-group metals as a separate group. We found that the surplus costs range six orders of magnitude between the metals included, i.e., between $0.01–$0.02 (iron) and $13,533–$17,098 (rhodium) USD (year 2013) per kilogram of metal extracted. The choice of the reserve estimate (reserves vs. ultimate recoverable resource) influenced the surplus costs only to a limited extent, i.e., between a factor of 0.7 and 3.2 for the metals included. Our results provide a good basis to regularly include surplus cost estimates as resource scarcity indicator in life cycle assessment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Typology of Options for Metal Recycling: Australia’s Perspective
Resources 2016, 5(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010001 - 30 Dec 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2613
Abstract
While Australia has traditionally relied on obtaining metals from primary sources (namely mined natural resources), there is significant potential to recover metals from end-of-life-products and industrial waste. Although any metals recycling value chain requires a feasible technology at its core, many other non-technical [...] Read more.
While Australia has traditionally relied on obtaining metals from primary sources (namely mined natural resources), there is significant potential to recover metals from end-of-life-products and industrial waste. Although any metals recycling value chain requires a feasible technology at its core, many other non-technical factors are key links in the chain, which can compromise the overall viability to recycle a commodity and/or product. The “Wealth from Waste” Cluster project funded by the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Flagship Collaboration Fund and partner universities is focusing on identifying viable options to “mine” metals contained in discarded urban infrastructure, manufactured products and consumer goods. A key aspect of this research is to understand the critical non-technical barriers and system opportunities to enhance rates of metals recycling in Australia. Work to date has estimated the mass and current worth of metals in above ground resources. Using these outcomes as a basis, a typology for different options for (metal) reuse and recycling has been developed to classify the common features, which is presented in this article. In addition, the authors investigate the barriers and enablers in the recycling value chain, and propose a set of requirements for a feasible pathway to close the material loop for metals in Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Productivity and Innovations)
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