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Resources, Volume 8, Issue 1 (March 2019)

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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Sustainability in Hospital Laundry: The Social, Environmental, and Economic (Cost) Risks
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
Personal and physical injuries are two of the most relevant costs to hospitals. Hospital laundries are sources of these costs due to the physical and health risks present in the clothes and the activities performed. Energy and environmental risk and infrastructure issues also [...] Read more.
Personal and physical injuries are two of the most relevant costs to hospitals. Hospital laundries are sources of these costs due to the physical and health risks present in the clothes and the activities performed. Energy and environmental risk and infrastructure issues also incur operational costs to these organizations and to the health system. This research analyzes the social, environmental, and economic risk in the hospital laundry process, through a multiple-case-study design. Data collection methods include interviews regarding three hospital laundry services in Brazil. The processes of these laundry services have a high consumption of resources (water and energy) and a substantial generation of solid and liquid wastes. Cost reduction actions include pooled laundry services and material substitution. There are also social and environmental risks, the most frequent being ergonomic, biological, and chemical hazards, and injures from sharp devices inadequately disposed. Hospital laundries need more sustainable operations, not only in the infrastructure, but also mostly in the awareness of leaders and teams about the importance of their engagements to resource management and waste reduction in laundry. It is opportune to convince professionals and users about changing habits that do not prioritize sustainability, especially its social and environmental aspects. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Assessing Bioremediation of Soils Polluted with Fuel Oil 6 by Means of Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to assess the bioremediation of soils polluted with fuel oil 6 (FO6) using diffuse reflectance (DR) spectroscopy in the visible and near infrared (Vis-NIR) electromagnetic spectrum. To achieve our goal, we determined the spectral signature of fuel oil 6 (FO6), [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the bioremediation of soils polluted with fuel oil 6 (FO6) using diffuse reflectance (DR) spectroscopy in the visible and near infrared (Vis-NIR) electromagnetic spectrum. To achieve our goal, we determined the spectral signature of fuel oil 6 (FO6), developed a calibration model to quantify the total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), and assessed the bioremediation in soils contaminated with FO6 and inoculated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Surface soil samples (SS) (0–30 cm depth) from uncontaminated Entisol soil from Termoesmeraldas Thermal Power Plant, Ecuador and quart sand (QS) samples were spiked with FO6 at a known contamination of 0.5, 1, 3, 6, 9, 12 wt.% on a gravimetric basis. A sample of contaminated Entisol soil was taken to isolate P. aeruginosa from a spill site located in Termoesmeraldas. P. aeruginosa was successfully augmented in a molasses medium. The results suggested that the C–H stretch combination overtone band around 2300 nm is the one that makes the significant contribution to the FO6 spectral signature and for the analysis of FO6 contaminated Entisols soil. The calibration model for QS samples and SS showed an excellent agreement with experimental data R2 = 0.9989 and R2 = 0.9968, respectively. The TPH at 0, 7, 14, 21, and 23 days after inoculation were found using a calibration model developed and the Unach hydrocarbon index (UHI). While the QS samples showed the lower recovery rate (13.6%), the Entisols SS showed the higher recovery rate (45.8%) in 23 days. The use of DR spectroscopy and determination of the FO6 spectral signature allowed the assessment of the bioremediation process of QS and Entisols SS samples. The results showed that DR decreased with increasing the FO6 concentration and soil properties affected the degree of biodegradation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle New Evidence of the Bangestan Geoheritage Resource in Iran: Beyond Hydrocarbon Reserves
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Iran boasts internationally important deposits of hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons can be regarded not only as an exceptional energy resource, but also a geological heritage (geoheritage) resource. A new investigation of the Bangestan carbonate rocks from the Cretaceous age in the Fars Province has [...] Read more.
Iran boasts internationally important deposits of hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons can be regarded not only as an exceptional energy resource, but also a geological heritage (geoheritage) resource. A new investigation of the Bangestan carbonate rocks from the Cretaceous age in the Fars Province has permitted to find several unique features and to assign these to six geoheritage types, namely sedimentary, palaeontological, stratigraphical, palaeogeographical, structural, and economic. The most important from these is the economic type that is ranked nationally. The Bangestan geoheritage is valuable for geoscience research, geoeducation, and geotourism, and this geoheritage is a subject of geoconservation. As these activities can bring some socio-economic benefits, this geoheritage has to be considered a true natural resource. Field studies have permitted to emphasize its appropriate manifestation in the Nowdan anticline (an area in the Zagros Mountains near the cities of Shiraz and Kazeroon), which is suggested as a geosite. Hydrocarbon-related industrial tourism and geotourism activities can be coupled for their mutual benefit. The Nowdan anticline geosite should be used for the purposes of tourism, but it requires some simple infrastructure building and involvement in excursion programs coordinated by a local museum or visitor centre. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Framework for the Development of Wetland for Agricultural Use in Indonesia
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Crop production needs to double to feed the world’s growing population. Indonesia, as the fourth most populated country in the world, needs to meet its food security challenge with a shrinking arable land area. Indonesia has over 34 million ha of swampland. The [...] Read more.
Crop production needs to double to feed the world’s growing population. Indonesia, as the fourth most populated country in the world, needs to meet its food security challenge with a shrinking arable land area. Indonesia has over 34 million ha of swampland. The scarcity of arable land in Indonesia means wetlands are likely to be converted to agricultural use. The challenge is to both profitably and sustainably do so. This paper presents a framework for developing wetlands for food production, which includes (1) the characterization of land and problem of development; (2) analysis of historical development and lessons learned; (3) technology development; and (4) optimization of development. We analyze each of the components and its relation to regional economic growth and lessons learned. For successful future wetland development, three factors must be considered: Land-soil-water characterization, landscape and land use design, and community development. This framework can be adopted by other tropical areas for the development of wetlands. Full article
Open AccessArticle Devising Mineral Resource Supply Pathways to a Low-Carbon Electricity Generation by 2100
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Achieving a “carbon neutral” world by 2100 or earlier in a context of economic growth implies a drastic and profound transformation of the way energy is supplied and consumed in our societies. In this paper, we use life-cycle inventories of electricity-generating technologies and [...] Read more.
Achieving a “carbon neutral” world by 2100 or earlier in a context of economic growth implies a drastic and profound transformation of the way energy is supplied and consumed in our societies. In this paper, we use life-cycle inventories of electricity-generating technologies and an integrated assessment model (TIMES Integrated Assessment Model) to project the global raw material requirements in two scenarios: a second shared socioeconomic pathway baseline, and a 2 °C scenario by 2100. Material usage reported in the life-cycle inventories is distributed into three phases, namely construction, operation, and decommissioning. Material supply dynamics and the impact of the 2 °C warming limit are quantified for three raw fossil fuels and forty-eight metallic and nonmetallic mineral resources. Depending on the time horizon, graphite, sand, sulfur, borates, aluminum, chromium, nickel, silver, gold, rare earth elements or their substitutes could face a sharp increase in usage as a result of a massive installation of low-carbon technologies. Ignoring nonfuel resource availability and value in deep decarbonation, circular economy, or decoupling scenarios can potentially generate misleading, contradictory, or unachievable climate policies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle On the Spatial Dimension of the Circular Economy
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
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Abstract
The concept of a “circular economy”, in which material in society is regarded as “a transient phase in anthropogenic resource utilization”, is a growing topic for discussion. The primary motivations for supporting a circular economy include a reduction of environmental impacts and conservation [...] Read more.
The concept of a “circular economy”, in which material in society is regarded as “a transient phase in anthropogenic resource utilization”, is a growing topic for discussion. The primary motivations for supporting a circular economy include a reduction of environmental impacts and conservation of natural resources. Australia is a vivid example of a country whose large metal extraction capacity is not balanced as it has neither an extensive product manufacturing capability nor a large domestic market. Consequently, Australia must rely on the global resource network to achieve circularity and carbon neutrality. This work illustrates this situation with quantitative material flow cycles for Australian aluminum, nickel, copper, zinc, and stainless steel, and comments on the implications of the results for Australia and for circular economy prospects more generally. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Local Development: An Overview of the State of Knowledge
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
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Abstract
Since the eighties, the concern for sustainability has been increasing from several dimensions and depending on different socio-economic, political, geographical and cultural factors. In the last few years, local development has incorporated the concept of sustainability, as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable [...] Read more.
Since the eighties, the concern for sustainability has been increasing from several dimensions and depending on different socio-economic, political, geographical and cultural factors. In the last few years, local development has incorporated the concept of sustainability, as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals strategy, highlighting the relevance of this process. The purpose of this research is to show the state of the art of this subject, for what a bibliometric analysis has been carried out based on the two most important online databases: Web of Science and Scopus. This article identifies the latest trends that characterize the concept of sustainable local development, where resilience is the new perspective to include in the variables that influence the development of territories. The results show a positive trend in this field of research, with both the number of articles published and citations increasing exponentially in the last ten years. In addition, the analysis of keywords has shown a tendency towards terms such as resilience, rural tourism or ecological agriculture. In essence, the concept has reached such a point that it is necessary to establish new mechanisms that soften and even negate the economic disruption caused by globalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Economic Development: Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Participation in Community-Based Solid Waste Management in Nkulumane Suburb, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
After years of conventional approaches to solid waste management (SWM), in 2009, Bulawayo City Council adopted a non-conventional approach in the form of community-based solid waste management (CBSWM). The success of a CBSWM depends on the participation of members of the public as [...] Read more.
After years of conventional approaches to solid waste management (SWM), in 2009, Bulawayo City Council adopted a non-conventional approach in the form of community-based solid waste management (CBSWM). The success of a CBSWM depends on the participation of members of the public as well as private sector organisations. Yet there is no information documented about their involvement in such activities in the study area. This study provides an analysis of citizen knowledge, participation and their attitudes in SWM in Nkulumane suburb following implementation of a CBSWM project. Door-to-door surveys were undertaken in December 2017 and January 2018 during which interview-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from 375 randomly-selected households. Semi-structured interviews were also used to gather data from officials responsible for CBSWM. The study found that the CBSWM has not been successful in changing the waste disposal behaviour of citizens. It was also found that the community-based organisations (CBOs) have made no effort to implement alternative waste management practices of waste recycling and composting. Furthermore, lack of funds to improve waste infrastructure and infighting between the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the Bulawayo City Council have undermined the principles of CBSWM. The study concludes by suggesting strategies that could improve CBSWM in developing countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enough Metals? Resource Constraints to Supply a Fully Renewable Energy System
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
The transition from a fossil fuel base to a renewable energy system relies on materials and, in particular, metals to manufacture and maintain energy conversion technologies. Supply constraints shift from fossil fuels to mineral resources. We assess the availability of metal reserves and [...] Read more.
The transition from a fossil fuel base to a renewable energy system relies on materials and, in particular, metals to manufacture and maintain energy conversion technologies. Supply constraints shift from fossil fuels to mineral resources. We assess the availability of metal reserves and resources to build an energy system based exclusively on renewable energy technologies. A mass balance of 29 metals embodied in renewable energy technologies is compiled in order to satisfy global energy demand, based on five authoritative energy scenarios for 2050. We expand upon these scenarios by modeling the storage capacity needed to support high shares of intermittent renewables (wind and solar). The metal requirements are then compared with the current demand and proven reserves and ultimate mineable resources. This allows us to distinguish between constraints related to renewable energy sources from those linked to technology mixes. The results show that proven reserves and, in specific cases, resources of several metals are insufficient to build a renewable energy system at the predicted level of global energy demand by 2050. The comparison between reserves and resources shows that scarcity relates sometimes more to techno economic supply than to raw material availability. Our results also highlight the importance of substitution among technologies and metals as well as the limited impact of recycling on the depletion of scarce metals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Forestry Practices Cost on Financial Performance of Forestry Investments
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
Understanding forestry practices cost is important for predicting the financial outcome of forest management activities. Assessing costs of practices that will be used in the future can be difficult and may result in over or underestimations of financial returns depending on the values [...] Read more.
Understanding forestry practices cost is important for predicting the financial outcome of forest management activities. Assessing costs of practices that will be used in the future can be difficult and may result in over or underestimations of financial returns depending on the values used. We used historic real average rates of cost change for the southern United States to assess changes in the values of several loblolly pine plantation management scenarios over time through the use of discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis. Additionally, we analyzed the impact of certain practices cost changes on the financially optimal number of thinnings and rotation age. Findings indicated that declining costs for herbicide site preparation could all but offset the increasing costs of other practices and that a relatively slight increase in timber prices would more than compensate for increasing costs. Also, increasing thinning costs could exacerbate the effects of low sawtimber prices, further decreasing the viability of regimes with multiple thinnings. In the face of stagnant timber prices, the use of operator-select thinnings, and herbicide site preparation could stabilize the long-term financial value of plantation management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Innovative Control Framework for District Heating Systems: Conceptualisation and Preliminary Results
Received: 23 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
This paper presents a holistic innovative solution for the transformation of the current district heating and cooling systems to automated more efficient systems. A variety of technological advancements have been developed and integrated to support the effective energy management of future district heating [...] Read more.
This paper presents a holistic innovative solution for the transformation of the current district heating and cooling systems to automated more efficient systems. A variety of technological advancements have been developed and integrated to support the effective energy management of future district heating and cooling sector. First, we identify and discuss the main challenges and needs that are in line with the EU objectives and policy expectations. We give an overview of the main parts that our solution consists of, with emphasis on the forecasting tools and an advanced control system that addresses unit commitment and economic load dispatch problems. The proposed control approach employs distributed and scalable optimisation algorithms for optimising the short-term operations of a district heating and cooling plant subject to technical constraints and uncertainties in the energy demand. To test the performance and validate the proposed control system, a district heating plant with multiple energy generation units and real-life heat load data were used. Simulation experiments were also used to evaluate the benefits of using thermal storage units in district heating systems. The results show that the proposed method could achieve significant cost savings when energy storage is employed. The proposed control strategy can be applied for both operating optimally district heating plants with storage and supporting investment planning for new storage units. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Jumping the Chain: How Downstream Manufacturers Engage with Deep Suppliers of Conflict Minerals
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 26 January 2019
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Abstract
Global manufacturing firms are engaging distant suppliers of critical raw materials to participate in responsible sourcing. Downstream firms are concerned about risks in mineral supply chains of violent conflict, human rights violations, and poor governance, but they are limited in seeing their suppliers. [...] Read more.
Global manufacturing firms are engaging distant suppliers of critical raw materials to participate in responsible sourcing. Downstream firms are concerned about risks in mineral supply chains of violent conflict, human rights violations, and poor governance, but they are limited in seeing their suppliers. Descriptive data on 323 smelters and refiners of tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (the “conflict minerals”) were complemented by interviews with downstream firms in the electronics industry. Results provided a narrative of supplier engagement, describing tactics used to identify “deep suppliers” at chokepoints in metals supply and to persuade producers into joining due diligence programs. Top-tier firms collaborate through a standards program to overcame barriers of geography and cultural distance in supply chain management beyond the visible horizon. Curiously, manufacturers do not need line-of-sight transparency to lower-tier suppliers. Rather, top-tier firms are “jumping the chain” to engage directly with “deep suppliers” who may—or may not—be their own actual physical suppliers. The research contributes empirical evidence to understanding multi-tier supply chains, examines how power is exercised by top-tier firms managing suppliers, and provides insights on supply chain transparency. Responsible sourcing, based on due diligence guidance and standards, is becoming expected of companies that are involved in supply chains of raw materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Policy Implications of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
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This paper explores how policy structure, institutions, and political climate impact the ability of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) to ensure the reclamation of surface coal mines. We conduct a policy review that traces the impacts of the three parts [...] Read more.
This paper explores how policy structure, institutions, and political climate impact the ability of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) to ensure the reclamation of surface coal mines. We conduct a policy review that traces the impacts of the three parts of SMCRA; Reclamation Standards, Reclamation Bonding Requirements, and the Abandoned Mine Land fund. We examine the implications the act and its approach have for the mining industry and their ability to reclaim mining areas. We find that each of the three parts of SMCRA’s approach face substantial problems in their implementation. Though largely a positive force for internalizing the environmental costs of surface mining, those issues commonly elucidated in the public choice literature reduce the efficacy of the policy approach and call into question the act’s ability to ensure reclamation occurs. Both in the structure of the bonding requirements and in the regulatory structure created by the act, misaligned incentives sometimes hamper effective reclamation. Further, the funds created under SMCRA to reclaim and restore mined lands have often been directed towards projects that are politically expedient for politicians instead of those that would best serve the fund’s original reclamation purpose. After revealing these problems and putting them in the context of the public choice literature, we suggest updates to the current policy that would align reclamation incentives and better ensure that the reclamation of surface mines occurs. We emphasize the cooperative elements of SMCRA and suggest how other countries, especially those without major existing frameworks for handling reclamation, can emulate the successes of SMCRA while avoiding its implementations snags. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Resource Economics and Policy)
Open AccessCommunication Thermal Conversion of Municipal Biowaste Anaerobic Digestate to Valuable Char
Received: 5 January 2019 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 23 January 2019
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Abstract
The municipal biowaste anaerobic digestate of a typical waste treatment plant is pyrolyzed under a mild condition (i.e., 540 °C) to directly yield N-doped biochar without performing any subsequent functionalization process. The results confirmed the integration of nitrogen heteroatoms within the carbonaceous framework. [...] Read more.
The municipal biowaste anaerobic digestate of a typical waste treatment plant is pyrolyzed under a mild condition (i.e., 540 °C) to directly yield N-doped biochar without performing any subsequent functionalization process. The results confirmed the integration of nitrogen heteroatoms within the carbonaceous framework. The morphological characterization, instead, evidenced the formation of a rather dense biochar with a very low surface area. Full article
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Open AccessErratum Erratum: Labelle, A., et al. Agent-Based Model for End-of-Life Product Flow Analysis, Resources 2018, 7, 42
Received: 12 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Attitudes of Local Communities towards Marula Tree (Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra) Conservation at the Villages of Ha-Mashau and Ha-Mashamba in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
The marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra), a common species in sub-Saharan Africa, grows naturally in both protected and communal land. Although considerable research has been undertaken on these trees in southern Africa, to the authors’ knowledge, the attitudes of local [...] Read more.
The marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra), a common species in sub-Saharan Africa, grows naturally in both protected and communal land. Although considerable research has been undertaken on these trees in southern Africa, to the authors’ knowledge, the attitudes of local communities towards the protection of marula trees, particularly in communal land, has not been researched. This study intends to fill this gap in knowledge by examining the attitudes of local people towards conservation of marula trees. Studying the attitudes of people can provide insights on how they behave and how they are willing to coexist with S. birrea. The case study is set in Limpopo Province of South Africa in the villages of Ha-Mashau (Thondoni) and Ha-Mashamba where marula trees grow naturally. To fulfil the aim of this study, door-to-door surveys were carried out in 2018 and questionnaire interviews were used as the main data collection tool in 150 randomly selected households. The study revealed that local communities in the study area had positive attitudes towards conservation of marula trees. Strategies that are used by local communities to protect marula trees in communal land are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mine Sited after Mine Activity: The Brownfields Methodology and Kuzbass Coal Mining Case
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
Operating life of a mine lasts from a few years to several decades. Mine closure occurs once the mineral resource is exhausted, or operations are no longer profitable. Mine closure plans are required by most regulatory agencies worldwide before a mining closure permission [...] Read more.
Operating life of a mine lasts from a few years to several decades. Mine closure occurs once the mineral resource is exhausted, or operations are no longer profitable. Mine closure plans are required by most regulatory agencies worldwide before a mining closure permission is granted, and must demonstrate that the site will not pose a threat to the environment and health of the society in future. The article describes a new tool, the brownfields methodology, which can help to promote the revitalization of old mining areas as a part of their technological modernization and subsoil full extraction with environmental damage reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mine Planning and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of 3D-Printing Technologies on the Transformation of Industrial Production in the Arctic Zone
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Today the process of transition to a new technological order has become evident to everyone, especially in developed countries. One of the most urgent areas for ensuring the long-term competitiveness of industrial enterprises is the development of the Arctic zone. This region has [...] Read more.
Today the process of transition to a new technological order has become evident to everyone, especially in developed countries. One of the most urgent areas for ensuring the long-term competitiveness of industrial enterprises is the development of the Arctic zone. This region has many economic and logistical difficulties, the solution of which may lie in the use of advanced technologies of the new technological order, for example, 3D-printing technologies. The aim of the article is to study the transformation of the cost structure of industrial products as a result of integration of 3D-printing technologies into the production process of industrial enterprise operating in the Arctic zone. It was found that the structure of the main cost elements varies greatly, due to the ambiguity of replacing computer numerical control (CNC) (or other classical shaping technologies) with 3D-printing technologies, as well as the specifics of supply chains, which is quite urgent for the Arctic region. The results of empirical study necessitate the development of tools for predicting the economic viability of integrating 3D-printing technologies into the technological processes of industrial enterprises operating in the Arctic zone. Within the article, the authors substantiated and developed a fuzzy-multiple model for assessing the level of investment attractiveness of integration of 3D-printing technologies into the production process of an industrial enterprise operating the Arctic zone. One of the aims of this model is to answer the question of whether an enterprise should invest in a technological transition to 3D-printing technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Comprehensive Development of the Arctic Territory)
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Open AccessArticle The Social Cost of Sub-Soil Resource Use
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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This paper presents a market-price-based method to value sub-soil resources in environmental Cost-Benefit Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment. The market price incorporates the privileged information of the market agents, explicitly or implicitly anticipating future applications of the resource, future backstop technologies, recycling potentials, [...] Read more.
This paper presents a market-price-based method to value sub-soil resources in environmental Cost-Benefit Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment. The market price incorporates the privileged information of the market agents, explicitly or implicitly anticipating future applications of the resource, future backstop technologies, recycling potentials, the evolution of reserves and extraction costs. The market price is therefore considered as the best available integrated information reflecting the actual values of these parameters. Our method is based on the Hotelling rule and the fact that private agents discount future costs and benefits at a higher rate than society as a whole. In practice, the price of the last resource unit sold is calculated with the Hotelling rule using a market discount rate. Then, the price at depletion is retropolated with a social discount rate smaller than the market discount rate. The resulting corrected “socially optimal” price is higher than the market price. The method allows to calculate the social cost of resource exhaustion, which is applicable in Cost-Benefit Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment. The method is applied to mineral and fossil resources and the results are compared with other recent methods that seek to place a monetary value on resource depletion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Land Cover Change on Ecosystem Services in a Tropical Forested Landscape
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 13 January 2019
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Abstract
Ecosystems provide a wide range of goods, services or ecosystem services (ES) to society. Estimating the impact of land use and land cover (LULC) changes on ES values (ESV) is an important tool to support decision making. This study used remote sensing and [...] Read more.
Ecosystems provide a wide range of goods, services or ecosystem services (ES) to society. Estimating the impact of land use and land cover (LULC) changes on ES values (ESV) is an important tool to support decision making. This study used remote sensing and GIS tools to analyze LULC change and transitions from 2001 to 2016 and assess its impact on ESV in a tropical forested landscape in the southern plains of Nepal. The total ESV of the landscape for the year 2016 is estimated at USD 1264 million year−1. As forests are the dominant land cover class and have high ES value per hectare, they have the highest contribution in total ESV. However, as a result of LULC change (loss of forests, water bodies, and agricultural land), the total ESV of the landscape has declined by USD 11 million year−1. Major reductions come from the loss in values of climate regulation, water supply, provision of raw materials and food production. To halt the ongoing loss of ES and maintain the supply and balance of different ES in the landscape, it is important to properly monitor, manage and utilize ecosystems. We believe this study will inform policymakers, environmental managers, and the general public on the ongoing changes and contribute to developing effective land use policy in the region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cryogenic Resources: Ice, Snow, and Permafrost in Traditional Subsistence Systems in Russia
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
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This article is devoted to the study of the role of natural cryogenic resources in the traditional subsistence systems of the people of Russia. The main source of the actual information and the empirical basis reflecting the features of traditional ecological knowledge of [...] Read more.
This article is devoted to the study of the role of natural cryogenic resources in the traditional subsistence systems of the people of Russia. The main source of the actual information and the empirical basis reflecting the features of traditional ecological knowledge of the ethnic groups considered in the article are the scientific publications and ethnographic descriptions made by Russian researchers in the second half of the 19th century through to the beginning of the 21st century, and the results of our modern field research in the territory of Siberia and the Far East of Russia. The methodology of the study lies in the field of ethnoecology, and contains comparative and typological approaches, which have allowed for the detection and systematization of the main spheres of using natural cryogenic resources in traditional subsistence systems by the people of Russia, which include using the environment for indigenous subsistence, building materials, food preservation, obtaining potable water, the irrigation of crops, etc. In conclusion, some of the prospective for the ethnoecological examination of the role of the natural cryogenic resources in traditional subsistence systems were designated, and adaptations to modern innovative technologies based on the rational use of natural resources were also examined. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Resources in 2018
Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Air Quality Planning and the Minimization of Negative Externalities
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
The minimization of negative externalities is a key aspect in the development of a circular and sustainable economic model. At the local scale, especially in urban areas, externalities are generated by the adverse impacts of air pollution on human health. Local air quality [...] Read more.
The minimization of negative externalities is a key aspect in the development of a circular and sustainable economic model. At the local scale, especially in urban areas, externalities are generated by the adverse impacts of air pollution on human health. Local air quality policies and plans often lack of considerations and instruments for the quantification and evaluation of external health costs. Support for decision-makers is needed, in particular during the implementation stage of air quality plans. Modelling tools based on the impact pathway approach can provide such support. In this paper, the implementation of health impacts and externalities analysis in air quality planning is evaluated. The state of the art in European member states is reported, considering whether and how health effects have been included in the planning schemes. The air quality plan of the Piemonte region in Italy is then considered. A case study is analyzed to evaluate a plan action, i.e., the development of the district heating system in the city of Turin. The DIATI (Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Ambiente, del Territorio e delle Infrastrutture) Dispersion and Externalities Model (DIDEM model) is applied to detect the scenario with the highest external cost reduction. This methodology results are extensible and adaptable to other actions and measures, as well as other local policies in Europe. The use of health externalities should be encouraged and integrated into the present methodology supporting air quality planning. Efforts should be addressed to quantify and minimize the overall uncertainty of the process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Analysis of Technical Trend in Islanding Operation, Harmonic Distortion, Stabilizing Frequency, and Voltage of Islanded Entities
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
This paper focuses on autonomous multi-islanded entities and the seamless reconnection to the main grid as the self-healing ability of the future power system. The minimization of power quality issues (mainly that of voltage, frequency, and harmonics) in such entities based on controllers, [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on autonomous multi-islanded entities and the seamless reconnection to the main grid as the self-healing ability of the future power system. The minimization of power quality issues (mainly that of voltage, frequency, and harmonics) in such entities based on controllers, with or without intercommunication, is also an important part of this paper. The future power system, with the significant penetration of distributed generations (DGs), can rapidly respond to any problem occurring within it by separating into autonomous islanded entities to prevent the disconnection of DGs. As a result, high-quality and continuous power is supplied to consumers. Finally, future research that is necessary for the realization of the future power system is discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Potential Use of Oyster Shell Waste in New Value-Added By-Product
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 5 January 2019
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Abstract
Calcium carbonate is one of the most used raw materials in various industries, such as construction materials, food supplement, pharmaceutics, animal feed, plastic production, and others. Calcium carbonate can derive from marine wastes, like crustaceans and bivalve’s shells. The worldwide demand for new [...] Read more.
Calcium carbonate is one of the most used raw materials in various industries, such as construction materials, food supplement, pharmaceutics, animal feed, plastic production, and others. Calcium carbonate can derive from marine wastes, like crustaceans and bivalve’s shells. The worldwide demand for new sources of food has increased exponentially, and following that tendency, the mariculture—especially the oyster culture—has been increasingly resorting to farming techniques. In 2016, 438 billion tons of oysters were produced. The majority of the shells were unduly discarded, presenting a public health problem. This article offers a solution based on the reuse and recycling of oyster shell residues in the production region of Florianópolis, SC, Brazil. The presented solution is an oyster shell by-product developed by a local company which produces artificial stone. The main component of the artificial stone is a composite material made of oyster shells incorporated in a polymeric resin. The mechanical properties, such as its flexural strength, hardness, Weibull modulus, and fracture analysis, were held in the artificial stone. The mechanical results of the new artificial stone were compared with other natural stones, such as granite and marble, and other commercial artificial stones. This material owns suitable mechanical properties for table tops and workbenches. Using this product as an artificial stone represents an innovation in the development of a new product and adds commercial value to local waste. This product is an excellent example of a circular economy for local producers who care about the environment, and it encourages the reduction of extraction of natural stone, such as granite and marble. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Working with the Informal Service Chain as a Locally Appropriate Strategy for Sustainable Modernization of Municipal Solid Waste Management Systems in Lower-Middle Income Cities: Lessons from Accra, Ghana
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract
Twenty years of formal private sector participation in solid waste management in Ghana has failed to deliver an increase in collection coverage and recycling rates. This article shares lessons and experiences from Accra, Ghana, a middle-income city where researchers and municipal solid waste [...] Read more.
Twenty years of formal private sector participation in solid waste management in Ghana has failed to deliver an increase in collection coverage and recycling rates. This article shares lessons and experiences from Accra, Ghana, a middle-income city where researchers and municipal solid waste managers have collaborated to modernize the municipal solid waste management system by working together to develop a locally appropriate response to the informal waste service sector. Stakeholders have used inclusive decision-making and participatory research methods to bring formal service providers to work in partnership with their informal counterparts to improve collection and recycling. The Wasteaware benchmark indicator framework has been used to assess and compare the improvements in the physical and governance aspects of the municipal solid waste management system, supplemented by statistical analysis of responses to a survey on the socio-economic contribution of the informal service providers in the city. Within two years of their inclusion, the number of informal service providers has increased by 71 percent, from 350 to 600, creating new livelihoods and contributing to poverty reduction. The informal service providers have been able to increase collection coverage from 75% to 90%, waste capture from 53% to 90%, and recycling rates from 5% to 18%, saving the municipality US$5,460,000.00 in annual operational costs. The results have influenced the decision-makers to move towards structural integration of the informal service providers into the formal waste service system. The shift towards practical, locally responsive interventions in Accra provides a positive example of sustainable waste management modernization, and key lessons for cities in similar economies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Building a Sustainability Benchmarking Framework of Ceramic Tiles Based on Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA)
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to determine indices of environmental, economic and social sustainability related to the Italian production of ceramic tiles in porcelain stoneware in order to contribute to the construction of a reference benchmarking useful to decision makers, designers and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to determine indices of environmental, economic and social sustainability related to the Italian production of ceramic tiles in porcelain stoneware in order to contribute to the construction of a reference benchmarking useful to decision makers, designers and end users of ceramic tiles. To achieve this goal, this paper is based on the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) framework that incorporates the three dimensions of sustainability with cradle-to-grave Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) tools. The study has shown that in the production of porcelain stoneware one of the major environmental problems, in addition to production in the strict sense, is the distribution system of the product to end users and, to a lesser extent but always significant, the process of supplying raw materials. Finally, it was highlighted that the joint use of the three impact assessment tools (LCA, LCC, S-LCA) requires further methodological work to avoid the risk of double counting of sustainability performance. This research has adopted a detailed methodological approach, both in the collection and in the processing of data, keeping the main phases of the production process separate. In this way, it has been possible to highlight that the major environmental criticalities are just beyond the “gate” of the ceramic factories, along the logistics chain. The study also proposes for the Italian ceramic sector not only indicators of environmental sustainability but also economic and social. Full article
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Open AccessReview Detergent Plants of Northern Thailand: Potential Sources of Natural Saponins
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 3 January 2019
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Abstract
The natural forests of Northern Thailand are the mother source of many utilisable natural products because of their diverse flora and fauna. Northern Thai people have learned to utilise plants, in particular those of plants with cleansing properties, since the beginning of time. [...] Read more.
The natural forests of Northern Thailand are the mother source of many utilisable natural products because of their diverse flora and fauna. Northern Thai people have learned to utilise plants, in particular those of plants with cleansing properties, since the beginning of time. Several local species of detergent plants in Thailand are traditionally used by the locals and indigenous people. However, these plants may become extinct because their habitats have been replaced by industrial agriculture, and their uses have been replaced by chemically synthesised detergents. Researchers need to study and communicate the biology, phytochemistry, and the importance of these plants to conserve natural biodiversity of Northern Thailand. Of many utilisable detergent phytochemicals, natural saponins are known as bio-based surfactant and foaming agents. Their physiochemical and biological properties feature structural diversity, which leads to many industrial applications. In this review, we explained the term “detergent” from the physiological mechanism perspective and the detergent effects of saponins. We also compiled a list of Thai local plants with cleansing properties focusing on the saponin-containing plants. Future studies should investigate information relative to plant environment, ethnobotanical data, and the bioactive compound content of these plants. The knowledge acquired from this study will promote the maintenance of the local biodiversity and the conservation of the detergent plant species found in Thailand. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Improving the Hydro-Morpho Dynamics of A River Confluence by Using Vanes
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 1 January 2019
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Abstract
Controlling the flow and bed morphology in a river confluence is important in training and navigation works. The flow in river confluence is highly complex due to crucial and rapid changes associated with flow dynamics, sediment transport, and geomorphology. The flow in Malaysia’s [...] Read more.
Controlling the flow and bed morphology in a river confluence is important in training and navigation works. The flow in river confluence is highly complex due to crucial and rapid changes associated with flow dynamics, sediment transport, and geomorphology. The flow in Malaysia’s rivers has many confluence junctions in natural drains of catchment areas. The confluence between Kurau and Ara Rivers, in Perak, Malaysia, is selected to investigate the scour hole that usually forms in the erosion zone and the bar that forms in the deposition zone. A 2D numerical model is used in simulating hydro-morpho dynamics in the rivers confluence to mitigate the erosion and deposition zones by adopting vanes as control structures. Simulation results suggest that the most effective location, dimension, and angle of vanes can be decided based on their performance in scouring and deposition zones. The distribution velocity and flow vectors can help in deciding the location of the vanes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Benefit Analysis and Regulatory Actions for Imported Palm Kernel Shell as an Environment-Friendly Energy Source in Taiwan
Received: 3 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 1 January 2019
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Abstract
In response to the lack of locally natural sources and the environmental concerns about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, using a wide variety of biomass residues as energy sources has attracted much attention in the past two decades. The purpose of the case study [...] Read more.
In response to the lack of locally natural sources and the environmental concerns about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, using a wide variety of biomass residues as energy sources has attracted much attention in the past two decades. The purpose of the case study was to examine the energy use of imported palm kernel shell (PKS) in Taiwan, which has generated superheated steam for the end users in the industrial sector. In this work, characterizing the thermochemical properties of imported PKS (including proximate analysis, elemental analysis and calorific value) was first conducted by the standard test methods. Based on the statistics of imported PKS and the method developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the preliminary benefit analysis of PKS-to-energy was further addressed in the paper to verify its equivalent GHG emission mitigation. The results showed the annual benefit of equivalent GHG mitigation of about 78,647 metric tons (using annual imported PKS of 60,000 metric tons on an average). In addition, the economic benefit for purchasing PKS in the industrial boilers can gain the cost-down at approximately NT$60,000,000 (US$2,000,000) in comparison with that of fuel oil. Furthermore, the regulatory measures for upgrading PKS-to-energy and countermeasures for controlling air pollutant emissions from PKS-to-energy facilities were briefly summarized to create another circular economy. Finally, some technological recommendations have been addressed to upgrade the added values of imported PKS in Taiwan. Full article
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