Next Issue
Volume 8, September
Previous Issue
Volume 8, March

Resources, Volume 8, Issue 2 (June 2019) – 61 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Policymakers are increasingly considering using brackish groundwater desalination to supplement drinking water. Pairing renewable energy sources with desalination technology can help offset carbon emissions associated with this energy-intensive water treatment. This research integrates a thermodynamic model with spatially resolved information of Texas’ resources to assess the geographical feasibility of using a geothermal multi-effect distillation plant to produce freshwater from brackish aquifers. We find that in certain geopressured regions, geothermal energy is sufficient to treat water without additional energy inputs. The framework outlined in this study allows for a comparison of potential geothermal desalination sites across a large, geographically diverse area. View this paper.
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
The “Fan of the Terre Peligne”: Integrated Enhancement and Valorization of the Archeological and Geological Heritage of an Inner-Mountain Area (Abruzzo, Central Apennines, Italy)
Resources 2019, 8(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020118 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2402
Abstract
The outstanding cultural heritage of Italy is intimately related to the landscape and its long-lasting history. Besides major cities, famous localities, and park areas, several minor places and areas hide important features that allow the enhancing of inner-mountain and hilly areas as well [...] Read more.
The outstanding cultural heritage of Italy is intimately related to the landscape and its long-lasting history. Besides major cities, famous localities, and park areas, several minor places and areas hide important features that allow the enhancing of inner-mountain and hilly areas as well as local natural reserves. This enhancement is supported by combining different types of cultural tourism, such as the archeological and geological ones. In this paper, an integrated geological–archeological itinerary is presented, which aims to valorize both these aspects in the inner-mountain areas of the central Apennines. The itinerary, called the “Fan of the Terre Peligne”, is focused on the Terre Peligne area located in the Sulmona basin, in the central-eastern part of the Apennines chain (Abruzzo region, central Italy). It is composed of five sectors (one for each of the municipalities included) and incorporates traditional physical tools and digital ones. Here, the evidence of the Apennines formation is preserved from the origin of marine carbonate rocks to their deformation and the landscape shaping. The Terre Peligne intermontane basin became—and still is—one of the main transit areas for crossing the Italian peninsula since before Roman times and here many stages of Italian history are preserved. This allows outlining of the presence of man since prehistoric times, and here the name “Italia” was defined for the first time, in Corfinio, and to testify the connection between human and landscape history. A SWOT (strengths–weaknesses–opportunities–threats) analysis highlighted the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Combining geological and archeological elements, which are intimately connected in this area, this itinerary intends to be an instrument for the enhancement and awareness of the natural and cultural heritage of a poorly known area that features outstanding geological, landscape, and human elements of the history of the inner Apennines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoheritage and Geotourism Resources)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Resources Sustainability through Material Efficiency Strategies: An Insight Study of Electrical and Electronic Companies
Resources 2019, 8(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020117 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2417
Abstract
The circular economy (CE) is in a growing trend, especially to address the concern of resources sustainability, both from academics as well as industrial practitioners. For manufacturing businesses and services to be sustainable, using materials efficiently is an essential strategy, which is able [...] Read more.
The circular economy (CE) is in a growing trend, especially to address the concern of resources sustainability, both from academics as well as industrial practitioners. For manufacturing businesses and services to be sustainable, using materials efficiently is an essential strategy, which is able to enhance the promotion of CE. However, for a developing country like Malaysia, little is known about the ongoing material efficiency strategies among the manufacturers. This paper presents a qualitative investigation of adopting material efficiency strategies in the manufacturing industry. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore the material efficiency strategies at selected Electrical and Electronics (E&E) companies in Malaysia. A list of 11 E&E companies material efficiency strategies were determined and explicated. This paper provides valuable insights to academics and practitioners for a better understanding of the current practices pertaining to the material efficiency strategies in E&E companies in a developing country. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Presence and Distribution of Fluoride Ions in Groundwater for Human in a Semiconfined Volcanic Aquifer
Resources 2019, 8(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020116 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2357
Abstract
Dental and emaciated fluorosis is derived from the chronic intake of fluoride ions (F) by consumption of food, tooth products and drinking water from groundwater. Recent reports indicate that in some regions of Mexico, the incidence of fluorosis in temporary and [...] Read more.
Dental and emaciated fluorosis is derived from the chronic intake of fluoride ions (F) by consumption of food, tooth products and drinking water from groundwater. Recent reports indicate that in some regions of Mexico, the incidence of fluorosis in temporary and permanent dentitions have increased in recent years. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the presence and distribution of F ions in semi-confined aquifers, located in the basins of Lerma-Chapala and Valley of México. Temperature (T), pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and alkalinity were determined in situ, in 27 groundwater wells. The hardness, chloride ions (Cl), free chlorine (Cl2), total dissolved solids (TDS) and bicarbonates (HCO3), were determined in the laboratory. The high content of bicarbonate ions (HCO3) is associated with the alteration of silicates and the presence of chloride ions (Cl) due to the anthropogenic activity. The highest value of fluoride ions (F) (1.31 mg/L) was identified in a well of the Lerma-Chapala basin and in 25% of the samples (1.056 mg/L) of the Valley of México basin. The groundwater in the Lerma-Chapala basin is of the Ca-HCO3 type and the water in the Valley of Mexico basin is Na-HCO3 and Ca-HCO3. According to the Gibbs diagram, the water of the Toluca Valley aquifer is recharged by local meteoric precipitation and consequent the water-rock interaction occurs. The correlation analysis shows the significant relationship between F and CE (R = 0.5933), F and alkalinity (R = 0.6924), F and HCO3 (R = 0.6924) and F and TDS (R = 0.5933). The correlations confirm that the content of fluoride ions present in groundwater is associated with high concentrations of bicarbonate ions and the presence of sodium, due to a process of alteration of the silicates. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Development of an Industrial Environmental Index to Assess the Sustainability of Industrial Solvent-Based Processes
Resources 2019, 8(2), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020115 - 19 Jun 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2317
Abstract
In light of the constant increase in global temperatures, increasing risks associated with climate change, and stricter environmental policies, societies are at a crossroad where sound environmental decisions need to be taken. This is particularly applicable to the chemical industry where the sustainability [...] Read more.
In light of the constant increase in global temperatures, increasing risks associated with climate change, and stricter environmental policies, societies are at a crossroad where sound environmental decisions need to be taken. This is particularly applicable to the chemical industry where the sustainability of processes is all the more relevant to decision-making. This article supports the development of a holistic industrial environmental index (IEI) to assess the sustainability of industrial solvent-based processes. Several metrics are reviewed to individually assess particular aspects of the process in terms of materials, equipment, energy, environmental health and safety (EHS) considerations, and the product’s entire life cycle. The metrics are later used to support the development of an aggregate and holistic IEI using a composite indicator method. The developed methodology and framework can pave the way for environmentally sound decision-making in industries and spark the development of dedicated assessment indices similar to IEI that can be applied to a wide array of other industries. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sustainable Extraction and Characterisation of Bioactive Compounds from Horse Chestnut Seed Coats for the Development of Bio-Based Additives
Resources 2019, 8(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020114 - 19 Jun 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3239
Abstract
Background: To protect renewable packaging materials against autoxidation and decomposition when substituting harmful synthetic stabilizers with bioactive and bio-based compounds, extracts from Aesculus hippocastanum L. seeds were evaluated. The study objectives were to determine the antioxidant efficacy of bioactive compounds in horse chestnut [...] Read more.
Background: To protect renewable packaging materials against autoxidation and decomposition when substituting harmful synthetic stabilizers with bioactive and bio-based compounds, extracts from Aesculus hippocastanum L. seeds were evaluated. The study objectives were to determine the antioxidant efficacy of bioactive compounds in horse chestnut seeds with regard to different seed fractions, improve their extraction, and to evaluate waste reuse. Methods: Different extraction techniques for field samples were evaluated and compared with extracts of industrial waste samples based on total phenolic content and total antioxidant capacity (2,2’-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS)). The molecular weight distribution and absorbance in ultraviolet range (UV) of seed coat extracts were determined, and the possibility of extracts containing proanthocyanidins was examined. Results: Seed coat extracts show a remarkable antioxidant activity and a high UV absorbance. Passive extractions are efficient and much less laborious. Applying waste product seed coats leads to a reduced antioxidant activity, total phenolic content, and UV absorbance compared to the field sample counterparts. In contrast to peeled seed extracts, all seed coat extracts contain proanthocyanidins. Discussion: Seed coats are a potential source of bioactive compounds, particularly regarding sustainable production and waste reuse. With minimum effort, highly bioactive extracts with high potential as additives can be prepared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underutilised Resources in Urban Environments)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
End of Life Tires as a Possible Source of Toxic Substances Emission in the Process of Combustion
Resources 2019, 8(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020113 - 18 Jun 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2442
Abstract
Several million tons of end of life tires (ELTs) are piled annually as a result of human activities. Various methods have been proposed for the extraction and recycling of the resource potential of ELTs. The chemical composition of ELTs seems to enable their [...] Read more.
Several million tons of end of life tires (ELTs) are piled annually as a result of human activities. Various methods have been proposed for the extraction and recycling of the resource potential of ELTs. The chemical composition of ELTs seems to enable their usage as a fuel after mechanical separation of a steel cord. Indeed, in the rubber of ELTs, up to 90 mass% accounts for carbon and hydrogen. Currently, it is by incineration that a significant proportion of ELTs is utilized. However, ELTs contain not only sulfur, which is used for vulcanization, but also nitrogen-containing additives. The behavior of these heteroatoms during oxidation is poorly investigated. It has been shown that the pyrolysis liquid fuel obtained from ELTs contains such sulfur compounds as mercaptans and nitrogen in the form of hydrocyanic acid and cyanogen. Deep oxidation of ELTs results in the oxidation of sulfur compounds to dioxide, but the oxidation products have been found to contain traces of cyanogen. Taking this into account, one should pay attention to the ways of transforming heteroatoms during the process of ELT oxidation and the products of ELT pyrolysis as potential sources of highly toxic gas emissions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Evaluating the Effects of a Minimalist Deliberative Framework on the Willingness to Participate in a Payment for Ecosystem Services Program
Resources 2019, 8(2), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020112 - 15 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2430
Abstract
When compared with other stated preference valuation methodologies, deliberative valuation gives participants more time and information, potentially resulting in more valid and reliable estimations and higher participant confidence. However, it also has weaknesses, such as small sample sizes, lower participant diversity, and high [...] Read more.
When compared with other stated preference valuation methodologies, deliberative valuation gives participants more time and information, potentially resulting in more valid and reliable estimations and higher participant confidence. However, it also has weaknesses, such as small sample sizes, lower participant diversity, and high costs. This paper proses a minimalist framework for deliberation that increases sample size and lowers the cost per participant through short, structured deliberative sessions and the use of deliberative sub-groups. A case study was conducted with 192 landholders in south-eastern Mexico, examining how participants’ perceptions of benefits from communal forest lands would impact their willingness to accept (WTA) comparatively lower payments to participate in a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) program. The results suggest that a majority of landholders would accept a lower payment level to participate in a PES program over a degradative alternative, with 45.5% of participants surveyed willing to accept a 45% reduction in payments to participate in the PES program. The minimalist framework had an impact on participants’ rate of acceptance, with a 13.8% increase in the percentage of participants willing to accept the PES offer post-deliberation. The impact on participant confidence was stronger, with a 31.2% increase in the percentage of participants expressing confidence in their choice after deliberations. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Information Resources: Differential Characteristics between Ibero-American and Dutch JCR Psychology Journals from 1998 to 2017
Resources 2019, 8(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020111 - 15 Jun 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2364
Abstract
The objective of this study is to compare the evolution of the Psychology journals included in the Journal Citation Report (JCR) databases (Science Citation Index (SCI) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)) in the last 20 years (from 1998 to 2017), which are [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to compare the evolution of the Psychology journals included in the Journal Citation Report (JCR) databases (Science Citation Index (SCI) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)) in the last 20 years (from 1998 to 2017), which are published in Ibero-American countries and in the Netherlands under the purpose of analyzing the main differential characteristics between one group and the other. This analysis includes the characteristics of journals, in particular: publications publishing categories in which they are classified in the JCR Science and Social Science; if they are open access journals or not; the language of the publication; numbers published by year; origin of the main contributions; quartiles; deciles and the position reached within the thematic category of Psychology in which they are classified. The total number of journals reviewed published in the Netherlands was 701, of which 18.8% belonged to Quartile 1, 36.2% to Quartile 2, 27.1% to Quartile 3, and 17.9% to Quartile 4. The total number of Ibero-American journals consulted was 242, of which 3.3% belonged to Quartile 1, 14.9% to Quartile 2, 18.2% to Quartile 3, and 63.6% to Quartile 4. The results found in the present study show a clear discrepancy between Psychology journals published in Ibero-American and Dutch journals, differences that may bias their JCR position and the evolution of journals over the years. There are also differences in the number of publications, the years of permanence in the JCR, and number of thematic categories in which journals are classified, being higher in the case of Dutch Psychology journals. These results only confirm that, currently and according to the historical trajectory of the Ibero-American JCR Psychology journals, they have increased their presence in the JCR. However, there has not been an improvement in the position in terms of quartiles and position, an aspect that may be conditioned by biases related to the current scientific scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worldwide Research on Resources in Social Science)
Article
Life Cycle Assessment of Reusable Plastic Crates (RPCs)
Resources 2019, 8(2), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020110 - 15 Jun 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3767
Abstract
The European packaging market is forecast to grow 1.9% annually in the next years, with an increasing use of returnable packages. In this context, it is important to assess the real environmental effectiveness of the packaging re-use practice in terms of environmental impacts. [...] Read more.
The European packaging market is forecast to grow 1.9% annually in the next years, with an increasing use of returnable packages. In this context, it is important to assess the real environmental effectiveness of the packaging re-use practice in terms of environmental impacts. This life cycle assessment aims to evaluate the environmental performances of reusable plastic crates (RPCs), which are used for the distribution of 36% of fruit and vegetables in Italy. RPCs can be re-used several times after a reconditioning process, i.e., inspection, washing, and sanitization with hot water and chemicals. The analysis was performed considering 12 impact categories, as well as the cumulative energy demand indicator and a tailor-made water consumption indicator. The results show that when the RPCs are used for less than 20 deliveries, the impacts of the life cycle are dominated by the manufacturing stage. By increasing the number of deliveries, the contribution of the reconditioning process increases, reaching 30–70% of the overall impacts for 125 uses. A minimum of three deliveries of the RPCs is required in order to perform better than an alternative system where crates of the same capacity (but 60% lighter) are single-use. The same modeling approach can be used to evaluate the environmental sustainability of other types of returnable packages, in order to have a complete overview for the Italian context and other European countries. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
What Determines Behaviours Towards Water Resources Management in a Rural Context? Results of a Quantitative Study
Resources 2019, 8(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020109 - 11 Jun 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3896
Abstract
Recent environmental policies introduced to safeguard the quality of water resources have focussed on encouraging pro-environmental behaviours (PEB). This has resulted in a considerable volume of research output that seeks to investigate the determinants of PEB in the context of water resources management. [...] Read more.
Recent environmental policies introduced to safeguard the quality of water resources have focussed on encouraging pro-environmental behaviours (PEB). This has resulted in a considerable volume of research output that seeks to investigate the determinants of PEB in the context of water resources management. However, there is a paucity of literature exploring the topic within the developing country context, though evidence suggests that these regions record the highest rates of water resource pollution. This limits our understanding of the determinants of PEB and thus constrains our ability to develop and implement effective policies to encourage uptake of PEB. Following this, we apply the Theory of Planned Behaviour to explore the determinants of PEB, using structural equation modelling to analyse survey data from rural Ghana. The evidence supports the hypothesis that attitudes and perceived behavioural control affects intentions, and this translates into pro-environmental behaviour. Results further indicate that attitude and perceived behavioural control have a strong explanatory power in people’s intentions, and intentions are influential drivers of pro-environmental behaviour. An explicit recognition of the role of situational factors could offer a profound understanding of the determinants of behaviours that promote water resources management and support the development and implementation of policies aimed at safeguarding the quality of water resources. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Variation of the Chemical Composition of Waste Cooking Oils upon Bentonite Filtration
Resources 2019, 8(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020108 - 10 Jun 2019
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3106
Abstract
The chemical composition and the color of samples of waste cooking oils (WCOs) were determined prior to and after filtration on two different pads of bentonite differing in particle size. The volatile fraction was monitored by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas-chromatography, [...] Read more.
The chemical composition and the color of samples of waste cooking oils (WCOs) were determined prior to and after filtration on two different pads of bentonite differing in particle size. The volatile fraction was monitored by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas-chromatography, while the variation of the composition of the main components was analyzed by 1H NMR. Both techniques allowed the detection of some decomposition products, such as polymers, terpenes, and derivatives of the Maillard process. The analysis of the chemical composition prior to and after bentonite treatment revealed a tendency for the clays to retain specific chemical groups (such as carboxylic acids or double bonds), independent of their particle size. A pair comparison test was conducted in order to detect the sensory differences of the intensity of aroma between the WCO treated with the two different bentonites. In addition, characterization of the bentonite by means of powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and thermogravimetric measurements (TG) was performed. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Effect of Ambient Parameters on the Temperature Distribution of Photovoltaic (PV) Modules
Resources 2019, 8(2), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020107 - 09 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2703
Abstract
This paper pivots around the influence of thermal parameters on the temperature distribution of a (PV) module. The solar irradiance, ambient temperature, and heat transfer coefficient were examined for four differently manufactured solar modules. A finite element analysis of the solar system was [...] Read more.
This paper pivots around the influence of thermal parameters on the temperature distribution of a (PV) module. The solar irradiance, ambient temperature, and heat transfer coefficient were examined for four differently manufactured solar modules. A finite element analysis of the solar system was carried out to simulate the prevailing thermal conditions. It was determined through analysis that the heat transfer coefficient had a significant effect on the boundaries of the PV modules. The temperature gradient was relatively high at the boundary, whereas the main body had the least deviation from the mean value of experimental data. The high value of irradiance is favorable for a large PV system, while the heat transfer coefficient should be low for avoiding undulation of the thermal gradient across the plate. The temperature distribution on the surface of the PV modules largely depended on the geometry and the material used for the design purpose. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Feed-in-Premium Renewable Energy Support Scheme: A Scenario Approach
Resources 2019, 8(2), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020106 - 05 Jun 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2560
Abstract
Topics such as energy demand, energy security and greenhouse emissions have made countries around the world turn to more environmentally friendly resources to produce electricity. Due to their stochastic behaviour (particularly wind energy and solar photovoltaics (PV)), the energy producers that are renewable [...] Read more.
Topics such as energy demand, energy security and greenhouse emissions have made countries around the world turn to more environmentally friendly resources to produce electricity. Due to their stochastic behaviour (particularly wind energy and solar photovoltaics (PV)), the energy producers that are renewable energy driven need concrete financial mechanisms in order to sell their generated electricity under uncertainty in a highly competitive environment. In this work, the application of the Feed-in Premium (FiP) policy in the Greek wholesale liberalised electricity market is compared against a multiple revenue stream tactic. The investigation of the financial performance is conducted in terms of Net Present Value and Complete Payback Period of a 10 MW wind park and a 2 MW solar PV park and is questioned under a multiple revenue stream approach. It was found for projects that offer at least 75% of their electricity production to the market, if their operation licence is extended for five more years, incentivising them to participate in the FiP scheme, instead of the Feed-in-Tariff one, this will increase their profitability in most cases, for both wind and PV projects. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Factors Influencing Landowners’ Decisions for Income-Generating Activities on Private Coastal Wetland in Louisiana
Resources 2019, 8(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020105 - 04 Jun 2019
Viewed by 2417
Abstract
The coastal zone of Louisiana contains more than 3 million wetland acres and has the highest acreage of salt marsh of any state. However, Louisiana accounts for 80 percent of the nation’s coastal land loss. The loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands results in [...] Read more.
The coastal zone of Louisiana contains more than 3 million wetland acres and has the highest acreage of salt marsh of any state. However, Louisiana accounts for 80 percent of the nation’s coastal land loss. The loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands results in changes in economic and ecological benefits on local communities. The purpose of the study is to investigate the factors that motivate private coastal landowners to participate in income-generating activities and the level of income derived from their coastal wetland parcels and to gauge their opinion of potential policy instruments for coastal wetlands stewardship. A double-hurdle model was applied to econometrically identify the determinants on the participation and level of participation in income-generating activities using data collected from a sample of coastal wetland owners. The results based on the estimated parameters and marginal effects revealed that decisions to participate and the level of participation are related to physical characteristics of the wetland and socioeconomic characteristics of the landowner. For example, the type of wetland is the primary factor influencing the decision to participate and the level of participation. In addition, understanding the landowner’s attitude toward wetland restoration program provides the opportunity for policymakers to better evaluate current and potential policies for coastal management in Louisiana. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Industrial Projects and Benefit-Sharing Arrangements in the Russian North. Is Contracting Possible?
Resources 2019, 8(2), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020104 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2278
Abstract
The extractive industries and local communities in the Russian Arctic make socio-economic agreements to support social and environmental initiatives in the territories of their operations. The extractive industries address social responsibilities through grant projects and social investments. In the framework of social investments, [...] Read more.
The extractive industries and local communities in the Russian Arctic make socio-economic agreements to support social and environmental initiatives in the territories of their operations. The extractive industries address social responsibilities through grant projects and social investments. In the framework of social investments, major industrial corporations are supposed to distribute benefits obtained from resource exploitation to stakeholders who are affected by industrial operations. This article presents different forms of benefit-sharing arrangements and how they work in practice in the context of contracting for natural resources (oil, gas, metals and minerals) in Russia. The analysis outlines specific types of contracts and how they are implemented. While benefit-sharing arrangements can provide some benefits for local and regional stakeholders, it is controversial whether these arrangements can improve the situation as far as even-handed sharing of society’s environmental risks, benefits, and impacts is concerned. The article discusses how voluntary social partnership agreements in line with corporate citizenship and stakeholder management can alleviate problems between local people and industries in the Russian Arctic. Full article
Article
Assessment of Spatial and Temporal Flow Variability of the Indus River
Resources 2019, 8(2), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020103 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3558
Abstract
Considerable controversy exists among researchers over the behavior of glaciers in the Upper Indus Basin (UIB) with regard to climate change. Glacier monitoring studies using the Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing techniques have given rise to contradictory results for various reasons. [...] Read more.
Considerable controversy exists among researchers over the behavior of glaciers in the Upper Indus Basin (UIB) with regard to climate change. Glacier monitoring studies using the Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing techniques have given rise to contradictory results for various reasons. This uncertain situation deserves a thorough examination of the statistical trends of temperature and streamflow at several gauging stations, rather than relying solely on climate projections. Planning for equitable distribution of water among provinces in Pakistan requires accurate estimation of future water resources under changing flow regimes. Due to climate change, hydrological parameters are changing significantly; consequently the pattern of flows are changing. The present study assesses spatial and temporal flow variability and identifies drought and flood periods using flow data from the Indus River. Trends and variations in river flows were investigated by applying the Mann-Kendall test and Sen’s method. We divide the annual water cycle into two six-month and four three-month seasons based on the local water cycle pattern. A decile indices technique is used to determine drought and flood periods. Overall, the analysis indicates that flow and temperature variabilities are greater seasonally than annually. At the Tarbela Dam, Indus River, annual mean, maximum, and minimum flows decreased steeply from 1986–2010 compared to the 1961–1985 period. Seasonal flow analysis unveils a more complex flow regime: Winter (October–March), (December–February), and spring (March–May) seasons demonstrate increasing flows along with increasing maximum temperature, whereas summer (April–September), (June–August) and autumn (September–November) showed decreasing trends in the flow. Spatial analysis shows that minimum discharge increased at the higher elevation gauging station (Kharmong, 2542 m.a.s.l.) and decreased at the lower elevation gauging station (Tarbela). Over the same timeframe, maximum and mean discharges decreased more substantially at lower elevations than at higher elevations. Drought and flood analysis revealed 2000–2004 to be the driest period in the Indus Basin for this record. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Climate Change)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Biomass Sources and Energy Potential for Energy Sector in Myanmar: An Outlook
Resources 2019, 8(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020102 - 28 May 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3379
Abstract
Nowadays, renewable energy utilization plays a key role in developing countries to fulfill the additional energy requirements of a country and reduce dependency on fossil fuels and traditional biomass consumption. As Myanmar has an agriculture-based economy and 48% of forest-cover (32.2 million hectares); [...] Read more.
Nowadays, renewable energy utilization plays a key role in developing countries to fulfill the additional energy requirements of a country and reduce dependency on fossil fuels and traditional biomass consumption. As Myanmar has an agriculture-based economy and 48% of forest-cover (32.2 million hectares); biomass is one of the major renewable energy sources, contributing around 50% of total energy consumption. Therefore, the study aimed to highlight the available biomass sources and energy potential for the energy sector in Myanmar. In order to achieve the aim, the study collated the types, quantity and qualities of biomass resources, and energy utilization around Myanmar. Besides, the study synthesized and evaluated the energy potential of the major biomass resources coming from the agriculture sector, forest sector, livestock and poultry sector, and municipal sector. It was estimated that the total energy potential of the major biomass sources amounted to approximately 15.19 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2005 and 17.29 Mtoe in 2017, respectively. The unexploited biomass energy potential around the country was estimated to be nearly 50% higher than that of the projected biomass energy utilization during 2015–2019. Finally, the study concluded with recommendations to provide the future sustainable development of biomass energy in Myanmar. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Through the Blurry Looking Glass—SDGs in the GRI Reports
Resources 2019, 8(2), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020101 - 28 May 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3389
Abstract
“Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” was agreed upon in 2015 by the global community and proposes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for the period between 2015 and 2030. Since the greater integration of goals was an explicit claim, there [...] Read more.
“Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” was agreed upon in 2015 by the global community and proposes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for the period between 2015 and 2030. Since the greater integration of goals was an explicit claim, there are numerous overlaps among them. One of the novelties of the SDGs is that, in order to achieve the set goals, the Agenda 2030 addresses not only the states but the businesses as well. In our study, the relationships between the SDGs were analyzed on the base of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators linked to the goals. The analysis was carried out by cluster analysis. Our results indicate that there is a strong relationship to be found among nine of the 17 SDGs. That relationship is mainly technical, which is caused by the number of aligned (genuine) GRI indicators. Though there are relationships between the SDGs as well, their strength is much weaker. According to our classification of SDGs, we suggest that the gap of business attention among SDGs is smaller than it is showed by KPMG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Resource Economics and Policy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Spatial Evolution of the Energy and Economic Centers of Gravity
Resources 2019, 8(2), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020100 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2260
Abstract
Increasing energy demand and economic performance can be observed in emerging markets and, in parallel, their share in world energy use and in global GDP is growing as well. It causes significant spatial shifts and calls attention for a new geography of energy [...] Read more.
Increasing energy demand and economic performance can be observed in emerging markets and, in parallel, their share in world energy use and in global GDP is growing as well. It causes significant spatial shifts and calls attention for a new geography of energy demand. The main purpose of this study is to reveal the spatial distribution of energy use and economic growth focusing on the link between them. Developing gravity models, we identify the economic and energy centres of gravity in the world and on different continents and reveal their movements between 1990 and 2015, in particular, the directions of the shifts. Bi-dimensional regression analysis and the method of standard distance are applied to compare these movements. The study utilizes cartograms to visualize how the space is changed and distorted by the field of force. It can be stated that the economic and energy centre of gravity can be found in the Mediterranean Basin, but a slow and gradual shift to the east can be observed. Currently it reflects the dominance of the north, but it marks the position loss of the northern hemisphere and the greater importance of developing economies (in the southern hemisphere). Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Recycling of Coal Ash in Concrete as a Partial Cementitious Resource
Resources 2019, 8(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020099 - 21 May 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3717
Abstract
Concrete construction offers a great opportunity to replace the cement with a coal-based power plant waste—known as coal bottom ash (CBA)—which offers great environmental and technical benefits. These are significant in sustainable concrete construction. This study aims to recycle CBA in concrete and [...] Read more.
Concrete construction offers a great opportunity to replace the cement with a coal-based power plant waste—known as coal bottom ash (CBA)—which offers great environmental and technical benefits. These are significant in sustainable concrete construction. This study aims to recycle CBA in concrete and evaluate its particle fineness influence on workability, compressive and tensile strength of concrete. In this study, a total of 120 specimens were prepared, in which ground CBA with a different fineness was used as a partial cement replacement of 0% to 30% the weight of cement. It was noticed that workability was decreased due to an increased amount of ground CBA, because it absorbed more water in the concrete mix. The growth in the compressive and tensile strength of concrete with ground CBA was not significant at the early ages. At 28 days, a targeted compressive strength of 35 MPa was achieved with the 10% ground CBA. However, it required a longer time to achieve a 44.5 MPa strength of control mix. This shows that the pozzolanic reaction was not initiated up to 28 days. It was experimentally explored that 10% ground CBA—having particle fineness around 65% to 75% and passed through 63 µm sieve—could achieve the adequate compressive and tensile strength of concrete. This study confirmed that the particle fineness of cement replacement materials has a significant influence on strength performance of concrete. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2 in Deciduous Pine Forest of Lower Western Himalaya, India
Resources 2019, 8(2), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020098 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2521
Abstract
Carbon cycle studies over the climate-sensitive Himalayan regions are relatively understudied and to address this gap, systematic measurements on carbon balance components were performed over a deciduous pine forest with an understory layer. We determined annual net carbon balance, seasonality in components of [...] Read more.
Carbon cycle studies over the climate-sensitive Himalayan regions are relatively understudied and to address this gap, systematic measurements on carbon balance components were performed over a deciduous pine forest with an understory layer. We determined annual net carbon balance, seasonality in components of carbon balance, and their environmental controls. Results indicated a strong seasonality in the behavior of carbon exchange components. Net primary productivity (NPP) of pine forest exceeded soil respiration during the growing phase. Consequently, net ecosystem exchange exhibited a net carbon uptake. In the initial phase of the growing season, daily mean uptake was −3.93 (±0.50) g C m−2 day−1, which maximizes (−8.47 ± 2.3) later during post-monsoon. However, a brief phase of carbon release was observed during peak monsoon (August) owing to an overcast condition. Nevertheless, annually the forest remained as a carbon sink. The understory is extensively distributed and it turned out to be a key component of carbon balance because of sustained NPP during the pine leafless period. Temperature and evaporative fraction exhibited a prime control over the seasonal carbon dynamics. Our observations could lend certain useful insights into the application of coupled climate-carbon cycle models for the Himalaya and ecological functions in the region. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Performance Evaluation of Composite from Recycled Polypropylene Reinforced with Mengkuang Leaf Fiber
Resources 2019, 8(2), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020097 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2160
Abstract
Due to environmental concerns, plastic recycling and natural fiber composites have been given more attention lately. In Malaysia, mengkuang leaf fiber (MLF) has been identified as a potential candidate to be used as a reinforcing fiber. The combination of recycled polypropylene (r-PP) and [...] Read more.
Due to environmental concerns, plastic recycling and natural fiber composites have been given more attention lately. In Malaysia, mengkuang leaf fiber (MLF) has been identified as a potential candidate to be used as a reinforcing fiber. The combination of recycled polypropylene (r-PP) and MLF could result in an inexpensive and sustainable composite. However, the mechanical properties of this composite have not been fully studied. The aim of this work was to evaluate tensile, flexural and impact properties of r-PP/MLF composites with and without sodium hydroxide (NaOH) treatment and maleic anhydride-grafted polypropylene (MAPP). The composite consisted of 60 wt.% of r-PP and 40 wt.% of MLF. The composite was compounded by twin-screw extruder and test specimens were fabricated using an injection molding process. Generally, the tensile and flexural properties showed improvements, especially those with MAPP and alkaline treatment, compared to neat r-PP. Improvements in tensile strength and modulus of approximately 28% and 224% were achieved for r-PP/Treated MLF/MAPP composite respectively. However, an adverse effect was observed in the impact strength of the composite, which was expected due to the nature of short fiber employed in this work. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
BFE Model—Business, Family and Environment—As Subsystems of the Family-Owned Business in Mexico City Metropolitan Area
Resources 2019, 8(2), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020096 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2818
Abstract
This work proposes a model starting from the Three-Circle Model, based on the reality of the small and medium-sized family business sector in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area. The present paper proposes a new model that was built based on the Three Circle [...] Read more.
This work proposes a model starting from the Three-Circle Model, based on the reality of the small and medium-sized family business sector in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area. The present paper proposes a new model that was built based on the Three Circle Model, but it is based on the reality of the Small and Medium Mexican family business sector. The model does not include the Ownership Subsystem, but it includes the Environment Subsystem, a subsystem that has a vital influence on the life and performance of an organization of that size. These three subsystems intersect in common elements such as culture, economy or company vision, triggering the success or failure of the company itself. The methodology used was a mixed methodology, with both qualitative and quantitative elements. First, the Delphi method was used on a scale that was applied to 25 owners of Small and Medium Enterprises and then, to make an additional confirmation, hypothesis testing, factorial analysis and the technique of structural equations were used. It was seen that the ownership subsystem has a lower weight than the business, environment and family subsystems, is the least relevant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worldwide Research on Resources in Social Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Promoting the Circular Economy via Waste-to-Power (WTP) in Taiwan
Resources 2019, 8(2), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020095 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2748
Abstract
The waste management sector significantly contributes to emissions of ambient air pollutants and greenhouse gases, especially in sanitary landfills. In this regard, Taiwan is moving toward a circular economy society via resource recycling and waste-to-power (WTP) in the waste management. In the past [...] Read more.
The waste management sector significantly contributes to emissions of ambient air pollutants and greenhouse gases, especially in sanitary landfills. In this regard, Taiwan is moving toward a circular economy society via resource recycling and waste-to-power (WTP) in the waste management. In the past decade, the recycling rate of general waste (including recyclable waste, kitchen waste, and bulk waste) increased from 40.97% in 2008 to 60.22% in 2017. On the other hand, 24 large-scale waste incineration plants gained about 2.5 TW-h of net electricity generation, based on 6.25 million metric tons of waste incinerated in 2017. The objectives of this paper are to update the status of waste generation and its WTP in Taiwan. Based on these updated data, the preliminary benefit analysis of WTP showed annual benefits of equivalent electricity charge of around $US 3.3 × 108 (using the feed-in-tariff rate 3.8945 NTD$/kW-h; 1 $US ≈ 30 NTD$) and equivalent CO2 mitigation of about 1.4 million metric tons (using the electricity emissions factor 0.55 kg CO2 equivalent/kW-h). In order to gain environmental, energy, and economic benefits, the regulatory and technological measures for promoting WTP are briefly summarized to create another low-carbon society in Taiwan. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
An Integrated Approach to the Biological Reactor–Sedimentation Tank System
Resources 2019, 8(2), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020094 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2663
Abstract
Secondary clarifiers are demanded to separate solids created in activated sludge biological processes to achieve both a clarified effluent and to manage the biological processes itself. Indeed, the biological process may influence the sludge characteristics, and conversely, the settling efficiency of the sedimentation [...] Read more.
Secondary clarifiers are demanded to separate solids created in activated sludge biological processes to achieve both a clarified effluent and to manage the biological processes itself. Indeed, the biological process may influence the sludge characteristics, and conversely, the settling efficiency of the sedimentation basin plays an important role on the biological process in the activated sludge system. The proposed model represents a tool for better addressing the design and management of activated sludge system in wastewater treatment plants. The aim is to develop a numerical model which takes into account both the conditions in the biological reactor and the sludge characteristics coupled to the hydrodynamic behavior of a clarifier tank. The obtained results show that the different conditions in the reactor exert a great influence on the sedimentation efficiency. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The LCA Methodology for Ceramic Tiles Production by Addition of MSWI BA
Resources 2019, 8(2), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020093 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2596
Abstract
Integrated waste management and sustainable use of natural resources are the basis of the Green Economy. In this context, the management of the Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Bottom Ashes (MSWI BA) is one of the current issues worldwide. This paper presents an application [...] Read more.
Integrated waste management and sustainable use of natural resources are the basis of the Green Economy. In this context, the management of the Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Bottom Ashes (MSWI BA) is one of the current issues worldwide. This paper presents an application of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) procedure to the industrial production of ceramic tiles using bottom ashes in the mixture together with feldspathic sands and clays. The comparison between ashes and traditional mixture showed a similar mineralogical and rheological composition. In the reported procedure the MSWI BA, after storage, were treated to separate and recover metals. The residual ashes were added to the mixture and then they followed the traditional industrial production cycle. Samples of the different materials were taken during the experimental industrial activity and leaching tests were carried out to verify the environmental compatibility of MSWI BA use to produce ceramic tiles. The results of the LCA show large environmental and energy benefits related to the proposed reuse of BA. Metal recovery and lower use of clay in traditional mixture avoids emission of substances with a negative potential impact for environment. This study provides a sustainable alternative to the MSWI BA final disposal in landfill as MSWI BA are hazardous wastes that present complicated management and high disposal costs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Concretizing Green Growth and Sustainable Business Models in the Water Sector of Jordan
Resources 2019, 8(2), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020092 - 10 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3954
Abstract
The green growth paradigm has gained much attention from various governments worldwide as a guiding strategy for national and sectoral growth strategies. There is, however, little knowledge on how to integrate green growth into key natural resource sectors, such as water. This paper [...] Read more.
The green growth paradigm has gained much attention from various governments worldwide as a guiding strategy for national and sectoral growth strategies. There is, however, little knowledge on how to integrate green growth into key natural resource sectors, such as water. This paper explains the origins and underlying concepts of green growth, and assesses its potential in the Jordanian water sector. Using a green growth diagnostic model, we analyze six key industries in the Jordanian water sector that can be an engine for green growth and the achievement of key sector-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, four innovative business models are presented which exemplify the best practices and future directions of the water sector in Jordan. The results and recommendations support the strategic decision-making process of linking economic growth and sustainability, and encouraging private investments. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Towards Circular Economy: Evaluation of Sewage Sludge Biogas Solutions
Resources 2019, 8(2), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020091 - 08 May 2019
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3368
Abstract
Today it is obvious that the existing linear model of the economy does not correlate with the principles of sustainable development. The circular economy model can replace the current linear economy whilst addressing the issues of environmental deterioration, social equity and long-term economic [...] Read more.
Today it is obvious that the existing linear model of the economy does not correlate with the principles of sustainable development. The circular economy model can replace the current linear economy whilst addressing the issues of environmental deterioration, social equity and long-term economic growth. In the context of effectively implementing circular economy objectives, particular importance should be attributed to wastewater treatment sludge management, due to the possibility of recovering valuable raw materials and using its energy potential. Anaerobic digestion is one of the methods of recovering energy from sewage sludge. The main goal of this study is to make a preliminary evaluation of possible sewage sludge biogas and biomethane solutions using a computation model called MCBioCH4 and compare its results with laboratory tests of sewage sludge fermentation from the northern wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of Ekaterinburg (Russian Federation). Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the volume and qualitative composition of biogas produced throughout anaerobic fermentation of raw materials coming from the WWTP. The specific productivity of samples ranged between 308.46 Nm3/tvs and 583.08 Nm3/tvs depending if mesophilic or thermophilic conditions were analyzed, or if the experiment was conducted with or without sludge pre-treatment. Output values from the laboratory were used as input for MCBioCH4 to calculate the flow of biogas or biomethane produced. For the case study of Ekaterinburg two possible energy conversion options were selected: B-H (biogas combustion with cogeneration of electrical and thermal energy) and M-T (biomethane to be used in transports). The results of the energy module showed a net energy content of the biogas between 6575 MWh/year and 7200 MWh/year. Both options yielded a favorable greenhouse gas (GHG) balance, meaning that avoided emissions are higher than produced emissions. The results discussion also showed that, in this case, the B-H option is preferable to the M-T option. The implementation of the biogas/biomethane energy conversion system in Ekaterinburg WWTP necessitates further investigations to clarify the remaining technical and economic aspects Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Implementation of Circular Economy Principles in Regional Solid Municipal Waste Management: The Case of Sverdlovskaya Oblast (Russian Federation)
Resources 2019, 8(2), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020090 - 07 May 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3135
Abstract
The circular economy entails the principles of rational waste management to the best advantage. Waste management in the Russian Federation is currently in a reform process, thus it is crucial to choose now the most efficient way for its development. Besides, in addition [...] Read more.
The circular economy entails the principles of rational waste management to the best advantage. Waste management in the Russian Federation is currently in a reform process, thus it is crucial to choose now the most efficient way for its development. Besides, in addition to general government strategic aims in such a vast country such as Russia, it is very important to take into consideration specific aspects typical of its territories, which will allow determining regional areas of activities. The article analyzes current municipal solid waste management in the Russian Federation. The case study is of one of the regions (Sverdlovskaya Oblast) characterized by some typical and specific problems which illustrate the results of the first stage of reforming. The authors analyzed the existing and planned mechanisms of state regulation in the waste management sector at regional and federal levels, and scrutinized changes in legislation. The development level of the circular economy in the region was determined on the basis of the index method. The life cycle analysis (LCA)-based evaluation approach made it possible to evaluate the economic efficiency of the production and economic activities at different stages of municipal solid waste (waste paper) recycling with due regard to externalities. The research showed that despite the current substantial economic potential of the secondary resources’ (waste paper) reuse, there was a low level of development of the circular economy index. Regional factors hindering and fostering the circular economy development were identified. Recommendations for improving the quality of governance of the municipal solid waste management were formulated. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Physical and Monetary Methods for Estimating the Hidden Trade of Materials
Resources 2019, 8(2), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8020089 - 06 May 2019
Viewed by 2526
Abstract
The hidden trade of a material (e.g., aluminum) refers to the trade of that material embedded in final products (e.g., automobiles). There are two methods for estimating the hidden trade amount of materials: (1) the physical method relies on the physical trade data [...] Read more.
The hidden trade of a material (e.g., aluminum) refers to the trade of that material embedded in final products (e.g., automobiles). There are two methods for estimating the hidden trade amount of materials: (1) the physical method relies on the physical trade data (measured by physical units) in which products are categorized according to the standard international trade classification codes or the harmonized system codes; and (2) the monetary method relies on the monetary trade data (measured by monetary units) in which products are categorized in accordance to the sectors of an input–output (IO) table. Information on material concentrations in products can be relatively quickly estimated by an IO-based model in the monetary method, but will have to be collected from various sources with intensive time cost in the physical method. Exemplified by the U.S. hidden trade of aluminum, iron, and copper in 2007, this study attempts to compare the two methods. We find that, despite the unavoidable but reasonable differences in the amounts of three metals trade, the results generated by the two methods are consistent with each other pretty well for final products at the level of end-use product groups (e.g., total transportation facilities). However, the comparison for specific products (e.g., automobiles) is challenging or does not generate consistent enough results. We suggest that similar estimations be done for more materials, more countries/territories, and different years, to gain experience, reduce estimation time and costs, and increase the knowledge base on metal flows in society. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop