Next Issue
Volume 8, January
Previous Issue
Volume 8, September

Table of Contents

Resources, Volume 8, Issue 4 (December 2019) – 28 articles

  • 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.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Meticulously analyzing all contemporaneous conditions and available options before taking [...] Read more.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Primary Sludge on the Physical Features of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Composites
Resources 2019, 8(4), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040184 - 17 Dec 2019
Viewed by 461
Abstract
The cost-efficient reutilization of byproduct materials is a significant global goal, contributing towards the sustainable use of resources. In this study, the effects of including primary sludge in composite materials on their physical performance are examined, in order to achieve more effective reuse. [...] Read more.
The cost-efficient reutilization of byproduct materials is a significant global goal, contributing towards the sustainable use of resources. In this study, the effects of including primary sludge in composite materials on their physical performance are examined, in order to achieve more effective reuse. The studied materials were made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), anhydride-grafted polyethylene (MAPE), lubricants, and either wood flour from spruce (Picea abies) or primary sludge from the side-stream of forest industry processes as a filler. The materials were compounded by agglomeration, followed by manufacturing with a conical twin-screw extruder. The physical properties of the materials were characterized by water absorption and thickness swelling tests; furthermore, impact strength was characterized after the stress of a cyclic freeze-thawing test. The elemental compositions of the materials were also analyzed by scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). Primary sludge, as a component in the structure of the composite material, resulted in a significant improvement of moisture behaviors in the water absorption and thickness swelling tests. The identified results demonstrate that primary sludge is a technically applicable material for utilization in composite materials. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Charcoal as an Energy Resource: Global Trade, Production and Socioeconomic Practices Observed in Uganda
Resources 2019, 8(4), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040183 - 16 Dec 2019
Viewed by 474
Abstract
Around the world, charcoal has persisted as an energy resource and retained unequivocal dominance in the energy consumption mix of some nations many years on since modern alternatives were invented. Furthermore, it has secured unyielding significance as a commodity on local and international [...] Read more.
Around the world, charcoal has persisted as an energy resource and retained unequivocal dominance in the energy consumption mix of some nations many years on since modern alternatives were invented. Furthermore, it has secured unyielding significance as a commodity on local and international markets and remained an aggressive competitor to electricity and gas for cooking. Here, we analyze the charcoal supply chain and highlight the rudimentary production techniques common within the sub-Saharan region, using Uganda as an example. Top global producers, importers, and exporters are discussed and, based on fieldwork from ten locations in Uganda, we describe common trade practices, economic contributions and the realities of charcoal consumption in areas with concentrated grid and electricity coverage. Indeed, forest degradation and deforestation in the charcoal trade is indiscriminate and the world’s top producers and exporters of charcoal do not necessarily have vast forest resources. Pyrolysis, the process used to produce charcoal from wood, exacerbates risks of wild fires and deteriorates air quality. Our fieldwork indicates that little to no innovation exists to manage waste materials such as ash and polluting gases along the supply chain. Recommendations for the future include better forest conservation practices and more innovation at the cooking level, because effects of localized environmental degradation inevitably lead to negative impacts beyond geographical borders. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperProject Report
Improving the Efficiency of Pyrolysis and Increasing the Quality of Gas Production through Optimization of Prototype Systems
Resources 2019, 8(4), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040182 - 15 Dec 2019
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Pyrolysis is a thermochemical process that consists of the degradation of organic polymers and biomass minerals in lignocellulose materials. At low pyrolysis temperature (300–400 °C), primarily carbon is produced during the reaction time. Rapid pyrolysis takes place at temperatures between 500 and 650 [...] Read more.
Pyrolysis is a thermochemical process that consists of the degradation of organic polymers and biomass minerals in lignocellulose materials. At low pyrolysis temperature (300–400 °C), primarily carbon is produced during the reaction time. Rapid pyrolysis takes place at temperatures between 500 and 650 °C. If the temperature is higher than 700 °C, the final product is methane, also known as biogas. The pyrolysis generator can be combined with a small power plant (CHP), which is a promising technology because the unit can be installed directly near the biomass production, and electricity can be fed de-centrally to the public utility network, while there are several possibilities for using waste heat in local systems. Carbonaceous ash can be utilized well in the agricultural field, because, in areas with intensive farming, the soil suffers from carbon and mineral deficiencies, and the phenomenon of material defect can be reduced by a proper level of implementation. This study describes the technical content of the biochar pilot project, and then, through a detailed presentation of the experimental results, we interpret the new scientific results. Our aim is to improve the quality of the produced gas by increasing the efficiency of the pyrolysis generator. In order for the pyrolysis unit to operate continuously, with proper efficiency and good gas quality, it is necessary to optimize the operation process. Our review reveals that the use of vibration may be advantageous during pyrolysis, which affects the mass of the pyrolysis carbon in a plane. Accordingly, the application of vibration to the input section of the funnel might enhance the quality of the gas, as well. The study concludes that more accurate dimensioning of the main parts of the gas reactor and a more convenient design of the oxidation and reduction zones enhance the good-quality gas output. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
CCS Projects: How Regulatory Framework Influences Their Deployment
Resources 2019, 8(4), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040181 - 09 Dec 2019
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Preventing the effects of climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of this century. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology takes up a promising position in the achievement of a low-carbon future. Currently, CCS projects are implemented not only for CO [...] Read more.
Preventing the effects of climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of this century. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology takes up a promising position in the achievement of a low-carbon future. Currently, CCS projects are implemented not only for CO2 storage but also for its usage in industries, in conformity with the principles of a circular economy. To date, a number of countries have accumulated experience in launching and implementing CCS projects. At the same time, the peculiarities and pace of technology development around the world remain different. This paper attempts to identify key factors that, first, generally affect CCS projects deployment, and second, create favorable conditions for CCS technologies development. Based on an extensive literature review and the experience of different countries, classification and interpretation of these factors are offered, justifying their impact on CCS projects. As a result of this paper, the authors present an assessment of the maturity of policy incentives and regulations in the field of CCS for different countries with revealed dependence between the level and effectiveness of CCS projects’ implementation, confirming the adequacy of the offered approaches and identifying measures that ensure success in CCS. The methodology of this study includes case studies, a modified PEST analysis, system-oriented analysis, the checklist method, and regression analyses. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Adsorptive Findings on Selected Biomasses for Removal of Phenol from Aqueous Solutions
Resources 2019, 8(4), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040180 - 29 Nov 2019
Viewed by 613
Abstract
India produces an enormous number of biomasses in the form of agricultural and forestry residues. To handle their disposal, they need to be explored as adsorbents, as one of the alternatives for their utilizations. Biomasses, having a high content of carbon, can be [...] Read more.
India produces an enormous number of biomasses in the form of agricultural and forestry residues. To handle their disposal, they need to be explored as adsorbents, as one of the alternatives for their utilizations. Biomasses, having a high content of carbon, can be used as low-cost adsorptive materials for the removal of phenol from aqueous streams. Ten biomasses, abundantly available in the Sangrur area of Punjab (India), were characterized. Based on their determined characteristics and availability, Acacia nilotica branches (ANB), Lantana camera (LC), and rice husk (RH) were selected for the study. As these biomasses removed low percentages of phenol, they were activated using thermochemical treatment. Their properties as adsorbents improved significantly. When they were subjected to phenol sequestration, the percentage removal of adsorbate was at 97%, 90%, and 83% by activated ANB (ANBC), activated LC (LCC), and activated RH (RHC), respectively. The equilibrium and kinetics of the process of adsorption on these activated biomasses were analyzed mathematically. It was possible to regenerate the spent ANBC, LCC, and RHC in a single step, with 1 M NaOH solution. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Globalizing Extraction and Indigenous Rights in the Russian Arctic: The Enduring Role of the State in Natural Resource Governance
Resources 2019, 8(4), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040179 - 28 Nov 2019
Viewed by 646
Abstract
The governance of extractive industries has become increasingly globalized. International conventions and multi-stakeholder institutions set out rules and standards on a range of issues, such as environmental protection, human rights, and Indigenous rights. Companies’ compliance with these global rules may minimize risks for [...] Read more.
The governance of extractive industries has become increasingly globalized. International conventions and multi-stakeholder institutions set out rules and standards on a range of issues, such as environmental protection, human rights, and Indigenous rights. Companies’ compliance with these global rules may minimize risks for investors and shareholders, while offering people at sites of extraction more leverage. Although the Russian state retains a significant stake in the oil and gas industries, Russian oil and gas companies have globalized as well, receiving foreign investment, participating in global supply chains, and signing on to global agreements. We investigate how this global engagement has affected Nenets Indigenous communities in Yamal, an oil- and gas-rich region in the Russian Arctic, by analyzing Indigenous protests and benefit-sharing arrangements. Contrary to expectations, we find that Nenets Indigenous communities have not been empowered by international governance measures, and also struggle to use domestic laws to resolve problems. In Russia, the state continues to play a significant role in determining outcomes for Indigenous communities, in part by working with Indigenous associations that are state allies. We conclude that governance generating networks in the region are under-developed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Urban Water Security: Definition and Assessment Framework
Resources 2019, 8(4), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040178 - 25 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 907
Abstract
Achieving urban water security is a major challenge for many countries. While several studies have assessed water security at a regional level, many studies have also emphasized the lack of assessment of water security and application of measures to achieve it at the [...] Read more.
Achieving urban water security is a major challenge for many countries. While several studies have assessed water security at a regional level, many studies have also emphasized the lack of assessment of water security and application of measures to achieve it at the urban level. Recent studies that have focused on measuring urban water security are not holistic, and there is still no agreed-upon understanding of how to operationalize and identify an assessment framework to measure the current state and dynamics of water security. At present, there is also no clearly defined and widely endorsed definition of urban water security. To address this challenge, this study provides a systematic approach to better understand urban water security, with a working definition and an assessment framework to be applied in peri-urban and urban areas. The proposed working definition of urban water security is based on the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goal on water and sanitation and the human rights on water and sanitation. It captures issues of urban-level technical, environmental, and socio-economic indicators that emphasize credibility, legitimacy, and salience. The assessment framework depends on four main dimensions to achieve urban water security: Drinking water and human beings, ecosystem, climate change and water-related hazards, and socio-economic factors (DECS). The framework further enables the analysis of relationships and trade-off between urbanization and water security, as well as between DECS indicators. Applying this framework will help governments, policy-makers, and water stakeholders to target scant resources more effectively and sustainably. The study reveals that achieving urban water security requires a holistic and integrated approach with collaborative stakeholders to provide a meaningful way to improve understanding and managing urban water security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Consumer Willingness and Acceptance of Smart Meters in Indonesia
Resources 2019, 8(4), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040177 - 24 Nov 2019
Viewed by 753
Abstract
Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and is currently facing some challenges, such as pollution and a growing energy demand. One of the solutions to these problems is upgrading the electricity transmission and distribution system to avoid losses of [...] Read more.
Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and is currently facing some challenges, such as pollution and a growing energy demand. One of the solutions to these problems is upgrading the electricity transmission and distribution system to avoid losses of energy, and encourage consumer engagement in energy saving as well as energy generation. The government of Indonesia has initiated projects for smart grids and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), but consumer awareness and willingness to accept these new technologies is still uncertain. This study focused on analyzing consumers’ knowledge and willingness to accept one of the key components in grid modernization, being smart meters (SM). An online questionnaire was used to record responses from 518 social media users from different parts of Indonesia. The analysis shows that, among social media users who are seen as early adopters of technology, there is certainly a lack of awareness about SM, but they are largely open towards the acceptance of SM. Based on the findings, we have also drawn recommendations for energy companies, which would help in raising consumer awareness, as well as acceptance of SM in Indonesia. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Creating Social Handprints: Method and Case Study in the Electronic Computer Manufacturing Industry
Resources 2019, 8(4), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040176 - 20 Nov 2019
Viewed by 713
Abstract
This article introduces a process that can be used by companies to obtain an increasingly precise picture of their supply chain social footprint (negative impacts) and identify potential social handprints (i.e., changes to business as usual that create positive impacts) using social organizational [...] Read more.
This article introduces a process that can be used by companies to obtain an increasingly precise picture of their supply chain social footprint (negative impacts) and identify potential social handprints (i.e., changes to business as usual that create positive impacts) using social organizational life cycle assessment (SO-LCA). The process was developed to apply to the electronics sector but can be used by companies in any industry. Our case study presents the social footprint of a typical US computer manufacturing company and identifies potential salient social risks and hotspots using generic information about the inputs that are related to a global trade model. The global trade model enables us to map the likely supply chain based on where inputs are usually sourced from by the US electronic computer manufacturing sector. In order to identify material impacts, normalization factors were created and used. Once the material impacts and salient risks are known, it becomes necessary to identify root causes in order to plan actions that will truly make a meaningful change, addressing the issues at stake. The article concludes by establishing a methodology that enables the use of the industry-level impacts and assessment in combination with the organization’s own data to calculate company-specific results. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Economic-Based Evaluation of Maize Production under Deficit and Supplemental Irrigation for Smallholder Farmers in Northern Togo, West Africa
Resources 2019, 8(4), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040175 - 16 Nov 2019
Viewed by 691
Abstract
While the world population is expected to reach 9 billion in 2050, in West Africa, it will more than double. This situation will lead to a high demand for cereals in the region. At the same time, farmers are experiencing yield losses due [...] Read more.
While the world population is expected to reach 9 billion in 2050, in West Africa, it will more than double. This situation will lead to a high demand for cereals in the region. At the same time, farmers are experiencing yield losses due to erratic rainfall. To come up with a sound and effective solution, the available but limited water should be used to achieve high yields through irrigation. Therefore, full and deficit irrigation management strategies were evaluated. The expected profit that can be obtained by a smallholder farmer under a conventional irrigation system in the short-term of investment was also assessed considering rope and bucket, treadle pump, and motorized pump water-lifting methods. The study focused on maize in northern Togo. The framework used in this study consisted of (i) a weather generator for simulating long-term climate time series; (ii) the AquaCrop model, which was used to simulate crop yield response to water; and (iii) a problem-specific algorithm for optimal irrigation scheduling with limited water supply. Results showed high variability in rainfall during the wet season leading to significant variability in the expected yield under rainfed conditions. This variability was substantially reduced when supplemental irrigation was applied. This holds for the irrigation management strategies evaluated in the dry season. Farmers’expected net incomes were US$ 133.35 and 78.11 per hectare for treadle pump and rope and bucket methods, respectively, under 10% exceedance probability. The motorized pump method is not appropriate for smallholder farmers in the short run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Water, Livelihoods, and Migration in SIDS: Climate Change and Future Prospects for Carriacou, West Indies
Resources 2019, 8(4), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040174 - 15 Nov 2019
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable to climate change, which will have a disproportionate impact on local environments and economies. Whilst there is a growing literature on how Caribbean SIDS can adapt to become more resilient, an issue [...] Read more.
Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable to climate change, which will have a disproportionate impact on local environments and economies. Whilst there is a growing literature on how Caribbean SIDS can adapt to become more resilient, an issue that has received little attention is with regard to migration as an unplanned response. It is recognised that events such as hurricanes and flooding can lead to internal relocation in the short term, but societal responses to droughts through migration have not generally been investigated. This paper seeks to address this by considering the case of the island of Carriacou, part of the state of Grenada. Carriacou, with its small population, limited land area, and local economy historically based on agriculture, has had a high degree of migration. This is in part a response to limited economic opportunities. Environmental stress, manifest through limited water availability, inappropriate land management, and social conditions, is likely to be exacerbated by climate change and variability. Resultant increases in the frequency and intensity of droughts, in the absence of proactive interventions, are likely to result in non-linear migration, both to Grenada itself and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coping with Water Scarcity in Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Machine Learning, Urban Water Resources Management and Operating Policy
Resources 2019, 8(4), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040173 - 14 Nov 2019
Viewed by 736
Abstract
Meticulously analyzing all contemporaneous conditions and available options before taking operations decisions regarding the management of the urban water resources is a necessary step owing to water scarcity. More often than not, this analysis is challenging because of the uncertainty regarding inflows to [...] Read more.
Meticulously analyzing all contemporaneous conditions and available options before taking operations decisions regarding the management of the urban water resources is a necessary step owing to water scarcity. More often than not, this analysis is challenging because of the uncertainty regarding inflows to the system. The most common approach to account for this uncertainty is to combine the Bayesian decision theory with the dynamic programming optimization method. However, dynamic programming is plagued by the curse of dimensionality, that is, the complexity of the method is proportional to the number of discretized possible system states raised to the power of the number of reservoirs. Furthermore, classical statistics does not consistently represent the stochastic structure of the inflows (see persistence). To avoid these problems, this study will employ an appropriate stochastic model to produce synthetic time-series with long-term persistence, optimize the system employing a network flow programming modelling, and use the optimization results for training a feedforward neural network (FFN). This trained FFN alone can serve as a decision support tool that describes not only reservoir releases but also how to operate the entire water supply system. This methodology is applied in a simplified representation of the Athens water supply system, and the results suggest that the FFN is capable of successfully operating the system according to a predefined operating policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Urban Water Resources Management and Policy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Example of a German Free-Float Car-Sharing Company Expansion in East-Central Europe
Resources 2019, 8(4), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040172 - 08 Nov 2019
Viewed by 773
Abstract
This study examines the expansion of a German free-float car-sharing company in Hungary from financial and sustainability perspectives. BMW and Daimler recently created the joint ventures ShareNow, ChargeNow, ReachNow, FreeNow, and ParkNow, which are having a significant global impact, as their services are [...] Read more.
This study examines the expansion of a German free-float car-sharing company in Hungary from financial and sustainability perspectives. BMW and Daimler recently created the joint ventures ShareNow, ChargeNow, ReachNow, FreeNow, and ParkNow, which are having a significant global impact, as their services are now available in 14 different countries. We also expect further market development, since ShareNow started to operate in Hungary in May 2019. The whole EU market is just one step away from being covered by the same professional service, and the future might bring a real globally available free-float car-sharing service provider. Our review used a combination of two methodologies: financial statement-based business analysis and sustainability analysis. On the basis of this study, we concluded that these companies are primarily operated for profit and not on a sustainable operation basis. Additionally, it was also found that the current statistical data collection method does not measure precisely these activities. Financial reporting and sustainability reporting are connected, but they cover different areas. As a subject of further research, we suggest examining whether it is possible to establish a clear connection between these methodologies in the foreseeable future. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Household Solid Waste Generation and Composition by Building Type in Da Nang, Vietnam
Resources 2019, 8(4), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040171 - 05 Nov 2019
Viewed by 803
Abstract
This study assesses the quantity and composition of household solid waste (HSW) in the City of Da Nang and proposes a transparent and standardised method for its assessment through a combination of very-high-resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, field surveys, questionnaires, and solid waste measurements [...] Read more.
This study assesses the quantity and composition of household solid waste (HSW) in the City of Da Nang and proposes a transparent and standardised method for its assessment through a combination of very-high-resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, field surveys, questionnaires, and solid waste measurements on the ground. This was carried out in order to identify underutilised resources and to obtain discrete planning values at city level. The procedure proved to be a suitable method for reliable data gathering. To describe HSW generation, 818 valid datasets, subdivided into five building types, and their location were used. The average HSW generation rate was 297 g per capita per day. Within a total of 19 subcategories, organic waste had a share of 62.9%. The specific generation and composition of HSW correlates positively with both the building type and the spatial location within the city. The most HSW (509 g per capita per day), by far, was generated in the ‘villa-type’ building while in the ‘basic-type’ building, this was the least (167 g per capita per day). Taking into account the number of individual buildings, the total HSW generation in Da Nang in 2015 was estimated between 109,844 and 164,455 tonnes per year, which corresponds to about one-third to one-half of the total municipal solid waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underutilised Resources in Urban Environments)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Assessment of Oyster Farming in the Po Delta, Northern Italy
Resources 2019, 8(4), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040170 - 30 Oct 2019
Viewed by 781
Abstract
Oysters represent an important portion of the world’s total aquaculture production. In recent years, in Italy, oyster farming has progressively increased its role in the economic growth of the aquaculture sector and still has great potential for growth. As in any other production, [...] Read more.
Oysters represent an important portion of the world’s total aquaculture production. In recent years, in Italy, oyster farming has progressively increased its role in the economic growth of the aquaculture sector and still has great potential for growth. As in any other production, oyster farming generates environmental impacts over an oyster’s life cycle, due to material, energy, fuel, and water use. The aim of this work was to carry out a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment (LCA) of 1 kg of fresh oysters of commercial size produced in the Po delta area, northern Italy. Two scenarios were considered. The current scenario provides for oyster seed purchasing from France and transport to Italy, whereas the alternative scenario includes in situ seed production in order to realize a complete local and traceable supply chain. Eco-indicator® 99-H and ReCiPe® midpoint (H) v.1.12 were used to perform the impact assessments. The overall impacts of the two scenarios were very similar and indicated that the main hotspots were the fattening and prefattening phases of farming, which were common in both scenarios. Focusing the analysis on the first stages, transport from France had a greater impact than did local seed production, emphasizing the importance of a short supply chain in aquaculture production. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Recovery and Valorisation of Energy from Wastewater Using a Water Source Heat Pump at the Glasgow Subway: Potential for Similar Underground Environments
Resources 2019, 8(4), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040169 - 30 Oct 2019
Viewed by 756
Abstract
An installation of a Water Source Heat Hump (WSHP) at Glasgow’s Underground Station, has been using the subsurface wastewater ingress to heat the office at St. George’s Cross station. The performance of the Glasgow Subway’s new heating system was observed for a few [...] Read more.
An installation of a Water Source Heat Hump (WSHP) at Glasgow’s Underground Station, has been using the subsurface wastewater ingress to heat the office at St. George’s Cross station. The performance of the Glasgow Subway’s new heating system was observed for a few months. The energy output readings are being presented. An average coefficient of performance (CoP) of 2.5 and a 60% energy input reduction for the heating system based on the old heating system’s energy demand indicates the actual system’s performance. The purpose of this research is to detect the likelihood of implementing the same setup in similar underground environments where the excess wastewater may support a viable and eco-friendly heating system. Fifteen cities across Europe have been identified and presented, with the adequate water quantities, where similar heating systems may be applied. The output of this study indicates not only the financial benefit but also the energy and carbon reduction of this trial. It highlights main subjects which were encountered in such a challenging subway system. Future steps to commercialize the excess heat energy output are explored together with opportunities to promote the same setup in similar cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underutilised Resources in Urban Environments)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Geoheritage as a Tool for Environmental Management: A Case Study in Northern Malta (Central Mediterranean Sea)
Resources 2019, 8(4), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040168 - 26 Oct 2019
Viewed by 1088
Abstract
The recognition, selection and quantitative assessment of sites of geological and geomorphological interest are fundamental steps in any environmental management focused on geoconservation and geotourism promotion. The island of Malta, in the central Mediterranean Sea, despite having a steadily increasing growth in population [...] Read more.
The recognition, selection and quantitative assessment of sites of geological and geomorphological interest are fundamental steps in any environmental management focused on geoconservation and geotourism promotion. The island of Malta, in the central Mediterranean Sea, despite having a steadily increasing growth in population and tourism, still conserves geological and geomorphological features of great relevance and interest, both for their contribution to the understanding of the geological processes acting through time on landscape and for their aesthetic importance. The present work proposes an inventory for northern Malta, through three main stages, with the outcome of a final list of geosites that have the potential to be recognized as both natural heritage and tourist resources with potential economic benefits. In particular, the assessment methodology applied combines scientific value and additional and use-values, showing the links existing between geoheritage and other aspects of nature and culture of the sites. The results provide useful knowledge for the definition of strategies aimed at the development of a sustainable and responsible tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoheritage and Geotourism Resources)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Open Collaboration as Marketing Transformation Strategy in Online Markets: The Case of the Fashion Sector
Resources 2019, 8(4), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040167 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 751
Abstract
An increasing number of companies engage with global markets due to technological advances, digitalisation and the homogenisation of consumers’ tastes. Taking into account the consumers’ opinion becomes more important in the current global output. On the other hand, the use of social media [...] Read more.
An increasing number of companies engage with global markets due to technological advances, digitalisation and the homogenisation of consumers’ tastes. Taking into account the consumers’ opinion becomes more important in the current global output. On the other hand, the use of social media promotes the interaction between companies and users, and they are considered to be key elements in generating socialisation and, in addition, they contribute to generating images, communicating and improving participation. This interaction represents the moment in which value is generated in the commercial offer. In this context, the co-creation as marketing strategy is considered a very useful tool to approach the consumers and, thus, facilitate the global result, becoming social media as an important resource for management. The aim of this paper is to show the relevance of the global marketing strategy in fashion and accessories’ retail sector, as well as to study the role that companies grant to co-creation such as strategy which allows approaching consumer in those international markets. For this purpose, we will focus on Spanish firms in the fashion and accessories industry. In sum, this qualitative study, analysed using Atlas.ti® software, leads to a new paradigm which represents the transition of a brand model based on proposing solutions, proposals, and collective responses, to a business model that increasingly develops proposals, solutions and individual responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worldwide Research on Resources in Social Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Particle Size Distribution in Municipal Solid Waste Pre-Treated for Bioprocessing
Resources 2019, 8(4), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040166 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 891
Abstract
While it is well known that particle size reduction impacts the performance of bioprocessing such as anaerobic digestion or composting, there is a relative lack of knowledge about particle size distribution (PSD) in pre-treated organic material, i.e., the distribution of particles across different [...] Read more.
While it is well known that particle size reduction impacts the performance of bioprocessing such as anaerobic digestion or composting, there is a relative lack of knowledge about particle size distribution (PSD) in pre-treated organic material, i.e., the distribution of particles across different size ranges. PSD in municipal solid waste (MSW) pre-treated for bioprocessing in mechanical–biological treatment (MBT) was researched. In the first part of this study, the PSD in pre-treated waste at two full-scale MBT plants in the UK was determined. The main part of the study consisted of experimental trials to reduce particle sizes in MSW destined for bioprocessing and to explore the obtained PSD patterns. Shredders and a macerating grinder were used. For shear shredders, a jaw opening of 20 mm was found favourable for effective reduction of particle sizes, while a smaller jaw opening rather compressed the wet organic waste into balls. Setting the shredder jaw opening to 20 mm does not mean that in the output all particles will be 20 mm or below. PSD profiles revealed that different particle sizes were present in each trial. Using different types of equipment in series was effective in reducing the presence of larger particles. Maceration yielded a PSD dominated by very fine particles, which is unsuitable for composting and potentially also for anaerobic digestion. It was concluded that shredding, where equipment is well selected, is effective in delivering a material well suited for anaerobic digestion or composting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underutilised Resources in Urban Environments)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Corporate Social Responsibility in the Management of Human and Environmental Resources: Andalucian Perspectives
Resources 2019, 8(4), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040165 - 10 Oct 2019
Viewed by 771
Abstract
There are a number of objectives that guide this work. First, we aimed to identify the general characteristics of Andalusian companies in terms their approach to social responsibility, particularly in the area of human resources and environmental impact. Second, we aimed to identify [...] Read more.
There are a number of objectives that guide this work. First, we aimed to identify the general characteristics of Andalusian companies in terms their approach to social responsibility, particularly in the area of human resources and environmental impact. Second, we aimed to identify the particularities of social responsibility within the productive sector. For this, a questionnaire was designed, which was administered to 365 executives belonging to different sectors. The results show that the greatest concern of Andalusian companies is the satisfaction of their employees, followed by energy saving measures, and environmental impact. We also found differences according to the productive sector studied. In particular, while in the agricultural and livestock sectors the human elements appear to be of importance, the industrial and commercial sectors pay more attention to environmental elements. However, the data highlight the need to continue working within this area of research, adopting a preventive or proactive approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worldwide Research on Resources in Social Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Landscape Fragmentation, Ecosystem Services, and Local Knowledge in the Baroro River Watershed, Northern Philippines
Resources 2019, 8(4), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040164 - 01 Oct 2019
Viewed by 820
Abstract
Landscape fragmentation, the breaking up of land use type into smaller parcels, is damaging watersheds worldwide. Without addressing its causes, landscape fragmentation can permanently destroy habitats and compromise ecosystem services (ES) that a watershed provides. This paper aims to establish associations between watershed [...] Read more.
Landscape fragmentation, the breaking up of land use type into smaller parcels, is damaging watersheds worldwide. Without addressing its causes, landscape fragmentation can permanently destroy habitats and compromise ecosystem services (ES) that a watershed provides. This paper aims to establish associations between watershed landscape fragmentation and ES by integrating science (satellite imageries and fragmentation analyses) and local geographic knowledge (key informant interviews and focus group discussions) at different time periods. Using the case of the Baroro River Watershed in Northern Philippines, this paper posits that local knowledge, when integrated with scientific knowledge, becomes a significant medium through which watershed landscape fragmentation and declining quality of ES can be better understood and addressed. Results also indicate that people’s experiences and knowledge on ES coincide with watershed landscape fragmentation as evidenced by satellite images and fragmentation analyses done at different time periods. This implies that people’s knowledge is well grounded on facts and complements scientific knowledge necessary in crafting more effective landscape policies that can tackle watershed fragmentation. Study results are also crucial in providing information to serve as inputs in the development of a more robust watershed management plan; particularly in implementing sustainable land uses without sacrificing the watershed’s overall integrity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Alterations in Canadian Hydropower Production Potential Due to Continuation of Historical Trends in Climate Variables
Resources 2019, 8(4), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040163 - 29 Sep 2019
Viewed by 1234
Abstract
The vitality, timing, and magnitude of hydropower production is driven by streamflow, which is determined by climate variables, in particular precipitation and temperature. Accordingly, changes in climate characteristics can cause alterations in hydropower production potential. This delineates a critical energy security concern, especially [...] Read more.
The vitality, timing, and magnitude of hydropower production is driven by streamflow, which is determined by climate variables, in particular precipitation and temperature. Accordingly, changes in climate characteristics can cause alterations in hydropower production potential. This delineates a critical energy security concern, especially in places such as Canada, where recent changes in climate are substantial and hydropower production is important for both domestic use and exportation. Current Canadian assessments, however, are limited as they mainly focus on a small number of power plants across the country. In addition, they implement scenario-led top-down impact assessments that are subject to large uncertainties in climate, hydrological, and energy models. To avoid these limitations, we propose a bottom-up impact assessment based on the historical information on climatic trends and causal links between climate variables and hydropower production across political jurisdictions. Using this framework, we estimate expected monthly gain/loss in regional hydropower production potential under the continuation of historical climate trends. Our findings show that Canada’s production potential is expected to increase, although the net gain/loss is subject to significant variations across different regions. Our results suggest increasing potential in Yukon, Ontario, and Quebec but decreasing production in the North Western Territories and Nunavut, British Columbia, and Alberta. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
An Approach to Estimating Water Quality Changes in Water Distribution Systems Using Fault Tree Analysis
Resources 2019, 8(4), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040162 - 27 Sep 2019
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Given that a consequence of a lack of stability of the water in a distribution system is increased susceptibility to secondary contamination and, hence, a threat to consumer health, in the work detailed here we assessed the risk of such a system experiencing [...] Read more.
Given that a consequence of a lack of stability of the water in a distribution system is increased susceptibility to secondary contamination and, hence, a threat to consumer health, in the work detailed here we assessed the risk of such a system experiencing quality changes relating to the biological and chemical stability of water intended for drinking. Utilizing real operational data from a water treatment station, the presented analysis of the stability was performed based on the fault tree method. If they are to protect their critical-status water supply infrastructure, water supply companies should redouble their efforts to distribute stable water free of potentially corrosive properties. To that end, suggestions are made on the safeguarding of water distribution systems, with a view to ensuring the safety of operation and the long-term durability of pipes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Management: Natural Resources and Human Interaction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Examination of Short Supply Chains Based on Circular Economy and Sustainability Aspects
Resources 2019, 8(4), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040161 - 26 Sep 2019
Viewed by 997
Abstract
The sustainability of global food chains and intense agricultural production has become questionable. At the same time, the consumers’ interest in short supply chains (SSCs) and direct sales from producers has increased. SSCs are connected to sustainability by researchers. Their (supposed) positive sustainability [...] Read more.
The sustainability of global food chains and intense agricultural production has become questionable. At the same time, the consumers’ interest in short supply chains (SSCs) and direct sales from producers has increased. SSCs are connected to sustainability by researchers. Their (supposed) positive sustainability attributes are based mostly on extensive production methods and short transport distances. However, from other points of view, the economic and environmental sustainability of the short chains is questionable. Our research aims to cast light on the SSCs’ role in circular economy and sustainability. By deep literature review and content analysis, we determine the sustainability aspects of short (local) chains and their effects related to economy and environment. Short supply chains are connected most widely to circularity and sustainability by the subjects of environmental burden (transport, production method, emission), health, food quality, consumers’ behavior, producer-consumer relationships, and local economy. According to our experience, these factors cannot be generalised across all kinds of short chains. Their circular economic and sustainability features are dependent on their spatial location, type, and individual attitudes of the involved consumers and producers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Participation in S-LCA: A Methodological Proposal Applied to Belgian Alternative Food Chains (Part 1)
Resources 2019, 8(4), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040160 - 25 Sep 2019
Viewed by 889
Abstract
In social life cycle assessment (S-LCA), the use of a participatory approach to define and select assessment criteria and indicators (C&Is) is recommended given the specificity of social issues, but it has been, for now, rarely implemented and presents methodological challenges. Within a [...] Read more.
In social life cycle assessment (S-LCA), the use of a participatory approach to define and select assessment criteria and indicators (C&Is) is recommended given the specificity of social issues, but it has been, for now, rarely implemented and presents methodological challenges. Within a participatory action research project gathering academic researchers and field actors, we tested the applicability of configuring a C&Is list for S-LCA, together with chain actors of three alternative food distribution systems active in Belgium. The purpose of this article is to present the results of this work and to examine the methodological limits, requirements, and contributions of such an approach. The participatory approach is an appropriate method to build a list of C&Is standing out from other studies, with the identification of ambitious and innovative C&Is relating to value-chain actors (VCAs) stakeholder category, on chain governance and transaction modalities. In our case, it required an adaptation work of C&Is to the S-LCA requirements and the use of a specific theoretical approach to articulate C&Is within a coherent framework. Finally, this kind of work seems useful to give ground to the S-LCA Guidelines’ list of subcategories, which was built through a rather top-down expert-based approach. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Circular Economy and its Comparison with 14 Other Business Sustainability Movements
Resources 2019, 8(4), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040159 - 25 Sep 2019
Viewed by 946
Abstract
Circular economy is not the first, and probably not the last “movement” in the arena of sustainability macroeconomic and business solutions. In this article we produce a—not full—list of similar movements from the 1990s, publish a comparative table and propose a simple framework [...] Read more.
Circular economy is not the first, and probably not the last “movement” in the arena of sustainability macroeconomic and business solutions. In this article we produce a—not full—list of similar movements from the 1990s, publish a comparative table and propose a simple framework to decide the significant points of the life cycle of such a kind of movement. For significant points and statistics, we use simplified content analysis from normal and scientific research engines. Finally, we use this framework to make a forecast about time for the circular economy approach “to stay on the top” and conclude if these movements are “Much Ado about Nothing” or they help us on our way to a sustainable planetary, social and economic system. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Social Life-Cycle Assessment of a Piece of Jewellery. Emphasis on the Local Community
Resources 2019, 8(4), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040158 - 21 Sep 2019
Viewed by 918
Abstract
An increasing global focus on sustainability has affected the jewellery industry by raising questions about its environmental and social impacts and ethics due to the negative impacts of gold mining. It is essential to consider the social aspects of mining activities on the [...] Read more.
An increasing global focus on sustainability has affected the jewellery industry by raising questions about its environmental and social impacts and ethics due to the negative impacts of gold mining. It is essential to consider the social aspects of mining activities on the socio-economic environment and the affected individuals in order to understand the sustainability of the jewellery industry in a better way. Nonetheless, this is a gap in the evaluation of the issues of jewellery in the other phases of the life cycle, observed in the literature. For these reasons, the goal of this study is to assess the social and socio-economic aspects of a piece of jewellery from the artisan’s point of view by considering the relationship between a piece of jewellery and the local community. The United National Environmental Programme/Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (UNEP/SETAC) Guidelines on Social Life-Cycle Assessment, the UNEP/SETAC Methodological Sheets and the Subcategory Assessment Method were implemented. The findings show that a piece of jewellery can play an important role in supporting the local cultural heritage by innovating the traditional product, and promoting educational activities related to the history of the product and the territory. Consequently, the local community with its historical background gives an added value to the piece of jewellery. Further research on this topic is desirable in order to improve the knowledge of this particular sector and to identify other social issues that can be involved in this product. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Valuation of Total Soil Carbon Stocks in the Contiguous United States Based on the Avoided Social Cost of Carbon Emissions
Resources 2019, 8(4), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8040157 - 20 Sep 2019
Viewed by 1157
Abstract
Total soil carbon (TSC) is a composite (total) stock, which is the sum of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil inorganic carbon (SIC). Total soil carbon, and its individual two components, are all important criteria for assessing ecosytems services (ES) and for achieving [...] Read more.
Total soil carbon (TSC) is a composite (total) stock, which is the sum of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil inorganic carbon (SIC). Total soil carbon, and its individual two components, are all important criteria for assessing ecosytems services (ES) and for achieving United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The objective of this study was to assess the value of TSC stocks, based on the concept of the avoided social cost of carbon dioxide emissions, for the contiguous United States (U.S.) by soil order, soil depth (0–20, 20–100, 100–200 cm), land resource region (LRR), state, and region using information from the State Soil Geographic (STATSGO) database. The total calculated monetary value for TSC storage in the contiguous U.S. was between $8.13T (i.e., $8.13 trillion U.S. dollars, where T = trillion = 1012) and $37.5T, with a midpoint value of $21.1T. Soil orders with the highest TSC storage midpoint values were Mollisols ($7.78T) and Aridisols ($2.49T). Based on area, however, the soil orders with highest midpoint TSC values were Histosols ($21.95 m−2) and Vertisols ($5.84 m−2). Soil depth was important, with the highest values of TSC storage being found in the interval 20–100 cm ($9.87T—total midpoint value, and $1.34 m−2—midpoint area density). The soil depth interval 0–20 cm had the lowest TSC storage ($4.30T) and lowest area-density ($0.58 m−2) value, which exemplifies the prominence of TSC in the deeper subsurface layers of soil. The LRRs with the highest midpoint TSC storage values were: M—Central Feed Grains and Livestock Region ($2.82T) and D—Western Range and Irrigated Region ($2.64T), whereas on an area basis the LRRs with the highest values were I—Southwest Plateaus and Plains Range and Cotton Region ($6.90 m−2) and J—Southwestern Prairies Cotton and Forage Region ($6.38 m−2). Among the U.S. states, the highest midpoint TSC storage values were Texas ($4.03T) and Minnesota ($1.29T), while based on area this order was reversed (i.e., Minnesota: $6.16 m−2; Texas: $6.10 m−2). Comprehensive assessment of regulating ES requires TSC, which is an important measure in achieving the UN SDGs. Despite the known shortcomings of soil databases, such as their static nature and the wide ranges of uncertainty reported for various soil properties, they provide the most comprehensive information available at this time for making systematic assessments of ecosystem services at large spatial scales. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop