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Resources, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 9 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This research demonstrates how socially sustainable supply chain practices can help companies [...] Read more.
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Resources in 2019
Resources 2020, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9010009 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 505
Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Estimating the Generation of Garden Waste in England and the Differences between Rural and Urban Areas
Resources 2020, 9(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9010008 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 540
Abstract
Garden waste arising from private households represents a major component of the biodegradable municipal waste stream. To design effective waste valorisation schemes, detailed information about garden waste is a prerequisite. While the biochemical composition of this material is well documented, there is a [...] Read more.
Garden waste arising from private households represents a major component of the biodegradable municipal waste stream. To design effective waste valorisation schemes, detailed information about garden waste is a prerequisite. While the biochemical composition of this material is well documented, there is a lack of knowledge regarding both the quantities arising, and quantities entering the services operated by waste management authorities. This work studied the quantities of garden waste arisings at urban and rural households along with the disposal methods used. A door-to-door interview survey, an analysis of kerbside collections of garden waste, and an assessment of materials brought by citizens to a waste recycling site were carried out in Hampshire, UK. If extrapolated nationally, the results indicate that households in England produce an average of 0.79 kg of garden waste per day, or 288 kg per year. On a per capita basis, this corresponds to an annual arising of 120 kg per person, out of which around 70% enters the collection schemes of the waste management authorities. The quantity generated by rural and urban households differed substantially, with rural households producing 1.96 ± 1.35 kg per day and urban households 0.64 ± 0.46 kg per day. Rural households adopted self-sufficient methods of garden waste management such as home composting or backyard burning to a much greater extent compared with urban households. Less than half of the generated rural garden waste entered services operated by the waste collection authorities, while urban households strongly relied on these services. A detailed breakdown of the disposal routes chosen by urban and rural householders can support authorities in tailoring more effective waste management schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underutilised Resources in Urban Environments)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Social Sustainability Dilemma: Escape or Communicate? Managing Social Risks Upstream of the Bioenergy Supply Chain
Resources 2020, 9(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9010007 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 596
Abstract
Supply chain risk management has been well researched over the years. However, management of social risks in bioenergy supply chains has been studied less in contemporary research. The ability of bioenergy companies to identify, properly address, and communicate social sustainability has become crucial [...] Read more.
Supply chain risk management has been well researched over the years. However, management of social risks in bioenergy supply chains has been studied less in contemporary research. The ability of bioenergy companies to identify, properly address, and communicate social sustainability has become crucial for many global producers. In order to meet current EU’s energy and climate targets, the development of sustainable bioenergy production is vital. However, over last decade, research of bioenergy production supply chains has indicated that upstream areas of global bioenergy production systems are vulnerable in terms of social sustainability risks. The main objective of this research was to demonstrate how the socially sustainable supply chain practices in bioenergy supply chains can help a production company manage social risks and resources-use related conflicts upstream of the supply chain. These practices can be applied in the process of negotiation between bioenergy producers, local authorities, and communities for creating win-win situations for all parties while planning new bioenergy production systems. This study pays special attention to social sustainability risks at the upstream of the supply chain in countries of raw material origin. Use of social sustainability practices intends to help identify, assess, and address social risks of supply chain activities for bioenergy companies. Moreover, such practices aim at supporting companies and their stakeholders in making right choices and preparing effective strategies ahead of time. We based our research on empirical evidence and offer solutions to multi-national bioenergy production companies on how to manage social risks, allowing them to make the right decisions and necessary adjustments before entering potential markets. Our findings show that even avoidance of market entrance can carry sustainability-related social risks for both the company and the local communities. We suggest that although the financial element plays an important role in decision-making, the no-go decision often means missed opportunities for local communities to improve their respective sustainability states. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Institutionalization of Nature-Based Solutions—A Discourse Analysis of Emergent Literature
Resources 2020, 9(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9010006 - 12 Jan 2020
Viewed by 758
Abstract
The European Union quickly incorporated the concept of nature based-solutions (NBS), becoming a key promotor. This was achieved through financial support for both academic research and city implementations. Still, the processes of institutionalization are yet to be fully explored. This study aims at [...] Read more.
The European Union quickly incorporated the concept of nature based-solutions (NBS), becoming a key promotor. This was achieved through financial support for both academic research and city implementations. Still, the processes of institutionalization are yet to be fully explored. This study aims at assessing how the scientific literature regarding NBS is addressing institutional aspects and how it is constructing the NBS narrative. This research is divided into two stages. First, it undertakes a quantitative analysis of the discourse, considering a set of preselected search terms organized into five categories: Actor, institutional, planning, policy, and regulation. Second, it adopts a qualitative analysis considering both a group of the most cited articles and of articles highlighted in the previous stage. The results indicate that the NBS concept is still shadowed by other environmental concepts such as ecosystem services. Despite being an issue promoted at the European level, the results of this exercise express the lack of concrete planning and policy recommendations, reflected by the absence of terms such as “planning objectives”. This pattern occurs in all other major categories, being the institutional category the least mentioned of all five categories. The results highlight the need to address both policies and planning recommendations more concretely, studying the institutional arrangements able to promote NBS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-based Solutions for Urban Global Change Adaptation)
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Open AccessArticle
Centralized or Decentralized Rainwater Harvesting Systems: A Case Study
Resources 2020, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9010005 - 12 Jan 2020
Viewed by 583
Abstract
World population growth, climate changes, urbanization, and industrialization have all had a negative impact on natural resources, including water resources. Excessive exploitation and pollution have caused more and more regions to have problems with access to fresh water. Rainwater is perceived as a [...] Read more.
World population growth, climate changes, urbanization, and industrialization have all had a negative impact on natural resources, including water resources. Excessive exploitation and pollution have caused more and more regions to have problems with access to fresh water. Rainwater is perceived as a valuable alternative source of water that is most often used in a hybrid system supplementing tap water. Considering the possibilities of designing a rainwater harvesting system as a decentralized or central system, this research was undertaken to determine the hydraulic and financial efficiency of these two systems. The research was carried out for a single-family housing estate located in Poland. For this research, a simulation model was applied to determine the efficiency of water saving and the life cycle cost indicator. In variants where rainwater was only used to flush toilets, the water saving efficiency was 80% and 79% for the decentralized and centralized rainwater harvesting system (RWHS), respectively. The use of rainwater for toilet flushing and watering the garden resulted in a significant reduction in efficiency to 57% (the decentralized system) and 54% (the centralized system). On the other hand, the results of the life cycle cost (LCC) analysis showed that in spite of reducing tap water consumption, both the centralized and the decentralized rainwater harvesting system were not financially viable solutions for the housing estate, and only cofinancing investments at the level of 25% to 50% resulted in a significant improvement in financial efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Geotourism and the 21st Century–NTOs’ Website Information Availability on Geotourism Resources in Selected Central European Countries: International Perspective
Resources 2020, 9(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9010004 - 06 Jan 2020
Viewed by 629
Abstract
The power of the Internet as a communicative and promotional tool in the contemporary world of tourism is unquestionable. Nevertheless, the context of online information availability referring to geotourism and georesources is very rarely addressed in the academic literature. This article undertakes research [...] Read more.
The power of the Internet as a communicative and promotional tool in the contemporary world of tourism is unquestionable. Nevertheless, the context of online information availability referring to geotourism and georesources is very rarely addressed in the academic literature. This article undertakes research into the online information availability on georesources presented on the official websites of the National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) of three selected Central European countries with similar geotourism conditions, namely the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia. Their NTOs underwent a descriptive content analysis in order to highlight the dominating trends in the online presentation of georesources. As concluded in the article, information on geotourism resources available online is rather dispersed, as it is usually presented under divergent umbrella terms. Therefore, measures need to be taken to present a holistic online picture of geoheritage on an international level of availability, where certain pieces of geotourism-related information correspond with each other, accurately applying the system of hyperlinks. The research outcomes and suggestions for the future may find applicable use for various stakeholders of the tourism industry, especially the authorities responsible for different levels of its promotion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoheritage and Geotourism Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
An Analysis of Waste Heat Recovery from Wastewater on Livestock and Agriculture Farms
Resources 2020, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9010003 - 01 Jan 2020
Viewed by 728
Abstract
Agriculture is one of the sectors of the economy in which it is possible to conduct much more rational energy economy. The easiest way to achieve financial savings as well as reduce air pollution is to use waste heat sources. Heat pumps are [...] Read more.
Agriculture is one of the sectors of the economy in which it is possible to conduct much more rational energy economy. The easiest way to achieve financial savings as well as reduce air pollution is to use waste heat sources. Heat pumps are perfect for this. Particularly favorable is the case when the device can operate in an alternative system and serve both heating and cooling purposes. The purpose of this article was to present possible solutions for installations enabling heat recovery from wastewater to supply agri-breeding farms with hot utility and technological water, a financial analysis of their application, and an assessment of the impact of these solutions on possible reduction of pollutant emissions. The tests were carried out for four variants of cooperation between a heat pump and an exchanger. In the first variant, waste heat was used in the process of heating water used to clean stands and prepare feed. In the second variant, waste heat took part in heating the water used for watering plants. In the third variant, waste heat was used in the process of drying cereals. In turn, in the last variant, waste heat supported the preparation of utility hot water for the breeder’s residential building. The study showed the legitimacy of using thermal energy from liquid manure as a waste heat source on farms and farming. This is mainly due to the short payback period, which can be within 2–4 years. In turn, the analysis of pollution reduction associated with the recovery of waste energy showed that the use of heat pumps allowed a significant reduction in the emission of harmful compounds to the atmosphere, in particular carbon dioxide. It is worth noting that livestock breeding is one of the most important branches of agricultural production not only in Poland but also throughout Europe, Asia and South and North America. For this reason, the use of waste heat-recovery systems enables real savings in the purchase of energy and reduction of pollutant emissions arising during traditional production processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exergy, Economic, and Life-Cycle Assessment of ORC System for Waste Heat Recovery in a Natural Gas Internal Combustion Engine
Resources 2020, 9(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9010002 - 01 Jan 2020
Viewed by 697
Abstract
In this article, an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) was integrated into a 2-MW natural gas engine to evaluate the possibility of generating electricity by recovering the engine’s exhaust heat. The operational and design variables with the greatest influence on the energy, economic, and [...] Read more.
In this article, an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) was integrated into a 2-MW natural gas engine to evaluate the possibility of generating electricity by recovering the engine’s exhaust heat. The operational and design variables with the greatest influence on the energy, economic, and environmental performance of the system were analyzed. Likewise, the components with greater exergy destruction were identified through the variety of different operating parameters. From the parametric results, it was found that the evaporation pressure has the greatest influence on the destruction of exergy. The highest fraction of exergy was obtained for the Shell and tube heat exchanger (ITC1) with 38% of the total exergy destruction of the system. It was also determined that the high value of the heat transfer area increases its acquisition costs and the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of the thermal system. Therefore, these systems must have a turbine technology with an efficiency not exceeding 90% because, from this value, the LCOE of the system surpasses the LCOE of a gas turbine. Lastly, a life cycle analysis (LCA) was developed on the system operating under the selected organic working fluids. It was found that the component with the greatest environmental impact was the turbine, which reached a maximum value of 3013.65 Pts when the material was aluminum. Acetone was used as the organic working fluid. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dominant Consumer Attitudes in the Sharing Economy—A Representative Study in Hungary
Resources 2020, 9(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9010001 - 27 Dec 2019
Viewed by 831
Abstract
As a result of the digital revolution, new business models are emerging, and one of the most dynamic is the sharing economy. In many cases, the strategic communication of sharing economy firms is linked to current socio-economic trends, such as digital innovation, consumers’ [...] Read more.
As a result of the digital revolution, new business models are emerging, and one of the most dynamic is the sharing economy. In many cases, the strategic communication of sharing economy firms is linked to current socio-economic trends, such as digital innovation, consumers’ empowerment, experience gaining (instead of stock), environmental awareness, and community building. In our research (a nationwide representative sample of 3520), we aimed to determine how open the Hungarian population is toward sharing economy services. Furthermore, we explored the relationship between openness and consumers’ socio-demographic factors, attitudes related to the current consumer trends and Internet usage habits. As a result, we found that 38.4% of the Hungarian population is open toward sharing economy services. From a socio-demographic point of view, wealthy, metropolitan, family-oriented, educated, and younger people are more open toward sharing activities. In terms of consumer attitudes, people who take risks, like having a social life, are environmentally and health conscious, spend their leisure time actively, enjoy quality things, and have a positive attitude toward digitalization are more open to using the sharing economy services. As a final result of the regression modeling, we found that the examined consumer attitudes and Internet usage habits determine openness, but socio-demographic factors largely lose their significant effect, except for generation and wealth, in the case of the integrated model. Our results show that a well-defined and relatively large segment is open to the sharing economy, and sharing economy companies could target them directly to achieve a more sustainable environment. Full article
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