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Resources, Volume 9, Issue 10 (October 2020) – 9 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In the perspective of the decarbonisation of the industrialized societies, an increasing use of renewable energy sources is required; in particular, among them, vegetal biomass resources by natural and managed agri-ecosystems play an increasing role for producing electricity and heat. In this context, the cardoon as low-input crops tolerant to drought and environmental/climate stresses is well adapted to be exploited as a bioenergy crop in the Mediterranean areas, especially through precision farming intensive approaches. In this context, the currently available proximal and remote sensing advanced techniques provide extensive and effective monitoring for maximisation of biomass yield and environmental impact minimisation. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Impact of Water Salinization Stress on Biomass Yield of Cardoon Bio-Energetic Crops through Remote Sensing Techniques
Resources 2020, 9(10), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100124 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 675
Abstract
Various species of cultivated thistle, such as Cynara cardunculus L. (cardoon), exhibit interesting features for industrial biomass production as bioenergy crops, given also their advantageous adaptation capacities to typical Mediterranean climate trends, with noticeable resilience to drought and salinization stresses. The in situ [...] Read more.
Various species of cultivated thistle, such as Cynara cardunculus L. (cardoon), exhibit interesting features for industrial biomass production as bioenergy crops, given also their advantageous adaptation capacities to typical Mediterranean climate trends, with noticeable resilience to drought and salinization stresses. The in situ hyperspectral reflectance responses of three genotypes of cardoon plants, irrigated with water at different salinity levels, have been tested for assessing the effects on their biophysical parameters, aiming at improving the biomass yield for bioenergy production, minimizing at same time the environmental impacts and the exploitation of soils and waters resources. The leaf and canopy reflectance hyperspectral signatures, acquired at three different growth stages with biometric measurements, were statistically analyzed (ANOVA, Tukey’s test, graphs), as noise-resilient spectral indices, sensible to different plant features of interest. Their broadband versions, based on the Landsat 8 OLI and Sentinel 2 MSI satellite sensors, were also evaluated in perspective of operative and extensive remote crop monitoring from space. The results highlighted significant differences in some spectral index responses, related to different cardoon genotypes and water salt concentration. The biometric data supported by red-edge indices modelling evidenced the impact of the highest salt water concentration (200 mM/L) on the plant growth and yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Biomass for Bioenergy)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrological Response to Drought Occurrences in a Brazilian Savanna Basin
Resources 2020, 9(10), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100123 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 683
Abstract
The Brazilian savanna is one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots. However, droughts can decrease water availability in this biome. This study aimed to analyze meteorological and hydrological droughts and their influence on the hydrological behavior in a Brazilian savanna basin. For that, [...] Read more.
The Brazilian savanna is one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots. However, droughts can decrease water availability in this biome. This study aimed to analyze meteorological and hydrological droughts and their influence on the hydrological behavior in a Brazilian savanna basin. For that, hydrological indicators were calculated to analyze the hydrological behavior in the Pandeiros river basin (PRB). The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and Standardized Streamflow Index (SSI) were calculated for the hydrological year and rainy season from 1977 to 2018. The propagation of the meteorological to hydrological drought was studied by means of the Pearson coefficient of correlation between the SSI and SPI with 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12-month lags. A longer meteorological drought was observed from 2014/15 to 2017/18 which caused a reduction in the groundwater recharge, besides potentially reducing the ecological functions of the Brazilian savanna. This drought was intensified by an increase in the average annual temperature, resulting in the increasing of evapotranspiration. Regarding drought propagation, there is no significant difference among the coefficients of correlation from 0 to 6-month lags. For the lags of 9 and 12 months, the correlation decreases, indicating a greater influence of the current rainy season than the past ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Extreme Hydrometeorological Events)
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Open AccessArticle
The Possibilities of Open-Cast Mining in Landscape Parks in Poland—A Case Study
Resources 2020, 9(10), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100122 - 15 Oct 2020
Viewed by 577
Abstract
Landscape parks are one of the most important tools for nature conservation in Europe. Cultural landscape protection, coupled in particular with rural tradition of land use plays a very important role. A common feature of these popular protected areas is the fact that [...] Read more.
Landscape parks are one of the most important tools for nature conservation in Europe. Cultural landscape protection, coupled in particular with rural tradition of land use plays a very important role. A common feature of these popular protected areas is the fact that they are established legally, in accordance with the principle of sustainable development. Activities carried out in the landscape parks are not entirely subservient to nature conservation. This makes them different from national parks and natural reserves. In Poland, landscape parks together with their buffer zones cover more than 13% of the country’s territory, which frequently causes conflicts among mining entrepreneurs and limits their activities. Mining in landscape parks in Poland is not forbidden by domestic law; however, detailed guidelines in this respect are determined by the assembly of a given province. Additionally, the process of applying for an extraction licence could be burdened with the threat of social protests, which may result in extending it by many years, and because of which a project may fail to be completed. Optimal solutions to these obstacles are already proposed by “Czatkowice” Limestone Mine (Małopolska Province). This case study presents an efficient practice of a smooth and effective decision-making process of obtaining a new mining licence in a landscape park. It also outlines certain aspects of the social licence to operate (SLO) as well as some appropriate methods of acting in complicated environments and spatial conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Deposit Safeguarding in the EU)
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Open AccessArticle
Dolomites as SO2 Sorbents in Fluid Combustion Technology
Resources 2020, 9(10), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100121 - 13 Oct 2020
Viewed by 532
Abstract
Dolomites are not used as SO2 sorbents in fluid combustion technology. The literature data show fundamental discrepancies in the possibility of such use. They mainly concern the role of magnesium in the sorption process of SO2 and the durability of desulfurization [...] Read more.
Dolomites are not used as SO2 sorbents in fluid combustion technology. The literature data show fundamental discrepancies in the possibility of such use. They mainly concern the role of magnesium in the sorption process of SO2 and the durability of desulfurization products under high-temperature conditions. The article demonstrates that MgO is actively involved in the SO2 binding under fluidized furnace conditions. The resulting products of sulfation contain magnesium in their compositions, and their thermal transformations begin only after the temperature exceeds 1100 °C. It has been shown that dolomites are a potential raw material for the production of SO2 sorbents for fluid combustion technology, and their use is justified due to the higher desulfurization efficiency. Parameters of dolomite descriptions were given, by which it will be possible to predict the effects of flue gas desulfurization before the dolomites’ use in industrial conditions. It has been shown that there are opportunities to expand the domestic raw-material base for the production of SO2 sorbents, based on both dolomite resources present in deposits and dolomite waste accumulated in dumps, as well as generated during the current exploitation and processing of dolomites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Training Improve Sanitary Inspection Answer Agreement between Inspectors? Quantitative Evidence from the Mukono District, Uganda
Resources 2020, 9(10), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100120 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 824
Abstract
Sanitary inspections (SIs) are checklists of questions used for achieving/maintaining the safety of drinking-water supplies by identifying observable actual and potential sources and pathways of contamination. Despite the widespread use of SIs, the effects of training on SI response are understudied. Thirty-six spring [...] Read more.
Sanitary inspections (SIs) are checklists of questions used for achieving/maintaining the safety of drinking-water supplies by identifying observable actual and potential sources and pathways of contamination. Despite the widespread use of SIs, the effects of training on SI response are understudied. Thirty-six spring supplies were inspected on two occasions, pre- and post-training, by an instructor from the research team and four local inspectors in the Mukono District of Uganda. SI score agreement between the instructor and each inspector was calculated using Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient. Average SI score agreement between the instructor and all inspectors increased post-training for the Yes/No answer type (0.262 to 0.490). For the risk level answer type (e.g., No, Low, Medium, High), average SI score agreement between the instructor and all inspectors increased post-training (0.301 to 0.380). Variability of SI scores between the four inspectors was calculated using coefficient of variation analysis. Average SI score variability between inspectors reduced post-training for both answer types, Yes/No (21.25 to 16.16) and risk level (24.12 to 19.62). Consistency of answer agreement between the four inspectors for each individual SI question was calculated using index of dispersion analysis. Average answer dispersion between inspectors reduced post-training for both answer types, Yes/No (0.41 to 0.27) and risk level (0.55 to 0.41). The findings indicate that training has a positive effect on improving answer agreement between inspectors. However, advanced training or tailoring of SI questions to the local context may be required where inconsistency of responses between inspectors persists, especially for the risk level answer type that requires increased use of inspector risk perception. Organisations should be aware of the potential inconsistency of results between inspectors so that this may be rectified with appropriate training and, where necessary, better SI design and customisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water Safety Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling of Washing Effectiveness in a High-Pressure Washing Device Obtained for Crushed-Stone and Gravel Aggregates
Resources 2020, 9(10), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100119 - 05 Oct 2020
Viewed by 585
Abstract
This article concerns research on washing effectiveness of a high-pressure washing device. Three types of investigations were carried out: Laboratory tests on washing of crushed-stone and gravel aggregate, as well as pilot-scale tests on crushed-stone aggregate. Laboratory tests were conducted for four changeable [...] Read more.
This article concerns research on washing effectiveness of a high-pressure washing device. Three types of investigations were carried out: Laboratory tests on washing of crushed-stone and gravel aggregate, as well as pilot-scale tests on crushed-stone aggregate. Laboratory tests were conducted for four changeable parameters and pilot-scale investigations for three parameters. All tests were performed based on factorial experiment procedure. For each type of material there was built a model based on multiple regression method. Results of investigations showed that operating pressure in the washer has the highest effect on obtained washing effectiveness, measured as a degree of dust impurities’ removal from feed. The second parameter with the highest impact on washing process effectiveness was the maximum particle of feed, and its relationship to the obtained washing effectiveness appeared inversely proportional. For the crushed-stone aggregate the susceptibility of washing also appeared significant in models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Sources and Markets of Limestone Flour in Poland
Resources 2020, 9(10), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100118 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 614
Abstract
Limestone flour is used in a variety of industrial sectors such as power and heat generation, glass-making, paper-making, the construction industry and construction materials manufacturing, the production of agriculture, plastics and rubber goods, as well as coal mining, and environmental protection. This paper [...] Read more.
Limestone flour is used in a variety of industrial sectors such as power and heat generation, glass-making, paper-making, the construction industry and construction materials manufacturing, the production of agriculture, plastics and rubber goods, as well as coal mining, and environmental protection. This paper aims to characterize and interpret the limestone flour supply and demand trends in the main applications in Poland in the last decade. In order to track the changes of domestic consumption for this commodity, its major users have been surveyed along with analyses of data from the Statistics Poland (GUS). The results showed that during 2009–2018 the coal-fired power plants became the biggest customer of limestone flour utilized as a sorbent in the wet flue gas desulfurization method (FGD). This method has been implemented in the vast majority of Polish power plants. It is estimated that in the last decade the total annual production capacity of limestone flour at the milling plants in Poland increased by 1.5 million tons, to around 6.0 million tons. In the forthcoming years, this is expected to continue to increase despite EU restrictions on fossil fuel use (especially hard coal and lignite). Other promising areas of future growth are: for limestone flour of medium quality—the construction materials manufacturing and the construction industry itself, for limestone flour of the highest quality—the glass industry, while for fine-grained limestone flour of high-quality—the plastics and rubber industries. In terms of resource security, it is worth noting that Poland is a country rich in limestone deposits. However, only some of them, that is, limestone rock varieties of the Jurassic and Devonian ages from the Kielce vicinity in central Poland are suitable for the production of high-quality limestone flour for the needs of the mentioned industries. The paper analyses the potential of the limestone flour production from the available limestone rock deposits with respect to the current and future needs of the domestic market in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Current Status and Regulatory Promotion for Incineration Bottom Ash Recycling in Taiwan
Resources 2020, 9(10), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100117 - 29 Sep 2020
Viewed by 641
Abstract
Incineration is the most important technology for treating municipal solid waste (MSW) and industrial waste in Taiwan. Currently, there are 24 large-scale MSW incineration plants operated to generate about 1.2 million metric tons of residual ash (mostly bottom ash) based on approximately 6.5 [...] Read more.
Incineration is the most important technology for treating municipal solid waste (MSW) and industrial waste in Taiwan. Currently, there are 24 large-scale MSW incineration plants operated to generate about 1.2 million metric tons of residual ash (mostly bottom ash) based on approximately 6.5 million metric tons of waste incinerated yearly. To reduce the depletion of non-renewable resources under the circular economy principle, the recycling of MSW incineration bottom ash (IBA) as recycled aggregate in concrete and construction applications has been progressed in recent years around the world. According to the official database, the trend analysis of MSW generation and treatment, electricity power and IBA generation from the MSW incineration plants over the past decade (2010–2019) was performed in this work. It showed an increased power generation, growing from 0.485 kWh/kg in 2010 to 0.530 kWh/kg in 2019. In 2019, 2738 GWh of power was sold to Taipower (one of the state-owned companies in Taiwan) for electricity grid connection, gaining income of about NT$ 5,089,383,000 (≈US$ 172,520,000) at an average rate of 1.86 NT$/kWh (0.063 US$/kWh). On the other hand, the ratios of incineration bottom ash (IBA) generation to refuse incinerated indicated a decreasing trend due to the increased operation efficiencies of MSW incineration plants. Based on the revised regulations implemented on 18 May 2020, the regulatory measures for promoting IBA recycling in Taiwan were promulgated to valorize it for the production of recycled aggregate under rigorous requirements for prevent it from polluting the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal and Industrial Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment during the COVID-19 Pandemic Is a Challenge for Waste Collection Companies and Society: A Case Study in Poland
Resources 2020, 9(10), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100116 - 28 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3332
Abstract
One of the social measures applied during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)—face masks and gloves. As a result, this waste category has expanded enormously. This study investigates waste management issues from multiple perspectives, including local governments, [...] Read more.
One of the social measures applied during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)—face masks and gloves. As a result, this waste category has expanded enormously. This study investigates waste management issues from multiple perspectives, including local governments, waste collection companies, and individual citizens in Poland using a telephone survey for institutions and an online questionnaire for individuals. The results of this study show that approximately 80% of local governments in the Silesian region have applied special measures for handling and collection of waste PPE. Only 13% of waste collection companies have applied special collection schedules for the waste generated at quarantine collection points due to the high costs of changing collection schedules, providing additional vehicles, and paying for more labor. The information campaigns focusing on new methods of PPE waste collection have been difficult to introduce on a large scale, and citizens need better information regarding how to handle and dispose of waste PPE. Results indicated the most helpful method in supporting waste PPE collection would be automatic PPE dispensers with waste PPE collection options and waste bags of a designated color. The respondents identified waste PPE pollution of the environment as an issue and the necessity for proper recovery of this waste stream. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal and Industrial Waste Management)
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