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Resources, Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2020) – 13 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Pig production has not only contributed to economic development in Vietnam but has also caused serious adverse environmental impacts including GHG emissions due to poor management of pig manure. To address this challenge, this study simultaneously optimized the potential of biogas production and reduced GHG emissions from pig manure using Geographic Information System based methodology and the analytic hierarchy process technique. The results identified the optimum number, location, and scale of biogas plants to meet energy demand. The results open a great opportunity to address local energy security with renewable resources and reduce GHG emissions. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Transformation of the Personnel Training System for Oil and Gas Projects in the Russian Arctic
Resources 2020, 9(11), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110137 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 567
Abstract
This paper analyses the process of transforming specialist training systems for oil and gas projects in the Arctic, which has been taking place within the structure of education in Russia over the past decade. Using classical methods of analysis, synthesis, and classification, the [...] Read more.
This paper analyses the process of transforming specialist training systems for oil and gas projects in the Arctic, which has been taking place within the structure of education in Russia over the past decade. Using classical methods of analysis, synthesis, and classification, the authors studied the main global trends in training personnel for the Arctic and the manifestations of these trends in the system of training Russian specialists. To identify the qualitative characteristics of the educational system development, the authors applied the survey method and composed a list of leading universities in training personnel for the Russian Arctic, as well as the “Arctic professions of the future”. As a result of the study, the authors came to the conclusion that global trends in training “Arctic personnel” show the need to develop an interdisciplinary approach, to form basic knowledge in Natural Sciences, to study the socio-cultural specifics of the region, to develop new educational standards, to implement the concept of ‘Life Long Learning’, to widely introduce digital technologies and to internationalize education. In general, the Russian personnel training system is adapting to changing conditions, in particular, some progress has been made in the formation of “digital” competencies and skills to work in a developed IT infrastructure. The introduction of “digital fields” has led to an increase in the demand for IT specialists in the Arctic oil and gas sector. With the help of an expert survey, it was revealed that in the future, the most popular professions, along with “drillers” and transport specialists, will be IT specialists who ensure the “digital fields” functioning. The leading Russian universities that train specialists for modern oil and gas projects in the Arctic have been identified. It is noted that not all leading industry universities in Russia are participating in international educational projects and organizations. There is skepticism about the internationalization of education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Provision of the Sustainable Development under Global Shocks)
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Open AccessArticle
Sprayer Axial Fan Layout Affecting Energy Consumption and Carbon Emissions
Resources 2020, 9(11), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110136 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Agricultural practices that make use of variable-rate (VR) distribution, introduced by precision agriculture (PA), are based on many points of variability which obtain different and modular effects that can affect the efficacy and environmental impact of the treatment performed. The aim of the [...] Read more.
Agricultural practices that make use of variable-rate (VR) distribution, introduced by precision agriculture (PA), are based on many points of variability which obtain different and modular effects that can affect the efficacy and environmental impact of the treatment performed. The aim of the present research was to study the effect of different structural combinations of an agricultural sprayer on the required power, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions. The studied machine was equipped with a mechanical device that regulated the air outlet section in three openings. The fan was tested in five blade angles and in two gear ratios. The power requirement (kW) was calculated using a torque-meter. Moreover, fuel consumption (L h−1), energy demand (MJ L−1), and carbon emissions (kg CO2eq kg−1) were calculated by the power consumption of each test. The results showed that all components of the layout and their interaction influenced consumption and, consequently, emissions. In order to mitigate the environmental impact of treatments, the outcomes suggest the possibility of implementing this study into algorithms that make setup choices during distribution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Specific Features of Mapping Large Discontinuous Faults by the Method of Electromagnetic Emission
Resources 2020, 9(11), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110135 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 461
Abstract
In this paper, the authors consider the issue of processing the data of electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) recorded in mine workings and their interpretation. The Sami fault (Russia, the Murmansk region) was chosen as the object of the research. A number of experiments, including [...] Read more.
In this paper, the authors consider the issue of processing the data of electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) recorded in mine workings and their interpretation. The Sami fault (Russia, the Murmansk region) was chosen as the object of the research. A number of experiments, including measuring the EMP level along the fault and the analysis of the results, were performed by the authors. The paper also presents a previously unconsidered method of transition from geological concepts to electro-technical ones, the aim of which is to identify the dependences of the amplitude of electromagnetic field anomalies on the parameters of active tectonic disturbances. The authors assumed the dependence of the amplitude of anomalies on the geological parameters of the rock mass and the thickness of the tectonic disturbance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Open AccessArticle
The Resource Base of Silica Glass Sand versus Glass Industry Development: The Case of Poland
Resources 2020, 9(11), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110134 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 420
Abstract
The production of glass in Poland, especially of container and flat glass, has constantly risen for at least 30 years. New investments in this sector, which have recently been completed or are currently in progress, create optimistic prospects for further development of this [...] Read more.
The production of glass in Poland, especially of container and flat glass, has constantly risen for at least 30 years. New investments in this sector, which have recently been completed or are currently in progress, create optimistic prospects for further development of this industry, whose total annual production capacities in the next few years is expected to exceed 4 million tons. This will result in increasing demand for basic glass-making raw materials, especially high-quality silica sand (glass sand), which can be satisfied almost entirely from domestic sources. Poland as a country with a considerable resource base of these mineral raw materials, has noted a constantly growing production level that currently reaches approximately 2.8 million tons per year. This paper aims to characterize and interpret the development trends in the Polish glass industry in an international context, as well as the resulting increase in demand for glass sand. In this context, an attempt was made to answer questions concerning the sufficiency of the Polish domestic resource base for the production of glass sand. For this study, the leading recent international and Polish analyses, related to glass industry development, the resource base of glass silica sand, and the management of these types of sand, were taken into account, and were complemented by official statistical data and surveying of domestic glass producers. The performed analysis showed that when taking into account the available glass sand resources in developed deposits in Poland, it is possible to continue production at the existing or a slightly increasing level for another 20–25 years. Based on a more comprehensive perspective, however, it would be a good approach to continue providing access to those parts of currently extracted deposits of silica sand and sandstone that are now located outside of the existing exploitation licenses, as well as enabling the development of some satellite deposits in the Tomaszów Basin, which may prove difficult due to environmental factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Open AccessArticle
Unlocking the Energy Recovery Potential from Sustainable Management of Bio-Resources Based on GIS Analysis: Case Study in Hanoi, Vietnam
Resources 2020, 9(11), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110133 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 474
Abstract
Pig production has greatly contributed to economic development in Vietnam. However, the lack of appropriate management of large amounts of pig manure has caused serious adverse environmental impacts including GHG emissions. To address this challenge, this study explored the potential of biogas production [...] Read more.
Pig production has greatly contributed to economic development in Vietnam. However, the lack of appropriate management of large amounts of pig manure has caused serious adverse environmental impacts including GHG emissions. To address this challenge, this study explored the potential of biogas production from manure in Hanoi. Through the use of GIS suitability analysis, cluster analysis, and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) technique, the study first analyzed the spatial distribution of pig farms, identified optimal locations for biogas plants, and evaluated potential benefits of introducing biogas production to satisfy the electricity demand and reduce GHG emissions. The results show that it is possible to optimally install two biogas plants with a capacity of more than 1 MW and three with a capacity of more than 250 kW, meeting 1.75% and 0.76% of the electricity demand of Son Tay and Thach That respectively. The study estimated that the implementation of the three proposed scenarios would reduce GHG emissions by 84,777 tons of CO2 eq/year compared to the current situation or baseline scenario. The results open a great opportunity to address local energy security with renewable energy and reduce GHG emissions effectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Approach to Analysing Water Consumers’ Acceptance of Risk-Reduction Costs
Resources 2020, 9(11), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110132 - 06 Nov 2020
Viewed by 396
Abstract
The proper operation of a water supply system (WSS) requires constant investment. The priority is to provide residents with high quality potable water, in the required quantity and pressure, in accordance with the applicable regulations. The paper presents an assessment of the potential [...] Read more.
The proper operation of a water supply system (WSS) requires constant investment. The priority is to provide residents with high quality potable water, in the required quantity and pressure, in accordance with the applicable regulations. The paper presents an assessment of the potential inherent operational risk of a WSS in support of the risk-based investment management process. It is of high importance to invest in the operational safety as it concerns both producers and consumers. The investment engenders additional costs that should partially be supported by the consumers. Thus, the paper presents a methodology to analyse consumers’ readiness to accept water supply services’ additional costs. The proposed methods may underpin a comprehensive program for risk-based investment management and operational decision-making. The case study and the approach in this article concern one particular regional WSS, based on information collected from water consumers. The assessment suggests a willingness to tolerate additional costs in view of enhancing the performance of the water supply services. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Valuable and Critical Elements Recovery Potential in Ashes from Processes of Solid Municipal Waste and Sewage Sludge Thermal Treatment
Resources 2020, 9(11), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110131 - 06 Nov 2020
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Due to the increasing amount of produced and accumulated wastes, a potential source of elements might be the global waste stream coming from the waste incineration process. As a result of this process, bottom ash, fly ash and air pollution control residues are [...] Read more.
Due to the increasing amount of produced and accumulated wastes, a potential source of elements might be the global waste stream coming from the waste incineration process. As a result of this process, bottom ash, fly ash and air pollution control residues are produced. The goal of this study was to evaluate the raw material potential of the anthropogenic materials which are fly ashes from municipal waste incineration and municipal sewage sludge incineration, and the possibility for the recovery of metallic or other economically valuable elements by comparison of their chemical composition with the chemical composition of Earth materials (ultramafic, mafic and felsic igneous rocks, various sedimentary rocks), and with their lowest content in currently exploited ores. Fly ashes contain more valuable and critical elements when compared to Earth materials; however, they are less concentrated in comparison to the content in currently exploited ores. Since natural resources are becoming depleted, the costs of exploitation, mineral processing and related operations are increasing and the fly ashes are easily accessible. Cheap materials do not demand complicated treatment which might be considered as a future source of P, Zn, Sn, Cr, Pb, Au and Ag, and thus fulfilling the assumptions of close-loop economy and to maximize natural resources protection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Powering Multiple Gas Condensate Wells in Russia’s Arctic: Power Supply Systems Based on Renewable Energy Sources
Resources 2020, 9(11), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110130 - 05 Nov 2020
Viewed by 421
Abstract
Using renewable energy off-grid power supply and choosing the right equipment that meets the operating conditions in the Arctic can provide companies with reliable power sources for producing gas at facilities located in remote areas and will reduce capital and operating costs associated [...] Read more.
Using renewable energy off-grid power supply and choosing the right equipment that meets the operating conditions in the Arctic can provide companies with reliable power sources for producing gas at facilities located in remote areas and will reduce capital and operating costs associated with the construction of power transmission lines. For more than 15 years, a remote control system powered by renewable energy has been used in parallel with power transmission lines by Gazprom to operate its multiwell pads in Russia’s Far North, which validates the relevance of this study. The subject of the study is a group of gas condensate wells that consists of four multiwell pads operated by Wintershall Russland GmbH. The article discusses a stand-alone renewable-based power system as an option for powering remote oil and gas production facilities. The procedures used in the study include calculating such parameters as power output and power consumption, choosing equipment, describing the design features of a power supply system for a multiwell pad, conducting an economic assessment of the project, comparing different power supply options, analyzing project risks, and developing measures to mitigate these risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewables Application: Challenges and Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle
Rill Erosion and Soil Quality in Forest and Deforested Ecosystems with Different Morphological Characteristics
Resources 2020, 9(11), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110129 - 05 Nov 2020
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Rill detachment capacity is a key parameter in concentrated flow erosion. Rill erosion generally turns into gully erosion with severe environmental impacts. Changes in land use and human activities can have heavy effects in rill formation, particularly in forests subject to deforestation; soil [...] Read more.
Rill detachment capacity is a key parameter in concentrated flow erosion. Rill erosion generally turns into gully erosion with severe environmental impacts. Changes in land use and human activities can have heavy effects in rill formation, particularly in forests subject to deforestation; soil morphology plays a significant role in these effects. However, literature reports few studies about rill detachment rates and their implications on soil quality in forest and deforested soils with different morphological characteristics. To fill these gaps, this study has evaluated the rill detachment capacity (Dc) and the main soil quality indicators in three areas (upper, middle and lower slope) of forest and deforested (for 10 years) hillslopes exposed to the north and south in Northern Iran. The variations of Dc have been measured on soil samples under laboratory conditions through a flume experiment at three slope gradients (12 to 19%) and five flow rates (0.22 to 0.67 L m−1 s−1) with four replications. The large and significant (p < 0.05) difference (about 70%) detected for Dc between forest and deforested hillslopes was associated to the higher organic matter content of forest areas; as a consequence, these areas also showed higher aggregate stability, porosity, root weight density, microbial respiration and available water. In the deforested hillslopes exposed to the south, the soil erodibility was higher by 12% compared to those exposed to the north. The differences in the monitored soil quality indicators were instead less noticeable and not always significant (p < 0.05). Conversely, Dc did not significantly change (p < 0.05) among the upper, middle and lower hillslope areas investigated in this study. Simple but accurate models to predict the rill detachment capacity, erodibility and critical shear stress of soils from indicators of soil quality or the unit stream power using regression equations are suggested. Overall, the results can support land planners in prioritizing the actions for soil conservation in deforested hillslopes exposed to the south as well as in the extensive application of the proposed equations in erosion prediction models. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Towards Circular Economy in the Household Appliance Industry: An Overview of Cases
Resources 2020, 9(11), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110128 - 03 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 692
Abstract
Circular Economy is a means to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns. However, it is still at an embryonic stage of implementation in manufacturing companies. Given its potential, the household appliance industry is a promising arena for the adoption of Circular Economy. Thus, [...] Read more.
Circular Economy is a means to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns. However, it is still at an embryonic stage of implementation in manufacturing companies. Given its potential, the household appliance industry is a promising arena for the adoption of Circular Economy. Thus, this study aims to investigate and systematize how Circular Economy has been adopted in the household appliance industry, through a multiple case study research. Twenty cases are analyzed following a Research Framework, to map: (i) the Circular Economy 4R strategies of reduce, reuse, remanufacture and recycle; (ii) the Circular Economy levers, i.e., whether circular product design practices, servitized business models or supply chain management actions are undertaken; (iii) the role of digital 4.0 technologies as enablers; (iv) the benefits achieved. The analysis showed that servitized business models and supply chain management actions are widely used levers, while little attention is devoted to circular product design practices. Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Cloud emerged as powerful enablers of servitized business models. Two main patterns of Circular Economy adoption in the household appliance industry emerged from cases: incremental and radical adoption patterns. Incremental adoption patterns are based on design strategies focused on reduce and recycle, mainly led by manufacturers. Radical adoption patterns are instead focused on disruptive practices based on reuse, remanufacture, servitization and sharing, where digital 4.0 technologies serve as enablers. Overall, this exploratory research lays the foundation for a stronger and more systemic understanding of the adoption of Circular Economy in the household appliance industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Variability of Mercury Content in Bituminous Coal Seams in the Coal Basins in Poland
Resources 2020, 9(11), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110127 - 30 Oct 2020
Viewed by 446
Abstract
The mercury content in bituminous coal in Poland varies depending on the coal basin. The highest of its concentrations are recorded in the Lower Silesian Coal Basin where this may be the result of the volcanic activity reported there. A much lower average [...] Read more.
The mercury content in bituminous coal in Poland varies depending on the coal basin. The highest of its concentrations are recorded in the Lower Silesian Coal Basin where this may be the result of the volcanic activity reported there. A much lower average of Hg content was recorded in Lublin and the Upper Silesian Coal Basins (LCB and USCB), although it was higher in the former. A higher mercury concentration in the LCB is probably related to the zone of supposed deep disturbances, named the Karpinsky lineament. Most published works present the data on the mercury content in the bulk of mined coal. The preliminary assessment of mercury content in coal seams indicates that it varies considerably between and within them. It is bound to the presence of arsenic-bearing iron sulfides. Concentration of mercury in small zones of limited extent suggests it was introduced by migrating fluids. The knowledge of mercury content distribution in coal seams would improve the prediction of its content in the mined coal and allow better management of produced coal quality with the aim of reducing mercury emission to the atmosphere as a result of coal combustion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Open AccessReview
Success Factors for Water Safety Plan Implementation in Small Drinking Water Supplies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Resources 2020, 9(11), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110126 - 28 Oct 2020
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Water Safety Plan (WSP) implementation has the potential to greatly improve, commonly very challenging and resource limited, small drinking water supplies. Although slower than in urban or high-income settings, the uptake of WSPs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is accelerating. Understanding the [...] Read more.
Water Safety Plan (WSP) implementation has the potential to greatly improve, commonly very challenging and resource limited, small drinking water supplies. Although slower than in urban or high-income settings, the uptake of WSPs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is accelerating. Understanding the factors which will make a WSP successful will further improve efficient uptake and assist with its long-term sustainability. Based on an extensive literature search using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISM-A) methodology, 48 publications, including case studies and guidance documentation, formed the basis of this review. These were analysed using inductive and deductive coding methods to (i) identify the success factors applicable to WSP implementation in small drinking water supplies in LMICs and (ii) to investigate which factors are more or less critical depending on the geography and level of development of the implementing country. Key challenges identified during the review process were also noted. A comparison of these success factors was made with those identified from high-income and urban settings. The three most important success factors identified are the development of technical capacity, community engagement, and monitoring and verification. Factors specific to small drinking water supplies in LMICs include support from non-government organisations, integration into existing water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs, simplicity, and community engagement. Certain factors, such as adaptability, the use of guidance documentation, international collaboration, the role of pilot studies, knowledge sharing, and stakeholder involvement are applicable to all WSP settings. Due to the specific challenges faced by small drinking water systems and the limited number of original research publications on this topic, this study highlights the need for further data collection and research focused on success factors in these settings. It is anticipated that the consideration of the success factors identified in this study will assist implementers in improving the uptake and long-term sustainability of WSPs in small drinking water supplies in low- and middle-income settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water Safety Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting the Material Footprint in Germany between 2015 and 2020 via Seasonally Decomposed Autoregressive and Exponential Smoothing Algorithms
Resources 2020, 9(11), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110125 - 25 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 528
Abstract
Recent research on the natural resource use of private consumption suggests a sustainable Material Footprint of 8 tons per capita by 2050 in industrialised countries. We analyse the Material Footprint in Germany from 2015 to 2020 in order to test whether the Material [...] Read more.
Recent research on the natural resource use of private consumption suggests a sustainable Material Footprint of 8 tons per capita by 2050 in industrialised countries. We analyse the Material Footprint in Germany from 2015 to 2020 in order to test whether the Material Footprint decreases accordingly. We studied the Material Footprint of 113,559 users of an online footprint calculator and predicted the Material Footprint by seasonally decomposed autoregressive (STL-ARIMA) and exponential smoothing (STL-ETS) algorithms. We find a relatively stable Material Footprint for private consumption. The overall Material Footprint decreased by 0.4% per year between 2015 and 2020 on average. The predictions do not suggest that the Material Footprint of private consumption follows the reduction path of 3.3% per year that will lead to the sustainable consumption of natural resources. Full article
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