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Resources, Volume 9, Issue 12 (December 2020) – 13 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Reed has a long tradition as locally available thatching material, but today, thatch is a globally traded commodity. A written survey among all thatchers in Northern Germany was carried out in 2019. The total market volume of reed for thatching was estimated for 2018 at 3 ± 0.8 million bundles with a monetary value of € 11.6 ± 2.8 million. Reed from Germany held a low share of 17% of the total consumption. The cultivation of reed in paludiculture, i.e., as a climate-smart land use alternative to drainage-based agriculture on peatlands, can increase the availability of thatching reed in Germany and simultaneously reduce GHG emissions. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Combining Sanitary Inspection and Water Quality Data in Western Uganda: Lessons Learned from a Field Trial of Original and Revised Sanitary Inspection Forms
Resources 2020, 9(12), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120150 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Risk assessment for drinking water systems combines sanitary inspections (SI) and water quality testing and is critical for effectively managing the safety of these systems. SI forms consist of question sets relating to the presence of potential sources and pathways of contamination specific [...] Read more.
Risk assessment for drinking water systems combines sanitary inspections (SI) and water quality testing and is critical for effectively managing the safety of these systems. SI forms consist of question sets relating to the presence of potential sources and pathways of contamination specific to different types of water points, piped distribution systems, and household collection and storage practices. As part of the revision to the Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality (GDWQ), the World Health Organization (WHO) is updating the suite of SI forms to reflect and include the most recent technical and scientific information available. This paper reports the results from a field pilot of a selection of published and revised SI forms and water quality testing in the municipality of Bushenyi-Ishaka, Uganda. We collected data from 45 springs, 61 taps from piped distribution systems, and 129 household storage containers filled with water from those springs and taps. The median total risk scores, according to the revised forms, for spring, tap, and household practices were 36, 53, and 33%, respectively, with higher percentages indicating greater risk. The median Escherichia coli concentrations of spring, tap, and household storage systems were 17, <1, and 7 CFU/100 mL, respectively. We found that increased questioning in the revised SI forms do not necessarily translate to a higher total risk. There is potential for misinterpretation of terminology in the revised SI forms and occasional redundancy of concepts. For the revised SI form for springs, we suggest specific text changes to reduce potential bias. We recommend that users of SI forms receive training in their use and be familiar with their locale. Furthermore, the revised SI forms may need to be adapted in accordance with the local context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water Safety Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the German Industry to Determine the Resource Potential of CO2 Emissions for PtX Applications in 2017 and 2050
Resources 2020, 9(12), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120149 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 289
Abstract
The production and use of crude oil-based materials, e.g., fossil fuels and bulk chemicals of organic origin, results in an increasing level of CO2 emissions within the atmosphere. One way to reduce such CO2 emissions is to substitute them with synthetic [...] Read more.
The production and use of crude oil-based materials, e.g., fossil fuels and bulk chemicals of organic origin, results in an increasing level of CO2 emissions within the atmosphere. One way to reduce such CO2 emissions is to substitute them with synthetic fuels and bulk chemicals. For the production of such CO2 neutral materials, CO2 from various sources can serve as a carbon source. Against this background, this paper analyses and quantifies CO2 emissions released from German industry branches today (2017) and potentially in the future (2050) after a complete defossilization has been achieved. Thus, for the classification of CO2 emissions from the respective industries in 2050, alternative techniques and manufacturing processes are analyzed that might lead to a reduction in energy- and process-related CO2 emissions. Additionally, the individual production sites of the analyzed industries are determined at postcode level and a CO2 potential on NUTS3 level has been developed. Based on this, two scenarios for future CO2 emissions are developed. This shows that, in 2017, the analyzed German industrial sectors emitted almost 143 Mt CO2. By 2050, the overall emissions can be decreased by about 77 Mt to 117 Mt CO2 depending on the implementation level of alternative technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Existing & Potential CO2 Re-Use: Exploring the Evolving Field)
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Open AccessReview
Producing Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: A Review of Sustainable Sources and Future Trends for the EPA and DHA Market
Resources 2020, 9(12), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120148 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 435
Abstract
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega-3 PUFA) are recognized as being essential compounds for human nutrition and health. The human body generates only low levels of Omega-3 PUFA. Conventional sources of Omega-3 PUFA are from marine origin. However, the global growth of population combined [...] Read more.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega-3 PUFA) are recognized as being essential compounds for human nutrition and health. The human body generates only low levels of Omega-3 PUFA. Conventional sources of Omega-3 PUFA are from marine origin. However, the global growth of population combined with a better consumer understanding about healthy nutrition leads to the fact that traditional sources are exhausted and therefore not enough to satisfy the demand of Omega-3 PUFA for human diet as well as aquaculture. Microalgae cultivated under heterotrophic conditions is increasingly recognized as a suitable technology for the production of the Omega-3 PUFA. The high cost of using glucose as main carbon source for cultivation is the main challenge to establish economical feasible production processes. The latest relevant studies provide alternative pathways for Omega-3 PUFA production. As preliminary results show, volatile fatty acids (VFA) recovered from waste stream could be a good alternative to the use of glucose as carbon source in microalgae cultivation. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the actual situation of Omega-3 PUFA production, sources and market request to provide a summary on sustainable sources that are being investigated as well as present and future market trends in Omega-3 market. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Drive towards Consensual Perspectives for Enhancing Sustainable Mining
Resources 2020, 9(12), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120147 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 497
Abstract
This paper investigates key innovative paradigms that seek enhanced consensus building on the sustainable mining agenda of the mineral resource development industry and realities on the ground. It reviews the 55 most relevant academic articles from 2000 to 2019, retrieved from the Web [...] Read more.
This paper investigates key innovative paradigms that seek enhanced consensus building on the sustainable mining agenda of the mineral resource development industry and realities on the ground. It reviews the 55 most relevant academic articles from 2000 to 2019, retrieved from the Web of Science, PubMed and International Conference on Sustainable Development Indicators in the Metals Industry databases. A systematic scoping review method was used to sieve the multitudes of entries obtained from the databases to generate appropriate publications that match the search terms used. Our survey finds a dearth of literature on the subject. Only one article directly confers the need for consensus building on sustainable mining. The existing literature does not suggest the modalities that would enhance indigenous groups’ understanding and appreciation of sustainable mining. This creates a gap between stakeholders with regard to what flags sustainable mining. This study also finds a lack of efforts to incorporate sustainable mining concepts into academic courses focusing on either mining or sustainable development. Thus, this paper suggests that the existing delusions on sustainable mining can be addressed if the science of assessing and communicating the principles of sustainable development in mining is suitably developed and applied in higher educational curricula, environmental literacy feats, community-initiated research and outreach activities. Incorporating indigenous knowledge can address the existing gaps between stakeholder groups and in science. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resources and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Common Reed for Thatching in Northern Germany: Estimating the Market Potential of Reed of Regional Origin
Resources 2020, 9(12), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120146 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Reed has a long tradition as locally available thatching material, but nowadays thatch is a globally traded commodity. Germany and other major importing countries such as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Denmark rely on high import rates to meet the national consumption. [...] Read more.
Reed has a long tradition as locally available thatching material, but nowadays thatch is a globally traded commodity. Germany and other major importing countries such as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Denmark rely on high import rates to meet the national consumption. This study aimed at providing a detailed picture of the thatching reed market in Northern Germany and at assessing the market potential for reed of regional origin. A written survey among all thatchers in Northern Germany was carried out in 2019, arriving at an effective sample of 47 out of 141 companies. The results revealed that for the responding companies the majority of the reed (59%) was used for rethatching roofs completely, 24% for newly constructed roofs, and 17% for roof repairs. Reed from Germany held a low share of 17% of the total consumption in 2018. Own reed harvesting was conducted by less than 9% of the responding companies and given up during the last decades by another 26%. The total market volume of reed for thatching in Northern Germany was estimated for 2018 with a 95% confidence interval at 3 ± 0.8 million bundles of reed with a monetary value at sales prices of €11.6 ± 2.8 million. Based on the end consumer demand, the supply gap for reed of regional or German origin was estimated at 523,000 ± 392,000 bundles of reed equaling a market value of €1.9 ± 1.4 million, indicating high uncertainties. Most of the responding thatchers (70%) did not promote reed of regional origin, mainly due to insufficient availability but also a lack in quality was reported. The cultivation of reed in paludiculture, i.e., as climate-smart land use alternative to drainage-based agriculture on peatlands, can increase the availability of thatching reed in Germany and simultaneously reduce GHG emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Concept of the Geotourism Potential and Its Practical Application: A Case Study of the Prządki (the Spinners) Nature Reserve in the Carpathians, Poland
Resources 2020, 9(12), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120145 - 13 Dec 2020
Viewed by 416
Abstract
This paper reviews the recent use of the term “geotourism potential” in the scientific literature and proposes a new approach to the concept of geotourism potential. The concept assumes that every geotourism object has the well-developed features that allow one to learn and [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the recent use of the term “geotourism potential” in the scientific literature and proposes a new approach to the concept of geotourism potential. The concept assumes that every geotourism object has the well-developed features that allow one to learn and understand the object’s structure, genesis and properties. A method for the application of this concept to any geotourism object is proposed. The procedure and guidelines for the compilation of geotourism potential are applied on the example—the Prządki Nature Reserve in the Flysch Carpathians, Poland. Based on the field research, the research results of other scientists, and the internationally accepted definitions of terms connected with geotourism, a definition of geotourism potential is presented for the first time in academic literature. The main results emphasize that only clearly exposed features within the geotourism object relate to geotourism potential, while educational potential and tourist infrastructure are not to be identified with this potential. The inclusion of a new procedure for use in geotourism research provides a comprehensive approach to the inventory of geotourism objects and the educational use of abiotic elements of nature, as well as biotic and cultural aspects related to geoheritage. The presented model has practical application in the design of geoeducational materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Lean Management Approach to Reduce Waste in HoReCa Food Services
Resources 2020, 9(12), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120144 - 08 Dec 2020
Viewed by 455
Abstract
A significant share of food waste originates in the food services domain and HoReCa (hotels, restaurants, catering) sector. Organizational improvements leading to the decrease of food waste and costs in restaurants are needed. The literature reports on applications of lean management in service [...] Read more.
A significant share of food waste originates in the food services domain and HoReCa (hotels, restaurants, catering) sector. Organizational improvements leading to the decrease of food waste and costs in restaurants are needed. The literature reports on applications of lean management in service businesses, and while food services belong in this category, the literature contains few works on specific applications in this domain. Those studies are limited mainly to economic aspects. Nor was there evidence of the applicability of lean management to achieve food waste elimination. This article analyzes the applicability of lean management methods for food services in order to achieve efficient operations and eliminate food waste, based on a literature review and three case studies from Poland. Lean management was found to be useful in these cases to decrease food waste and reduce operational costs. The case studies suggest a set of activities for organizations delivering food services to streamline their processes by applying lean management practices. This study contributes to the theory and practice of sustainable restaurant management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Waste Prevention: Reduction, Reuse and Recycling)
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Open AccessArticle
Suitability of Wild Phragmites australis as Bio-Resource: Tissue Quality and Morphology of Populations from Three Continents
Resources 2020, 9(12), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120143 - 07 Dec 2020
Viewed by 550
Abstract
We collected and analyzed morphological characteristics and tissue nutrient concentrations of common reed (Phragmites australis) populations from Denmark, USA, and China, harvested late summer at the peak of the biomass production. The aim was to estimate the suitability of the biomass [...] Read more.
We collected and analyzed morphological characteristics and tissue nutrient concentrations of common reed (Phragmites australis) populations from Denmark, USA, and China, harvested late summer at the peak of the biomass production. The aim was to estimate the suitability of the biomass for different bioenergy purposes. The potential of reed as bioenergy feedstock is increasingly recognized, as the species already is utilized for construction, water purification, and pulp production. Our morphological data showed that biomass yield can be allometrically predicted to be high, especially in the reed populations of the US. However, no consistent pattern according to geographical origin was detected, and especially tissue nutrient concentrations varied within and between populations. Some mineral concentrations were above the desirable threshold for biocombustion, such as nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S). Iron (Fe) was higher than the critical toxicity concentration in many populations and hence, negatively correlated with morphological and growth traits. A different harvest time is likely to result in lower ion concentrations. Some populations had low C to N ratios, which are suitable for biomethane production, while the relatively low ash content of all populations (ranging from 3.9% to 8.5%) suggested a high heating value and theoretical energy potential. Reed biomass production is a promising alternative to fossil fuels and potentially suitable for other bio-based product. Improved knowledge is needed to examine local needs and application possibilities for reed biomass. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Potential for Citizen Science to Improve the Reach of Sanitary Inspections
Resources 2020, 9(12), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120142 - 06 Dec 2020
Viewed by 468
Abstract
To achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking-water quality and sanitation for all, and 10, to reduce inequality within and among countries, additional and urgent work is required. Efforts to achieve these Goals in the [...] Read more.
To achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking-water quality and sanitation for all, and 10, to reduce inequality within and among countries, additional and urgent work is required. Efforts to achieve these Goals in the context of small drinking-water supplies, which are the furthest behind in regards to progress, are of particular need. Reasons for this disparity in progress include the remoteness of access to small drinking-water supplies and the lack of technical and financial capacity for monitoring supplies. The World Health Organization promote the use of Sanitary inspection (SI) as an on-site assessment of risk. Despite the potential to increase the body of knowledge and information on supplies in a region, there has been limited research into the role of citizen science and SIs. To meet SDG targets, we need to improve the reach of SIs. This study uses a mixed methods approach of quantitative on-site SI data collection and remote SI data collection via photographic images, together with qualitative data collection, collected by non-expert students, who are citizens of Malawi, as well as a panel of experts in the field of SI. Results indicate that, although further research into the topic is required prior to widescale implementation, the potential exists for citizens to conduct SI, with remote expert verification of the results using photographic images of supplies. Further documentation or guidance is required to support citizens in this process. The results highlight a critical gap in the availability of appropriate documentation for unprotected spring sources which is urgently required. The use of citizen science for SI data collection is in its infancy. However, this study indicates that there is potential to explore the use of citizen science in this area, which will contribute to achieving SDGs 6 and 10. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water Safety Management)
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Open AccessArticle
The Human Impact on Changes in the Forest Range of the Silesian Beskids (Western Carpathians)
Resources 2020, 9(12), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120141 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 528
Abstract
Changes in forest range are caused by human activity in many regions of the world. The aim of this paper is an attempt to determine the impact of pastoral and forest management on changes in forest cover and their fragmentation in the Silesian [...] Read more.
Changes in forest range are caused by human activity in many regions of the world. The aim of this paper is an attempt to determine the impact of pastoral and forest management on changes in forest cover and their fragmentation in the Silesian Beskids (southern Poland) in 1848–2015. Historical maps and landscape metrics were used to study changes in forest cover. Using a digital map of forests, analyses of the distribution of forest communities, site types and their condition were conducted. Since 1848 the forest area has increased by 11.8%, while the area of forest core zones has increased by 16.2%, accompanied by a 4.5% reduction in the forest’s internal buffer zone. From the mid-nineteenth century, the forest range has been systematically growing from 82.1 to 93.9% because of the pastureland abandonment and forest regeneration, despite temporary logging resulting in forest fragmentation. Minor changes in core area index (CAI) from 80.41 to 87.55 indicate that pastoral economy did not result in considerable fragmentation of forests. The impact of forest management was greater as the sites characterised by natural condition occupy only 28% of the forest land and anthropogenically transformed ones dominate occupying over 50%. An artificial spruce monoculture was died-off and large felling areas were created at the beginning of the twenty-first century covering almost 40% of the study area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Utilization of Common Reed (Phragmites australis) as Bedding for Housed Suckler Cows: Practical and Economic Aspects for Farmers
Resources 2020, 9(12), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120140 - 26 Nov 2020
Viewed by 453
Abstract
The common reed (Phragmites australis) has long been used in wetlands of the French Atlantic coast as fodder and bedding or roof thatching, among other uses. This article explores the practical and economic aspects of utilizing common reed for housing suckler [...] Read more.
The common reed (Phragmites australis) has long been used in wetlands of the French Atlantic coast as fodder and bedding or roof thatching, among other uses. This article explores the practical and economic aspects of utilizing common reed for housing suckler cows compared to straw. Based on a study conducted over two years on a research farm of the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE), located in the marshes of Rochefort-sur-Mer, we show that reed is a good alternative to cereal straw and its cost is quite competitive compared to straw; the closer the reed bed is to the farm, the more competitive it is. By mobilizing the concept of restoration of natural capital, we lay the foundations for a debate on a possible revival of this ancient practice, with the idea that ecological restoration of reed beds can benefit biodiversity and the economy of wetlands farms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Oil Price and Trade Nexus in the Gulf Co-Operation Council Countries
Resources 2020, 9(12), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120139 - 24 Nov 2020
Viewed by 352
Abstract
The present study investigates the asymmetrical impacts of oil prices and real exchange rates on the trade balances in the Gulf Co-operation Council countries. Using panel estimates, we found the symmetrical positive effect from the oil prices and the asymmetrical positive effect from [...] Read more.
The present study investigates the asymmetrical impacts of oil prices and real exchange rates on the trade balances in the Gulf Co-operation Council countries. Using panel estimates, we found the symmetrical positive effect from the oil prices and the asymmetrical positive effect from the real exchange rates on the trade balances. For country-specific results, increasing oil prices showed a positive effect on the trade balances in Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE and a negative effect in Kuwait. Decreasing oil prices carried a positive relationship with the trade balances in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE. The oil prices showed an asymmetrical impact on the trade balances in all countries, except Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the depreciation helped to improve the trade balances in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE. The appreciation worsened the trade balances in Oman, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia and improved the trade balance in Kuwait. Moreover, the asymmetrical relationships between the real exchange rates and the trade balances were corroborated in all of the investigated countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Technical Aspects of Mining Rate Improvement in Steeply Inclined Coal Seams: A Case Study
Resources 2020, 9(12), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120138 - 24 Nov 2020
Viewed by 359
Abstract
This paper presents our experience obtained when mining the thick and steeply-inclined Seam 510 in the Polish Kazimierz-Juliusz coal mine with the use of a unique mechanical face mining system. Seam 510, which is 15–20 m thick and inclined at angles of 40°–45°, [...] Read more.
This paper presents our experience obtained when mining the thick and steeply-inclined Seam 510 in the Polish Kazimierz-Juliusz coal mine with the use of a unique mechanical face mining system. Seam 510, which is 15–20 m thick and inclined at angles of 40°–45°, was initially treated as uneconomical because effective mining systems were not available. However, to extract high-quality coal resources, a completely mechanized variant of the sublevel caving system was designed based on standard machines and equipment applied in coal mining. Extraction was conducted top-down at the levels of the particular mining sub-level drifts with roof caving. The faces in the extracted coal release areas were protected by a single pair of specially designed mechanized mining system sections. One of the basic problems revealed during extraction of subsequent mining panels, was the observed changeability of the resource mining rates. The extraction losses changed in the available resources from less than 10% to about 50%. This paper presents two typical courses of changes in the extractable resource mining rates. Similar rate changes occurred in both cases with continued mining of a single seam section. Our analysis enabled deposit loss estimations and production output planning under the sublevel caving systems applied in the extraction of seam deposits of similar structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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