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Resources, Volume 9, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 19 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Geotourism is a particular type of sustainable tourism that aims at the transmission of the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Social License to Operate in Mining: Present Views and Future Trends
Resources 2020, 9(6), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060079 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 227
Abstract
The social license to operate (SLO) is an informal social contract that aims to bridge the gap among the views of the most important stakeholders involved in mining activities. The novelty of this paper lies in the fact that it discusses the current [...] Read more.
The social license to operate (SLO) is an informal social contract that aims to bridge the gap among the views of the most important stakeholders involved in mining activities. The novelty of this paper lies in the fact that it discusses the current situation and the future prospects of granting a SLO, mainly at the European Union (EU) level, by considering the mine of the future, in terms of deep sea and landfill mining, and the criticality of raw materials that are required by high tech products as well as by emerging and green technologies. Also, it highlights the factors that may affect the views of all involved stakeholders, focusing on the joint efforts that are required by the industry and the society as well as on the main technological, social, political and legal issues which are relevant to the process. It is believed that if trust is developed between the involved stakeholders the SLO may prove an important tool in future mining in order to safeguard the supply of raw materials, minimize the environmental footprint and improve the quality of life in the affected regions. Finally, a conceptual flowsheet involving the main steps that may be followed for granting a SLO is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resources and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Smol, M., et al. Importance of Sustainable Mineral Resource Management in Implementing the Circular Economy (CE) Model and the European Green Deal Strategy. Resource 2020, 9, 55
Resources 2020, 9(6), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060078 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 196
Abstract
In the published article [...] Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rural Drinking Water Safety under Climate Change: The Importance of Addressing Physical, Social, and Environmental Dimensions
Resources 2020, 9(6), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060077 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 340
Abstract
This paper explores the physical, social, and environmental dimensions of how climate change impacts affect drinking water safety in a rural context in developing countries. Climate impacts, such as contamination or the reduced availability of preferred drinking water sources due to climate-related hazards, [...] Read more.
This paper explores the physical, social, and environmental dimensions of how climate change impacts affect drinking water safety in a rural context in developing countries. Climate impacts, such as contamination or the reduced availability of preferred drinking water sources due to climate-related hazards, threaten water safety in rural areas and these impacts will likely worsen as climate change accelerates. We qualitatively examined these impacts in a community in rural Vanuatu using three approaches side-by-side: adaptation, vulnerability, and resilience. We employed a mixed methods case study methodology that combined semi-structured interviews, technological and environmental surveys, and observations. We demonstrate the influence of physical infrastructure design, social structures mediating water access, and the availability of multiple sustainable water resources on water safety with respect to climate impacts. We also show how the initial problematization of how climate affects water safety can influence subsequent actions to address, or overlook, issues of infrastructure design and maintenance, social equity, and natural resource management for water access. Improvements to rural drinking water safety management in the context of climate change should take a pluralistic approach, informed by different conceptualizations of climate impacts, to account for the varied causal pathways of reduced water safety for different members of a community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water Safety Management)
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Open AccessEditorial
Theoretical and Practical Approaches of Circular Economy for Business Models and Technological Solutions
Resources 2020, 9(6), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060076 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 336
Abstract
Circular solutions are essential to tackle the imminent challenges of depleting resources and emerging environmental problems. The complex nature of material and energy systems and the changing economic and technological conditions depend on regional settings and accordingly result differently in developed and rapidly [...] Read more.
Circular solutions are essential to tackle the imminent challenges of depleting resources and emerging environmental problems. The complex nature of material and energy systems and the changing economic and technological conditions depend on regional settings and accordingly result differently in developed and rapidly developing countries of the world. A wide variety of theoretical approaches can be used to facilitate a shift from the linear use of resources to circular systems, e.g., circular product planning, zero waste management, service-based repairing, refurbishing, and remanufacturing, to name just a few. The introduction and examination of circular solutions can be based on theoretical models in order to guarantee and ensure a successful application. The successful application of innovative technology approaches, business solutions, and organizational development can be facilitated through theoretical models and new scientific results that support innovation processes. The presented article focuses on sustainable and innovative methods that help and enable the proper use and recovery of resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Combining Energy Management Indicators and Life Cycle Assessment Indicators to Promote Sustainability in a Paper Production Plant
Resources 2020, 9(6), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060075 - 21 Jun 2020
Viewed by 328
Abstract
This paper presents the application of an energy characterization method based on the ISO 50001 standard in a dry paper production plant. This plant operates using electricity, gas, and coal as energy sources. The last two energy sources are used to produce the [...] Read more.
This paper presents the application of an energy characterization method based on the ISO 50001 standard in a dry paper production plant. This plant operates using electricity, gas, and coal as energy sources. The last two energy sources are used to produce the steam and hot air used in the paper drying process. Through energy characterization, indicators such as energy baseline and consumption indicators were calculated for the plant, with which improvement opportunities were identified. These improvement opportunities were used as case studies for each energy source used and were based on the actual state of the plant. 2011 Midpoint+ ILCD method data was selected from the Ecoinvent database, using OpenLCA 1.7.0 for the energy assessment. The impact categories analyzed in this study were ecotoxicity, eutrophication of rivers and seas, climate change, and human toxicity. As a result of this work, it was found that energy-saving was possible by adjusting the production rate to a load factor of 77%, which implies a gas consumption of 1.6 kWh/kg and a value in the climate change category of 88.5 kg of CO2 equivalent. In addition, some technological improvement opportunities were economical and environmentally evaluated as a result of the sustainable improvement strategy implemented with energy management and life cycle assessment. The study of these technological opportunities showed that in order to achieve a sustainable industrial process, it is important to take into account energy, economic, and environmental criteria in the continuous improvement of the paper production process. In addition, it is of vital importance to analyze alternatives for technological change, which have a greater impact than operational alternatives according to energy, environmental and economic criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Water Distribution and Supply Systems)
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Open AccessReview
Biomass Resources of Phragmites australis in Kazakhstan: Historical Developments, Utilization, and Prospects
Resources 2020, 9(6), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060074 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Ex Steud.) is a highly productive wetland plant and a potentially valuable source of renewable biomass worldwide. There is more than 10 million ha of reed area globally, distributed mainly across Eurasia followed by America and [...] Read more.
Common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Ex Steud.) is a highly productive wetland plant and a potentially valuable source of renewable biomass worldwide. There is more than 10 million ha of reed area globally, distributed mainly across Eurasia followed by America and Africa. The literature analysis in this paper revealed that Kazakhstan alone harbored ca. 1,600,000–3,000,000 ha of reed area, mostly distributed in the deltas and along the rivers of the country. Herein, we explored the total reed biomass stock of 17 million t year−1 which is potentially available for harvesting in the context of wise use of wetlands. The aim of this paper is to reveal the distribution of reed resource potential in wetland areas of 13 provinces of Kazakhstan and the prospects for its sustainable utilization. Reed can be used as feedstock as an energy source for the production of pellets and biofuels, as lignocellulosic biomass for the production of high strength fibers for novel construction and packaging materials, and innovative polymers for lightweight engineering plastics and adhesive coatings. Thereby, it is unlikely that reed competes for land that otherwise is used for food production. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Recultivation of Post-Mining Disturbed Land: Review of Content and Comparative Law and Feasibility Study
Resources 2020, 9(6), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060073 - 10 Jun 2020
Viewed by 340
Abstract
The article considers the concept of the circular economy as an important tool for achieving sustainable development, which relates to the preservation of renewable resources’ mass through the renewal of withdrawn resources and the restoration of disturbed ones. It is directly linked to [...] Read more.
The article considers the concept of the circular economy as an important tool for achieving sustainable development, which relates to the preservation of renewable resources’ mass through the renewal of withdrawn resources and the restoration of disturbed ones. It is directly linked to remedial land treatment in post-mining disturbed land. However, after numerous studies, the conceptual apparatus of recultivation remains unspecified. Moreover, there is a gap regarding the trends of evolutionary changes in studies of legislation and feasibility on the subject of recultivation. Employing comparative law as a tool, the aim of the study is to develop a consistent approach based on circular economy by establishing the stages of legal support for recultivation and identifying the content of all these stages regarding economic efficiency. Currently, the environmental priorities of the economy are triggering the usage of the ecosystem approach for assessing the ecological result of recultivation. Therefore, the core of the paper is the development of a consistent circular economy approach by (1) clarifying the concept of recultivation, (2) identifying the stages of the development of a legal framework for recultivation and (3) revealing evolutionary changes in feasibility studies on recultivation. The authors prove that recultivation should be considered from the perspective of geoaesthetics, which implies a harmonious incorporation of the recultivated landscape into the environment. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Critical Analysis of the Current State of Knowledge in the Field of Waste Heat Recovery in Sewage Systems
Resources 2020, 9(6), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060072 - 08 Jun 2020
Viewed by 441
Abstract
The need for efficient use of energy and sustainable energy management and the fact that large quantities of heat are deposited in the discharged sewage have contributed to the development of research on waste heat recovery. Gray water began to be seen not [...] Read more.
The need for efficient use of energy and sustainable energy management and the fact that large quantities of heat are deposited in the discharged sewage have contributed to the development of research on waste heat recovery. Gray water began to be seen not just as waste, but also as an alternative source of energy. Research related to the development, improvement, and finally, the popularization of waste energy recovery devices and systems has evolved rapidly over the last two decades. Initially, technologies for gray water reuse were not widely used, which was due to the low efficiency of the current heat exchangers and the significant investment outlays that would have to be covered by potential users. Research conducted by scientists from around the world has allowed us to eliminate construction flaws, improve efficiency, and also provide information on the selection of optimal waste heat recovery technology, depending on the installation conditions and operating parameters. The ability to correctly select the device allows for effective energy collection from gray water, which improves the investment profitability. This paper reviews the research regarding issues related to waste heat recovery from gray water in sewage installations and systems. A critical analysis of the current state of knowledge was carried out with a special consideration to the technologies intended for the residential buildings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Risk Assessments by Sanitary Inspection for Small Drinking-Water Supplies—Qualitative Evidence
Resources 2020, 9(6), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060071 - 08 Jun 2020
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Small drinking-water supplies face particular challenges in terms of their management. Being vulnerable to contamination but often not monitored regularly nor well-maintained, small drinking-water supplies may pose consequences for health of users. Sanitary inspection (SI) is a risk assessment tool to identify and [...] Read more.
Small drinking-water supplies face particular challenges in terms of their management. Being vulnerable to contamination but often not monitored regularly nor well-maintained, small drinking-water supplies may pose consequences for health of users. Sanitary inspection (SI) is a risk assessment tool to identify and manage observable conditions of the water supply technology or circumstances in the catchment area that may favour certain hazardous events and introduce hazards which may become a risk to health. This qualitative research aimed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the SI tool as published by the World Health Organisation to inform a review and update of the forms and to improve their robustness. The study identified a number of benefits of the approach, such as its simplicity and ease of use. Challenges were also identified, such as potential for inconsistencies in perception of risk between inspectors, in interpreting questions, and lack of follow-up action. The authors recommend a revision of the existing SI forms to address the identified challenges and development of complementary advice on possible remedial action to address identified risk factors and on basic operations and maintenance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water Safety Management)
Open AccessArticle
Pathway to Sustainability in the Mining Industry: A Case Study of Alcoa and Rio Tinto
Resources 2020, 9(6), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060070 - 07 Jun 2020
Viewed by 477
Abstract
Sustainability for the mining companies is a critical requirement for their ongoing operations. Regulations and licenses generally depend on the companies’ sustainability practices, forcing them to focus on environmental impact and social welfare. While the mining industry has historically been associated with poor [...] Read more.
Sustainability for the mining companies is a critical requirement for their ongoing operations. Regulations and licenses generally depend on the companies’ sustainability practices, forcing them to focus on environmental impact and social welfare. While the mining industry has historically been associated with poor working conditions and their unsustainable practices, closer review of the industry suggests that the last few decades have seen improved performance and heightened focus on doing the right thing for the environment and the society. This research is focused on reviewing the sustainability strategy and initiatives of Alcoa and Rio Tinto, two Fortune-500 mining companies. It was found that these companies had started focusing on sustainability a few decades ago, but developed a holistic sustainability strategy as part of their core business only over the last few years. While there are many controversies still facing the companies, particularly around environmental pollution, their continued focus on sustainability will be beneficial for their employees as well as the communities they operate in. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling the Steady-State Performance of Coiled Falling-Film Drain Water Heat Recovery Systems Using Rated Data
Resources 2020, 9(6), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060069 - 06 Jun 2020
Viewed by 423
Abstract
Falling-film drain water heat recovery (DWHR) systems are heat exchangers used to recover energy from warm water travelling down vertical drainpipes. DWHR systems are rated at constant inlet temperatures at multiple flow rates while maintaining an equal flow rate through both sides of [...] Read more.
Falling-film drain water heat recovery (DWHR) systems are heat exchangers used to recover energy from warm water travelling down vertical drainpipes. DWHR systems are rated at constant inlet temperatures at multiple flow rates while maintaining an equal flow rate through both sides of the heat exchanger. The outcome of the rating system is an effectiveness value that is the main metric used to sell DWHR systems to the public. Unfortunately, the rated conditions may not be representative of what occurs during operation in a typical house. The present work aims to bridge this gap by presenting several semi-empirical correlations that are combined into a model capable of predicting the steady-state performance of a DWHR system at variable temperatures and flow rates, based on data generated during the rating process. This model is then validated experimentally for eight different DWHR systems for a total of 135 validation cases. The results show that the model is very effective at estimating the performance of DWHR systems for validation cases, and the mean absolute percentage error for the model predictions versus the experimental results is less than 3%. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Responsible Materials Management for a Resource-Efficient and Low-Carbon Society
Resources 2020, 9(6), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060068 - 05 Jun 2020
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Our societies rely on the quality and availability of natural resources. Driven by population growth, economic development, and innovation, future demand for natural resources is expected to further increase in coming decades. Raw materials will be an important part of society’s future material [...] Read more.
Our societies rely on the quality and availability of natural resources. Driven by population growth, economic development, and innovation, future demand for natural resources is expected to further increase in coming decades. Raw materials will be an important part of society’s future material mix as countries increasingly transition towards resource-efficient and greenhouse-gas neutral economies. Raw materials are also fundamental to meet ecological and socio-economic targets within the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. For instance, they have a fundamental role in renewable energy technologies, new building materials and infrastructure, communication systems, and low-carbon transportation. However, some materials are largely supplied from countries with poor governance. The future availability of these materials and associated impacts are of increasing concern going forward. Recent raw material criticality studies have explored economic, geo-political, and technological factors that affect materials’ supply. However, environmental and social pressures also play a role in their security of supply. For instance, conflicts can prevent access to mineral deposits; accidents and environmental damage compromise public acceptance and can hinder future extraction operations. This article will introduce this Special Issue with a focus on material requirements and responsible sourcing of materials for a low-carbon society, and provides an overview of the subsequent research papers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
GEOTOURISM as a Tool for Learning: A Geoitinerary in the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni Geopark (Southern Italy)
Resources 2020, 9(6), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060067 - 04 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 691
Abstract
“Geotourism” is a particular type of “sustainable tourism” that is still in an embryonic stage, especially in Italy. The main goal is the transmission of geological knowledge to increase the awareness about geoheritage, geo-resources and geo-hazards. The geoparks represent ideal sites, with a [...] Read more.
“Geotourism” is a particular type of “sustainable tourism” that is still in an embryonic stage, especially in Italy. The main goal is the transmission of geological knowledge to increase the awareness about geoheritage, geo-resources and geo-hazards. The geoparks represent ideal sites, with a strong educational significance for students, teachers, geo-tourists, and guides interested in geological and environmental sciences, though at different levels. With this in mind, we propose a geoitinerary through some of the most geologically interesting coastal areas in the Cilento, Vallo di Diano, and Alburni Geopark. The aim of the geoitinerary is to provide a good example of how geosites could be promoted through geotourism and used as means of divulgation of geological and environmental knowledge. The selected sites are the San Marco coast, the Licosa Cape and the Elea-Velia archaeological area. They are included in the official list of geosites and geomorphosites of the Geopark and have a relevant stratigraphic and geoarcheological value. The San Marco coast and the Licosa Cape are the “best sites” in the Geopark where Quaternary coastal deposits and morphologies are represented. The Elea-Velia site is one of the most famous archeological sites in the Geopark, which is also representative of complex human-environment interactions. Despite their high scientific significance, the sites that we have selected are not included in a specific promoting program. We have so tried to fill this gap by providing the scientific background for their geotouristic promotion that could also serve as an instrument for the increase of the local economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoheritage and Geotourism Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Grain-Size Specific Characterisation and Resource Potentials of Municipal Solid Waste Incineration (MSWI) Bottom Ash: A German Case Study
Resources 2020, 9(6), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060066 - 31 May 2020
Viewed by 519
Abstract
Municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) is a major element of modern waste management and produces annually around 5.7 million tonnes of bottom ash (BA) in Germany. In order to save natural resources and protect the environment, utilisable materials need to be recovered from [...] Read more.
Municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) is a major element of modern waste management and produces annually around 5.7 million tonnes of bottom ash (BA) in Germany. In order to save natural resources and protect the environment, utilisable materials need to be recovered from BA. It was the aim of the present study to determine metal and mineral resource potentials of MSWI BA based on a characterisation study of raw and aged BA of the MSWI plant in Kassel (Germany). The BA investigated consisted of 82.2% mineral materials, 16.3% metals, and 1.5% unburnt organic matter. Overall, 12.1% and 3.6% of the MSWI BA were theoretically recoverable as native ferrous (Fe) and non-ferrous (NFe) metals, respectively. Assuming state-of-the-art recovery technology, 10.7% and 2.0% of the BA were actually extractable as Fe and NFe metals. The processed BA, as a mixture, did not comply with current German limit values for use as a construction material mainly due to excessive soluble salt contents. Coarser grain size fractions were less contaminated, resulting in a utilisable potential of less than 30% of the BA as a construction material. Hence, grain-size specific processing routes need to be developed for MSWI BA to fully exploit its mineral resource potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal and Industrial Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Hybrid Domestic Hot Water System Performance in Industrial Hall
Resources 2020, 9(6), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060065 - 30 May 2020
Viewed by 485
Abstract
The renewable and waste heat sources implemented for the preparation of domestic hot water (DHW) allow for energy conservation and environment protection along with resource savings and economic benefits. The solutions, including non-conventional sources, are especially demanded in large halls in which energy [...] Read more.
The renewable and waste heat sources implemented for the preparation of domestic hot water (DHW) allow for energy conservation and environment protection along with resource savings and economic benefits. The solutions, including non-conventional sources, are especially demanded in large halls in which energy and water consumption are crucial for maintenance costs. In this article, energy analysis of a DHW preparation system for workers’ hygienic purposes in a industrial hall was performed. The DHW preparation system consisted of three sources: a flue gases heat exchanger as the waste heat source, solar collectors as the renewable heat source and a gas boiler as the conventional source. In the analysis, data of a variable-temperature supply of water and hourly water consumption data from the measurements in the industrial hall, located in Poland, were applied. The results for all of the 8760 h of one year were examined. The analysis outcomes show that implementation of non-conventional sources can supply 81.4% of energy needed for DHW preparation, avoiding a lot of running costs; just 18.6% of heat demand had to be obtained from a gas boiler. The analysis also confirms that the system may operate correctly when the appropriate device size is applied, along with a proper control strategy that avoids overheating water and uses alternative sources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Market Concentration Analysis of the Biomass Sector in Romania
Resources 2020, 9(6), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060064 - 29 May 2020
Viewed by 454
Abstract
The degree of market concentration is an important investigative tool used by competition authorities, as well as any public entity or undertaking that is interested in a specific market. There are several market concentration indices, but the most popular measure for computing the [...] Read more.
The degree of market concentration is an important investigative tool used by competition authorities, as well as any public entity or undertaking that is interested in a specific market. There are several market concentration indices, but the most popular measure for computing the degree of market concentration is the Herfindahl–Hirschman Index (HHI). However, a limitation of this indicator is that its computation requires data on all the entities that are active in a market. Therefore, due to the large number of companies in some specific markets, sometimes it is cumbersome to compute the HHI. The aim of this paper was to develop an algorithm to estimate as accurately as possible the HHI in such cases, so that the degree of market concentration can be identified. An interdisciplinary application of this method on the Romanian biomass sector is presented at the end of this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewables Application: Challenges and Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle
Fieldtrips and Virtual Tours as Geotourism Resources: Examples from the Sesia Val Grande UNESCO Global Geopark (NW Italy)
Resources 2020, 9(6), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060063 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 590
Abstract
In the 20th anniversary year of the European Geopark Network, and 5 years on from the receipt of the UNESCO label for the geoparks, this research focuses on geotourism contents and solutions within one of the most recently designated geoparks, admitted for membership [...] Read more.
In the 20th anniversary year of the European Geopark Network, and 5 years on from the receipt of the UNESCO label for the geoparks, this research focuses on geotourism contents and solutions within one of the most recently designated geoparks, admitted for membership in 2013: the Sesia Val Grande UNESCO Global Geopark (Western Italian Alps). The main aim of this paper is to corroborate the use of fieldtrips and virtual tours as resources for geotourism. The analysis is developed according to: i) geodiversity and geoheritage of the geopark territory; ii) different approaches for planning fieldtrip and virtual tours. The lists of 18 geotrails, 68 geosites and 13 off-site geoheritage elements (e.g., museums, geolabs) are provided. Then, seven trails were selected as a mirror of the geodiversity and as container of on-site and off-site geoheritage within the geopark. They were described to highlight the different approaches that were implemented for their valorization. Most of the geotrails are equipped with panels, and supported by the presence of thematic laboratories or sections in museums. A multidisciplinary approach (e.g., history, ecology) is applied to some geotrails, and a few of them are translated into virtual tours. The variety of geosciences contents of the geopark territory is hence viewed as richness, in term of high geodiversity, but also in term of diversification for its valorization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoheritage and Geotourism Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Integration of Impacts on Water, Air, Land, and Cost towards Sustainable Petroleum Oil Production in Alberta, Canada
Resources 2020, 9(6), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060062 - 28 May 2020
Viewed by 453
Abstract
This paper intends to develop quantitative indicators for comparative sustainability assessment of petroleum oil pathways in the province of Alberta, Canada. Eighteen pathways of oil production were developed in this study, and the sustainability indicators were assigned for each pathway to cover greenhouse [...] Read more.
This paper intends to develop quantitative indicators for comparative sustainability assessment of petroleum oil pathways in the province of Alberta, Canada. Eighteen pathways of oil production were developed in this study, and the sustainability indicators were assigned for each pathway to cover greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water demand, and land use in addition to the cost of supply. The developed sustainability indicators were aligned per functional unit and covered the full life cycle of petroleum oil production. The developed GHG emissions, cost of supply, and land use indicators are found in the range 17.50–226.20 kg of CO2 eq./bbl, 12.28–53.53 USD/bbl, and 0.06–0.178 m2/bbl, respectively. Four scenarios were comparatively conducted and assessed against the business-as-usual scenario within the period horizon 2009–2030. The cost-effective scenario was optimized with the objective function to minimize the cost of supply based on the constraints derived from the business-as-usual scenario. Sustainable scenarios were conducted with the lowest possible impacts on natural resources, GHG emissions, and the cost of supply accompanied by specific assumptions for petroleum oil production from different pathways in Alberta. The average annual savings on water demand and land area were found to be 67 and 30%, respectively, due to the shifting of upgrader feedstock from surface mining to the in-situ steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) pathway. The corresponding increases due to this shifting in upgrader feedstock were found to be 40 and 3% in GHG emissions and cost of supply, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nitrogen Fertilization and Harvest Timing Affect Switchgrass Quality
Resources 2020, 9(6), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9060061 - 28 May 2020
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Early season switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) can be used as animal feed and mature late-season biomass as a biofuel feedstock. However, nitrogen (N) application and harvest timing effects on the quality of both end-use need further evaluation. This study evaluated the changes [...] Read more.
Early season switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) can be used as animal feed and mature late-season biomass as a biofuel feedstock. However, nitrogen (N) application and harvest timing effects on the quality of both end-use need further evaluation. This study evaluated the changes in nutritive quality for animal feed and biofuel feedstock, under different N application rates (0 to 235 kg N ha−1 yr−1) and different harvest times at a fixed N rate. Plant N removal increased with increasing N application rate (P < 0.05). The largest single difference (27%) was found between 0 and 33.6 kg N ha−1 application rates. Nitrogen removal decreased during subsequent harvests at a fixed N rate (P ≤ 0.0001). Forage quality was affected by N rates, although it was especially impacted by harvesting time. Fibers and most minerals in the biomass increased as accumulated growing degree days (AGDD) increased (P ≤ 0.0001), but N and total digestible nutrients (TDN) decreased as AGDD increased (P ≤ 0.0001). High crude protein and minerals with low fiber are desired forage qualities and the opposite is true for biofuel feedstock. Earlier harvests are beneficial for hay production or livestock grazing, and late-season harvests are better for biofuel production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Biomass for Bioenergy)
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