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Resources, Volume 9, Issue 8 (August 2020) – 8 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The mobile pelletization system is a simplified machine designed to produce pellets from vine-pruning residues harvested through a suitable harvesting machine directly at farm site. It consists of three basic elements: the grinding mill, a small buffer tank for the accumulation of the milled material, and the pelleting system mounted on a trailer for road transport. By densifying the material in the field, the logistics of vine pruning supply chain is improved, producing a solid biofuel (agripellet) sustainably and avoiding the possible burning of residues, saving the emissions of polluting substances into the atmosphere. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Trampling Intensity and Vegetation Response and Recovery according to Altitude: An Experimental Study from the Himalayan Miyar Valley
Resources 2020, 9(8), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9080098 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1158
Abstract
The trampling of vegetation caused by recreation and tourism can lead to the loss of vegetation and the degradation of plant communities, which adversely affects natural habitats. This paper investigates the impact of trampling on plant species in the high-mountain environment, where plant [...] Read more.
The trampling of vegetation caused by recreation and tourism can lead to the loss of vegetation and the degradation of plant communities, which adversely affects natural habitats. This paper investigates the impact of trampling on plant species in the high-mountain environment, where plant resources are limited and any recovery is slow. It is commonly accepted that the sensitivity of the vegetation in mountains increases as altitude increases. Therefore, this study supposed that the same plant species would have different responses to trampling at different altitudes. By using a standardized method of experimental trampling, an empirical study was conducted on eight plant species at two altitudes: 4072 m and 4480 m. Each species was trampled 0–500 times. Response to trampling was assessed by determining plant cover two weeks after trampling and one year after trampling. For most species, the relationship between plant cover after trampling and trampling intensity was very clear (linear). This research found the following: (1) vegetation has extremely high ecological sensitivity to trampling in the examined environment; (2) above 4000 m, an increase in altitude does not increase the sensitivity of vegetation. Vegetation above a certain altitude exhibits similar, very high sensitivity to trampling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Earth Observation for Settlement Mapping of Amazonian Indigenous Populations to Support SDG7
Resources 2020, 9(8), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9080097 - 16 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1150
Abstract
Indigenous communities in the Amazon suffer from lack of access to basic services, such as electricity. Due to their isolation and difficult access it is challenging to acquire data on their location, numbers and needs, which would enable adequate development plans. Earth observation [...] Read more.
Indigenous communities in the Amazon suffer from lack of access to basic services, such as electricity. Due to their isolation and difficult access it is challenging to acquire data on their location, numbers and needs, which would enable adequate development plans. Earth observation (EO), in combination with participatory mapping can support the creation of settlement maps as a basis for creating spatially explicit models of needs of basic services. Combining Landsat time series with SkySat and PlanetScope imagery, we have mapped the location and size of these settlements and modelled the number and densities of their houses. Additionally, we have projected settlement growth by 2030 in order to assess a demand of services that will be valid in the near future. We conducted surveys in 49 communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon to acquire information on the peoples’ living conditions and needs, and validated our model based on the findings. The number of buildings per cleared land had a strong linear relationship with the communities surveyed (adjusted R2 0.8). We used this linear relationship to model the number of buildings for the complete study area as well as for the 2030 settlement projection. Combining this information with data on the living conditions of indigenous communities, we can efficiently estimate the needs of basic services for larger territories and prompt development plans according to indigenous peoples’ needs and wishes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resources and Indigenous Peoples)
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of a Circular Economy in Ukraine: The Context of European Integration
Resources 2020, 9(8), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9080096 - 15 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1303
Abstract
The current model of resource management mainly contributes to mass short-term consumption, which creates an unstable and extremely critical situation on the planet. Going beyond the traditional industrial model of Take-Make-Waste, the circular economy aims to reduce waste (and therefore minimize costs) and [...] Read more.
The current model of resource management mainly contributes to mass short-term consumption, which creates an unstable and extremely critical situation on the planet. Going beyond the traditional industrial model of Take-Make-Waste, the circular economy aims to reduce waste (and therefore minimize costs) and to redefine sustainable development. This entails a gradual separation of economic activity from the consumption of scarce resources and the removal of waste from the system. In order to foreground the principles of a circular economy in Ukraine, this study analyzes its benefits based on the relevant experience of the EU. The paper also presents the results of research and content analysis on the situation of waste management in Ukraine and compares the trends using key indicators. The core of the paper is developing a conceptual model of making and coordinating management decisions on the implementation of business projects in the context of a circular economy in Ukraine. A multifactor model (the Farrar–Glauber method was further developed) has been built by identification of the main factors, i.e., the volume of generated waste from economic activity per unit of GDP at constant prices, emissions of pollutants, and capital investments for the protection of the environment. Factor coefficients indicate how many units will change the resultant trait Y, measured in thousand tonnes, if one of them changes by 1 (each in units of measure). It means that if the volume of waste generated from economic activity per unit of GDP at constant 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP) prices decreases by 1 kg/$1000, waste management of I–IV classes will be reduced by 952,737 thousand tonnes. The approbated model can be used to analyze the situation with recycling in the EU countries, considering the amount of capital investment in environmental protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible Resource Management in Micro and Macro Scale)
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Open AccessArticle
Mining and Indigenous Peoples of the North: Assessment and Development Prospects
Resources 2020, 9(8), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9080095 - 14 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1023
Abstract
The main industry in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is the mining industry, which will continue to expand in the future. Already today there are quite a lot of investment projects for the development of minerals in the Arctic, North-West and South Yakutia, [...] Read more.
The main industry in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is the mining industry, which will continue to expand in the future. Already today there are quite a lot of investment projects for the development of minerals in the Arctic, North-West and South Yakutia, which will be implemented in the territories of indigenous minorities of the North. Indigenous Evens, Evenks, Yukaghirs make up 4.2% of the total population of the republic and are characterized by low genetic diversity, which can lead to negative consequences in relation to their health status when exposed to technogenic pollution. Purpose of the study: assessment of the state of life of indigenous minorities of the North in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) under the conditions of a new stage of industrial development of territories of traditional nature management. The planned increasing industrial development of territories of traditional nature management can cause large-scale disturbances of the earth’s surface, depletion of biological resources, environmental pollution, which will ultimately lead to deterioration in the quality of life of the population. In order to take measures to prevent and reduce the negative impacts of industrial development of the territories of residence and traditional activities of indigenous minorities of the North, when implementing new projects, the expert commission recommends concluding a trilateral agreement on cooperation and financing of specific programs between industrial companies, government bodies of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and authorized representatives of indigenous minorities of the North. Research area—the position of indigenous minorities of the North in the conditions of industrial development of the North, Siberia and the Far East. This study looks at the impact of industrial development on the natural environment and the traditional way of life of indigenous population. Compensation for damage to the nomadic tribal communities of reindeer herders has taken place. Only about 250 thousand representatives of 40 indigenous peoples live in these regions, who are included in the official list of indigenous minorities of the North, Siberia and the Far East. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resources and Indigenous Peoples)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Sustainability of Heating Systems Based on Pellets Produced in Mobile and Stationary Plants from Vineyard Pruning Residues
Resources 2020, 9(8), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9080094 - 14 Aug 2020
Viewed by 918
Abstract
The impact of heat production from vineyard pruning pellets has been evaluated in this paper. The study considers two different systems: the first one based on a mobile pelletizer (PS1) and the second one based on a stationary pellet plant (PS2). The analysis [...] Read more.
The impact of heat production from vineyard pruning pellets has been evaluated in this paper. The study considers two different systems: the first one based on a mobile pelletizer (PS1) and the second one based on a stationary pellet plant (PS2). The analysis conducted is from “cradle to grave”; the systems under analysis includes pruning harvesting, transport to storage area, pelletization (mobile system or stationary production plant), transport to consumer and combustion. The functional unit selected is 1 MJ of thermal energy produced. The impact assessment calculation methods selected are Eco-Indicator 99 (H) LCA Food V2.103/Europe EI 99 H/A with a midpoint and endpoint approach, and ReCiPe Midpoint (H) V1.10. Considering Life Cycle Assessment results, Eco-indicator shows a total impact of 4.25 and 4.07 mPt for mobile pelletizer and stationary pellet plant, respectively. Considering the three damage categories, PS1 has values of 2.4% (Human Health), 3.8% (Ecosystem Quality) and 17.3% (Resources), more impactful than PS2. Contribution analysis shows that direct emissions are the major damage contributor, followed by wood ash management. From a comparison between the baseline scenario and a scenario with an avoided product (wood ash as a standard potassium fertilizer), PS1 and PS2 with an avoided product approach are 41% and 40% less impactful than in the baseline scenarios. When testing the impact of mobile pelletizer while considering transportation as a factor, a reduction of distance for pellet has been evaluated. Reducing the distance from 100 to 10 km, the total impact of PS1 almost reaches the impact of PS2 with a difference of around 4.6% (Eco-indicator 99 method). The most impactful processes are pellet production, direct emissions and ash management, while a less impactful factor is the electricity consumption. Transportation shows the lowest impact. Considering the ReCiPe impact calculation method with a midpoint approach, the results confirm what was found with Eco-indicator 99; the PS1 shows a slightly higher impact than PS2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Environmental Assessment of Interlocking Concrete Blocks Mixed with Sugarcane Residues Produced in Okinawa
Resources 2020, 9(8), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9080093 - 14 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1095
Abstract
The use of sugarcane residues in mortar and concrete is believed to contribute to the reduction of environmental problems, such as the reduction of mining of natural aggregates as well as the improper disposal of sugarcane residues. Therefore, in this study, bagasse fiber [...] Read more.
The use of sugarcane residues in mortar and concrete is believed to contribute to the reduction of environmental problems, such as the reduction of mining of natural aggregates as well as the improper disposal of sugarcane residues. Therefore, in this study, bagasse fiber and bagasse sand were added into the preparation of the interlocking concrete blocks, and the flexural strength and an environmental assessment of the blocks were analyzed. The flexural strength of the blocks was not affected by the addition of the bagasse fiber and bagasse sand. In addition, the environmental load of interlocking concrete blocks using sugarcane residues was lower than the blocks using conventional aggregates due to the greater simplicity of acquisition of the residues. Moreover, in the scenarios where the blocks are supposedly made on smaller islands, the emissions increased due to long-distance transportation, since conventional aggregates come from other islands. Full article
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Open AccessReview
An Assessment of Potential Resources for Biomass Energy in Nigeria
Resources 2020, 9(8), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9080092 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1456
Abstract
Nigeria is a developing country with an insufficient supply of energy to meet the continuously growing demand. However, there are several biomass resources available within the country. This paper presents a desk review, which investigates the potential resources for biomass energy generation within [...] Read more.
Nigeria is a developing country with an insufficient supply of energy to meet the continuously growing demand. However, there are several biomass resources available within the country. This paper presents a desk review, which investigates the potential resources for biomass energy generation within the country. Energy policies to aid biomass use as an energy source within the country were also reviewed. Biomass resources identified within Nigeria include forest residues, agricultural residues, human and animal wastes, aquatic biomass, and energy crops. However, several of the resources, particularly agricultural residues, have competing uses, such as livestock feed and soil rejuvenation. An estimation of the technical energy potential of the biomass resources revealed that about 2.33 EJ could be generated from the available resources in Nigeria. Agricultural residues have an energy potential of about 1.09 EJ, with cassava, maize, oil palm, plantain, rice, and sorghum being the major contributors. Animal wastes, municipal solid waste, and forest residues have energy potentials of 0.65, 0.11, and 0.05 EJ, respectively. The potentials of wood fuel and charcoal are 0.38 and 0.05 EJ, respectively. The study found that despite the available potential and existing policies, not much has been done in the implementation of large-scale bioenergy within the country. However, there has been laboratory and research-scale investigations. The review suggests that more policies and stronger enforcement will aid bioenergy development within the country. From the review, it has been suggested that the agricultural sector needs to be developed to generate more biomass resources. More research, development, and implementation have to be carried out on biomass resources and bioenergy generation processes. The production of non-edible energy crops in marginal lands should also be considered prime to the development of bioenergy within the country. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Inventory of Wastes Generated in Polish Sewage Sludge Incineration Plants and Their Possible Circular Management Directions
Resources 2020, 9(8), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9080091 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1353
Abstract
A dynamic development of sewer networks and municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) leads to the formation a large amounts of municipal sewage sludges (MSSs) which have to be disposed. One of the MSS disposal practices is thermal conversion in mono-incineration plants. Nowadays, there [...] Read more.
A dynamic development of sewer networks and municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) leads to the formation a large amounts of municipal sewage sludges (MSSs) which have to be disposed. One of the MSS disposal practices is thermal conversion in mono-incineration plants. Nowadays, there are 11 such installations in Poland, with the total capacity 160,300 Mg d.w. of MSSs per year. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of wastes generated in Polish MSS mono-incineration plants. As a consequence of MSSs incineration, various types of waste are generated including, for example, bottom and fly ash, dust or solid waste. The most valuable waste is sewage sludge ash (SSA), which can be used in other industries, as fertilizer or construction sectors. In the circular economy (CE) model, SSA should be treated as a secondary source of raw materials, such as phosphates (replacement of nutrients by P-rich ashes in fertilizers) or sand (replacement of sand by ashes in construction materials). Current practices of SSA management include landfilling, recovery at WWTPs or management by external companies (recovery, disposal or collection). To preserve the utility value of SSA, it should be stored selectively, and then directed to raw materials recovery. This creates the possibility of turning waste into a secondary resource, after meeting certain conditions which depend on which product the waste is directed to. Moreover, this waste management practice is recommended in the Polish documents regarding the usage of SSA, and it can strengthen the accomplishment of the European Green Deal, which is the newest roadmap for making the EU’s economy sustainable and circular. Full article
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