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Clean Technol., Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2020) – 9 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Acceptability and Societal Impact of the Introduction of Bioplastics as Novel Environmentally Friendly Packaging Materials in Ireland
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(1), 127-143; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010009 - 18 Mar 2020
Viewed by 493
Abstract
Novel environmentally friendly alternatives for packaging materials such as bioplastics are being developed to mitigate problems with petrochemical plastics but low acceptance of these bioplastics among consumers and others have delayed their adoption. Through a mixed method approach, this work aims to assess [...] Read more.
Novel environmentally friendly alternatives for packaging materials such as bioplastics are being developed to mitigate problems with petrochemical plastics but low acceptance of these bioplastics among consumers and others have delayed their adoption. Through a mixed method approach, this work aims to assess the factors contributing to the low adoption rates of bioplastics as a way to inform development of more highly accepted bioplastics. Stakeholders with a variety of links with the packaging/plastic industries were interviewed using a semi-structured interview approach and the results were analysed to discover recurrent themes and perceptions regarding packaging. From this thematic analysis, a survey was conducted to explore consumer opinion. The findings indicate that although the population is aware and interested in changing to environmentally friendly packaging, confusion exists as to what that means and what are the best ways to effect that change. The teenager group was identified as the most susceptible to be involved in the change. Frequently cited barriers to acceptance centred on separation of waste and access to correct waste bins. The characteristics likely to lead to a higher acceptance of novel bioplastics by composters were time of decomposition, small thickness, and possibility of being introduced in current processes of packaging preparation, among others. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Waste Ochre for Control of Phosphates and Sulfides in Digesters at Wastewater Treatment Plants with Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(1), 116-126; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010008 - 06 Mar 2020
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Abstract
Ochre, waste iron sludge from the treatment of iron rich groundwater for potable use, makes up a significant waste problem. Furthermore, wastewater treatment plants with enhanced biological phosphorus removal and the digestion of sludge are in lack of iron for the prevention of [...] Read more.
Ochre, waste iron sludge from the treatment of iron rich groundwater for potable use, makes up a significant waste problem. Furthermore, wastewater treatment plants with enhanced biological phosphorus removal and the digestion of sludge are in lack of iron for the prevention of hydrogen sulfide production and the release of phosphorous during anaerobic digestion. Thus, the addition of ochre to anaerobic digestion is a potential beneficial reuse of ochre. Sludge from wastewater treatment plants with enhanced biological phosphorus removal was used for the experiments. Batch and continuous pilot-scale tests were performed for the mesophilic digestion of primary and waste-activated sludge with different doses of ochre. Two different doses of ochre corresponding to molar ratios of 1 and 2 moles Fe3+/mole P released in the batch test resulted in 29% and 57% reductions of phosphates respectively in the sludge liquor compared to the control sludge without inhibiting the digestion process. In the pilot experiment, the dosing of ochre at both a high and low dose (molar ratios of 1.6 and 0.8 Fe3+/S2−, respectively) resulted in an immediate drop in the H2S concentration (from >2000 ppm down to 570 ppm), while the control reactor still produced biogas with a high hydrogen sulfide concentration. The inhibition of the digestion process was observed (accumulation of acetate) at the higher dose. In a second pilot scale experiment, lower doses of ochre were tested continuously (1.5 and 0.75 mole Fe3+/mole Preleased) to avoid any inhibition, while evaluating the phosphate precipitation. A reduction of phosphates in sludge liquor (33% and 66% for the low and high doses respectively) was obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Wastewater Treatment)
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Open AccessReview
Lignocellulosic Biomass Mild Alkaline Fractionation and Resulting Extract Purification Processes: Conditions, Yields, and Purities
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(1), 91-115; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010007 - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 305
Abstract
Fractionation of lignocellulose is a fundamental step in the valorization of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin to produce various sustainable fuels, materials and chemicals. Strong alkaline fractionation is one of the most applied processes since the paper industry has been using it for more [...] Read more.
Fractionation of lignocellulose is a fundamental step in the valorization of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin to produce various sustainable fuels, materials and chemicals. Strong alkaline fractionation is one of the most applied processes since the paper industry has been using it for more than a century, and the mineral acid fractionation process is currently the most applied for the production of cellulosic ethanol. However, in the last decade, mild alkaline fractionation has been becoming increasingly widespread in the frame of cellulosic ethanol biorefineries. It leads to the solubilization of hemicelluloses and lignin at various extent depending on the conditions of the extraction, whereas the cellulose remains insoluble. Some studies showed that the cellulose saccharification and fermentation into ethanol gave higher yields than the mineral acid fractionation process. Besides, contrary to the acid fractionation process, the mild alkaline fractionation process does not hydrolyze the sugar polymers, which can be of interest for different applications. Lignocellulosic mild alkaline extracts contain hemicelluloses, lignin oligomers, phenolic monomers, acetic acid, and inorganic salts. In order to optimize the economic efficiency of the biorefineries using a mild alkaline fractionation process, the purification of the alkaline extract to valorize its different components is of major importance. This review details the conditions used for the mild alkaline fractionation process and the purification techniques that have been carried out on the obtained hydrolysates, with a focus on the yields and purities of the different compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Process Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Lomefloxacin—Occurrence in the German River Erft, Its Photo-Induced Elimination, and Assessment of Ecotoxicity
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(1), 74-90; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010006 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 342
Abstract
Pharmaceuticals in waters represent a worldwide problem of today. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are being researched for elimination of the ecological hazard. Among the substances, the fluoroquinolone antibiotic lomefloxacin was selected for investigation in this study. Lomefloxacin (LOM) was found in the German [...] Read more.
Pharmaceuticals in waters represent a worldwide problem of today. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are being researched for elimination of the ecological hazard. Among the substances, the fluoroquinolone antibiotic lomefloxacin was selected for investigation in this study. Lomefloxacin (LOM) was found in the German river Erft. Near and far ultraviolet (UVA, UVC) radiation were used as AOPs and compared for efficiency depending on pH, water matrix, and catalysts. Chemical kinetics description revealed that UVC at pH 8–9 led to the fastest degradation of LOM. The catalysts hydrogen peroxide and titanium dioxide had only limited influence on the degradation rate. Seven novel transformation products were structurally identified by high-resolution higher-order mass spectrometry. Ecotoxicity of the novel and known compounds was assessed by quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analysis. In addition, irradiation time dependent minimal, and half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (MIC, IC50) of LOM solutions were determined and suggested as ecotoxicological hazard indicators. From MIC and kinetic rate constants, the irradiation time required for compound and activity removal could be predicted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Wastewater Treatment)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Stimulating Nitrogen Biokinetics with the Addition of Hydrogen Peroxide to Secondary Effluent Biofiltration
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(1), 53-73; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010005 - 01 Feb 2020
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Tertiary wastewater treatment could provide a reliable source of water for reuse. Amongst these types of wastewater treatment, deep-bed filtration of secondary effluents can effectively remove particles and organic matter; however, NH4+ and NO2 are not easily removed. This [...] Read more.
Tertiary wastewater treatment could provide a reliable source of water for reuse. Amongst these types of wastewater treatment, deep-bed filtration of secondary effluents can effectively remove particles and organic matter; however, NH4+ and NO2 are not easily removed. This study examined the feasibility of stimulating microbial activity using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a bio-specific and clean oxygen source that leaves no residuals in the water and is advantageous upon aeration due to the solubility limitations of the oxygen. The performance of a pilot bio-filtration system at a filtration velocity of 5–6 m/h, was enhanced by the addition of H2O2 for particle, organic matter, NH4+, and NO2 removal. Hydrogen peroxide provided the oxygen demand for full nitrification. As a result, influent concentrations of 4.2 ± 2.5 mg/L N-NH4+ and 0.65 ± 0.4 mg/L N-NO2 were removed during the short hydraulic residence time (HRT). In comparison, filtration without H2O2 addition only removed up to 0.6 mg/L N-NH4+ and almost no N-NO2. A DNA metagenome analysis of the functional genes of the media biomass reflected a significant potential for simultaneous nitrification and denitrification activity. It is hypothesized that the low biodegradability of the organic carbon and H2O2 addition stimulated oxygen utilization in favor of nitrification, followed by the enhancement of anoxic activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Wastewater Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental and Economic Evaluation of Fuel Choices for Short Sea Shipping
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(1), 34-52; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010004 - 22 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 427
Abstract
The shipping industry is looking for strategies to comply with increasingly stringent emission regulations. Fuel has a significant impact on emissions, so a switch to alternative fuels needs to be evaluated. This study investigated the emission performances of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and [...] Read more.
The shipping industry is looking for strategies to comply with increasingly stringent emission regulations. Fuel has a significant impact on emissions, so a switch to alternative fuels needs to be evaluated. This study investigated the emission performances of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied biogas (LBG) in shipping and compared them to conventional marine diesel oil (MDO) combined with selective catalytic reduction (SCR). For assessing the complete global warming potential of these fuels, the life-cycle approach was used. In addition, the study evaluated the local environmental impacts of combustion of these fuels, which is of particular importance for short sea shipping operations near coastal marine environment and residential areas. All three options examined are in compliance with the most stringent emission control area (ECA) regulations currently in force or entering into force from 2021. In terms of local environmental impacts, the two gaseous fuels had clear advantages over the MDO + SCR combination. However, the use of LNG as marine fuel achieved no significant CO2-equivalent reduction, thus making little progress towards the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) visions of decarbonizing shipping. Major life cycle GHG emission benefits were identified by replacing fossil fuels with LBG. The most significant challenge facing LBG today is fuel availability in volumes needed for shipping. Without taxation or subsidies, LBG may also find it difficult to compete with the prices of fossil fuels. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Clean Technologies in 2019
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(1), 32-33; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010003 - 21 Jan 2020
Viewed by 270
Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Simple Strategy to Reduce the NDZ Caused by the Parallel Operation of DER-Inverters
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(1), 17-31; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010002 - 21 Jan 2020
Viewed by 256
Abstract
In this work the harmonic injection active anti-islanding technique that has been recently proposed in reference Voglitsis et al. (2018) published in Trans. Power Electron. is generalized under the prospect of a high penetration level of distributed energy resource (DER) installations. Towards this [...] Read more.
In this work the harmonic injection active anti-islanding technique that has been recently proposed in reference Voglitsis et al. (2018) published in Trans. Power Electron. is generalized under the prospect of a high penetration level of distributed energy resource (DER) installations. Towards this direction, the theoretical limitation for the penetration level of such schemes is investigated and a firm theoretical background is presented that takes into account the installation parameters, as well as the penetration level at the installation common coupling point. Furthermore, a substantial feature which indicates the upgrade-ability of each installation is studied. Finally, extensive simulations and experiments verify the theoretical analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cleaner Production Technologies)
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Open AccessReview
Electrical Vehicles: Current State of the Art, Future Challenges, and Perspectives
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(1), 1-16; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2010001 - 23 Dec 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 701
Abstract
The goal of the study presented in this article is to provide a general overview of the various aspects related to electric vehicles (EVs), along with all associated emerging challenges and perspectives. In this context, the basic types of EVs and the corresponding [...] Read more.
The goal of the study presented in this article is to provide a general overview of the various aspects related to electric vehicles (EVs), along with all associated emerging challenges and perspectives. In this context, the basic types of EVs and the corresponding charging technologies are analyzed. Since EVs are expected to be a key component of future smart electrical grids (SEG), connection to the grid issues, along with advanced charging techniques (i.e., wireless power transfer), are analyzed as well. To this end, the main features, the requirements of vehicle to grid (V2G) communications, as well as future developments and scenarios of electrification, are also presented and analyzed. Moreover, integration issues with currently deployed fifth generation (5G) mobile wireless networks are also outlined, in order to ensure optimum transmission and reception quality in V2G communications and improved user experience. This integration is also expanded in autonomous vehicles (AVs) technology (self-driving objects), since optimized information processing from various diverse sources is required in order to ensure advanced traffic management aspects. Full article
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