Women's Special Issue Series: Sustainable Resource Management

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2023) | Viewed by 19960

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of OULU, P.O. Box 4300, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Interests: sustainable development; circular economy; industrial ecology; municipal waste management; food waste; electronic waste; sustainable energy; energy transition
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Cities Research Institute and School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4222, Australia
Interests: water resource management; environmental health; water; sanitation hygiene (WASH); indigenous communities; systems thinking; digital transformation; water sciences and policy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University, 468-1, Aoba, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
Interests: life cycle assessment; ecological footprint; supply chain risk; industrial ecology

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Guest Editor
Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of OULU, P.O. Box 4300, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Interests: waste management and recovery infrastructure; electronic waste (WEEE); recovery of critical materials; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Egypt Solid Waste Management Center of Excellence, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt
Interests: solid waste management; waste to energy; wastewater treatment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue celebrates the role of women in sustainable resources management. To ensure the transition towards a sustainable future, we believe that all perspectives must be included. Far too often, it is only men who make decisions in terms of resources exploitation, economic development and technology innovation. However, sustainability, equity and climate change mitigation are too important to only be decided upon by a narrow section of society. Diversity brings innovation and creativity, which are greatly needed in the sustainability transition. Women make a strong contribution to sustainable resources management, both from the home front as well as at work, as engineers, researchers and policy makers. This Special Issue champions women in science and celebrates their achievements. In addition, the present Special Issue considers how women use natural resources in a different way due their assigned gender roles, rights, and responsibilities in the household and community. The role of women in communities is essential if we are to promote nature conservation and sustainable management of waste, water, energy and food resources. The Special Issue is to consider women's activism, as well as our actions in promoting gender equality in science and technology, engaging children and young women in STEM education. Both original research articles and comprehensive review papers are welcome.

For this Special Issue, we welcome all research led by female scientists (first author or supervising author), where male scientists may offer support for the initiative as co-authors or supervisors.

We welcome submissions from all authors, irrespective of gender.

Prof. Dr. Eva Pongrácz
Dr. Cara Beal
Prof. Dr. Kazuyo Matsubae
Dr. Jenni Ylä-Mella
Dr. Sherien Elagroudy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Resources is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Women’s Special Issue Series

This Special Issue is part of Resources's Women’s Special Issue Series, hosted by women editors for women researchers. The Series advocates the advancement of women in science. We invite contributions to the Special Issue whose lead authors identify as women. The submission of articles with all-women authorship is especially encouraged. However, we do welcome articles from all authors, irrespective of gender.

Keywords

  • sustainable development
  • community water management
  • Indigenous communities
  • environmental health
  • waste management and recycling
  • water-energy-food nexus
  • responsible science
  • women's activism
  • gender equality in STEM
  • women in energy

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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28 pages, 4460 KiB  
Article
Combined Contaminant Levels from Local Harvested Food Items in the Norwegian–Finnish–Russian Border Region
by Anna Nalbandyan-Schwarz, Kristine Bondo Pedersen, Anita Evenset, Eldbjørg Heimstad, Torkjel M. Sandanger, Päivi Myllynen and Arja Rautio
Resources 2024, 13(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources13040054 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1001
Abstract
This paper presents the results of a multidisciplinary study with the aim of assessing the potential combined risk from consuming locally harvested food products in the Euro-Arctic region of Norway, Finland, and Russia. The three important contaminant groups—radioactive substances, heavy metals, and persistent [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of a multidisciplinary study with the aim of assessing the potential combined risk from consuming locally harvested food products in the Euro-Arctic region of Norway, Finland, and Russia. The three important contaminant groups—radioactive substances, heavy metals, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs)—were measured in food samples such as berries, mushrooms, fish, birds, reindeer, and moose; they were sampled in 2013–2015. To assess the combined pollution levels and investigate the trends, similarities, and variations between different contaminant groups, subsequent multivariate statistical analysis was performed. The results showed that, in general, the levels of radioactive substances, toxic elements, and POPs were below the permitted EU maximum content in food products. However, statistical analysis revealed some correlations, similarities, and peculiarities between the accumulation of different contaminants in various species, which allowed for a better understanding of the mechanisms of accumulation and interaction between different contaminant groups. It also gave a better insight into the possible added risks and helped pinpoint species that could serve as reference markers for the accumulation of different contaminants in food. Mushrooms, fish, and reindeer were found to be important markers in the combined risk assessments for the contents of metals and radioactive substances. Further research, as well as the development of methodologies for combined assessments, are recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Special Issue Series: Sustainable Resource Management)
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13 pages, 2317 KiB  
Article
Global Warming Potential and Waste Handling of Pearl Farming in Ago Bay, Mie Prefecture, Japan
by Dheanara Pinka and Kazuyo Matsubae
Resources 2023, 12(7), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12070075 - 27 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2732
Abstract
Pearl farming (PF) represents a significant portion of the world’s total aquaculture production and is a growing multibillion-dollar sector of mollusk aquaculture. However, PF in Mie Prefecture, Japan, has resulted in the deterioration of environmental conditions in Ago Bay, and its environmental impacts [...] Read more.
Pearl farming (PF) represents a significant portion of the world’s total aquaculture production and is a growing multibillion-dollar sector of mollusk aquaculture. However, PF in Mie Prefecture, Japan, has resulted in the deterioration of environmental conditions in Ago Bay, and its environmental impacts are yet to be evaluated using a life-cycle assessment (LCA). Thus, in this study, a cradle-to-gate LCA using 1 kg of pearl produced in Ago Bay was conducted. The key results showed that the global warming potential (GWP) was equivalent to 4.98 kg CO2, which is lower than the GWPs of metals, such as gold and silver, commonly used in jewelry production. Meanwhile, the waste handling of PF is progressing, with current efforts being focused on extracting calcium carbonate, exporting shell waste, and reducing plastic waste. These findings provide critical insights for achieving sustainable pearl production aquaculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Special Issue Series: Sustainable Resource Management)
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16 pages, 686 KiB  
Article
Everyday Energy Information Literacy and Attitudes towards Energy-Related Decisions: Gender Differences among Finns
by Teija Keränen and Heidi Enwald
Resources 2023, 12(6), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12060070 - 1 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1453
Abstract
Many household-level decisions are made in families and, in studies, gender has been found to be an important factor affecting both household energy consumption behavior and household-level decisions related to energy use. This article scrutinizes everyday energy information literacy (EEIL) based on qualitative [...] Read more.
Many household-level decisions are made in families and, in studies, gender has been found to be an important factor affecting both household energy consumption behavior and household-level decisions related to energy use. This article scrutinizes everyday energy information literacy (EEIL) based on qualitative data collected from Finnish households in 2018 and reflects the findings by the gender differences that emerged from the quantitative analysis. The data (n = 415) included Finnish households (n = 323) and the residents of Ii municipality (n = 92), a pioneering municipality striving for carbon neutrality. The results indicate that there are gender differences in the dimensions of EEIL. Scrutinizing the qualitative data revealed the nuances of the differences. The qualitative data brought depth to the analysis by deciphering examples of respondents’ views and perceived challenges in improving energy efficiency at home. The examples also illustrate the respondents’ need for energy counselling and trusted parties from whom they hope information and advice. The article provides new information on gender differences in EEIL. Gaining more information on different groups and their attitudes, capabilities, and preferences helps to achieve carbon neutrality targets as a society. The results may be utilized in tailored communication for specific target groups and in communities’ decision making and policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Special Issue Series: Sustainable Resource Management)
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13 pages, 3885 KiB  
Article
System Dynamics Modelling: Integrating Empty Fruit Bunch Biomass Logistics to Reduce GHG Emissions
by Iffat Abbas Abbasi, Hasbullah Ashari and Ijaz Yusuf
Resources 2023, 12(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12040053 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1605
Abstract
The world is shifting toward renewable energy sources due to global warming and rising GHG emissions. Malaysia has joined other nations in the conference of parties to develop policies for the reduction of GHG and carbon emissions. Malaysia is switching towards sustainable, eco-friendly [...] Read more.
The world is shifting toward renewable energy sources due to global warming and rising GHG emissions. Malaysia has joined other nations in the conference of parties to develop policies for the reduction of GHG and carbon emissions. Malaysia is switching towards sustainable, eco-friendly and renewable energy sources. EFB biomass, one of the by-products of palm oil, has enormous potential as a sustainable energy source. Malaysia, one of the top exporters of palm oil, is unable to employ EFB-biomass-based power generation due to storage, logistics and supply-chain-related constraints. Therefore, this study integrates EFB biomass supply-chain logistics to overcome the reported challenges. The current study employs the system dynamics (SD) approach to achieve the objectives as it explains the dynamics of interaction and behaviour among the sub-systems. A document-based model-building approach is employed to collect data to develop the base model. The document-based model-building approach and system dynamics modelling facilitates the achievement of two outcomes: integrated EFB biomass logistics and GHG reduction using EFB. These outcomes are crucial to enhancing the base model and realizing the zero-carbon emission goal to contribute to sustainable development goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Special Issue Series: Sustainable Resource Management)
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20 pages, 1433 KiB  
Article
A Transformed Approach for Benchmarking the Performance of ‘Sustainable’ Infrastructure
by Samantha Hayes, Cheryl Desha, Savindi Caldera and Mark Gibbs
Resources 2023, 12(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12030037 - 8 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1673
Abstract
Environmental sustainability priorities for infrastructure development have traditionally focused on aspects including minimising negative impacts in areas such as water and air quality, erosion control, biodiversity and waste management, both in compliance and voluntary frameworks. Associated project performance priorities have focused on avoiding [...] Read more.
Environmental sustainability priorities for infrastructure development have traditionally focused on aspects including minimising negative impacts in areas such as water and air quality, erosion control, biodiversity and waste management, both in compliance and voluntary frameworks. Associated project performance priorities have focused on avoiding damage beyond ‘pre-project baselines’. In contrast, ‘best practice’ regenerative performance requires infrastructure project outcomes that not only avoid damage but contribute positively to social and ecological systems. For such best practice to become mainstream, industry frameworks, standards and rating schemes must evolve. However, there is limited knowledge regarding ‘how’ regenerative performance could be encouraged as a business-as-usual infrastructure expectation. This paper therefore explores the potential for a benchmarking methodology called Ecological Performance Standards (EPS) as a transformed approach to facilitate the mainstreaming of regenerative performance expectations. Three research workshops (Phoenix, AZ, USA; Sydney and Brisbane, Australia) were undertaken to investigate the potential for this methodology in infrastructure applications. Mapping was undertaken to align the EPS process steps with associated infrastructure lifecycle phases. Research findings include the synthesis of key opportunities for capturing EPS within infrastructure sustainability rating schemes to leverage current efforts and pivot towards regenerative performance. The authors present a comprehensive matrix mapping 18 ecosystem services against the Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Rating Scheme credits and categories, summarising where ecosystem services are addressed within the current scheme. The authors conclude the presence of significant opportunities for a new ‘business-as-usual’ for infrastructure through the integration of regenerative performance benchmarking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Special Issue Series: Sustainable Resource Management)
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22 pages, 10114 KiB  
Article
On the Utilization of Modified Red Mud in Dimethyl Disulfide and Methyl Mercaptan Emission Abatement
by Sanna Päivärinta-Antikainen, Satu Ojala, Satu Pitkäaho, Lenka Matějová and Riitta L. Keiski
Resources 2023, 12(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12010009 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
In this paper, a novel application of industrial waste, namely red mud (RM), in the abatement of two malodorous and harmful sulfur compounds, dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) and methyl mercaptan (MM), is presented. The effects of calcination and activations with hydrochloric acid or a [...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel application of industrial waste, namely red mud (RM), in the abatement of two malodorous and harmful sulfur compounds, dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) and methyl mercaptan (MM), is presented. The effects of calcination and activations with hydrochloric acid or a mixture of hydrochloric and orthophosphoric acid on the properties and performance of RM are compared using laboratory-scale experiments. The RM-based materials were characterized by XRF, XRD, FE-SEM, N2-physisorption, TGA/DTA, and FTIR analyses. RM exhibits very promising catalytic properties in the abatement of both DMDS and MM. The hydrochloric acid-activated RM was the most active in both cases, which was explained by its rather high specific surface area (144 m2 g−1), higher contents of Fe2O3 and TiO2, as well as lower content of phosphorus. For both DMDS and MM, the main oxidation products were sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. DMDS was observed as a reaction intermediate in MM oxidation. While the final conversions of DMDS and MM were high, the oxidation was not complete, indicated by the formation of carbon monoxide. Nevertheless, the modified RM appears as a very interesting alternative to the existing DMDS and MM abatement catalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Special Issue Series: Sustainable Resource Management)
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12 pages, 1063 KiB  
Article
Column Adsorption Studies for the Removal of Ammonium Using Na-Zeolite-Based Geopolymers
by Elavarasi Sundhararasu, Hanna Runtti, Teija Kangas, Janne Pesonen, Ulla Lassi and Sari Tuomikoski
Resources 2022, 11(12), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11120119 - 11 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2647
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the removal of ammonium ions from a synthetic model solution by using Na-zeolite-based geopolymers. Na-zeolite (=analcime) is a residue from mining industry. Three adsorbents were prepared from Na-zeolite using different production steps and metakaolin as [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the removal of ammonium ions from a synthetic model solution by using Na-zeolite-based geopolymers. Na-zeolite (=analcime) is a residue from mining industry. Three adsorbents were prepared from Na-zeolite using different production steps and metakaolin as a blending agent. These novel adsorbents were investigated in a fixed-bed column system where the effects of different flow rates with the initial ammonium concentration of 40 mg/L were studied. The Thomas, Bohart–Adams and Yoon–Nelson breakthrough curve models fitted well with the experimental data with a high R2 value. After adsorption experiments, adsorbents were regenerated using a mixture of 0.2 M NaCl and 0.1 M NaOH as a regeneration agent; after that, adsorbents were reutilised for ammonium ion adsorption for three adsorption–regeneration cycles. The results of the experiment indicate that all the prepared analcime-based geopolymers are suitable adsorbents for the removal of ammonium ions and that capacity remains nearly constant for two of them during two adsorption–regeneration cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Special Issue Series: Sustainable Resource Management)
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17 pages, 4334 KiB  
Article
Visible Light-Driven Photocatalytic Degradation of Ciprofloxacin, Ampicillin and Erythromycin by Zinc Ferrite Immobilized on Chitosan
by Nehad Ahmed Hassan Mohamed, Rehab Nabil Shamma, Sherien Elagroudy and Adewale Adewuyi
Resources 2022, 11(10), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11100081 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2514
Abstract
This study investigated the synthesis of zinc ferrite immobilized on chitosan (ZnFe2O4@Chitosan) and its application in the photodegradation of ciprofloxacin (CIP), ampicillin (AMP) and erythromycin (ERY) in aqueous solution. Results from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed peaks suggesting [...] Read more.
This study investigated the synthesis of zinc ferrite immobilized on chitosan (ZnFe2O4@Chitosan) and its application in the photodegradation of ciprofloxacin (CIP), ampicillin (AMP) and erythromycin (ERY) in aqueous solution. Results from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed peaks suggesting its synthesis, while signals from X-ray diffraction (XRD) showed diffraction patterns confirming the synthesis of ZnFe2O4@Chitosan with a crystallite size of 35.14 nm. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed a homogeneous morphology with a surface area of 12.96 m2 g−1 from the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis. The vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM) result revealed a saturation magnetization of 2.38 emu g−1. The photodegradation study of CIP, AMP and ERY showed that both photodegradation and adsorption were taking place at the same time with the percentage degradation efficiency in the order CIP (99.80 ± 0.20%) > AMP (94.50 ± 0.10%) > ERY (83.20 ± 0.20%). ZnFe2O4@Chitosan exhibited high stability with capacity > 90% even at the 15th regeneration cycle, suggesting a viable economic value of ZnFe2O4@Chitosan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Special Issue Series: Sustainable Resource Management)
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Review

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21 pages, 1180 KiB  
Review
An Overall Perspective for the Study of Emerging Contaminants in Karst Aquifers
by Claudia Campanale, Daniela Losacco, Mariangela Triozzi, Carmine Massarelli and Vito Felice Uricchio
Resources 2022, 11(11), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11110105 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3169
Abstract
Karst aquifers are essential drinking water sources, representing about 25% of the total available sources globally. Groundwater ecosystems consist of fissured carbonate rocks commonly covered with canopy collapse sinkholes. The open nature of karst aquifers makes them susceptible to rapidly transporting contaminants from [...] Read more.
Karst aquifers are essential drinking water sources, representing about 25% of the total available sources globally. Groundwater ecosystems consist of fissured carbonate rocks commonly covered with canopy collapse sinkholes. The open nature of karst aquifers makes them susceptible to rapidly transporting contaminants from the surface in dissolved and particulate forms. The principal aim of this review is to contribute to filling the gap in knowledge regarding major concerns affecting karst aquifers and understanding their vulnerabilities and dynamics. The principal groundwater pollutants of relevance are detailed in the present work, including well-known issues, such as the input of agriculture and its role in water quality. Emerging pollutants such as microplastics, still poorly studied in the groundwater systems, were also considered. Case studies for each typology of pollutant were highlighted, as their relative concerns for karst environments. Final considerations underlined an approach for studying karst environments more focused on understanding dynamics and links among different pollutants inputs and their drivers than on individual sources and impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Special Issue Series: Sustainable Resource Management)
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