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Sustainable Chemistry, Environment, Energy, and Economic Policies

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 June 2024) | Viewed by 3691

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NJ, USA
Interests: energy conversion; mechanical properties; materials science; computational modeling

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Guest Editor
Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, USA
Interests: chemical engineering; water/wastewater treatment; environmental biotechnology; resource recovery; soil and groundwater remediation; bioelectrochemistry
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Indiana University at Bloomington, Bloomington, IN, USA
Interests: environmental science; environmental engineering; environmental health
School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Interests: thermoacoustic engines; power generators; refrigerators/heat pumps
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable science and engineering have made significant contributions in reducing and substituting human beings’ dependence on fossil energy resources. In chemical engineering, chemistry significantly advances the industrialization process, and products from chemical engineering/chemistry have become essential for human beings in daily life. However, the processes for chemical production, or the products themselves, could negatively affect the sustainable development of human society and the environment. Both the scarcity of valuable natural resources and the deterioration of ecosystems call for sustainable approaches in chemical engineering/chemistry processes. In environmental engineering, sustainability is understood to involve protecting natural resources and ecosystems that support the social, economic, and other requirements for present and future generations, where significant efforts are needed to understand and reduce the adverse impacts of anthropogenic processes such as manufacturing, energy production, and agricultural activities. The environmental application of green chemistry and sustainable energy production can contribute to sustainable development by achieving the three Rs (i.e., reduce, recycle, and reuse). In energy science, the increasing consumption of fossil fuels and the resultant environmental impact have led to a growing interest in achieving an energy-sustainable economy. Meeting existing and future energy demands in a sustainable way is a critical challenge for the global goal of limiting climate change while maintaining economic growth and enabling rising living standards. Sustainable energy sources are those that are not depleted in limited time, and include wind, solar, hydroelectric power, bioenergy, and geothermal energy. Energy sustainability can also be achieved through improved energy conversion and efficiency by developing advanced power generators and exploiting low-grade waste heat in industry.

This Special Issue provides a unique platform to present state-of-the-art research findings in all fields of sustainability, especially in chemistry, environment, materials, energy, and economics, and aims to promote innovative solutions associated with the development of sustainable technologies. We hope to facilitate and encourage interdisciplinary researchers to provide multi-faceted solutions with sustainable systems. Contributions investigating sustainability-related issues in chemical engineering/chemistry, environmental science/engineering, materials/energy science/engineering, and related economics are welcomed.

The research topics will focus on different areas, including, but not limited to the following keywords:

  • Sustainable advanced materials;
  • Smart materials and devices;
  • Remediation of toxic chemicals during manufacturing or in the environment;
  • Green chemistry processes;
  • Sustainable production of chemicals;
  • Alternate energy resources;
  • Resources recovery and recycling;
  • Sustainable energy conversion and utilization technologies;
  • Energy storage technologies;
  • Renewable energy;
  • Integrated energy systems;
  • Energy policy, economy, and planning tools;
  • Energy synergy;
  • Sustainable cooling, heating, and power;
  • Sustainable digital design and intelligent construction;
  • Climate-responsive building design.

Dr. Chenxi Zhai
Dr. Zhiming Zhang
Dr. Runwei Li
Dr. Geng Chen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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.


  • sustainable advanced materials
  • smart materials and devices
  • remediation of toxic chemicals during manufacturing or in the environment
  • green chemistry processes
  • sustainable production of chemicals
  • alternate energy resources
  • resources recovery and recycling
  • sustainable energy conversion and utilization technologies
  • energy storage technologies
  • renewable energy
  • integrated energy systems
  • energy synergy
  • sustainable digital design
  • intelligent construction
  • climate-responsive building design

Published Papers (1 paper)

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18 pages, 547 KiB  
I Can Feel Your Pain: Investigating the Role of Empathy and Guilt on Sustainable Behavioral Intentions to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Plastic Bags among College Students
by Zhuxuan Yan and Juliann Cortese
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6572; - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2539
Plastic bag pollution in the marine environment is an urgent issue that has negatively impacted the sustainability of marine biodiversity. Studying effective ways to design advocacy messages that can promote individuals’ intentions to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic bags in order to mitigate [...] Read more.
Plastic bag pollution in the marine environment is an urgent issue that has negatively impacted the sustainability of marine biodiversity. Studying effective ways to design advocacy messages that can promote individuals’ intentions to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic bags in order to mitigate plastic bag pollution in the effort to help restore marine biodiversity is necessary. Utilizing emotional appeal messages, such as messages that are designed to elicit audiences’ feelings of empathy, can promote a variety of pro-environmental behaviors. To investigate an effective way to generate empathy, this online experiment study conducted with 257 college students in the U.S. examined whether messages that encourage perspective-taking can successfully elicit empathy among participants. Additionally, the study explored whether messages that encourage perspective-taking can promote viewers’ behavioral intentions to engage in the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic bags) via the mediating roles of empathy and guilt. Results indicated that perspective-taking messages can increase viewers’ empathy, which was positively associated with feelings of guilt, which in turn was positively associated with viewers’ 3Rs behavioral intentions. The study also investigated the influence of self-efficacy on guilt as well as the interaction of self-efficacy and perspective-taking on guilt. Results suggested that self-efficacy did not have an effect on guilt, and the effects of self-efficacy and perspective-taking on guilt were independent of each other. These findings demonstrate that messages encouraging perspective-taking can positively affect individuals’ 3Rs behavioral intentions to reduce plastic waste as a means to restore marine biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Chemistry, Environment, Energy, and Economic Policies)
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