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Special Issue "Sustainability Assessment of Environmental Technologies"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Steven Van Passel

Department of Engineering Management, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainability assessment; Techno-economic assessment; environmental valuation; cleantech; climate change economics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is an urgent need to develop and use environmental technologies that can contribute towards a more sustainable society. As technological, environmental and economic assessments use different perspectives, they are often done independently using separate models, with different assumptions at different technology readiness levels (TRL). To facilitate the development of technology towards all three dimensions, integration is needed, taking into account the interlinkages and possibly the correlations between the different dimensions. Sustainability assessment brings economic, social and environmental information together. The combination of different metrics combining environmental and economic aspects is an interesting approach to assess sustainability performance. Techno-economic assessment (TEA), life cycle costing (LCC), life cycle analysis (LCA) and cost-benefit analysis (CBA), including the valuation of externalities, are important methodological components towards sustainability assessments.

This Special Issue assembles critical studies assessing a wide range of environmental technologies. Environmental technologies, clean technologies (cleantech) or green technologies (greentech) monitor, model, manage, conserve, restore our natural environment and resources and/or reduce the negative impacts of human involvement. Papers for this Special Issue will develop and apply a variety of sustainability assessment methods. It is essential to at least combine and/or integrate two sustainability dimensions. A single environmental (e.g., LCA) or a single economic analysis will not be considered. An environmental impact assessment study (e.g., LCA) can for example be complemented with minimum a description and discussion of the economic and/or social aspects (and vice versa). A combination or integration of sound quantitative or qualitative environmental, economic (or social) assessments will be welcomed. Papers selected for this Special Issue are subject to a rigorous peer-review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, new methods, developments, and applications.

Prof. Dr. Steven Van Passel
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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 1700 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.

Keywords

  • Sustainability assessment
  • environmental technology
  • Cleantech
  • Greentech
  • techno-economic assessment
  • life cycle analysis, life cycle costing, cost-benefit analysis
  • technology readiness level
  • environmental valuation and sustainability
  • sustainability indicators, sustainability metrics, integrated assessment

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Assessment of SEWGS Technology Applied to Integrated Steel Plants
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1825; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071825
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
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Abstract
The environmental evaluation of the sorption-enhanced water–gas shift (SEWGS) process to be used for the decarbonization of an integrated steel mill through life cycle assessment (LCA) is the subject of the present paper. This work is carried out within the STEPWISE H2020 project [...] Read more.
The environmental evaluation of the sorption-enhanced water–gas shift (SEWGS) process to be used for the decarbonization of an integrated steel mill through life cycle assessment (LCA) is the subject of the present paper. This work is carried out within the STEPWISE H2020 project (grant agreement No. 640769). LCA calculations were based on material and energy balances derived from experimental activities, modeling activities, and literature data. Wide system boundaries containing various upstream and downstream processes as well as the main integrated steel mill are drawn for the system under study. The environmental indicators of the SEWGS process are compared to another carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology applied to the iron and steel industry (e.g., gas–liquid absorption using MEA). The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for SEWGS technology is about 40%. For the other impact indicators, there is an increase in the SEWGS technology (in the range of 7.23% to 72.77%), which is mainly due to the sorbent production and transportation processes. Nevertheless, when compared with the post-combustion capture technology, based on gas–liquid absorption, from an environmental point of view, SEWGS performs significantly better, having impact factor values closer to the no-capture integrated steel mill. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment of Environmental Technologies)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Development of an Indoor Environmental Quality Assessment Tool for the Rating of Offices in Real Working Conditions
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061645
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
The Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) refers to the quality of indoor spaces in relation to the health and well-being of users. IEQ is a holistic concept considering various components of the overall indoor comfort: thermo-hygrometric, lighting, air quality and acoustics. Each component is [...] Read more.
The Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) refers to the quality of indoor spaces in relation to the health and well-being of users. IEQ is a holistic concept considering various components of the overall indoor comfort: thermo-hygrometric, lighting, air quality and acoustics. Each component is described through specific performance indicators and benchmarks. The quality of the built environment is assessed at different stages from design to operational phase. The scientific literature reports several case studies related to the assessment of the individual components of the IEQ Tools aimed at the evaluation of the overall IEQ. The paper proposes an assessment tool based on the SB Method (Sustainable Building Method) and the Multi Criteria Analysis for the evaluation of IEQ during the operational phase of a building. Each component of IEQ is analysed through objective indicators and calculation methods. The tool provides two main outcomes: a global score expressing the overall performance of the building from the IEQ perspective; quantitative evaluations of all indoor comfort components through monitoring and measurement of the environmental variables. The above contributes to select intervention areas to optimize indoor design and to identify technologies aimed at ensuring the best IEQ levels for users at the operational stage. The system was applied to an open-plan working space of an office building. Monitoring activities and measurements are carried out to detect the indoor and outdoor variables affecting the IEQ. All aspects of IEQ were analysed and quantified so to evaluate the overall performance of the building and provide data to improve the working conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment of Environmental Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle
A Fuzzy Based Model for Standardized Sustainability Assessment of Photovoltaic Cells
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4787; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124787
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 15 December 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, a new environmental sustainability indicator (ESI) is proposed to evaluate photovoltaic (PV) cells utilizing Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) principles. The proposed indicator is based on a model that employs a fuzzy logic algorithm to combine multiple factors, usually used in [...] Read more.
In this paper, a new environmental sustainability indicator (ESI) is proposed to evaluate photovoltaic (PV) cells utilizing Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) principles. The proposed indicator is based on a model that employs a fuzzy logic algorithm to combine multiple factors, usually used in multiple LCAs, and produce results allowing a comprehensive interpretation of LCA phase sub-results leading to standardized comparisons of various PV cells. Such comparisons would be essential for policymakers and PV cell manufacturers and users, as they allow for fair assessment of the environmental sustainability of a particular type of PV with multiple factors. The output of the proposed model was tested and verified against published information on LCAs related to PV cells. A distinct feature of this fuzzy logic model is its expandability, allowing more factors to be included in the future, as desired by the users, or dictated by a new discovery. It also provides a platform that can be used to evaluate other families of products. Moreover, standardizing the comparison process helps in improving the sustainability of PV cells through targeting individual relevant factors for changes while tracking the combined final impact of these changes on the overall environmental sustainability of the PV cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment of Environmental Technologies)
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