Special Issue "Rethinking Filter: Responsibility and Sustainability"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Khashayar Razghandi
Website
Guest Editor
Matters of Activity. Image Space Material, Cluster of Excellence Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Interests: active matter; material science and engineering; filter phenomena; science-design research and education; Materials Sustainability; Interdisciplinary processes and collaborations
Dr. Emad Yaghmaei
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Values, Technology, and Innovation, Delft University of Technology, 2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: responsible research and innovation (RRI); stakeholder engagement; industry and innovation; RRI in industry; RRI KPIs; RRI metrics; RRI assessment; responsible innovation monitoring

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue of Sustainability we would like to open up an interdisciplinary conversation about responsible filtering.

At the base of all everyday products, services and information we produce and consume are filtering operations: From the processing of food to waste recycling to insurance policies and search engine feeds. Most knowledge we deal with on a daily basis is the product of filtering operations and filter algorithms that we do not necessarily always understand. Hence, filtering is of concern in various disciplines and fields: Whether it be synthetic biology or cyber security, nano-molecular machines or deep learning of AI, drug delivery or politics of immigration, the petrochemical industry or speculation in finance.

Generally, filtering can be described as a separating operation that is producing and processing differences. A common example would be the membrane that differentiates between inside and outside or selects particles out of a medium. We argue that it is more productive to understand filters not in terms of mere objects but as processes or operative systems that need to be understood ecologically, which entails to consider different elements as interacting agents. This systemic nature of the filter needs to be acknowledged regardless of disciplinary specifications.

Furthermore, filtering as a separating operation—being a selection, classification or reduction—by definition implies an aspect of discrimination. Whether you are dealing with personal filter bubbles as a consequence of automated algorithms or with a chemical purification process, there is always some sort of bias or intrinsic agenda involved in these filter operations. These politics inherent to filtering operations manifest themselves in many of today’s challenges from personalized news feed to gender-insensitive pharmaceutical research or to intransparent credit allocations, for instance.

The contemporary discourse of responsible research and innovation states that scientific innovations have social, ethical, legal, economic or political implications. Every scientific research or engineering innovation, therefore, needs to be self-reflective and anticipating its effects on society and the environment. Similarly, research dealing with filter systems would then need to proceed with a high degree of conscious reflection and cautious anticipation. On the one hand, one needs to be aware of the systemic nature of filtering processes with all its operative actors to anticipate the consequences of their interrelations. On the other hand, the discriminatory functioning of the filter needs to be addressed and investigated. One challenge, we argue, is to take these mechanisms inherent to the filtering phenomena and rethink them in terms of responsibility and sustainability.

In this Special Issue we would like to bring together a wide range of research projects that deal with filter systems, filter materials, or filter operations from diverse disciplines. We ask authors to present relevant filter projects and discuss them in regard to matters of “Sustainability and Responsible Research and Innovation”.

A non-exhaustive list of suggested topics concerned with filters, filtering processes and filter systems:

    • ICT: Data Science; Machine Learning and AI; Robotics; Cryptography and Cyber Security; Content Production, Suggestion and Moderation; Automation and Human Agency; etc.
    • Biology and Medicine: Bio-Membranes; Biological Sensors; Organ Systems (Circulatory, Digestive, Respiratory, Nervous etc.); Synthetic Biology; Gene Technology; Nanobiotechnology; Drug Delivery; Pharmaceutical industry and Insurance; etc,
    • Natural or Synthetic Sensors; Chemical; Mechanical; Thermal; Electrical and Magnetic; etc,
    • Climate and Energy: Pollution (Air, Water, Noise, etc.); Waste Management and Recycling; Oil, Mining and Chemical Industries; Renewable Energy; etc.
    • Politics: Representation; National, International and Cyber Security; Politics of Border; Human, Finance and Trade Mobility; Policy Making; etc

Dr. Khashayar Razghandi
Dr. Emad Yaghmaei
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 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 1900 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

  • Filter
  • Responsible Research and Innovation
  • Sustainability

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Rethinking Filter: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry into Typology and Concept of Filter, Towards an Active Filter Model
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7284; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187284 - 04 Sep 2020
Abstract
This work aims to re-investigate different aspects of a variety of filters and filtration processes within diverse realms of knowledge from an interdisciplinary point of view, and develops a comprehensive Active Model of Filter that accommodates the phenomena in its entire diversity and [...] Read more.
This work aims to re-investigate different aspects of a variety of filters and filtration processes within diverse realms of knowledge from an interdisciplinary point of view, and develops a comprehensive Active Model of Filter that accommodates the phenomena in its entire diversity and complexity. The Active Filter Model proposes to take Filter—from various fields and scales operating at material and symbolic level—not as mere objects, but as difference-producing phenomena that need to be addressed as complex active systems within event-based boundaries. The model underlines a systemic, operative, performative, and negentropic nature to the phenomena that invites one to; recognize various elements and intra-actions within a filter system; follow chains of operations and processes that render the activity; take the performative and ecology building aspect of the filter activity into consideration; and acknowledge the negentropic, order-producing nature of filtering phenomena. The Active Filter Model is meant to serve as a foundation for further analysis and synthesis in various fields dealing with Filter, and the research approach is put forward as a paradigm for how seemingly disciplinary concepts such as Filter can be rethought through interdisciplinary methods, and mutually complement research questions within active matter, biology, information philosophy, data science and sustainability discourses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Filter: Responsibility and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Pilot-Scale Study on the Specific Resistance of Beech Wood Dust in a Pulse-Jet Filter
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4816; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12124816 - 12 Jun 2020
Abstract
The specific beech wood dust resistance coefficient values were experimentally determined in the condition of pulse-jet filtration using a pilot-scale baghouse. The experiments were carried out for two variants of the filter medium. One of them had a PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) membrane on the [...] Read more.
The specific beech wood dust resistance coefficient values were experimentally determined in the condition of pulse-jet filtration using a pilot-scale baghouse. The experiments were carried out for two variants of the filter medium. One of them had a PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) membrane on the working surface. Three values of filtration velocity and seven levels of dust concentration at the filter inlet were used to determine the variability of the specific resistance coefficient of beech wood dust accumulated on the filter medium. The values of the specific beech wood dust resistance coefficient depend on filter medium finishing and filtration parameters: filtration velocity and dust concentration at the filter inlet. The high concentration of dust at the filter inlet and low filtration velocity should be used, especially in filters with surface finished media, for the reduction in pressure drop, which would affect in a significant reduction of energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Filter: Responsibility and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Filtering Out Standard Success Criteria in the Case of Multi-Mode Standardization: Responsible Waste Water Treatment
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1641; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041641 - 22 Feb 2020
Abstract
Standardization can be achieved in multiple ways; firms may join forces and develop standards in standardization committees, they may compete directly on the market in standards battles, or governmental agencies may impose standards. This paper studies criteria for the selection of standards in [...] Read more.
Standardization can be achieved in multiple ways; firms may join forces and develop standards in standardization committees, they may compete directly on the market in standards battles, or governmental agencies may impose standards. This paper studies criteria for the selection of standards in a situation in which these three forms of standardization occur simultaneously (multi-mode standardization). The paper attempts to arrive at weights for these criteria by applying them to the case of phosphorus recovery from municipal waste water, a technological process that fits the transition to a circular economy but that is still lacking standardization. A contribution is made to the standardization literature by empirically studying the case of multi-mode standardization and by applying standard success criteria to the area of water treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Filter: Responsibility and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Applying an RRI Filter in Key Learning on Urban Living Labs’ Performance
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3833; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143833 - 13 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Urban living labs is a practical methodology in improving sustainability in cities by facilitating collaborative learning and innovation in a real-life environment, thereby mainly responding to the needs of users (citizens). The paper aims to filter a list of key learnings on urban [...] Read more.
Urban living labs is a practical methodology in improving sustainability in cities by facilitating collaborative learning and innovation in a real-life environment, thereby mainly responding to the needs of users (citizens). The paper aims to filter a list of key learnings on urban living labs through the lens of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). One of the motivations is that key learnings on urban living labs are mainly derived from means-goal effectiveness (MGE) thinking while the urban setting calls for a broader perspective due to complexity and tension from the multi-actor, multifunctional, and multi-scalar character of cities. The filtering reveals almost 40 learnings as ‘overlap’ and ‘exclusive for MGE’. Importantly, five learnings are identified as specific for RRI and potentially enriching living lab methodology: ethical and normative principles like health, safety, security, and equality between societal groups, and a wider distribution of benefits and risks of living lab outcomes, in particular, contradictory sustainability issues. The RRI filtering causes three practical implications: coping with uneven power distribution between stakeholders, limited feasibility of applying the comprehensive learning framework, and challenges of overarching platform structures enabling to better incorporate RRI concerns in living lab methodology. The findings as presented in an adapted list are new, as RRI values and concerns have seldom been applied to practical innovation and have never been explicitly applied to urban living labs’ performance beyond the borders of effectiveness thinking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Filter: Responsibility and Sustainability)
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