Special Issue "Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Shervin Hashemi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Environmental Research, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea
Interests: circular economy; conservation and recycling; drinking water management; environmental engineering; environment science; environmental remediation; life cycle assessment; nature-based solutions; public health; risk assessment; sanitation and hygiene; sustainability; waste management; water and wastewater treatment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue (SI) entitled “Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Humans and Nature” is proposed for the “Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources Section” of Sustainability.

The SI seeks to find answers to the following questions:
1. What is the current condition of our environment? Is it clean?
2. How can we make our environment clean and suitable for humans and nature? (Technical Approaches)
3. How can we keep our environment clean sustainably? (Economic & Social Approaches)

The SI also aims to gather relevant studies on “Clean Environment”. It appeals for original and novel studies on different types of environments, including anthroposphere, atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Each study may fall within one category of technical, economic, and social approaches. Meanwhile, a balance between these approaches is required.

text

Studies in the areas and fields below are highly encouraged for consideration. In the cover letter, the authors should mention which of the fields below match with their study.

  • Actions for developing countries (priority will be given to works based on Africa);
  • Clean technologies;
  • Economic approaches: economic Models, life cycle assessment (LCA), circular economy, etc.;
  • Environmental remediation;
  • Global water security issues;
  • Hazardous substances;
  • Human–nature interactions;
  • Nature-based solutions: from Theories and Laboratories to Fields and Actions
  • New policies;
  • Public health;
  • Risk assessment and modelling;
  • Sanitation/hygiene;
  • Social awareness/human rights: concepts of leaving no one behind, pilot social studies, reactions from the societies, etc.
  • Sustainable water, wastewater, and waste treatment including pilot scaled case studies
  • Resource circulation: conservation and recycling;
  • Any other relevant topic (following consultation with the editor).

Submissions are welcomed as Articles and Reviews. The “Instructions for Authors” provided by Sustainability should be carefully reviewed by the authors to prepare their submissions. The SI follows the policies of Sustainability thoroughly regarding submission, reviewing process, publication, etc.

Dr. Shervin Hashemi
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 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

  • clean environment
  • clean technologies
  • human–nature interactions
  • public health
  • sustainability

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Perspectives on Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human and Nature
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4150; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084150 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 450
Abstract
The term “sustainability” is generally used to describe an ideal condition in which the Earth’s biosphere and human civilization can safely interact and coexist [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
The Synergy of Ecosystems of Blue and Green Infrastructure and Its Services in the Metropolitan Area—Chances and Dangers
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2103; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042103 - 16 Feb 2021
Viewed by 607
Abstract
Ecosystems have become synanthropized, and the degree of their transformation depends on their susceptibility to anthropopressure, but they are necessary for the functioning of the anthropogenic environment. They provide many ecosystem services, yet they are often not protected in any way, and their [...] Read more.
Ecosystems have become synanthropized, and the degree of their transformation depends on their susceptibility to anthropopressure, but they are necessary for the functioning of the anthropogenic environment. They provide many ecosystem services, yet they are often not protected in any way, and their value is not taken into account at all in the process of creating local development plans. The analysis of the blue and green infrastructure covered three municipalities: Łapanów, Gdów, and Dobczyce. To calculate the benefits of ecosystem services, the method of calculating the Ve coefficient was adopted, which would enable a more accurate financial evaluation of the local development plan and make the previously synthetic economic coefficient of net present value (NPV) real. Besides, the impact of water bodies on the financial benefits of ecosystem services was analyzed. Only the protection of ecosystems introduced by including it in the local development plan enables full ecosystem synergy. Next to anthropological ecosystems, there are also natural ecosystems, which are necessary for the proper functioning of the commune. The network of those includes green (in the case of vegetated areas) and blue (in the case of surface waters) infrastructure, and their synergy is the key to the sustainable development of the commune. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Diversity of Carbon Storage Economics in Fertile Boreal Spruce (Picea Abies) Estates
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020560 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 492
Abstract
A “normal forest”, an idealized estate with a uniform distribution of stand ages, can be used in the study of sustainable management practices. As the normal forest contains a variety of stand ages, the characteristics of the stands can be represented in terms [...] Read more.
A “normal forest”, an idealized estate with a uniform distribution of stand ages, can be used in the study of sustainable management practices. As the normal forest contains a variety of stand ages, the characteristics of the stands can be represented in terms of a “normal stand”, with properties known as a function of age. This paper takes seven never-thinned stands as seven “normal stands”, which describe seven estates of normal forest. The intention is to study the robustness of carbon storage microeconomics to varying estate characteristics. It was found that the economically optimal rotation ages vary. The state sums of volume and capitalization, corresponding to any optimal rotation, also vary significantly. Growth rates vary more than the optimal expected stand volumes. Consequently, any excess volume related to carbon storage adds on to an almost unified basic volume. For all seven normal estates, the most economical way of increasing carbon storage is to increase the size of trees retained in thinning from above. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Delineating an Integrated Ecological and Cultural Corridor Network: A Case Study in Beijing, China
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010412 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 832
Abstract
This study shows that an integrated ecological and cultural corridor network can help guide city development strategies to better preserve ecological and cultural assets. Traditionally, protection zones and suitable development areas are often identified by separately considering natural elements of the ecosystem and [...] Read more.
This study shows that an integrated ecological and cultural corridor network can help guide city development strategies to better preserve ecological and cultural assets. Traditionally, protection zones and suitable development areas are often identified by separately considering natural elements of the ecosystem and elements of cultural significance. To achieve the purpose of cohesively protecting areas of ecological and/or cultural significance, we have developed a corridor-based spatial framework by integrating ecological and cultural assets. Ecological sources are identified by combining protection prioritization, nature reserves, and water bodies. Ecological corridors are delineated by using the minimum cumulative resistance (MCR) model on a resistance surface constructed from land-use data to connect ecological sources. Ecologically important areas are then delineated by creating a 5-km buffer zone from ecological sources and ecological corridors. Cultural corridors are historical routes and rivers surrounded by abundant cultural nodes. Like ecologically important areas, culturally important areas are delineated by creating a 5-km buffer zone from cultural corridors. Comprehensive regions are the overlap of ecologically and culturally important areas. Finally, the integrated network connects all comprehensive regions following ecological corridors and cultural corridors in such a way that the largest number of ecological sources and cultural nodes are reached. We applied this framework in Beijing, China, and the results show that there are 2011 km2 of ecological sources, 30 ecological corridors, 423 cultural nodes, seven cultural corridors, and 10 comprehensive regions covering 2916 km2 in the integrated network. The framework adds new insights to the methodology of considering ecological and cultural assets together in developing protection and development strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Biostimulation of Microbial Communities from Malaysian Agricultural Soil for Detoxification of Metanil Yellow Dye; a Response Surface Methodological Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010138 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 516
Abstract
In the present study, a mixed culture from a local agricultural soil sample was isolated for Metanil Yellow (MY) dye decolorization. The metagenomic analysis confirmed that 42.6% has been dominated by genus Bacillus, while Acinetobacter (14.0%) is present in the microbial communities [...] Read more.
In the present study, a mixed culture from a local agricultural soil sample was isolated for Metanil Yellow (MY) dye decolorization. The metagenomic analysis confirmed that 42.6% has been dominated by genus Bacillus, while Acinetobacter (14.0%) is present in the microbial communities of the mixed culture. For fungi diversity analysis, around 97.0% was “unclassified” fungi and 3% was Candida. The preliminary investigation in minimal salt media (MSM) showed that 100% decolorization was achieved after 24 h of incubation. Response surface methodology (RSM) was successfully applied using Box-Behnken design (BBD) to study the effect of four independent parameters—MY dye concentration, glucose concentration, ammonium sulfate concentration, and pH—on MY dye decolorization by the mixed bacterial culture. The optimal conditions predicted by the desirability function were 73 mg/L of MY, 1.934% glucose, 0.433 g/L of ammonium sulfate, and a pH of 7.097, with 97.551% decolorization The correlation coefficients (R2 and R2 adj) of 0.913 and 0.825 indicate that the established model is suitable to predict the effectiveness of dye decolorization under the investigated condition. The MY decolorization of the mixed bacterial culture was not affected by the addition of heavy metals in the growth media. Among the 10 heavy metals tested, only copper gave 56.19% MY decolorization, whereas the others gave almost 100% decolorization. The decolorization potential of the mixed bacterial culture indicates that it could be effective for future bioremediation of soil-contaminated sites and treatment solutions of water bodies polluted with the MY dye. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Immobilization of Metanil Yellow Decolorizing Mixed Culture FN3 Using Gelling Gum as Matrix for Bioremediation Application
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010036 - 22 Dec 2020
Viewed by 485
Abstract
In this study, the Metanil Yellow (MY) decolorizing mixed culture, namely FN3, has been isolated from agriculture soil. The mixed culture was immobilized using gellan gum. In order to optimize the immobilization process for maximal dye decolorization, Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was performed. [...] Read more.
In this study, the Metanil Yellow (MY) decolorizing mixed culture, namely FN3, has been isolated from agriculture soil. The mixed culture was immobilized using gellan gum. In order to optimize the immobilization process for maximal dye decolorization, Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was performed. The optimal conditions for immobilization predicted by desirability function are 130 mg/L of MY dye concentration, 1.478% of gellan gum concentration, 50 beads and 0.6 cm of beads size with the percentage of decolorization of 90.378%. The correlation coefficients of the model (R2 and R2 adj) are 0.9767 and 0.9533, respectively. This indicates that the established model is suitable to predict the effectiveness of dye decolorization under the investigated condition. The immobilized beads of mixed culture FN3 were able to be reused up to 15 batches of decolorization. The immobilized cells also have high tolerance towards heavy metals. This was proven by higher dye decolorization rate by the immobilized cells even with the addition of heavy metals in the media. The decolorization potential of the mixed culture indicates that it could be useful for future bioremediation of soil contaminated sites and treatment solutions of water bodies polluted with MY dye. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Long Range Transport of Southeast Asian PM2.5 Pollution to Northern Thailand during High Biomass Burning Episodes
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10049; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310049 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 859
Abstract
This paper aims to investigate the potential contribution of biomass burning in PM2.5 pollution in Northern Thailand. We applied the coupled atmospheric and air pollution model which is based on the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) and a Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated [...] Read more.
This paper aims to investigate the potential contribution of biomass burning in PM2.5 pollution in Northern Thailand. We applied the coupled atmospheric and air pollution model which is based on the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) and a Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory Model (HYSPLIT). The model output was compared to the ground-based measurements from the Pollution Control Department (PCD) to examine the model performance. As a result of the model evaluation, the meteorological variables agreed well with observations using the Index of Agreement (IOA) with ranges of 0.57 to 0.79 for temperature and 0.32 to 0.54 for wind speed, while the fractional biases of temperature and wind speed were 1.3 to 2.5 °C and 1.2 to 2.1 m/s. Analysis of the model and hotspots from the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) found that biomass burning from neighboring countries has greater potential to contribute to air pollution in northern Thailand than national emissions, which is indicated by the number of hotspot locations in Burma being greater than those in Thailand by two times under the influence of two major channels of Asian Monsoons, including easterly and northwesterly winds that bring pollutants from neighboring counties towards northern Thailand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Environmental Impact of Subsidy Concepts for Stimulating Car Sales in Germany
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10037; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310037 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
In 2020, vehicle sales decreased dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, several voices have demanded a vehicle subsidy similar to the “environmental subsidy” in Germany in 2009. The ecological efficiency of vehicle subsidies is controversially discussed. This paper establishes a prognosis of [...] Read more.
In 2020, vehicle sales decreased dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, several voices have demanded a vehicle subsidy similar to the “environmental subsidy” in Germany in 2009. The ecological efficiency of vehicle subsidies is controversially discussed. This paper establishes a prognosis of the long-term environmental impacts of various car subsidy concepts. The CO2 emissions of the German car fleet impacted by the purchase subsidies are determined. A balance model of the CO2 emissions of the whole car life cycle is developed. The implementation of different subsidy scenarios directly affects the forecasted composition of the vehicle population and, therefore, the resulting life-cycle assessment. All scenarios compensate the additional emissions required by the production pull-in within the considered period and, hence, reduce the accumulated CO2 emissions until 2030. In the time period 2019–2030 and for a total number of 0.72 million subsidized vehicles—compensating the decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic—savings of between 1.31 and 7.56 million t CO2 eq. are generated compared to the scenario without a subsidy. The exclusive funding of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is most effective, with an ecological break-even in 2025. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
How (Un)sustainable Environments Are Related to the Diffusion of COVID-19: The Relation between Coronavirus Disease 2019, Air Pollution, Wind Resource and Energy
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9709; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229709 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
The pandemic caused by novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is generating a high number of cases and deaths, with negative effects on public health and economic systems. One of the current questions in the contemporary environmental and sustainability debate is how high air [...] Read more.
The pandemic caused by novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is generating a high number of cases and deaths, with negative effects on public health and economic systems. One of the current questions in the contemporary environmental and sustainability debate is how high air pollution and reduced use of renewable energy can affect the diffusion of COVID-19. This study endeavors to explain the relation between days of air pollution, wind resources and energy, and the diffusion of COVID-19 to provide insights into sustainable policy to prevent future epidemics. The statistical analysis here focuses on a case study of Italy, one of the first countries to experience a rapid increase in confirmed cases and deaths. The results reveal two main findings: (1) cities with high wind speed and high wind energy production have a lower number of cases of COVID-19 in the context of a more sustainable environment; (2) cities located in hinterland zones with high air pollution, low wind speed and less wind energy production have a greater number of cases and total deaths. The results presented here suggest that the pandemic caused by novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and future epidemics similar to COVID-19 cannot be solved only with research in medicine but the solution also needs advanced capabilities and technologies for supporting sustainable development based on the reduction of air pollution and increase of production in renewable energy to improve air quality and as a consequence public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Academic Policy Regarding Sustainability and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9435; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229435 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1266
Abstract
Artificial intelligence (AI) has grown, and technologies have intensified across all fields of life, particularly in education. AI has been applied to resources to improve skills giving teachers the time and freedom to provide understanding and adaptability and drive performance. This paper, written [...] Read more.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has grown, and technologies have intensified across all fields of life, particularly in education. AI has been applied to resources to improve skills giving teachers the time and freedom to provide understanding and adaptability and drive performance. This paper, written for policymakers in the field of education, highlights the impact of AI and advancements in academic policy. These academic policymakers generate ideas and strategies for applying AI across various disciplines. There is also discussion around AI implementation in education throughout developing nations for moving towards and ensuring affordable, high-quality education for every individual. Education for sustainable development (ESD) aims to promote the development of knowledge, skills, understanding, values and actions necessary to build a sustainable world, to protect and preserve the environment, and promote social equity and economic sustainability. This paper analyses how AI can be used to update learning probabilities by providing examples of how it can be integrated with existing educational systems, using data to improve educational capital and quality in developing countries. It goes on to discuss whether policymakers and institutions can reinvent and rework educational programs to polish graduates’ skills for the growing presence of AI across all disciplines. There are four main parts to this work: (1) different dimensions regarding the complexities and potential implications, (2) the pros and cons of educational sustainability policy related to AI, (3) carving out AI and its outstanding execution, and finally (4) the linkage of AI with higher education within the context of educational expansions. In conclusion, the paper focuses on AI’s applications, benefits and sustainable development education challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
National Versus Local Sustainable Development Plans and Island Priorities in Sanitation: Examples from the Kingdom of Tonga
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9379; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229379 - 11 Nov 2020
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Sanitation, water supply, and their governance remain major challenges in many Pacific Island countries. National sustainable development strategies (NSDSs) are promoted throughout the Pacific as overarching improved governance instruments to identify priorities, plan solutions, and fulfill commitments to sustainable development. Their relevance to [...] Read more.
Sanitation, water supply, and their governance remain major challenges in many Pacific Island countries. National sustainable development strategies (NSDSs) are promoted throughout the Pacific as overarching improved governance instruments to identify priorities, plan solutions, and fulfill commitments to sustainable development. Their relevance to local village-level development priorities is uncertain. In this work we compare national priorities for sanitation in NSDSs with those in village community development plans (CDPs) and with metrics in censuses from the Kingdom of Tonga. Tonga’s Strategic Development Frameworks (TSDFI 2011–2014 and TSDFII 2015–2025) were developed to focus government and its agencies on national outcomes. From 2007 to 2016, 136 villages throughout Tonga’s five Island Divisions (IDs) formulated CDPs involving separately 80% of women, youth, and men in each village. It is shown that censuses in 2006 and 2016 reveal linked improvements in water supply and sanitation systems but identify IDs with continuing challenges. It is found that sanitation and water are a national priority in TSDFI but are absent from the current TSDFII. In contrast, analysis of CDPs, published just after TSDFII, show in one ID, 53% of villages ranked sanitation as a priority and marked differences were found between IDs and between women, youth, and men. CDPs’ sanitation priorities in IDs are shown to mostly correspond to sanitation and water metrics in the censuses, but some reflect impacts of natural disasters. Explanations for differences in sanitation priorities between the national and local development plans, as well as suggestions for improving NSDS processes in island countries, are advanced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
COVID-19 Pandemic Severity, Lockdown Regimes, and People’s Mobility: Early Evidence from 88 Countries
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9101; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219101 - 01 Nov 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2280
Abstract
This study empirically investigates the complex interplay between the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, mobility changes in retail and recreation, transit stations, workplaces, and residential areas, and lockdown measures in 88 countries around the world during the early phase of the pandemic. To [...] Read more.
This study empirically investigates the complex interplay between the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, mobility changes in retail and recreation, transit stations, workplaces, and residential areas, and lockdown measures in 88 countries around the world during the early phase of the pandemic. To conduct the study, data on mobility patterns, socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of people, lockdown measures, and coronavirus pandemic were collected from multiple sources (e.g., Google, UNDP, UN, BBC, Oxford University, Worldometer). A Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) framework is used to investigate the direct and indirect effects of independent variables on dependent variables considering the intervening effects of mediators. Results show that lockdown measures have significant effects to encourage people to maintain social distancing so as to reduce the risk of infection. However, pandemic severity and socioeconomic and institutional factors have limited effects to sustain social distancing practice. The results also explain that socioeconomic and institutional factors of urbanity and modernity have significant effects on pandemic severity. Countries with a higher number of elderly people, employment in the service sector, and higher globalization trend are the worst victims of the coronavirus pandemic (e.g., USA, UK, Italy, and Spain). Social distancing measures are reasonably effective at tempering the severity of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Characteristics of Non-Smokers’ Exposure Using Indirect Smoking Indicators and Time Activity Patterns
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9099; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219099 - 01 Nov 2020
Viewed by 848
Abstract
Since the global enforcement of smoke-free policies, indoor smoking has decreased significantly, and the characteristics of non-smokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) has changed. The purpose of this study was to assess the temporal and spatial characteristics of SHS exposure in non-smokers by [...] Read more.
Since the global enforcement of smoke-free policies, indoor smoking has decreased significantly, and the characteristics of non-smokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) has changed. The purpose of this study was to assess the temporal and spatial characteristics of SHS exposure in non-smokers by combining questionnaires and biomarkers with time activity patterns. To assess SHS exposure, biomarkers such as cotinine and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-3-(pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) in urine and nicotine in hair were collected from 100 non-smokers in Seoul. Questionnaires about SHS exposure and time activity patterns were also obtained from the participants. The analysis of biomarker samples indicated that about 10% of participants were exposed to SHS when compared with the criteria from previous studies. However, 97% of the participants reported that they were exposed to SHS at least once weekly. The participants were most exposed to SHS in the outdoor microenvironment, where they spent approximately 1.2 h daily. There was a significant correlation between the participants’ time spent outdoors and self-reported SHS exposure time (r2 = 0.935). In this study, a methodology using time activity patterns to assess temporal and spatial characteristics of SHS exposure was suggested. The results of this study may help develop policies for managing SHS exposure, considering the time activity patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Removal of Basic Brown 16 from Aqueous Solution Using Durian Shell Adsorbent, Optimisation and Techno-Economic Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8928; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218928 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
Azo dyes including C. I. Basic Brown 16 (BB16) are one of the coloured organic compounds that have adverse effects on human health and the environment. The current work aims to optimise the adsorption of C.I BB16 in aqueous solution using durian (Durio [...] Read more.
Azo dyes including C. I. Basic Brown 16 (BB16) are one of the coloured organic compounds that have adverse effects on human health and the environment. The current work aims to optimise the adsorption of C.I BB16 in aqueous solution using durian (Durio zibethinus murray) shell as a low-cost green adsorbent. Durian shell was characterised by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The adsorption process was optimised with response surface methodology (RSM) based on pH (4–8), time (30–240 min), durian shell dosage (0.1–1.0 g/L) and initial concentration of C.I BB16 (10–20 ppm). The removal efficiency was determined based on the reduction of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and the decolourisation of C.I BB16. The techno-economic analysis was described in the current work to know the economic feasibility of durian shells as an adsorbent. The SEM images showed that durian shell adsorbent has a smooth surface with no pores. FTIR spectra confirmed the presence of -C-O, =C–H, C=C, -C-O-C and O-H bonds in durian shell. Maximum decolourisation (77.6%) and COD removal (80.6%) for C.I BB16 was achieved with the interaction between pH, time and adsorbent dose and initial concentration of C.I BB16. The optimal operating factors for adsorption of C.I BB16 recorded at pH 8, time (30 min), durian shell dosage (1 g/L) and 15 mg /L of C.I BB16 concentrations were 77.61 vs. 74.26 (%) of C.I BB16 removal and 80.60 vs. 78.72 (%) of COD removal with an R2 coefficient of 0.94 at p < 0.05. The specific cost of durian shell coagulant production is USD 172.71 per ton which is lower than the market price of honeydew peels-activated carbon (HDP-AC) (USD 261.81) and the commercial market price of activated carbon which is USD 1000.00/tons. These findings indicated that the durian adsorbent provides alternative methods for treating hair dye wastewater. These findings indicated that durian shells have a high potential for the adsorption of C.I BB16 in aqueous solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Energy Engineering Approach for Rural Areas Cattle Farmers in Bangladesh to Reduce COVID-19 Impact on Food Safety
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8609; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208609 - 17 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
This paper reports on the optimization of thin-film coating-assisted, self-sustainable, off-grid hybrid power generation systems for cattle farming in rural areas of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a lower middle-income country with declining rates of poverty among its 160 million people due to persistent economic [...] Read more.
This paper reports on the optimization of thin-film coating-assisted, self-sustainable, off-grid hybrid power generation systems for cattle farming in rural areas of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a lower middle-income country with declining rates of poverty among its 160 million people due to persistent economic growth in conjunction with balanced agricultural improvements. Most of the rural households adopt a mixed farming system by cultivating crops and simultaneously rearing livestock. Among the animals raised, cattle are considered as the most valuable asset for the small-/medium-scale farmers in terms of their meat and milk production. Currently, along with the major health issue, the COVID-19 pandemic is hindering the world’s economic growth and has thrust millions into unemployment; Bangladesh is also in this loop. However, natural disasters such as COVID-19 pandemic and floods, largely constrain rural smallholder cattle farmers from climbing out of their poverty. In particular, small- and medium-scale cattle farmers face many issues that obstruct them from taking advantage of market opportunities and imposing a greater burden on their families and incomes. An appropriate measure can give a way to make those cattle farmers’ businesses both profitable and sustainable. Optimization of thin-film coating-assisted, self-sustainable, off-grid hybrid power generation system for cattle farming is a new and forward-looking approach for sustainable development of the livestock sector. In this study, we design and optimize a thin-film coating-assisted hybrid (photovoltaic battery generator) power system by using the Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources (HOMER, Version 3.14.0) simulation tool. An analysis of the results has suggested that the off-grid hybrid system is more feasible for small- and medium-scale cattle farming systems with long-term sustainability to overcome the significant challenges faced by smallholder cattle farmers in Bangladesh. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Relationship between Weather Variables and New Daily COVID-19 Cases in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8319; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208319 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2055
Abstract
The present study investigated the relationship between the transmission of COVID-19 infections and climate indicators in Dhaka, Bangladesh, using coronavirus infections data available from the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Bangladesh. The Spearman rank correlation test was carried out to [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the relationship between the transmission of COVID-19 infections and climate indicators in Dhaka, Bangladesh, using coronavirus infections data available from the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Bangladesh. The Spearman rank correlation test was carried out to study the association of seven climate indicators, including humidity, air quality, minimum temperature, precipitation, maximum temperature, mean temperature, and wind speed with the COVID-19 outbreak in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The study found that, among the seven indicators, only two indicators (minimum temperature and average temperature) had a significant relationship with new COVID-19 cases. The study also found that air quality index (AQI) had a strong negative correlation with cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Dhaka city. The results of this paper will give health regulators and policymakers valuable information to lessen the COVID-19 spread in Dhaka and other countries around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Environmental Urban Plan for Failaka Island, Kuwait: A Study in Urban Geomorphology
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7125; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177125 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1578
Abstract
Failaka Island, located in the far east of Kuwait Bay about 20 km from the State of Kuwait’s coast, represents a focal point for regional geography and history, including natural wonders and archaeological sites dating to the Bronze, Iron, Hellenistic, Christian and Islamic [...] Read more.
Failaka Island, located in the far east of Kuwait Bay about 20 km from the State of Kuwait’s coast, represents a focal point for regional geography and history, including natural wonders and archaeological sites dating to the Bronze, Iron, Hellenistic, Christian and Islamic periods. According to environmental data and in coordination with local authorities to develop an urban plan, the island is set to become the first tourist destination for the State of Kuwait. To achieve the Vision of Kuwait 2035, one of the planning objectives centers on Urban Planning for the Establishment of Environmental Cities that Achieve (UPEECA) environmental sustainability criteria. The article then, aims to propose the environmental urban plan for Failaka Island. Based around Environmental Analytical Hierarchical Processes (EAHP) and using the Field Calculator and ModelBuilder functions in ArcGIS, this research centers on the feasibility of carrying out an urban plan using suitability modeling that incorporates 4 factors and 13 criteria covering the island’s ecological and human composition. This study utilizes both remote sensing (Unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs for 3D imaging) and field study (ground truthing) to identify changes in land use and land cover—such as using sample analysis of the historical sites and soils for tracing evidence and creating/updating a soil map—and create the first geographic information systems (GIS) database for the island that can lead capable of generating a suitability model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Article
Sanitation Sustainability Index: A Pilot Approach to Develop a Community-Based Indicator for Evaluating Sustainability of Sanitation Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6937; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176937 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2122
Abstract
Evaluating the sustainability of sanitation systems is essential in achieving the sixth sustainable development goal. However, there are only limited number of available evaluation indexes, which are utilized to macroscopically determine a community’s sanitation coverage. Consequently, an index is required, which can evaluate [...] Read more.
Evaluating the sustainability of sanitation systems is essential in achieving the sixth sustainable development goal. However, there are only limited number of available evaluation indexes, which are utilized to macroscopically determine a community’s sanitation coverage. Consequently, an index is required, which can evaluate different sanitation options for a specific community. In this paper, the sanitation sustainability index (SSI) is suggested as an indicator for evaluating the sustainability of sanitation systems. The SSI has sub-indexes that consider the technical, social, and economic aspects of the sanitation system, and all the variables are dimensionless and heavily dependent on the current state of the community where the sanitation system is going to be implemented. The applicability of the SSI was demonstrated by evaluating the implementation of two onsite sanitation systems, including one septic tank system and one resource-oriented sanitation (ROS) system in South Korea. A sensitivity analysis defined the variables that have significant impact, and the statistical distribution of the SSI for both systems was forecasted. The results showed that for South Korea, which has a profound history of utilizing human waste as fertilizer, utilizing the resource-oriented sanitation system is more sustainable, although it has a lower social sub-index score compared to the septic tank system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Review

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Review
The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Sustainability Practices: A Comparative Automated Content Analysis Approach of Theory and Practice
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8497; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208497 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1453
Abstract
(1) Background: The article provides a methodologically coherent analysis of technological development in the context of the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 and its impact on changes in sustainable development policy. (2) Methods: Using a Comparative Automated Content Analysis (ACA) approach, the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The article provides a methodologically coherent analysis of technological development in the context of the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 and its impact on changes in sustainable development policy. (2) Methods: Using a Comparative Automated Content Analysis (ACA) approach, the article compares recent scientific work on sustainable development and the fourth industrial revolution with the discourse in the news media on sustainable development and industry 4.0. (3) Results: The scientific literature focuses more on changes in business models, production processes, and technologies that enable sustainable development. Newspaper and magazine articles write more about sustainable or green investments, sustainable standards, and sustainable reporting. The focus is on topics that are directly relevant to current sustainable business development and the promotion of research and development of clean and smart technologies and processes. (4) Conclusions: The ACA allows a more systematic comparison of different data sources. The article provides a starting point for sustainable development professionals to gain useful insights into a specific context with the help of the ACA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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Review
Disinfection Methods and Survival of SARS-CoV-2 in the Environment and Contaminated Materials: A Bibliometric Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7378; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187378 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage and water resources has been used as an indication for the possible occurrence of the virus among communities and for its potential of transmission among humans through the surrounding environment or water resources. In order to reduce [...] Read more.
The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage and water resources has been used as an indication for the possible occurrence of the virus among communities and for its potential of transmission among humans through the surrounding environment or water resources. In order to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, contaminated surfaces should be disinfected frequently by using an effective disinfectant. The present review discusses a bibliometric analysis of the global SARS-CoV-2 research and focuses mainly on reviewing the efficiency of the most traditional disinfection technologies. The disinfection methods reviewed include those for hospitals’ or medical facilities’ wastewater, contaminated surfaces, and contaminated masks. The elimination of the virus based on the concept of sterility assurance level (SAL) is also discussed. In addition, the chemical disinfectants that are currently used, as well as their temporary efficiency, are also reviewed. The different technologies that are globally used for disinfection processes during the COVID-19 pandemic are shown. However, more advanced technologies, such as nanotechnology, might have more potential for higher inactivation effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integrated Clean Environment for Human & Nature)
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