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Green Deal Strategies towards Sustainability of Water, Raw Materials and Energy

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 7148

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-261 Cracow, Poland
Interests: green deal strategies; circular economy; raw materials; water and wastewater; nutrients; roadmaps; policy recommendations; indicators; life cycle assessment (LCA); sustainable development goals
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Green Deal Strategies (GDSs) have dynamically developed in recent years as a response to the progressive climate change worldwide. The main objective of the GDSs is to improve citizens’ well-being by integrating environmental, economic and social aspects in all economic activities. Therefore, the GDSs can be indicated as tools for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The pursuit of climate neutrality and the protection of the environment are the main challenges for the implementation of GDSs measures, which refer to green solutions in all sectors of our economy. The strategic importance of a green transition has led to the bioeconomy, which aims to mobilize industry to achieve a clean and circular economy. Therefore, this this Special Issue (SI) is dedicated to presenting ways to support the green transition through innovative solutions (technological, environmental, economic, and social) that can be implemented under the Green Deal Strategies.

The SI aims to provide an important contribution by presenting the state-of-the-art in the realisation of Green Deal Strategies through an inventory of multidisciplinary knowledge with high scientific and practical importance, which can contribute to improving the quality of the environment and achieving a balance between human activities and nature. We invite research papers, critical reviews or case studies that are relevant to the Green Deal Strategies regarding water, raw materials and energy.

Prof. Dr. Marzena Smol
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 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.

Keywords

  • Green Deal Strategies (GDSs)
  • green transition
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Circular Economy (CE) in water, raw materials and energy
  • climate change and strategies toward climate neutrality
  • toxic-free environment (water – soil – air)
  • bioeconomy, ecosystems and biodiversity
  • sustainable agriculture and nutrients recovery
  • waste-free and environmentally friendly food system

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 5659 KiB  
Article
Ecologically Friendly Building Materials: A Case Study of Clay–Ash Composites for the Efficient Management of Fly Ash from the Thermal Conversion of Sewage Sludge
by Krzysztof Wiśniewski, Gabriela Rutkowska, Katarzyna Jeleniewicz, Norbert Dąbkowski, Jarosław Wójt, Marek Chalecki and Tomasz Wierzbicki
Sustainability 2024, 16(9), 3735; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16093735 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 556
Abstract
The European Union’s initiative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions has paved the way for the exploration of innovative building materials that are environmentally friendly and meet all requirements of durability and strength. These criteria can be met by combining natural resources used in [...] Read more.
The European Union’s initiative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions has paved the way for the exploration of innovative building materials that are environmentally friendly and meet all requirements of durability and strength. These criteria can be met by combining natural resources used in the production of building materials with waste materials that would otherwise be landfilled, having a negative impact on the environment. This study focuses on such materials and presents the results of recent research conducted at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. The aim was to develop a new generation of materials fully compliant with the principles of the circular economy and sustainable development. Simultaneously, these materials should have no adverse effects on human health and be strong enough to carry the required loads. This study proposes the combination of a natural raw material—in the form of clay—with fly ash from the incineration of sewage sludge to produce a new generation of materials. Several samples were prepared using fly ash from two sources and then were fired at 950 °C. The resulting composites underwent physico-chemical and strength tests. These tests not only confirmed the high strength and durability of the obtained product but also the neutralization of the heavy metals originally present in the fly ash. Full article
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21 pages, 1509 KiB  
Article
Rainwater Quality Analysis for Its Potential Recovery: A Case Study on Its Usage for Swimming Pools in Poland
by Anna Lempart-Rapacewicz, Julia Zakharova and Edyta Kudlek
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 15037; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152015037 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1047
Abstract
This paper describes the possibility of using rainwater for filling artificial swimming pools in Poland. The overall purpose of this study is to understand whether the quality of rainwater collected from roofs would be suitable for use in the swimming pools without any [...] Read more.
This paper describes the possibility of using rainwater for filling artificial swimming pools in Poland. The overall purpose of this study is to understand whether the quality of rainwater collected from roofs would be suitable for use in the swimming pools without any additional treatment. The rainwater samples were collected from five areas in the Silesian region and analysed for a number of physico-chemical parameters. The results show that the content of nitrates met Polish standards, whereas the standards set for pH and turbidity would only be met after the water had undergone the treatment process which takes place in every swimming pool installation. The paper further compares rainwater data from this study with the corresponding data for drinking water and groundwater. It shows that the content of ammonia, some metals (Ni, Cr and Mn) and a semimetal are in line with the parameters used for drinking water and are a lot lower compared to those set for groundwater. However, the results indicated some possible consequences which might be harmful for swimming pool users. These include the adverse effects of zinc and other organic micropollutants which are classified as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). These may form dangerous byproducts in the presence of the chlorine, the use of which is required by the standards to be applied for swimming pool disinfection purposes. Full article
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18 pages, 1491 KiB  
Article
Water Reuse—Analysis of the Possibility of Using Reclaimed Water Depending on the Quality Class in the European Countries
by Klara Ramm and Marzena Smol
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 12781; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151712781 - 23 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
In 2020, the European Commission (EC) defined a legal requirement for water reuse for agricultural purposes in the European Union (EU). EU Regulation (2020/741) on minimum requirements for water reuse should mobilize member states to implement solutions for the use of reclaimed water. [...] Read more.
In 2020, the European Commission (EC) defined a legal requirement for water reuse for agricultural purposes in the European Union (EU). EU Regulation (2020/741) on minimum requirements for water reuse should mobilize member states to implement solutions for the use of reclaimed water. This paper aims to examine the state of implementation of the provisions of this Regulation at the time of its entry into force. Based on desk research, the legal status of water reuse in EU countries, with particular emphasis on the issues of reclaimed water quality and its applications, was analyzed. The state of implementation of solutions regulating water reuse varies significantly across the EU’s countries. Central and Eastern European (e.g., Poland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) countries are in no rush to regulate water reuse in agriculture; some will take advantage of the derogation to gain more time to consider it. Southern countries (e.g., Greece, Italy, France, Spain) are the most advanced and have experience in practical implementations gained before the Regulation was introduced. However, they use different quality control parameters. For now, France, Greece, Portugal, and Spain have fully implemented EC Regulation (2020/741); Belgium, Hungary, and Italy have partially implemented it; Malta has implemented it practically but not formally; and Cyprus has implemented it in distributed regulations. It should be pointed out that the potential for water reuse in the EU is significant, and this process is needed due to climate change consequences for Europe’s water resources. Therefore, further initiatives are expected, including the implementation by other countries of the provisions of Regulation (2020/741) in the coming decades. Full article
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17 pages, 4049 KiB  
Article
Analysis of a Combined Solar Drying System for Wood-Chips, Sawdust, and Pellets
by Baibhaw Kumar, Gábor Szepesi, Zoltán Szamosi and Gyula Krámer
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 1791; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15031791 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2282
Abstract
The future of conventional fuels has limited sustainability and creates disquietude because of the ubiquitous energy crisis worldwide. The judicious use of biomass or wood-based fuels is inevitable. The quality of wood fuels depends on the moisture content, and subsequently, solar drying solutions [...] Read more.
The future of conventional fuels has limited sustainability and creates disquietude because of the ubiquitous energy crisis worldwide. The judicious use of biomass or wood-based fuels is inevitable. The quality of wood fuels depends on the moisture content, and subsequently, solar drying solutions can play a vital role in adequately storing and controlling moisture in the fuels. In the present study, a novel forced convection cabinet-type solar dryer was developed and investigated for its thermal performance. An artificial neural network (ANN model) was created to predict the final moisture content of the drying system. The drying behavior of three distinct wood fuels, i.e., woodchips, sawdust, and pellets, was kept under observation to plot the drying curve based on their calculated moisture ratio. The dryer reached a maximum temperature of 60 °C while maintaining a temperature gradient of 10–20 °C. The maximum thermal energy and exergy efficiency was recorded as 55% and 51.1%, respectively. The ANN-optimized model was found suitable with reasonable values of coefficient of correlation (R) for the model. Full article
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