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Implementation of Sustainable Technologies for the Transition towards a Circular Economy Model

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020) | Viewed by 7148

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
Interests: Wastewater treatment, Membrane bioreactor, Moving bed biofilm reactor, Kinetic modeling, Respirometry, Contaminants of Emerging Concern, Circular Economy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Productive sectors have traditionally followed a linear pattern based on design–production–use–waste. Circular economy has emerged as an alternative model that converts waste into new resources that may be incorporated into the production cycle as raw materials. The urgency of closing materials loops has been fostered by a consortium of global actors such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

In light of this, the implementation of indicators for circular economy is necessary to assess the enhancement obtained regarding efficiency in the use of resources and the minimization of waste generation. Consequently, decision-makers from both the production sector and public administration could incorporate these indicators into their working models and contribute to a sustainable and resource-efficient management.

Thus, this Special Issue aims to widen the knowledge about the implementation of sustainable technologies for the transition towards a circular economy model, which will lead to sustainable production focused on biosphere conservation by reducing the resources escaping from the process.

References:

  • Salguero-Puerta, J.C. Leyva-Díaz, F.J. Cortés-García, V. Molina-Moreno. “Sustainability indicators concerning waste management for implementation of the circular economy model on the University of Lome (Togo) Campus”. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, 2234 (2019).
  • Molina-Sánchez, J.C. Leyva-Díaz, F.J. Cortés García, V. Molina-Moreno. “Proposal of sustainability indicators for the waste management from the paper industry within the circular economy model”. Water 10, 1014 (2018).
  • Molina-Moreno, J.C. Leyva-Díaz, J. Sánchez-Molina, A. Peña-García. “Proposal to foster sustainability through circular economy-based engineering: a profitable chain from waste management to tunnel lighting”. Sustainability 9, 2229 (2017).
  • Molina-Moreno, J.C. Leyva-Díaz, F.J. Llorens-Montes, F.J. Cortés-García. “Design of indicators of circular economy as instruments for the evaluation of sustainability and efficiency in wastewater from pig farming industry”. Water 9, 653 (2017).
  • Molina-Moreno, J.C. Leyva-Díaz, J. Sánchez-Molina. “Pellet as a technological nutrient within the circular economy model: comparative analysis of combustion efficiency and CO and NOx emissions for pellets from olive and almond trees”. Energies 9, 777 (2016).

Dr. Juan Carlos Leyva Diaz
Dr. Valentín Molina-Moreno
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 technologies
  • Zero emissions
  • Technological nutrients
  • Cradle to cradle
  • Sustainability
  • Circular economy indicators
  • Resource management
  • Sustainable accounting standards
  • Recycling
  • Water footprint

Published Papers (2 papers)

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23 pages, 15608 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Technologies for the Transition of Auditing towards a Circular Economy
by Joshua Onome Imoniana, Washington Lopes Silva, Luciane Reginato, Valmor Slomski and Vilma Geni Slomski
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010218 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3185
Abstract
This study examines the relationships between sustainability technologies, auditor transition, and circular economy models. Circular economy (CE) has been visited in recent studies as a matter of necessity to procure answers to pressing issues that befalls our society, aimed at the survival of [...] Read more.
This study examines the relationships between sustainability technologies, auditor transition, and circular economy models. Circular economy (CE) has been visited in recent studies as a matter of necessity to procure answers to pressing issues that befalls our society, aimed at the survival of the human species. While doing so, there has been little emphasis placed on sustainable technologies that will usher auditors into the new era. Data were constructed from a symposium organized by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), where scholars and practitioners addressed the future of auditing technology, regarding, in particular, the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling (ISEAL) database official website and also interviews with experts dealing day to day with sustainability and circular economy. Discourse analysis assisted in working with these groups of data. Our findings identified 12 different relational types in our analysis, thus signaling upward trends in the preparedness of auditors in boosting sustainable technologies towards a circular economy environment. Additionally, our findings demonstrate the significant uptake of innovative tools implemented for new-generation technologies in order to enhance auditing. The findings of this study have implications for academia and practice which are aimed at technological preparedness for the transition of auditing towards CE. Finally, this paper contributes by summarizing the debate and speculations around the technologies that are driving auditing to CE. Full article
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24 pages, 3948 KiB  
Article
Valorization of Linen Processing By-Products for the Development of Injection-Molded Green Composite Pieces of Polylactide with Improved Performance
by Ángel Agüero, Diego Lascano, David Garcia-Sanoguera, Octavio Fenollar and Sergio Torres-Giner
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020652 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3297
Abstract
This work reports the development and characterization of green composites based on polylactide (PLA) containing fillers and additives obtained from by-products or waste-streams from the linen processing industry. Flaxseed flour (FSF) was first produced by the mechanical milling of golden flaxseeds. The resultant [...] Read more.
This work reports the development and characterization of green composites based on polylactide (PLA) containing fillers and additives obtained from by-products or waste-streams from the linen processing industry. Flaxseed flour (FSF) was first produced by the mechanical milling of golden flaxseeds. The resultant FSF particles were melt-compounded at 30 wt% with PLA in a twin-screw extruder. Two multi-functionalized oils derived from linseed, namely epoxidized linseed oil (ELO) and maleinized linseed oil (MLO), were also incorporated during melt mixing at 2.5 and 5 parts per hundred resin (phr) of composite. The melt-compounded pellets were thereafter shaped into pieces by injection molding and characterized. Results showed that the addition of both multi-functionalized linseed oils successfully increased ductility, toughness, and thermal stability of the green composite pieces whereas water diffusion was reduced. The improvement achieved was related to both a plasticizing effect and, more interestingly, an enhancement of the interfacial adhesion between the biopolymer and the lignocellulosic particles by the reactive vegetable oils. The most optimal performance was attained for the MLO-containing green composite pieces, even at the lowest content, which was ascribed to the higher solubility of MLO with the PLA matrix. Therefore, the present study demonstrates the potential use of by-products or waste from flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) to obtain renewable raw materials of suitable quality to develop green composites with high performance for market applications such as rigid food packaging and food-contact disposable articles in the frame of the Circular Economy and Bioeconomy. Full article
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