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Promoting Sustainable and Innovative Waste Management in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) Era

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 15544

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Ecology and Environment, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
Interests: adsorption; advanced oxidation process; membrane filtration; photodegradation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Departmentof Geography and Resource Management, China University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Interests: E-waste treatment; electric vehicle; deep learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since 2015, the United Nations (UN) Member States have adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that have become a reference agenda for addressing a variety of global challenges. Several goals like "decent work and economic growth" and "industry, innovation and infrastructure," refer to technology and collective efforts as a way of achieving "peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future."

The emergence of the 4th  Industrial Revolution revolutionizes the way we address the solid waste problem by improving environmental protection using innovative solutions. In recent years, novel technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, and digitization have been developed as intelligence supports to transform the problem of solid waste management into zero-waste by applying a resource recovery paradigm towards a circular economy (CE). The applicability of different smart and sustainable technological solutions and how to achieve the 2030 UN Agenda are essential to promote the rapid development of sustainability. The benefits of such smart technologies should be based on the nexus of sustainability and cost-effectiveness to minimize potential harmful impacts to the environment and maximize benefits.

To complement the body of knowledge, this Special Issue welcomes a variety of contributions in the form of research work and/or review articles in the field of environmental protection. We welcome contributions that include solid waste management, water treatment, and air pollution control that particularly apply (but are not limited to) the following technologies: artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, cloud computing, or digitization.

Dr. Tonni Agustiono Kurniawan
Dr. Ram Avtar
Dr. Deepak Singh
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 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

  • artificial intelligence
  • deep learning
  • digitization
  • machine learning
  • waste management

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 1612 KiB  
Article
Reuse of Buffing Dust-Laden Tanning Waste Hybridized with Poly- Styrene for Fabrication of Thermal Insulation Materials
by Wajad Ulfat, Ayesha Mohyuddin, Muhammad Amjad, Tonni Agustiono Kurniawan, Beenish Mujahid, Sohail Nadeem, Mohsin Javed, Adnan Amjad, Abdul Qayyum Ashraf, Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan Othman, Sadaful Hassan and Muhammad Arif
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 1958; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15031958 - 19 Jan 2023
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1774
Abstract
Air pollution, resulting from buffing dust waste produced by local leather tanning industry, has become a critical issue for the environment and public health. To promote a circular economy through resource recovery, this work developed a thermal insulation composite using buffing dust-laden tanning [...] Read more.
Air pollution, resulting from buffing dust waste produced by local leather tanning industry, has become a critical issue for the environment and public health. To promote a circular economy through resource recovery, this work developed a thermal insulation composite using buffing dust-laden tanning waste mixed with polystyrene and a blowing agent. To prepare the samples from leather tanning waste, different proportions of buffing dust (5–20% (w/w)) were blended with polystyrene in the presence of 3% (w/w) blowing agent. The composite material was processed in double-barreled with co-twin extruder to expose it to pressure and then heated at 200 °C. Different physico-chemical properties of composite samples were determined. The prepared composite materials had a good thermal conductivity (0.033–0.029 W/m-K), strong compression (5.21–6.25 ton), density (38–20 kg/m3), and water absorption (5–7.5%), as compared to conventional constructional insulation panels. The thermal conductivity of polystyrene was reduced to 10% after the addition of buffing dust (20% w/w). The presence of a blowing agent in the composite material enhanced its volume without compromising its physico-chemical properties. Thermo-gravimetric analysis showed that the thermal stability of the composite material ranged from 200–412 °C. FTIR analysis indicated that the composite had carbonyl and amino functional groups. The SEM images revealed the formation of voids with a decreasing homogeneity of the composite after the addition of the buffing dust waste. The EDX analysis revealed that the composite also had 62% of C and a tiny amount of Cr. This implies that the composite panels can be used for installation in buildings as thermal insulators in the construction sector. Overall, this work not only resolved the energy consumption problems during manufacturing, but it also brought positive impacts on the environment by recycling hazardous buffing dust and then reusing it as a thermal insulation material. Not only does this reduce the air pollution that results from the buffing dust waste, but this also promotes resource recovery in the framework of a circular economy. Full article
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Review

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15 pages, 5279 KiB  
Review
Transformation of Solid Waste Management in China: Moving towards Sustainability through Digitalization-Based Circular Economy
by Tonni Agustiono Kurniawan, Xue Liang, Elizabeth O’Callaghan, Huihwang Goh, Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan Othman, Ram Avtar and Tutuk Djoko Kusworo
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2374; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042374 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 93 | Viewed by 12524
Abstract
In China, environmental pollution due to municipal solid waste (MSW) over-generation is one of the country’s priority concerns. The increasing volume and complexity of the waste poses serious risks to the environment and public health. Currently, the annual growth of MSW generation is [...] Read more.
In China, environmental pollution due to municipal solid waste (MSW) over-generation is one of the country’s priority concerns. The increasing volume and complexity of the waste poses serious risks to the environment and public health. Currently, the annual growth of MSW generation is estimated to be approximately 8–10% and will increase to 323 million metric tons (Mt) by 2030. Based on the secondary data collected from a literature survey, this article critically evaluates the recent progress of MSW management (MSWM) in China and offers new insights into the waste sector in the era of Industry 4.0. This helps decision makers in China to plan a smooth transition nationwide to a circular economy (CE) in the waste sector. It is evident that digitalization is a driving force for China to move towards low-carbon development strategies within the framework of CE. Through digitalization, the waste sector has promoted prevention, reduction, reuse, and recycling (3Rs) of waste before waste disposal in landfills. A proper implementation of digitalization-based waste recycling has contributed to an efficient cooperation between the government and private sector, increased job opportunities, and promoted the conservation of resources. It is anticipated that this work not only contributes to the establishment of an integrated MSWM system in China, but also improves local MSWM through digitalization in the framework of a CE. Full article
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