REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1860.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: virtual reality; architectural design; social sustainability; cultural sustainability; inclusive design; diversity; cultural sensitivity; empathy
Online: 28 September 2023 (04:30:01 CEST)
This review article explores the convergence of virtual reality (VR) and architectural design from an inclusive lens. It underscores the crucial role of virtual reality (VR) in serving as a catalyst for the incorporation of social and cultural sustainability principles in architectural projects. The exploration is guided by inclusive design principles, which encompass several aspects such as accessibility, cultural sensitivity, diversity and inclusivity, user-centered design, and empathy. These concepts serve as the basis for further investigation into the potential of virtual reality (VR) technology to enhance and heighten these features within architectural design, therefore promoting the progress of social and cultural sustainability. The review article highlights the profound impact that virtual reality (VR) may have, going beyond mere visualisation to generate architectural experiences that are immersive, interactive, and empathetic. These experiences are designed to take into account diverse perspectives and needs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1786.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: biomaterials; hemp-based materials; life cycle assessment
Online: 26 September 2023 (10:34:28 CEST)
The global construction sector contributes a significant share of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Australia, infrastructure activity alone generates 18% of the GHG emissions budget. The use of low-embodied carbon building materials is crucial to achieving sustainability in the construction sector and to fulfill national and international climate goals. Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is considered a promising feedstock for sustainable construction materials because of its biogenic carbon content, fast-growing cycles with low agricultural input requirements, and technical functionality which is comparable to traditional materials. This study has applied the life cycle assessment (LCA) guideline of ISO 14040:2006 to estimate the carbon footprint (CF) expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) emissions of hemp-based building materials in Western Australia. The functional unit is 1 m2 of hemp-based board, and the system boundary includes cradle-to-gate stages, i.e., pre-farm, on-farm, and post-farm activities. The production of 1 m2 of hemp-based board is estimated to be - 2.302 kgCO2eq. Electricity from the public grid for lignin extraction during the post-farm stage is the main contributor to total CO2eq emissions (26%), followed by urea production (14%) during the pre-farm stage. Overall, the use of electricity from the SWIS during the post-farm stage accounts for 45% of total emissions. Sensitivity analysis shows that the CF of hemp-based boards is highly sensitive to the source of energy, i.e., total replacement of the SWIS by solar power decreases the CF from - 2.30 to -6.07 kgCO2eq (164%). The results suggest that hemp-based boards exhibit lower embodied GHG emissions compared to traditional materials, such as gypsum plasterboards.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1489.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: material recycling; subsea cables; offshore infrastructures; flowlines; decommissioning; end-of-life
Online: 22 September 2023 (04:51:22 CEST)
Hundreds of thousands of kilometers of communication and power (umbilical) cables and flowlines lie undersea worldwide. Most of these offshore cables and flowlines have reached or will soon be nearing the end of their service life, necessitating the need for a viable recycling approach to recover some valuable material, e.g., copper. However, separation into constituent materials has proven very challenging due to the highly robust design of the composite cables (and flowlines) to withstand service conditions and the tough external plastic sheaths that protect against seawater corrosion. Here, we summarize the findings of the cryogenic comminution of subsea cables and flowlines for an effective separation and recovery of component materials. Heat transfer analyses of complex multilayer flowlines and umbilicals were conducted to evaluate the time required for these structures to reach their respective critical brittle-transition temperatures. Subsequently, the time was used as a guide to crush the flowline and umbilical cables under cryogenic conditions. The results show that the flowlines and umbilical cables will reach the brittle-transition temperature after approximately 1000s (i.e., 17 min) of submergence in liquid nitrogen (LN). Comminution of the materials at temperatures near the brittle-transition temperature was proven relatively efficient compared to room-temperature processing. The present evaluation of heat transfer and lab-scale crushing will afford accurate process modelling and design of a pilot cryogenic comminution of decommissioned flowlines in an LN-doped atmosphere.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1468.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: scrub; milling; pelletisation; emissions; ash content
Online: 21 September 2023 (11:39:49 CEST)
Biomass storage is an essential requirement in the supply chain of bio-refineries and power plants. This research aims to evaluate the influence of long-term outdoor storage (1 year) of baled rockrose (Cistus laurifolius L.) shrub biomass on biofuel´s quality, pre-treatment processes and on combustion emissions in an industrial boiler. The raw material was obtained from different rockrose shrublands in North-center Spain. 233 tWM (tones of wet matter) of biomass were used to produce biofuels (30 mm milled biomass and Ø 8 mm pellets) in the pre-treatment pilot plants at CEDER-CIEMAT. The combustion tests were conducted in an industrial moving grate boiler with a thermal power of 50 MWth, in a 17 MWe power plant. Outdoor storage improved some quality biofuels parameters, mainly the reduction in ash content, what allowed to classify 30 mm milled material as class I1 (ISO 17225-9:2022) and pellets as class I3 (ISO 17225-2-2021). No significant differences were observed in the total specific mass flow and energy consumptions in the pre-treatment processes. The combustion tests had similar results, being the emissions below the limits established in the Directive (EU) 2015/2193. The results obtained indicated that 1-year outdoor store of rockrose-baled biomass under Mediterranean conditions was feasible for its subsequent use as biofuel.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0603.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Keywords: Energy-saving building materials; governance framework, testing facitities, labeling systems, national technical regulation on energy efficiency in building; Keywords: Energy-saving building materials
Online: 11 September 2023 (05:14:30 CEST)
This paper reports aligned activities to promote energy and resource-efficient construction practice in Vietnam. First, the governance framework is introduced, including government decrees and technical standards. Then, a laboratory with building physics measurement technology is designed and partly set up at the local partner Vietnam Institute for Building Materials (VIBM), which can be used to determine the essential characteristic values required for the implementation of energy standards. The basis for the prioritization of the characteristic values are the requirements of the National technical regulation on energy efficient buildings of Vietnam – QCVN09:2017/BXD. Furthermore, basic characteristic values from international standards are described, which can also be used for calculations to optimize the energy consumption of buildings. In order to be able to carry out transient hygrothermal computer simulations, special characteristic values were also included. These are particularly useful for the research and development of new building materials and the evaluation of entire buildings in terms of thermal and moisture protection In order to communicate the material properties to the market and enable informed decision making by the stakeholders, a labeling system has been developed. Thereby, the practical means for implementing governance instruments are provided, and the related technical applications are supported.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0592.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: steam explosion pretreatment; sugarcane bagasse; lignocellulosic biomass; bioethanol; raw material
Online: 11 September 2023 (05:06:01 CEST)
Lignocellulosic biomass is a powerful approach for the production of sustainable biofuels and the further achievement of the goal of biomass conversion into a second-generation clean energy that can cope with the depletion of fossil reserves and rising energy requirements. In the conversion process, a pretreatment is essential to overcome the recalcitrance of the lignocellulosic biomass, accelerate its disintegration into cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin and, in turn, get an optimal yield of fermentable sugars in the enzymatic hydrolysis. In addition to this, it should be industrially scalable and capable of enhancing fuel properties and feedstock processability. Here, steam explosion technology has stood out due to its results and advantages such as wide applicability, high efficiency in the short term, or lack of contamination in spite of its conventionality. This gentle and fast pretreatment incorporates high temperature autohydrolysis and structural alteration by explosive decompression. Steam explosion method has been one of the most effective especially for the hydrolysis of cellulose from agricultural wastes due to the lower quantity of acetyl groups in the composition of hemicellulose. In this aspect, sugarcane bagasse is a promising feedstock for bioethanol production due to its high cellulosic content and elevated availability. The objective of this review has been to compile the latest information on steam explosion pretreatment, stages, equipment, variables involved, by-products generated, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the technique. At the same time, its feasibility and viability using sugarcane bagasse as feedstock has been discussed. Finally, the effectiveness of the technique with different feedstocks has been evaluated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0379.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Infiltration; SCADA system; Automated instrumentation
Online: 6 September 2023 (09:49:39 CEST)
One of the interactions that has been studied in recent decades under the ecohydrological approach is infiltration, which is difficult to determine because the existing methods for estimation depends on certain variables that are difficult to establish or identify, and in other cases, the implementation of instrumentation is expensive. Given this, saturated hydraulic conductivity has been the descriptive variable of the infiltration process by recent authors, being understood as the conduction of water that occurs through the soil and its composition through the vegetation cover. The present design generated an easily accessible portable instrumentation model for the monitoring and collection of infiltration data in situ for basins and ecosystems with different land uses, in an automated manner with the objective of determining the vegetation patterns necessary to sustain the infiltration function. The INDI-INECOL tension infiltrometer  was chosen as the reference instrument. It evaluates the saturated hydraulic conductivity based on a column of water that descends through the system and it is exchanged in the soil by the air between the pores. To automate data collection, a measurement system has been proposed through a SCADA system, which is defined as a control, action, decision, storage and data recording system. This system collects field data from a sensor VL053L0X connected to a master station, in our case an Arduino board UNO, connected through the serial port and by a graphical user interface programmed on Python, to display, storage and enrichment of the sensor data and finally to be exported in files suitable for Microsoft Excel.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0298.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Italy; monitoring; multicriteria decision analysis; performance indicators; sustainable development goals; sustainability
Online: 6 September 2023 (03:52:22 CEST)
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require collaboration among academia, indus-try, citizens, public administration and politics. Analysis and monitoring of the SDGs is a deci-sive step in evaluating possible corrective actions. In this regard, this paper assesses the perfor-mance of Italian regions in 2021 compared to the values recorded in 2020. An online survey among academics aims to support Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) choices, which aims to calculate a sustainability score for Italian regions. The results, based on 27 targets, show that the northern regions show better performance, with the province of Trento topping the list. This is followed by Valle d'Aosta and the province of Bolzano, confirming the trio that emerged in the previous year. A very interesting fact is the growth of the central regions, which overall tend to reach a value close to that of the northern regions. In particular, Toscana, Marche and Lazio stand out for a good performance. It is also confirmed that the southern regions occupy the last places in the ranking with the only excep-tion being Abruzzo. The implications of this paper move toward a pragmatic approach that goes beyond the ideological in order to arrive at solutions and projects that are viewed with sharing by stake-holders. There is a need to foster collaboration between different territorial realities in order to achieve a social community in which young people have a role in which they can grow and share their ideas. Made in Italy is a target on which to enhance the SDGs to help make the Medi-terranean area a crossroads of the future global economy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0151.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: sustainability; urban parks; green areas; sustainable cities
Online: 4 September 2023 (15:43:52 CEST)
Urban parks play a pivotal role in fostering the development of sustainable and smart cities, encompassing multifaceted dimensions of environmental, social, and economic significance. To effectively manage these urban parks, it is imperative to undertake an in-depth investigation of their environmental, social, and economic conditions, as well as their level of sustainability. However, there is currently a lack of readily applicable methodologies that comprehensively measure these benefits and provide a sustainability rating for urban parks. In this study, we propose a valuable tool that employs effective and affordable measures for the daily management of these green spaces. Our methodology is rooted in the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic. Within these pillars, we have defined 19 indicators and 50 criteria, enabling a comprehensive assessment of park sustainability. This methodology is developed through the characterization and systematic documentation of the park’s day-to-day operations. To validate our methodology, we present a case study of Cárcamos Park, situated in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico, utilizing accurate operational data collected from January to December 2020. Through this real-life scenario, we demonstrate the high applicability and effectiveness of our methodology. The sustainability assessment of Cárcamos Park reveals a sustainability level of 57%, placing it within the medium sustainability range. Importantly, our methodology can also be incorporated during the design phase of new urban green spaces, offering flexibility and ease of application tailored to the unique characteristics of each park. Park managers can use our procedure and apply it to any park, evaluate their sustainability status and detect areas of opportunity. Our approach provides a comprehensive and practical tool for measuring and improving the sustainability of urban parks. Its simplicity and applicability make it accessible to anyone interested in creating a greener and more sustainable urban environment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0097.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: aeroponics; sustainable agriculture; sustainable development goals; sustainability; systematic literature review; TAISA model; technology integration
Online: 4 September 2023 (03:51:40 CEST)
Technology has transformed aeroponics, providing numerous advantages over traditional soil-based agriculture. However, there remains a need for comprehensive information on the types of technology employed in aeroponics and their impact on the growing process. This paper presents a literature review of 47 studies published between 2012 and 2023 in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. As a result, it identifies the status and tendencies in the usage of technology in aeroponics as well as the main opportunities and challenges. Furthermore, this paper introduces the Technology Adoption and Integration in Sustainable Agriculture (TAISA) model. TAISA is a model that identifies the degree of technology integration in any sustainable agriculture system to determine how technology affects production and quality. Overall, the systematic review suggests that technology can play a vital role in improving the efficiency and sustainability of aeroponic farming. However, careful consideration must be given to the costs and technical requirements associated with using these technologies. Moreover, the TAISA model reveals that technology has primarily been employed in creating new processes that are not possible to implement without the help of technology. Therefore, we conclude that technology use has taken root in aeroponics and can be promoted to improve sustainable agriculture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2144.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: circular economy; circular society; Australia; intermediary
Online: 31 August 2023 (07:15:59 CEST)
Australia has recently declared its commitment to a circular economy. Policy and initiatives to date have focused on recycling and waste management and research to date has highlighted the need for more ambitious policy, clearer definitions, collaboration, and consensus on goals. There are also calls from some government and non-business sectors for more inclusive circular models, including Doughnut Economics. In a context of competing mainstream circular economy and inclusive circular society discourses, circular intermediary organizations and their representatives are key to achieving change. Compared to the green growth business narrative of policy and industry media, intermediary representatives are aware of the diversity of challenges and solutions for Australia. Based on semi-structured interviews with twenty representatives of circular intermediaries in Australia and thematic discourse analysis, this study finds circular economy, circular society and de-growth discourses informing themes about government, business, growth, consumers, society, and policy present and future. The study concludes with recommendations for a more holistic policy and practice beyond the current circularity for circularity’s sake.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2010.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: SPI; SPEI; CSIC; CMIP6 ssp126; MK Test; Amman Zarqa Basin-Jordan; drought forecast; forecast models
Online: 30 August 2023 (08:10:45 CEST)
Different drought indices are used to quantify its characteristics. This research applied many approaches to assessing the uncertain SPI and SPEI and the most capturing index of drought. Machine learning algorithms are used to predict drought; TBATS and ARIMA models run diverse input sources including observations, CSIC, and CMIP6-ssp126 datasets. The longest drought duration was 14 months. Drought severity and average intensity were found -24.64 and -1.76, -23.80 and -1.83, -23.57 and -1.96, -23.44 and -2.0 where the corresponding drought categories were SPI 12 -Sweileh, SPI 9 Sweileh, SPI 12 Wadi Dhullail, SPI 12 Amman-Airport. The dominant drought incident occurred between Oct 2020 and Dec 2021. CMIP6 can capture the drought occurrence and severity by measuring SPI but did not capture the severity magnitude same as from observations (-2.87 by observation and -1.77 by CMIP6). Using observed SPI and historical CMIP6, ARIMA was the most accurate than TBATS. Regarding SPEI forecast, ARIMA was the most accurate model to forecast drought index using the observed historical SPEI and CSIC over all stations. The performance metrics ME, RMSE, MAE, and MASE implied significantly promising forecasting models; -0.0046, 0.278, 0.179, & 0.193 respectively for ARIMA and -0.0181, 0.538, 0.416, & 0.466 respectively for TBATS. Hybrid modelling is suggested for more consistency and robustness of forecasting approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1946.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Sustainable planning; sustainable monitoring; remote sensing; GIS; lineaments; fault; fracture
Online: 29 August 2023 (10:05:14 CEST)
The construction of sustainable road and highway networks in the world, despite numerous feasibility, pre-feasibility and execution studies, are always confronted with the demands and vagaries of foreseeable and unforeseeable natural disasters. Studying cyclones, earthquakes, fracturing and landslide zones along roads is therefore a challenge for the sustainability of these infrastructures. In many countries around the world, the methods generally used for these studies are not only expensive and time-consuming, but the results obtained are not always efficient. This work examines whether Landsat 8 (with a high cloud level) and SRTM data can be used in both equatorial and coastal Central Africa zones to produce relevant mapping, locating fracture and landslide zones, in order to contribute not only to better road layout at lower cost and in a relatively short time, but also to better prevention of geological disasters that may occur on its network. To this end, a map of the main road network was produced and validated with field data, as well as the maps of the main unstable slopes, faults and fractures zones intersecting the road or highway network. These approaches are useful for sustainable planning, management, monitoring and extension of roads worldwide especially, in Central Africa.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1878.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: biolectrochemical system; bioenergy; fuel production; microbial fuel cell
Online: 29 August 2023 (04:33:14 CEST)
The overexploitation of fossil fuels and their negative environmental impact has attracted the attention of researchers worldwide to propose alternatives to produce bioenergy. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) systems are sustainable biotechnologies that use bacterial activity to break down organic matter while generating bioelectricity. MFCs have bioelectricity from domestic wastewater (DWW), municipal wastewater (MWW), and potato and fruit waste, reducing environmental contamination and decreasing energy consumption and treatment cost. This review focuses on the recent advancements regarding the designs and configurations, the operation mode of MFCs, and their capacity to produce bioelectricity (e.g., 2203 mW/m2) and fuels (i.e., H2: 438.7 mL/g and CH4: 358.7 mL/g, respectively). Besides, this review highlights practical applications, challenges, techno-economic, and life cycle assessments (LCA) of MFCs. Despite MFC's promising biotechnology, great efforts should be made to implement it in real-time and commercialization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1680.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Zea mays L.; Cannabis sativa L.; Vicia faba L.; multi-cultivations; energy indices; CO2 eq
Online: 24 August 2023 (03:31:30 CEST)
Agriculture uses a lot of fuel, fertilizers, pesticides and other substances, while emitting large amounts of GHGs. It is important to optimize these inputs and outputs. One such way is increas-ing crop biodiversity. For this reason, single crops and mixtures of maize, hemp and faba bean as binary and ternary crops were investigated at the Experimental Station of Vytautas Magnus Uni-versity, Lithuania. Results showed that consumption of diesel fuel was by the 31-46% higher than in single and 22-35% higher than in binary cultivations was found in a ternary crop. This influenced on the highest energy input or near twice higher than in maize and hemp single crops and maize+hemp binary crop, but similar with binary crops with faba bean. Despite this, the productivity of the trinary crop and, at the same time, the energy output were 2-5 times higher than in other treat-ments. This compensated for higher energy inputs and the energy efficiency ratio. In ternary crop, energy productivity was from 1.1 to 2.8 times higher and net energy was by 1.9-5.3 times higher than in other tested cultivations. The highest total GHG emissions were obtained in binary maize+hemp and maize+faba bean cultivations (1729.84 and 2067.33 CO2eq ha-1). Ternary cultiva-tion with the highest energy inputs initiated average GHG emission - 1541.90 kg ha-1 CO2eq. For higher efficiency, ternary crop could be sown and harvested in one machine pass. Faba beans should be included in the ter-nary crops, as their biomass takes a significant part of the total biomass produced. We recommend to review the inter-cropped faba bean seeding rates as faba bean seeds have a high energy input equivalent.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1592.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: digital economy; industrial carbon emission efficiency; spatio-temporal patterns; panel quantile regression
Online: 23 August 2023 (03:26:40 CEST)
In the pursuit of China’s dual carbon goals, identifying spatio-temporal changes in industrial carbon emission efficiency and their influencing factors in cities at different stages of development is the key to effective formulation of countermeasures to promote the low-carbon transformation of Chinese national industry and achieve high-quality economic development. In this study, we used balanced panel data of 270 Chinese cities from 2005 to 2020 as a research object: (1) to show spatio-temporal evolution patterns in urban industrial carbon emission efficiency; (2) to analyze the aggregation characteristics of industrial carbon emission efficiency in Chinese cities using Global Moran's I statistics; and (3) to use the hierarchical regression model for panel data to assess the non-linear impact of the digital economy on the industrial carbon emission efficiency of cities. The results show the following: (1) the industrial carbon emission efficiency of Chinese cities exhibited an upward trend from 2005 to 2020, with a spatial distribution pattern of high in the south and low in the north; (2) China's urban industrial carbon emission efficiency is characterized by significant spatial autocorrelation, with increasing and stabilizing correlation, and a relatively fixed pattern of spatial agglomeration; (3) there is a significant inverted-U-shaped relationship between the digital economy and the industrial carbon emission efficiency of cities. The digital economy increases carbon emissions and inhibits industrial carbon-emission efficiency in the early stages of development, but inhibits carbon emissions and promotes industrial carbon emission efficiency in mature developmental stages. Therefore, cities at all levels should reduce pollution and carbon emissions from high-energy-consuming and high-polluting enterprises, gradually reduce carbon-intensive industries, and accelerate the digital transformation and upgrading of enterprises. Western, central and eastern regions especially should seek to promote the sharing of innovation resources, strengthen exchanges and interactions relating to scientific and technological innovation, and jointly explore coordinated development routes for the digital economy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1406.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: behaviour, pesticides, food safety, environmental and occupational exposure, agricultural workers.
Online: 22 August 2023 (09:42:29 CEST)
The main objective of this review is to determine the main risks that agricultural workers are exposed to during pesticide application, which may have a harmful effect on their health and on public health. This systematic review was based on the PRISMA guidelines. A search for articles was conducted in the Medline/PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Web of Science databases. Fifteen articles were selected considering their assessment of agricultural workers' knowledge, perceptions, attitudes, practices, and behaviours, identifying the main risks and risk factors for disease associated with the unsafe handling of pesticides. The main risk factors identified were age, education, pesticide safety training, farming experience, and contact with other farmers/intermediaries resulting in pesticide access. The most frequent risk behaviours were: application of pesticides without personal protective equipment (PPE), incorrect disposal of empty packaging and waste, and undervaluation of label information, as well as other unsafe practices. A multidisciplinary and more effective training must be delivered in order to enhance pesticide safe usage. This will empower workers to adopt more conscious and safer behaviours while using pesticides.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1513.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC); CAM plant; Atacama Desert; solar energy; environmental engineering; sustainability
Online: 22 August 2023 (07:23:15 CEST)
Excess energy from photosynthesis can be collected through biophotovoltaic platforms to generate green electrical power. This research evaluated the in-situ performance of different CAM (Crassulaceae acid metabolism) plants from Calama city located in the Atacama Desert for energy recovery as biophotovoltaic cell (BPV) using AISI 316L and Cu as electrodes. The species evaluated were Aloe perfoliata, Cereus jamacaru, Austrocylindropuntia subulata, Agave potatorum, Malephora crocea, and Kalanchoe daigremontiana. The results indicate that K. daigremontiana can be used as in-situ BFV because it has a maximum cell potential of 0.248 V and a minimum of 0.139 V with a recurrence close to 89% in the ranges [0.2 - 0.25] V. This is one of the few investigations that evaluate the potential of native CAM plants as BFV energy sources, providing new knowledge for the development of sustainable alternatives for horticultural crop production systems.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1017.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: nature-based solution; seaweed; seagrass; platform; coastal protection
Online: 14 August 2023 (10:03:59 CEST)
One-fifth of the world’s population and critical infrastructures are near the coast and regions at high risk of sea level elevation. Climate change is expected to increase coastal extreme events, rising sea levels, and impact on the ecosystem. Hard engineering, like seawalls, has been used to prevent, protect, and control water-based environmental forces with an extended impact on the land. A nature-based engineering solution, such as growing vegetation, is being adopted as a sustainable solution to help make existing technology live its design life and provide climate change adaptation and resilience for coastal and riverine communities. This paper presents review of seaweed farms as an advanced nature-based mitigation approach. The paper also presents the result obtained from experiments conducted at RWTH Aachen University hydraulic lab on a model test of the wave damping system using seaweed as a nature-based solution to test the hypothesis. One result involving a system with two lines of seaweed revealed 15 percent wave damping. A soft engineering approach to designing future vegetated protection systems using seaweed as a nature-based solution can help existing coastal infrastructure design life and protect against climate-induced SLR rise and adaptation, coastal risk mitigation, ecosystem restoration, and blue bio-economic development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0717.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: wind turbine; inertia; mass distribution; density distribution; stiffness constant; values in p.u.
Online: 9 August 2023 (08:45:31 CEST)
In studies of dynamic stability and power quality, it is necessary to know the mechanical parameters that determine the transient response of a wind turbine. The exact value of these parameters is not as decisive as the power curve can be, but an estimate that is far from reality can distort or even invalidate the simulation results. Despite its importance, this information, especially the inertia, but also the stiffness and damping constant of the drive-train, is hardly available for the turbine model under investigation. In this work, the different bibliographical sources that provide values of blade inertia in kg·m2 will be reviewed, and above all, those that provide a distribution of masses along the span of the blade. With this, different reliable relations will be obtained that allow calculating the inertia of the turbine rotor, based on the mass and length of the blade. When the center of gravity is also available, a very correlated expression is provided to obtain the inertia. The even rarer references to the stiffness and damping constant of the drive-train will also be reviewed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0560.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: waste heat recovery technologies; specific energy consumption (SEC),; fish meal production; , energy efficiency practices; environmental sustainability
Online: 8 August 2023 (11:09:45 CEST)
The fishmeal production industry is essential for providing protein for animal feed in the aquaculture sector. However, the industry faces challenges related to energy consumption and environmental sustainability. This study evaluates the energy efficiency and environmental benefits of waste heat recovery (WHR) technologies in a fishmeal production plant in Vietnam. Data were collected from the plant between 2016 and 2022, and a specific energy consumption (SEC) indicator and a comprehensive methodology were utilized. Implementing an economizer as a WHR technology resulted in a 55.5% decrease in SEC compared to the state before installation. The enhanced energy efficiency also translated to reduced energy consumption per output unit. Moreover, the economizer contributed to annual energy savings of 4,537.57 GJ/year and cost savings of $26,474.49. Additionally, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with producing one ton of fishmeal decreased by 58.37%. These findings highlight the potential for WHR technologies to improve energy efficiency and reduce the environmental footprint of fishmeal production. The study's results provide valuable insights for practitioners and policymakers in promoting energy efficiency practices and reducing environmental impact in the industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0450.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: pollution; Credit River; machine learning; graph neural networks; SHAP analysis
Online: 7 August 2023 (11:36:35 CEST)
In cold-climate regions, road salt is used as a de-icer for winter road maintenance. The applied road salt melts ice and snow on roads, being washed off through storm sewer systems into nearby urban streams, harming the freshwater ecosystem. Addressing the gap in the knowledge regarding the use of deep learning approaches for urban stream water quality forecasting, the present work discusses our implementation of a “Graph Neural Network” - “Sample and Aggregate” (GNN-SAGE) model for forecasting chloride concentrations in the Credit River in Ontario, Canada. The proposed GNN-SAGE is compared to other models, including a Deep Neural Network based transformer (DNN-Transformer) and a benchmarking persistence model for 6 hours forecasting horizon. Ac-cording to the results, the GNN-SAGE model surpasses other models in providing accurate predic-tions of chloride concentrations within the assessed prediction window. Also, a SHAP analysis provides insight into the variables that influence the model’s forecasting, showing the impact of the spatiotemporal neighbouring data from the network and the seasonality variables on the model’s result. The GNN-SAGE model shows potential for use in real-time forecasting of water quality in urban streams, aiding in the development of regulatory policies to protect the vulnerable freshwater ecosystems in urban areas.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0422.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: biopesticides; plant extracts; essential oils; extraction methods; chemical composition; antimicrobial activity; insecticidal activity; herbicidal activity; alternative agriculture
Online: 4 August 2023 (11:38:20 CEST)
Development and implementation of safe natural alternatives to synthetic pesticides are urgent needs that will provide ecological solutions for control of plant diseases, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, pests, and weeds, to ensure economic stability of the farmers and food security as well as protection of the environment and human health. Unambiguously, production of botanical pesticides will allow sustainable and efficient use of natural resources and finally decrease the use of chemical inputs and burden. This is underlined by the strict regulations on pesticide residues in agricultural products and harmonized with the Farm to Fork strategy aimed to reduce pesticide use by 55%, by 2030. Recognizing the urgent need for natural pesticides development, this work is an overview of the current research on the valorization of Mediterranean plants as potential source of biopesticides. More specifically, the extraction methods, the chemical composition, the biopesticidal activity, the commonly used assays for evaluating the antimicrobial, the pesticidal, the repellant and the herbicidal activity of plant extracts as well as toxicological and safety aspects of biopesticides formulation are discussed in detail. Finally, the aspects that have not yet been investigated or are under- investigated and future perspectives are highlighted.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0368.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Green buildings; energy optimization; indoor environmental quality; passive design, low-cost sensors; intelligent calibration models
Online: 4 August 2023 (11:02:06 CEST)
This comprehensive critical review shows how green buildings and energy optimization solutions improve indoor air quality as well as environmental quality (IEQ) and human health. Electricity-efficient green buildings create a better indoor atmosphere and save electricity. Green buildings improve occupant well-being through IAQ, thermal comfort, acoustics, and lighting. Renewable energy, green construction materials, and intelligent technologies increase sustainability and reduce environmental impact. Environmental hazards, architectural design, and societal variables can improve indoor air quality and subsequently reduce health risks linked with poor air quality. The evaluation highlights the pros and cons of low-cost IAQ sensors and equipment. These devices provide valuable insights, but calibration and validation using reference equipment are necessary to ensure accuracy and reliability. Architects, engineers, environmentalists, and policymakers are essential in creating green buildings with high IEQ. Prioritizing occupant comfort, health, and productivity ensures a sustainable and healthy future for future generations. However, continual monitoring and research are needed to improve green building practices and overcome construction problems. Intelligent models for continual on-field calibration of low-cost sensors may improve performance. Green buildings benefit occupants and the environment by optimizing energy use and using IAQ monitoring technologies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0407.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: emissions; renewable energy sources; economy; environment
Online: 4 August 2023 (08:23:28 CEST)
Climate change refers to a wide range of changes due to unstructured economic and human activities that impact the well-being status of all living and non-living things. Many adaptation and mitigation strategies focus on climate change solutions, at the center of which is the replacement of fossil fuels or other conventional energy sources with renewables. Mainly this is a contemporary issue for economies that seek ways to grow sustainably, such as developing countries. The purpose of the present study is to review how these renewable sources might have brought benefits for environmental improvement efforts within intense economic activities. Our effort targets the case of China since its efforts for transmission to a low-carbon country attract the world's research interest, given its significance in the global economic system. Mainly, this study’s attempt is based on searching relevant literature for potential changes in limiting greenhouse and carbon dioxide emissions toward China’s economic development status. The results of this study aim to become a valuable reference for further elaboration in light of climate change strategies with measurable outcomes in the growth process.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0313.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: cooking; modern energy; electric pressure cooker; induction; energy transition; low and middle income countries
Online: 3 August 2023 (10:05:20 CEST)
Transitioning to clean cooking fuels is not only part of achieving SDG7, but also makes a significant contribution to mitigating climate change by reducing carbon emissions. The paper contradicts the conventional wisdom that electricity is too expensive to cook with. The paper explores the energy required to cook dishes using different technologies and fuels by analysing data from Cooking Diaries and Controlled Cooking tests conducted under the MECS programme. Electric pressure cookers (EPCs) use least energy when compared with electric hotplates, and a detailed description of how the EPC works explains why this should be. The paper draws out distinctions between African and Asian dishes, notably the impact of energy intensive dishes prepared mostly in Africa. Standard efficiency based approaches to comparing the performance of stoves are not appropriate to modern electric cooking devices so an alternative approach based on specific energy consumptions is proposed e.g. charcoal stoves use 15 times as much energy as EPCs to cook African dishes. Energy ratios provide a basis for estimating carbon emission reductions associated with transitioning to modern cooking fuels. Historical costs show that the cost of cooking with an EPC can be only 20% of the cost of cooking with charcoal, which highlights the potential for modern, energy efficient electric cooking devices to defy the conventional wisdom of the energy ladder.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0136.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: air entrainment; confined plunging jet; liquid jet reactor; reactor parameters; machine learning algorithms
Online: 2 August 2023 (10:44:18 CEST)
: The effects of the main parameters on the air entrainment rate, Qa, were investigated experimentally in a confined plunging liquid jet reactor CPLJR. Various downcomer diameters (Dc), jet lengths (Lj), liquid volumetric flow rates (Qj), nozzle diameters (dn), and jet velocity (Vj) were used to measure air entrainment, Qa. The non-linear relationship between the air entrainment ratio and confined plunging jet reactor parameters suggests that applying unconventional regression algorithms to predict the air entrainment ratio is appropriate. This study applied machine learning algorithms to the confined plunging jet reactor parameters to predict Qa. The obtained results showed that K-Nearest Neighbour (KNN) gave the best prediction abilities, R2 = 0.900, RMSE = 0.069, and MAE = 0.052. The sensitivity analysis was applied to determine the most effective predictor. The liquid volumetric flow rate (Qj) and jet velocity (Vj) were the most influential among all the input variables. Our findings support using machine learning algorithms to accurately forecast the CPLJR system’s experimental results.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1614.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: DSA; Diuron; Anodic Oxidation; Sulfate; Operating Parameters
Online: 25 July 2023 (02:53:15 CEST)
This work presents the electrochemical degradation of the herbicide Diuron by anodic oxidation on a Ti/Ru0.3Ti0.7O2 dimensionally stable anode (DSA) using sulfate as electrolyte. The study includes the influence of the Diuron concentration and the current density on the anodic oxidation. The results evidence a first-order degradation, with the highest degradation capacity achieved at 40 mA cm2 and an initial Diuron concentration of 38 mg L1. Nevertheless, in terms of efficiency and energy demand, the operation at 10 mA cm2 is favored due to the more efficient and less energy-consuming condition. To discern the optimum design and operation conditions, this work presents the results of a preliminary technical-economical analysis, demonstrating that, to minimize the total costs of the system, it is recommended to seek the most efficient conditions, i.e., the conditions demanding the lowest applied charges with the highest Diuron degradation. At the same time, attention must be given to the required cell voltage to not increase excessively the operating costs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1583.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: innovation; commercialization; decision making; human centered design; information technology; data analytics; resilience; environment
Online: 24 July 2023 (09:36:17 CEST)
Global climate change and associated environmental extremes present a pressing need to understand and predict social-environmental impacts while identifying opportunities for mitigation and adaptation. In support of informing a more resilient future, emerging data analytics technologies can leverage the growing availability of Earth observations from diverse data sources ranging from satellites to sensors to social media. Yet, there remains a need to transition from research for knowledge gain to sustained operational deployment. In this paper, we use the Wisdom-Knowledge-Information-Data (WKID) Innovation framework to inform solutions-oriented science in an integrated Research to Commercialization (R2C) model that explores market viability for value-added analytics. We conduct a case study using this R2C model to address the wicked wildfire problem. By integrating WKID and human centered design (HCD), through an industry-university partnership called the Climate Innovation Collaboratory between the University of Colorado Boulder and Deloitte Consulting, we systematically evaluated 39 different user stories across 8 user personas and identified common gaps, how to define information technologies that add value, and how to develop a marketable product. This R2C model could enable transition of knowledge to operational implementation informing policy and decision makers, tasked with addressing some of our most challenging environmental problems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1380.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Aromatic and medicinal herbs; Risk; sustainability; Harvesting; Shelf-life extension; Wastes.
Online: 20 July 2023 (05:17:14 CEST)
As the demand for aromatic and medicinal herbs increases, so does the pressure to intensify production, increasing the risk of overexploitation of these natural resources. Sustainability corresponds to the preservation of something that exists in the present and must be maintained in the future, implying accountability and obligation. However, in order to maintain the conditions and essential goods for the survival of future generations, consumers and businesses must commit to sustainable practices. The circular economy is considered one of the solutions to promote a sustainable system and can be defined as a transition from a linear model, where resources are transformed, used and discarded, to a circular (regenerative) model, where materials are reused whenever possible. An ecologically correct approach to waste reuse avoids the negative impacts associated with improper disposal of agro-industrial wastes, such as mass proliferation of microorganisms, production of greenhouse gases, loss of energy potential, and other negative impacts on the environment or human health. The objective of this study is to provide a compilation of good agricultural practices that promote sustainability in the production of medicinal and aromatic herbs, particularly in the areas of cultivation, harvesting, drying, extraction, and packaging, and to highlight the potential for evaluating processing residues in medicinal and aromatic herbs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1351.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Biological invasion; Eichhornia crassipes; Multicriteria decision making; Salvinia minima; Ten-ner-grass
Online: 19 July 2023 (13:00:46 CEST)
Invasive macrophytes are considered problematic in natural environments and hydroelectric reservoirs. Climate changes, the occurrence of watercourses, and biotic interactions influence the biological invasion of macrophytes. Native species can correlate with invasives positively or negatively. Urochloa subquadripara is an invasive in natural or disturbed habitats co-occurring with the natives Eichhornia crassipes and Salvinia minima. Aquatic plant communities can be altered by climate change, so species distribution models (SDMs) are important tools for predicting in-vaded areas. This work aimed to make an SDM for U. subquadripara correlating with the poten-tial distribution of native species E. crassipes and S. minima. Occurrence data for U. subquadripara, E. crassipes, and S. minima were collected from databases and in consultation with the published literature. Parameters encompassing biological information of the species were entered into the CLIMEX software and used to generate the Ecoclimatic Index (EI). The species co-occurrence was performed based on multicriteria decision-making (MCDM), and weights were assigned using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). It was observed that U. subquadripara, E. crassipes, and S. minima have a higher occurrence in tropical and subtropical regions; however, it is predicted that, from climatic changes, these species may move to high latitudes. According to climate change, the risk of invasion by U. subquadripara in the northern hemisphere is mainly in lakes, while in the southern hemisphere, the areas conducive to invasions are rivers and reservoirs. In general, emerging and floating macrophyte species such as U. subquadripara, E. crassipes, and S. minima will be favored, causing suppression of submerged species. Therefore, identifying the potential distribution of these species allows the creation of pre-invasion intervention strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1104.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Climate change; Policymaking; Foresight; Sustainable Development Goals; Research priorities; Delphi study
Online: 18 July 2023 (08:48:54 CEST)
The main purpose of this article is to identify key areas of research on climate change in the context of the SDGs, focusing on the potential development impacts on Bolivia and Paraguay. Application of the Delphi technique with the involvement of a panel of experts allowed the consolidation of different perspectives and knowledge on climate change, focusing on those that experts considered to have the greatest potential impact on the regions. The results of this study constitute a valuable guide for decision-makers and funding bodies, highlighting research areas that could have a significant impact at the national and regional levels, as well as for researchers, identifying specific research areas crucial for regional development and climate change mitigation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0906.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Biohydrogen; Energy efficiency; Feasibility study; Sustainability; Renewable fuels; Waste-to-hydrogen
Online: 13 July 2023 (09:20:57 CEST)
Waste-to-Hydrogen (Wahh) is a process of converting waste into hydrogen gas through various methods such as thermal conversion, biological conversion, and chemical conversion. This process not only helps in managing waste but also provides a clean source of energy as hydrogen is a renewable energy source that produces zero greenhouse gas emissions during combustion. Wahh has the potential to provide a sustainable solution for energy generation and waste management in the current scenario of globally increasing energy demands. This study aims to examine the properties and energy efficiencies of various renewable fuels including fuelwood, biogas, biomethane, and biohydrogen with a specific focus on differentiating the characteristics of biohydrogen. The paper explores the emerging concepts of waste-to-hydrogen microgrids, biohydrogen refineries, biohydrogen prosumer networks, and a biohydrogen circular economy, as well as Public-Private-People Partnerships (4Ps) and the hydrogen-centric renewable energy revolution, which are taking shape in industrialized countries. The study presents a comprehensive feasibility analysis of these concepts in the context of Nepal. The results of this research will provide valuable insights into the potential for adopting these innovative technologies in Nepal and will contribute to the development of a sustainable and efficient energy system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0811.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Heavy metals; Vegetables; Contamination; Pollution indicators; Cancer risk; Health risk
Online: 12 July 2023 (11:24:32 CEST)
Contamination of soil and crops with heavy metals (HMs) poses a significant environmental challenge in the United States. Hence, this study aimed to assess HM contamination levels from sampled Ohio and West Virginia soils using various pollution indicators analyses, including Enrichment Factor (EF), Geo-accumulation index (lgeo), Contamination Factor (CF), and Pollution Load Index (PLI) and identify the Translocation Factor (TF) of HMs in the edible part of the vegetables and further evaluate health risks associated with dietary exposure through estimations of Estimated Daily Intake (EDI), Hazard Index (HI), Target Hazard Quotient (THQ), Cancer Risk (CR) and Target Cancer Risk (TCR) on adults and children. In this study, Fe was the most predominant contaminant, ranging from 28.41 to 67.36 g/kg in the soil. Cancer risk assessment revealed that Ni poses significant risks. Therefore, regular monitoring of metal concentrations in soil and vegetables grown in these regions might mitigate potential health hazards in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0424.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Carbon dots; green synthesis; biomass; eucalyptus leaves; high quantum yield; life cycle assessment
Online: 6 July 2023 (11:37:02 CEST)
Biomass-derived carbon dots (CDs) are gaining much interest in recent times as it is a sustainable option with abundant availability, low cost, and tunable luminescence. Herein, we report a simple green synthesis method to produce highly fluorescent CDs from Eucalyptus globulus leaves using the one-pot hydrothermal approach. The fabricated CDs exhibit strong blue fluorescence with an excitation and emission maxima of 340 nm and 442 nm respectively. The highest quantum yield (QY) obtained was 60.7%. Due to its promising optical properties and biocompatibility, CDs can be a potential candidate for biosensing applications. Moreover, we employed a life cycle assessment (LCA) cradle-to-gate approach to study the environmental impacts of the synthesis strategy used for the fabrication of CDs. The results point out that citric acid is a main hotspot in CDs synthesis, regarding environmental impacts in most categories. This justifies the introduction of biomass, which reduces the amount of citric acid, thus leading to a more sustainable synthesis strategy for fabricating CDs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0394.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: nanotechnology (NT); Society 5.0; sustainable development; human activities; environment
Online: 6 July 2023 (10:55:27 CEST)
Since a few decades, the world has been facing severe global challenges with context to water, food, agriculture science, energy resources, healthcare, medicines, diseases, etc. One of the causes of these challenges is excessive human activities. So, there has arisen a necessity to tackle these challenges using sustainable solutions so as to minimize the effect of human interference. Nanotechnology (NT) has gained pace as a new technique that provides cost-effective, efficient, and eco-friendly solutions to such challenges. The advantages of the usage of NT have increased in every field of science. As compared to traditional methods, NT possesses wider use and benefits as it is designed at the nano levels and also keeps the environment clean. It is the science of tiny particles that has an important role to play in international efforts in sustainability. The innovation of NT is revolutionary and therefore subsequently will cover a wider space in terms of scientific achievements. Technology saves time, money, and human resources. This paper discusses and highlights the usage of NT with respect to its application, knowledge, and sustainable development. It also gives a broad view of the approaches, properties, and applications of NT in various sectors including the treatment of water bodies, agricultural science, drug delivery systems, medicines, and energy saving.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0015.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: PFCs; Plasma-wet Scrubber; DRE; By-product
Online: 3 July 2023 (08:26:30 CEST)
Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are used in the manufacturing process of the semiconductor and display industries, and the need for emission reduction is growing as a greenhouse gas with a very large global warming potential. The decomposition characteristics of etch type and water film (WF) type plasma-wet scrubbers were investigated. The PFCs used in the study were CF4, SF6, NF3, CHF3, C2F6, C3F8, and C4F8, and the destruction removal efficiency (DRE) and by-product gas generation rate according to the changes in the parameters (total flow rate and power) of the plasma-wet scrubber were confirmed. When the total flow rate was 100 L/min and the measured maximum power (11 kW), the reduction efficiency of CF4 in the etch type was 95.60 % and the DRE of other PFCs was 99.99 %. And, in the WF type, the DRE of CF4 was 90.06 %, that of SF6 was 96.44 %, and that of other PFCs was 99.99 %. When the total flow rate was 300 L/min and 11 kW, the DRE of SF6 in the etch type was 99 %, and the DRE of NF3, CHF3, C2F6, C3F8, and C4F8 were 99.80 %, 95.34 %, 85.38 %, 88.49 %, and 98.22 %, respectively. And, in the WF type, the DRE of SF6 was 94.39 %, and the DRE of NF3, CHF3, C2F6, C3F8, and C4F8 were 99.80 %, 95.34 %, 85.38 %, 88.49 %, and 98.22 %, respectively. The by-product gas generation rate was significantly lower in the WF type.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2094.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: PV; Shading Factor; Heat Island; Agrivoltaic System; Surface Energy Budget
Online: 29 June 2023 (11:25:11 CEST)
Solar energy is a rapidly growing sector, and solar farms are playing an increasingly important role in meeting the world's energy needs. However, as the size and complexity of these farms increase, so do the challenges associated with managing them efficiently. This article presents a comprehensive analysis of the fundamental parameters that underpin solar energy systems. Focusing on the latest research, we examine the challenges and opportunities intrinsic to the implementation of solar energy systems, paying particular attention to the various parameters that contribute to their performance. These parameters encompass a range of factors such as thermal performance, atmospheric boundary layer, solar energy meteorology, heat islands, cloud influences, agrivoltaic systems, shading factors, and surface energy budget. The review underscores the importance of considering a diverse array of parameters when developing solar energy systems to optimize their efficiency and effectiveness. Ultimately, by unraveling these challenges and opportunities, we can work towards creating more sustainable and reliable renewable energy sources and reducing our dependence on non-renewable alternatives.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2044.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: sustainability; green lean; life cycle assessment; environmental impacts; statistical methods; sustainability assessment model; GreenCycLEAN
Online: 28 June 2023 (13:50:20 CEST)
Nowadays, consumers have growing expectations for healthier and higher-quality food, and sustainable food choices are also taking on an increasingly central role. This paper assesses the environmental loads and energy resources of vegan, semi-vegetarian, and traditional restaurant soups and main dishes, focusing on preparation and cooking phases based on the life cycle assessment. The optimal menu samples were selected based on statistical methods. Mann-Whitney and Krus-kal-Wallis tests were applied to investigate restaurant products' distribution and carbon footprint. Based on the results, the preparation phases have a more significant impact. The environmental loads for the life cycle of vegan and semi-vegetarian menus are lower. Furthermore, a sustainability assessment model was developed by integrating lean and life cycle assessment approaches called "GreenCycLEAN." Research results are helpful for the sustainability of catering establishments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2039.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: sponge city; grey and green infrastructure; stormwater management model; integrated environmental benefits; monetary value; stormwater use
Online: 28 June 2023 (13:09:00 CEST)
The implementation of grey and green infrastructure is an effective mean to address urban flooding and nonpoint source pollution, but due to the complexity of the process and the diver-sity of benefits, there is a lack of measurement for their comprehensive benefits. Adopting a typ-ical university in Beijing as an example, this paper simulated the multidimensional benefits of the water quantity, water quality, and ecology of grey and green facility renovation by coupling the storm water management model (SWMM) and InfoWorks Integrated Catchment Manage-ment (ICM). Monetization methods and economical means were employed to characterize the comprehensive benefits. The results showed that grey and green infrastructure retrofitting re-duces the number of severe overflow nodes in the study area by 54.35%, the total overflow vol-ume by 22.17%, and the nonpoint source pollution level by approximately 80% under the heavy rain scenario and 60% under the rainstorm scenario. The annual benefits of grey and green infra-structure renovation reached ¥765,600/year, of this amount, ¥83,100/year is from hydrological regulation, ¥454,100/year is from nonpoint source pollution reduction, and ¥228,300/year is from ecological improvement. The benefits of green facilities were higher than those of grey facilities, and the combined benefits were negatively correlated with the rainfall level, with a total bene-fit–cost ratio of 1.19. The results provide methodological and data support for grey and green in-frastructure retrofitting within the context of sponge cities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1778.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Renewable Energy; Concentrating Solar Power; Hydrogen Storage; Just Transition; Electric Grid; Caribbean
Online: 26 June 2023 (09:59:31 CEST)
The present study describes the development and application of a computer model of the national electricity system for the Caribbean dual-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda to investigate the cost-optimal mix of solar photovoltaics (PV), wind, and in the most novel contribution, concentrating solar power (CSP). These technologies, together with battery and hydrogen energy storage, can enable the aim of achieving 100% renewable electricity and zero carbon emissions. The motivation for this study was that while most nations in the Caribbean rely largely on diesel fuel or heavy fuel oil for grid electricity generation, many countries have renewable resources beyond wind and solar energy. Antigua and Barbuda generates 93% of its electricity from diesel-fueled generators and has set targets of becoming a net-zero nation by 2040 and having 86% renewable energy generation in the electricity sector by 2030, but the nation has no hydroelectric or geothermal resources. The modeled, optimal mix of renewable energy technologies presented here was found for Antigua and Barbuda by assessing the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for systems comprising various combinations of energy technologies and storage. Other factors were also considered, such as land use and job creation. It was found that 100% renewable electricity systems are viable and significantly less costly than current power systems, and that there is no single defined pathway towards a 100% renewable energy grid, but several options are available.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1771.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: corn, corn production, corn consumption, corn trade, corn price.
Online: 26 June 2023 (09:44:01 CEST)
Corn is the main agricultural product and has been produced in Kazakhstan as important nutrition in human and animal food. The research results shown in the article, the fact of increasing the sustainability of corn production is formulated, methodological approaches to assessing the level of sustainability are developed, and criteria are defined for the main indicators of sustainability and efficiency of corn production. The world's corn production was 1,223 million tons in the 2021/22 season. Kazakhstan's corn production average was 1,1 million tons and the production area are 206,870 in the 2021/22 season. The yield per hectare was 5,985 kg in the 2021/22 season. Corn consumption was 1170.5 million tons and exported was 180.1 m.tons of corn in the 2021/22 season in Kazakhstan. The purpose of this study is a determination of sustainable developments of corn consumption and production in Kazakhstan and worldwide between the 2011/12 and 2021/22 seasons. Statistical data have been obtained from the International Grain Council, FAOSTAT, USDA, PhD diploma thesis of the article's author, Bureau of National Statistics. Data obtained have been shown in the tables issued by the use of percentage and index calculations. The study analyzed a major factor affecting supply and demand, sustainable development of corn production and market prices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1739.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: pyrolysis behavior; thermogravimetric analysis; kinetics and thermodynamics; reaction mechanism; wheat straw
Online: 26 June 2023 (05:05:09 CEST)
To realize the energy recovery of wheat straw, the pyrolysis behavior of wheat straw was studied at three heating rates (10, 20, and 30 K/min) based on thermogravimetric analysis (TG–DTG). Kinetics and thermodynamics were analyzed using Flynn–Wall–Ozawa (FWO) and Kissinger–Akahira–Sunose (KAS) model-free methods, and reaction mechanism was determined using Coats–Redfern (CR) model-fitting method. The results show that there are three weightlessness stages in the pyrolysis process, of which the second stage was the main weightlessness stage and two distinct peaks of weightlessness were observed in this stage. With increasing heating rate, the main pyrolytic weightlessness peaks of DTG curve shifts to higher temperature. The pyrolysis activation energy calculated by FWO and KAS methods are 165.17–440.02 kJ/mol and 163.72–452.07 kJ/mol, and the pre-exponential factor vary in the range of 2.58×1012–7.45×1036 s-1 and 1.91×1012–8.66×1037 s-1, respectively. The thermodynamic parameters indicates that wheat straw has the favorable conditions for product formation and containes potential energy to be utilized for bioenergy production, its pyrolysis reaction was non-spontaneous and the energy output is stable. CR method analysis shows that the A1/3 random nucleation model is the most suitable mechanism to characterize the pyrolysis process, and random nucleation may be in charge of the main pyrolysis stage. This study can provide a theoretical basis for the thermochemical conversion and utilization of wheat straw.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1734.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: PV power systems; environmental impact; land use; CO2 emission
Online: 26 June 2023 (04:26:48 CEST)
In response to the problem of increasing climate change and energy security, investment in renewable energy sources has increased significantly both in Europe and globally. Wind and solar power plants are expected to be the largest contributors to global decarbonization, ranking first and second in projected capacity by 2050. Since all power plants have some impact on the environment, this also applies to photovoltaic power plants. Because of the large capacities projected for PV installed capacity, their environmental impacts should be evaluated. The environmental impacts of PV power plants change over time. Improving the manufacturing technology of PV system components, increasing the efficiency of solar cells, and using materials that are less harmful to the environment will reduce these impacts. Manufacturing PV system components is a highly energy-intensive process that involves greenhouse gas emissions. As new renewable energy capacity is built, the amount of "green" electricity on the grid increases, reducing CO2 emissions per kWh consumed. The objective of this paper is to analyze the current status of the environmental impact of PV power plants under these changing conditions in terms of CO2 emissions, land use, pollutant and noise emissions, and water consumption. The capacity installed to date will reach the end of its lifetime by 2050, which means that the amount of waste associated with it will increase over time. This can have a significant impact on the environment, which is why part of the work is dedicated to this problem. In addition to the available information from the literature, in the part related to land use, the authors also made their own estimates based on data on newly installed PV power plants and PV modules available on the market. The results of the analysis show that there is enough land both in Europe and worldwide to install the planned capacities of rooftop and ground-mounted PV power plants. CO2 emissions are at the same level as for concentrated solar power, with a decreasing trend. Pollutant emissions, noise and water consumption are not a major problem compared to other types of power plants. Overall, it can be concluded that the expansion of PV capacity has a very positive impact on the environment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1540.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Built environment; Climate adaptation and mitigation; Carbon footprint; Eco-design; Nature-based solutions; Resilient living spaces; Solar energy technologies; Sustainable urban developments; Urban heat island; Urban planning
Online: 21 June 2023 (11:30:47 CEST)
The need to address climate change and establish sustainable urban environments has driven increased efforts in Europe to develop climate-neutral cities. This study highlights the importance of integrating solar energy technologies and nature-based solutions as key strategies to achieve climate neutrality. By examining current practices, emerging trends, and case examples, it explores the benefits, challenges, and prospects associated with the integration of solar energy and nature-based solutions in urban contexts. The study presents a pioneering approach to assess the urban heat and climate change mitigation benefits of combining building-integrated photovoltaics and nature-based solutions specifically within the European context. The results emphasize the synergistic relationship between nature-based components and solar conversion technology, identifying effective combinations for different climatic zones. In warmer regions of Southern Europe, strategies like rooftop photovoltaics on cool roofs, photovoltaics shadings, green walls, and urban trees have demonstrated effectiveness. Conversely, mid- and high-latitude European cities have seen positive impacts through the integration of rooftop photovoltaics and photovoltaics facades with green roofs and green spaces. As solar cell conversion efficiency improves, the environmental impact of photovoltaics is expected to decrease, facilitating their integration into urban environments. The study emphasizes the importance of incorporating water bodies, cool pavements, spaces with high sky-view factors, and effective planning in urban design to maximize resilience benefits. It also highlights the significance of prioritizing mitigation actions in low-income regions and engaging citizens in the development of social photovoltaics positive energy houses, resilient neighbourhoods, and green spaces. By adopting these recommendations, European cities can lead the way in creating climate-neutral urban environments that prioritize clean energy, nature-based solutions, and the overall well-being of residents. The findings underscore the need for a multidisciplinary approach that combines technological innovation, urban planning strategies, and policy frameworks to effectively achieve climate neutrality in European cities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1303.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: rural settlement; spatial distribution; Shiyang River Basin; arid area
Online: 19 June 2023 (05:38:57 CEST)
In the context of the rural revitalization strategy, it is urgent to accurately grasp the spatial differentiation characteristics and influencing factors of rural settlements in underdeveloped arid inland river basins. Taking the Shiyang River Basin as an example, the rural settlements from 2000 to 2019 were obtained by visual interpretation using satellite remote sensing data and official statistical data. Following the logical of "state characteristics - evolutionary patterns - influence factors - layout optimization", the average nearest index, gravity-center migration model, spatial statistical analysis and other methods were used combine with GIS. The spatiotemporal pattern evolution characteristics of rural settlements in the past 20 years have been analyzed. The results revealed the following: 1) The distribution pattern of rural settlements in the study area is sheet-like and strip-shaped. The projects in the southeast are mostly distributed in a patchy pattern with high density, while the characteristics in the west and north are exactly opposite. The objects in the south are distributed in the alluvial area of rivers, while settlements in the north are located in the oasis area. 2) From 2000 to 2019, the scale of rural settlements in the Shiyang River Basin, where simultaneous occurrence of new-built and disappearing phenomena, shows an expansion trend that fast firstly and then slow. Spatially, rural settlements in the basin show a trend of clustering towards the southwest. 3) The distribution characteristics of rural settlements are close to water and roads, greatly influenced by urban-rural integration and ecological migration. The results will provide scientific basis for accelerating the modernization of rural areas, and the construction of new rural areas according to local conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1045.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: higher education; resource efficiency; manufacturing industries; unique interdisciplinary international higher education approach; life-long learning; quality feedback survey and results assessment
Online: 14 June 2023 (10:32:39 CEST)
This paper presents an overview of EREMI, a two-year project funded under ERASMUS+ KA203, and its results. The project team's main objective was to develop and validate an advanced interdisciplinary higher education curriculum, which includes lifelong learning components. The curriculum focuses on enhancing resource efficiency in manufacturing industries and optimizing poorly or non-digitized industrial physical infrastructure systems. The paper also discusses the results of the project, highlighting the successful achievement of its goals. EREMI effectively supports the transition to Industry 5.0 by preparing a common European pool of future experts. Through comprehensive research and collaboration, the project team has designed curriculum that equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the evolving manufacturing landscape. Furthermore, the paper explores the significance of EREMI's contributions to the field, emphasizing the importance of resource efficiency and system optimization in industrial settings. By addressing the challenges posed by under-digitized infrastructure, the project aims to drive sustainable and innovative practices in manufacturing. All five project partner organisations have been actively engaged in offering relevant educational content and framework for decentralised sustainable economic development in regional and national contexts through capacity building at local level. A crucial element of the added value is the new channel for feedback from students. The survey results, which are outlined in the paper, offer valuable insights gathered from students, contributing to the continuous improvement of the project.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0858.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: agrobiodiversity; agroecosystems; polyculture; home gardens
Online: 12 June 2023 (16:09:23 CEST)
Agroforestry homegardens are integrated arrangements of common vegetable plants in areas close to residences, which follow a structure similar to that of tropical forests, with the cultivation of multiple species to meet the basic needs of families, such as the provision of food and medicine, as well as ensuring an environment for other family activities. Considering the importance of these environments, this work aimed to address the composition and use of plant species in agroforestry homegardens, in order to support society initiatives and government policies to strengthen the management of natural resources and individual and collective well-being in the region. For this, 119 homegardens were studied in the municipalities of Belterra, Mojuí dos Campos and Santarém, in the state of Pará, in the Brazilian Amazonia, comprising five different zones (peri-urban, urban, floodplain, indigenous land and tourist land), obtaining the data via questionnaires and guided visitation by the residents. A total of 5,323 vegetal individual plants were surveyed, distributed in 188 species and 62 botanical families. The data showed that 80.5% of the individual plants are concentrated in 18.6% of the species, with no significant difference in the average of species per homegarden in the five zones. The predominance of species for food use, primarily fruit-bearing, stands out, showing a possible direction for incentive actions and/or for the ordering of public policies and programs aimed at these spaces. Most homegardens have up to 17 plant species; less than half of homegardens have species intended for medicinal use; and there is percentage parity between native plant species and those of exotic origin, where native plants stand out for shading. Agroforestry homegardens play a crucial role in the conservation and cultivation of species for food purposes, with the cultivation or maintenance of plants based on their various purposes, showing distinct profiles of distribution and choice of species, evidencing their socioeconomic and environmental importance. Thus, it is important that these land use systems are valued, investing financial resources in actions and projects aimed at maintaining and enhancing their benefits for the region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0733.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: clean cooking fuel and utilization technology; population ratio; earth big data
Online: 9 June 2023 (16:38:43 CEST)
Cooking is a very decentralized and private way of energy consumption in human activities. The existing investigation and statistical analysis can’t effectively calculate the proportion of population relying on clean cooking fuel and utilization technology in the region. Therefore, based on the big data of the earth, this paper adopts the combination of spatial analysis and statistical analysis to determine the survey sample area, and according to the economic conditions, topographic characteristics, national policies for new energy construction and living habits of the provinces and cities under investigation, the questionnaire survey is conducted for the research area to calculate the proportion of the regional population relying on clean cooking fuels and utilization technologies. Taking the south of the Yangtze River in China as an example, the paper effectively calculates that 88.25% of the population depends on clean cooking fuel and technology in this region, of which 89.81% are in urban areas and 79.87% are in rural areas. Analysis of the survey data shows that the proportion of the population using clean cooking fuels and technologies is related to factors such as economic development, income and resource endowment. There is a large urban–rural gap in terms of energy consumption tendency and structure in the south of the Yangtze River in China and cooking energy consumption in rural households also varies from region to region. The technical ideas and conclusions of the paper have high reference application value, which can help promote the upgrading of clean energy utilization and provide data basis for relevant decision and policy making.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0394.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Drag-Dominant Tidal Turbine; Computational Sustainability; Turbomachinery Moment Analysis; Savonius; Pinwheel
Online: 6 June 2023 (07:15:46 CEST)
Drag-dominant tidal turbine energy holds tremendous clean energy potential but faces significant hurdles as unsuitability of Disk Actuator theory due to the varying swept blockage area, unaccounted bypass flow downstream interaction and rotor parasitic drag whereas Blade Element Momentum theory is computably effective for majorly 3-blade lift-dominated aerofoil. This study proposes a novel method to find the optimal TSR of any turbine with a cost-effective and user-friendly Moment Balancing algorithm to support robust tidal energy development. Performance analysis CFD study of Pinwheel and Savonius tidal turbines was carried out. Dynamic TSR matrix was developed with varying rotational speeds and fluid velocities for reliability, unlike previous works simulated at a fixed fluid velocity. Novel parameters such as thrust and idle moment are introduced as functions of only inlet fluid velocity and rotational speed respectively. These relationships are verified through regression analysis, and the turbines' net moment equations are established based on these parameters. Rotational speed was a reliable predictor for Pinwheel's idle moment, while inlet velocity was a reliable predictor for thrust moment in both models. The optimal (Cp, TSR) values for Pinwheel and Savonius turbines were (2.37, 0.223) and (0.63, 0.16) respectively, within an acceptable error range for experimental validation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0272.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Product-Service System (PSS); Circular economy; Luggage; sustainable travel; sustainable con-sumption; sustainable production
Online: 5 June 2023 (08:30:48 CEST)
The travel-goods industry is an essential part of the larger travel and tourism sector, but it creates significant environmental impacts due to resource and energy consumption. This study investigates the feasibility and sustainability potential of servitisation concepts within the travel-goods industry, and the Product-Service System (PSS) models, in particular, to identify steps towards a more sus-tainable travel industry in the future. It explores the sustainability-related drivers within the luggage industry and identifies barriers to the adoption of servitisation models, and opportunities for value creation for both consumers and commercial organisations. Business models are mapped into a ty-pology to highlight different pathways to PSS adoption, underpinned with empirical data collected via a consumer sentiment survey and semi-structured interviews with industry experts. Even though the analysis revealed shifting consumer attitudes towards servitisation concepts within the travel-goods market, with a significant level of interest emerging for specific PSS models, at present, the widespread adoption of PSS is hindered. This is due to the fragmented nature of global supply chains and entrenched ownership values. Addressing supply chain issues regarding end-of-life systems to sustainably manage products beyond functional obsolescence is critical. In parallel, product-oriented PSS models are more likely to increase, driven by a burgeoning resale market and supported by digi-tal technologies, which in turn can lead to greater prospects for use-oriented PSS adoption and even-tually, reduced environmental impacts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0230.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: social life cycle assessment; crepe rubber; concentrated latex; ribbed smoked sheets; corruption
Online: 5 June 2023 (03:59:09 CEST)
Raw rubber production is the sole foundation for the rubber product industry, rendering raw rubber to manufacture essential commodities to mankind such as tires, condoms, surgical gloves, and so forth. Raw rubber production involves various stakeholders; however, literature focusing on the social impacts of raw rubber production and its supply chain has hereto been limited. Social life cycle assessment, a popular tool to assess the social impacts of a product or process and was deployed herein to assess the social profiles of three Sri Lankan raw rubber supply chains (crepe rubber, concentrated latex, and ribbed smoked sheets). The Social Hotspots Database v4 on Sima Pro v9.3 was used for the analysis. Results indicated that Governance and Labour rights & decent work had been affected in its supply chain of fertilizers due to Corruption and Freedom of association & collective bargaining issues, mainly in Belarus, and China. Proposed improvement options to address these touchpoints were found to be effective. For instance, if the importation of K-fertilizer shifted into low risk countries, overall social risks associated with Corruption and Freedom of association & collective bargaining in the supply chains could be reduced by ca. 36% and 25%, respectively. As a result, social risks in the aforesaid impact categories, i.e., Governance and Labor rights & decent work, were reduced by ca. 35-41% and ca. 17-20%, respectively. Such improvements may help positioning the Sri Lankan rubber industry in the sustainability-conscious-world rubber market. Further, the methodical hierarchy developed herein is suggested to adopt in any industry to measure social sustainability subjected to the relevant refinements to the supply chains.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0104.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Circular Economy; Life Cycle Assessment; Carbon Footprint; Information Systems
Online: 1 June 2023 (15:22:06 CEST)
Abstract: The need to rapidly reduce GHG has accelerated the adoption of circular models of production. However, this has proved to be a challenging task for SMEs, who lack the financial, organizational and informational capabilities to implement circular business models. In this context, calculating the carbon footprint (CF) of their products could provide the basis for assessing the different circular economy (CE) practices. The aim of this study is to present a CF calculation tool that can be used to calculate the CF of SMEs. The design of the tool was based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, taking into account the various barriers that SMEs face in adopting CE practices. The tool was tested in a small cheese factory in northern Greece. The pro-duction process was mapped, a GHG inventory was created and the total emissions related to the production of a specific product was estimated. The final aim is to test this tool at a large scale.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0018.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: carbon footprint; embodied carbon; biomass; composite materials; material substitution
Online: 1 June 2023 (03:43:38 CEST)
Several methods of processing wood into strong, durable products for the construction industry provide transformative opportunities to substitute for less sustainable building materials. Carbon storage is a further advantage, with the added possibility of combustion for bioenergy at end of life. Intense research activity in this area is expected to open up new markets for wood fiber during the lifetime of trees now being planted. Here, wood-derived materials are classified according to the particle size, from metres to nanometres, into which the wood is fragmented before reconstitution. Materials made by densifying or chemically modifying solid wood with no fragmentation are already in production for exterior doors, window frames and cladding, with improved uniformity and stability compared with unmodified wood. Pre-commercial developments promise further gains in durability and strength. Emerging developments extend these process technologies to wood that has been chipped or stranded or pulped, retaining the above advantages over raw timber for weather-facing applications and adding processability by moulding or extrusion. Crucially, the raw material does not then need to be sawn timber but can be bioenergy-grade wood biomass. This will facilitate afforestation strategies that combine the aims of carbon sequestration and biodiversity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1926.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Sustainability; plant production; fungus; crop production
Online: 26 May 2023 (10:56:35 CEST)
Purpureocillium lilacinum PL11 (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus) is a ubiquitous fungus found in several habitats, mainly in the soil, and belongs to the Ophiocordycipitaceae family. This fungus was shown to have potential applications in agriculture as a biocontrol agent and biofertilizer. P. lilacinum can inhibit plant‒pathogenic fungi and nematodes, including root-knot and potato cyst nematodes. Additionally, P. lilacinum produces siderophores and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), enhancing plant development and increasing soil nutrient availability. P. lilacinum has been extensively studied in various commodities, including pineapple, maize, soybean, and legume. Most studies have evaluated P. lilacinum as a biocontrol agent, especially for nematode control. Other studies have evaluated the production of secondary metabolites and bioremediation, and few studies have used this fungus as a plant growth promoter. This review addressed important aspects of using this fungus. P. lilacinum is a promising fungus that can be used for agricultural production, reducing environmental impact, and thus collaborating for a sustainable agriculture production system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1847.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: ship emissions; air pollution; ship emission control policies; emission reduction; non-cooperative game; green shipping; low sulfur fuel
Online: 26 May 2023 (04:29:39 CEST)
To accomplish IMO's emissions reduction targets, the Chinese government has established emission control areas and implemented strict sulfur limitation policies. Faced with the downturn in the shipping industry and the challenge of insufficient supply of compliant fuel, Hong Kong and Shenzhen in China have implemented different low-sulfur fuel subsidy policies. Therefore, it is particularly important to study the air pollution control mechanism considering low sulfur fuel subsidy policy. Firstly, the non-cooperative game models considering low-sulfur fuel subsidies are constructed. Secondly, the mechanisms of various factors affecting port pricing, throughput and profit are analyzed. Then, a case study is conducted by using AIS data of container ships in Shanghai Port and Ningbo Zhoushan Port. The study reveals that whether the container service price of the leader port increases or decreases, the follower port always take corresponding follow-up measures. In both sequential and simultaneous game, the profit difference of the leader port is positively related to the subsidy ratio of the port’s own and negatively related to the coefficient of the competitor's subsidy. In conclusion, the low-sulfur fuel subsidy policy has a significant positive impact on the step-by-step implementation of more stringent pollution reduction policies in port waters.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1826.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Forest Ecosystem Management Decision Support System; Rule-Based System; Forest Planning; Harvest Scheduling; Forest optimization
Online: 26 May 2023 (03:23:19 CEST)
Linear programming formulations of forest ecosystem management (FEM) problems proposed in the 60s have been adapted and improved upon over the years. Generating management alternatives for forest management planning is a key step in building these models. Global forests are diverse, and a variety of models have been developed to simulate management alternatives. Climate change has made forest management calculations even more complex, requiring flexibility, diverse parameters, models, and methods. Despite this complexity, consistent concepts can be applied in developing management alternatives for forest management planning. This work describes iGen, a flexible forest prescription generator that applies the AI technique Rule-Based System (AI-RBS). iGen projects the state and associated inputs and outputs for a set of management units using rules from its knowledge base. An Inference Engine uses the rules to simulate a set of prescriptions in a tree-like graph structure. Without needing IT specialists, forest managers can describe the potential development of their forest through variables, rules, formulas, functions, and procedures. A key feature of iGen is that it is not limited to, adapted to, or focused on any specific region, landscape, forest condition, projection method, or yield function. Instead, it aims to maximize generality, enabling it to address a broad range of FEM problems. This article introduces iGen, explaining its concepts, structure, and algorithms through two FEM problems: natural regeneration with shelterwood harvests and plantation/coppice. For data and iGen source programs, visit github.com/…/iGen.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1763.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Energy Efficiency; Energy Audit; Internal barriers; Competing interests; Lack of information; Low technical competence
Online: 25 May 2023 (08:06:12 CEST)
Climate change complies firms to introduce various measures to enhance both their competitiveness and sustainability, particularly energy efficiency measures (EEMs). Energy efficiency is particularly important in energy-intensive sectors such as the industrial sector. However, EEMs within the industrial firms are hindered by several internal barriers such as competing interests within firms, the lack of information regarding energy efficiency opportunities, and the low technical competence. In this regard, energy audit aims to improve energy efficiency in facilities and to tackle internal barriers to energy efficiency. We construct a model which aims to explore the importance of energy audit in implementing EEMs and reducing the intensity of internal barriers to energy efficiency. Our research model was empirically tested through survey data gathered from 193 industrial firms in Morocco. Results show that competing interests, the lack of information and the low technical competence hinder the adoption of EEMs within industrial firms. In addition, energy audits enhance EEMs, and mitigate the negative effect of the lack of information and the low technical competence on the adoption of EEMs. However, energy audits do not attenuate the negative effect of competing interests on EEMs. This study reinforces previous studies with additional confirmation regarding the importance of energy audits for tackling the lack of information, and the low technical competence within firms. Furthermore, our study extends prior research as we found that energy audits do not reduce the intensity of competing interests within firms regarding EMMs’ implementation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1727.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: grain yield prediction; remote sensing image; deep learning; CBAM; LSTM
Online: 25 May 2023 (03:41:51 CEST)
Grain yield prediction affects policy making in various aspects such as agricultural production planning, food security assurance, and adjustment of foreign trade. Accurately predicting grain yield is of great significance in ensuring global food security. This paper is based on the MODIS remote sensing image data products from 2010 to 2020, and adds band information such as vegetation index and temperature to form composite remote sensing data as a data set. Aiming at the lack of models for large-scale forecasting and the need for human intervention in traditional models, this paper proposes a grain production estimation model based on deep learning. First, image cropping and yield mapping techniques are used to process the data to generate training samples. Then the channel and spatial attention mechanism (Convolutional Block Attention Module, CBAM) is added for extracting spatial information in different remote sensing bands to improve the efficiency of the model. Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) neural networks is also added to obtain feature information in the time dimension. Finally, a national-scale grain yield prediction model is constructed. The proposed model was tested on data from 2018 to 2020 showing an average R2 of 0.940 and an average RMSE of 80,020 tons, indicating that it can predict Chinese grain yield better. The model proposed in this paper extracts grain yield information directly from the composite remote sensing data, and solves the problem of small-scale research and imprecise yield prediction in an end-to-end manner.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1618.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: water hyacinth; cow manure; codigestion; biomethane potential; biofertilizer manure
Online: 23 May 2023 (08:19:27 CEST)
The biodegradability of water hyacinth for biogas and biofertiliser production was studied under mesophilic conditions. The effects of water hyacinth pre-treatments were also included in this investigation. It was found that water hyacinth has a low biodegradability of 27% when monodigested while at a 3:1 ratio with cow manure, the biodegradability increases to 46%. At this elevated biodegradability, the water hyacinth biomethane potential was 185 LCH4/kgVS, while that of cow manure was 216 LCH4/kgVS. The Gompertz kinetic model had superior parameters than the Logistic model for most of the water hyacinth-cow manure combined substrate digestion. Based on the Gompertz model, the lag phase and daily maximum methane production rate were 5.5 days and 22.9 ml /day respectively for the 3:1 codigestion (R2 of 0.99). These values were 6.7 days and 15.2 ml/day respectively, in the case of water hyacinth monodigestion (R2 = 0.996). The dominant microbial species detected in the digestates were Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. A few microbial species were indigenous to water hyacinth but a more diverse consortia which is key to efficient substrate biodegradation, came from cow manure. The digestate contained ammonium nitrogen at 68 mg/kg with phosphorous and potassium at 73 and 424 mg/kg respectively. Nitrogen was lower but phosphorous and pottasium were comparable to previously studied digestates of other substrates. Only water hyacinth pretreated through aerobic composting proved to unlock a higher methane yield that matched a 3:1 codigestion with cow manure. Other pretreatments induced better biodegradation performance than that observed on untreated water hyacinth but this improvements were not as good as that of the 3:1 codigestion scheme. It was concluded that water hyacinth sourced from the Hartbeespoort dam, could be treated through anaerobic digestion to recover biogas and biofertilizer. However, more experiments are required to fully understand and harness the optimisation opportunities available in applying this technology to manage water hyacinth.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1341.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Biological methanation; trickle-bed reactor; biogas upgrading; high pressure; biomethane; optimization of thermodynamic parameters
Online: 18 May 2023 (11:08:13 CEST)
The increased demand for resources and energy that is developing with rising global consumption represents a key challenge for our generation. Biogas production can contribute to sustainable energy production and closing nutrient cycles using organic residues or as part of a utilization cascade in the case of energy crops. Compared to hydrogen (H2), biogas with a high methane (CH4) content can be fed into the gas grid without restrictions. For this purpose, the CH4 content of the biogas must be increased from 52 to 60 % after anaerobic digestion to more than 96 %. In this study, biological hydrogen methanation (BHM) in trickling-bed reactors (TBR) is used to upgrade biogas. Design of experiments (DoE) is used to determine the optimal process parameters. The performance of the reactors is stable under all given conditions, reaching a “low” gas grid quality of over 90 %. The highest CH4 content of 95.626 ± 0.563 % is achieved at 55 °C and 4 bar, with a methane formation rate (MFR) of 5.111 ± 0.167 m³/(m³·d). The process performance is highly dependent on the H2:CO2 ratio in the educts, which should be as close as possible to the stochiometric ratio of 4. In conclusion, BHM is a viable approach to upgrade biogas to biomethane quality and can contribute to a sustainable energy grid.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0110.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Climate change; perception; Climate smart agriculture; Adoption
Online: 12 May 2023 (11:31:38 CEST)
Abstract: Climate change is one of the main barriers for agricultural production and productivity globally. Hence, understanding farmers’ adoption level of CSA practices and determinants is of highly important for policy decisions. Consequently, the study's purpose was to assess adoption level of multiple CSA practices and determinants of climate-smart agriculture practices in the study area. The study was conducted in Welmera Woreda, Oromia Region, Ethiopia. From the Woreda, three kebeles were identified, and 306 respondent farmers were selected. A cross-sectional household survey, focus group discussion, and key informant interviews were used. Multivariate probit model was used to examine adoption determinants of multiple climate-smart agriculture practices. According to the result, Conservation agriculture, integrated soil fertility management, and crop diversification are the most commonly practiced CSA techniques in the study area. Demographic factors result indicated that being male as compared with female farmers, has positive and significant effect on crop diversification and improved livestock feed and feeding practices. Age of farmers significantly and negatively affecting the probability of adoption of improved soil fertility management practices and crop diversification. However, it affects the adoption of agroforestry practices positively and significantly. Based on the result of economic factors, having relatively large farm land size significantly increases the adoption of conservation agriculture, improved soil fertility management, crop diversification, improved livestock feed and feeding practices, and postharvest technology practice. Better farm income increases the likelihood of uptake of improved livestock feed and feeding. Having a large number of livestock positively influences adoption of conservation agriculture and having access to credit services positively influences the implementation of agroforestry, crop diversification, and postharvest technology. In addition, institutional factors such as access to agricultural extension service and training found that significantly and positively influences the adoption of crop diversification; access to participation on farmers’ field day similarly significantly and positively influence the adoption of both conservation agriculture and improved soil fertility management practice. Awareness creation for farmers and experts about climate change and including location specific CSA practices in to agricultural program is crucial.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0143.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: recovered phosphorus fertiliser (RPF); septage; onsite sanitation system; resource-oriented sanitation system; nutrients
Online: 3 May 2023 (11:19:25 CEST)
Nutrient recovery technologies have been constantly developed and optimised to address challenges in water and wastewater management, sanitation, and agri-food systems, while promoting sustainable management of resources, and circular phosphorus economy. However, these technologies have been rarely explored beyond laboratory-scale in developing countries where it is mostly needed, such as the Philippines. In this study, a nutrient recovery batch reactor system was installed at a local farm to process raw septage from an onsite sanitation system, septic tank, to recover a high-value fertiliser for local crop production. The batch reactor was used for two processes; acid hydrolysis for pre-treatment of septage and chemical precipitation to recover phosphorus fertiliser (RPF). The recovered fertiliser was then applied to produce eggplants and tomatoes, which are the common crops grown in the farm. Results show that an average of 290 g of recovered RPF was produced for every 100 L of raw septage processed. With hydrolysis, 77% of the phosphate concentration were released as phosphates from the solid component of the raw septage. About 98.5% of phosphates were recovered from the hydrolysed septage. The RPF when applied to the farm’s eggplants and tomatoes have yields comparable to that of the commercial fertilisers. This study was able to demonstrate the potential of a resource-oriented sanitation system that promotes nutrient recycling toward sustainable agriculture that further leads to meeting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Zero Hunger (goal 2), Clean Water and Sanitation (goal 6), Sustainable Cities and Communities (goal 11), and Responsible Consumption and Production (goal 12).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1262.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Technically Hydrolyzed Lignin; Carbonization; Biochar Characterization
Online: 30 April 2023 (04:48:39 CEST)
The present study aimed at utilizing technically hydrolyzed lignin (THL), industrial biomass residue, derived in high-temperature diluted sulphuric acid hydrolysis of softwood and hardwood chips to sugars. The THL was carbonized in horizontal tube furnace at atmospheric pressure, in inert atmosphere and at three different temperatures (500, 600 and 700 ºC). Biochar chemical composition was investigated along with its HHV, thermal stability (thermogravimetric analysis) and textural properties. Surface area and pore volume were measured with nitrogen physisorption analysis often named upon Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET). Increasing the carbonization temperature reduced volatile organic compounds (40 ÷ 96 wt. %), increased fixed carbon (2.11 to 3.68 times the wt. % of fixed carbon in THL), ash and C-content. Moreover, H and O were reduced, while N- and S-content were below the detection limit. This suggested biochar application as solid biofuel. The biochar Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectra revealed that the functional groups were gradually lost thus, forming materials having merely polycyclic aromatic structures and high condensation rate. The biochar obtained at 600 and 700 ºC proved having properties typical for microporous adsorbents, suitable for selective adsorption purposes. Based on the latest observations another biochar application was proposed - as catalyst.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0277.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Positive energy districts; PED definition; Context Factors; energy balance assessment
Online: 27 April 2023 (02:54:32 CEST)
This paper presents the goals and components of a quantitative energy balance assessment framework to define PEDs flexibly in three important contexts: the context of the district's density and RES potential, the context of a district's location, induced mobility and the context of the dis-trict's future environment and its decarbonized energy demand or supply. It starts by introducing the practical goals of this definition approach: achievable, yet sufficiently ambitious to be inline with Paris 2050 for most urban and rural Austrian district typologies. It goes on to identify the main design parts of the definition: system boundaries, balancing weights and balance targets and argue how they can be linked to the definition goals in detail. In particular we specify three levels of system boundaries and argue their individual necessity: operation, including everyday mobili-ty, including embodied energy and emissions. It argues that all three pillars of PEDs, energy effi-ciency, onsite renewables and energy flexibility can be assessed with the single metric of a prima-ry energy balance when using carefully designed, time-dependent conversion factors. Finally, it is discussed how balance targets can be interpreted as information and requirements from the sur-rounding energy system, which we identify as a "context factor". Three examples of such context factors, each corresponding to the balance target of one of the previously defined system bounda-ries operation, mobility and embodied emissions are presented: Density (as a context of opera-tion), sectoral energy balances and location (as a context for mobility) and an outlook of a person-al emission budgets (as a context for embodied emissions). Finally, the proposed definition framework is applied to seven distinct district typologies in Austria and discussed in terms of its design goals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0817.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Industrial; Revolution; digital; agriculture; smallholder farmers; innovations; Africa
Online: 24 April 2023 (04:13:52 CEST)
Digital transformation of agriculture can support economic growth and food and nutri-tion security in Africa. This study provides an overview of the status of digital agriculture in five west African countries, analyzing their efforts in developing the enabling environment and inno-vations while formulating recommendations based on the identified gaps for the effective trans-formation of the sector. Information was retrieved through a literature search from various sources, including web pages and databases of national agricultural and digital transformation institutions and start-ups of the five target countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria) and regional/international institutions. There have been increasing agri-digital initia-tives in the five countries, which were grouped into seven categories based on their objectives. Steady progress was also observed in mobile internet adoption, despite the differences in deploy-ing crucial infrastructure to promote digital agriculture. The mobile connectivity index (MCI) in all five countries is below 60. Nonetheless, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire demonstrated more efforts in internet and electricity access, especially in rural areas. Benin and Nigeria have developed sep-arate documents depicting the roadmap for Digital Agriculture, while the other countries are working to create one or have it embedded in their national development plans. Similarities and specificities exist among countries for laws and processes protecting Agri-digital innovators. To be competitive and self-reliant in the global e-economy, these countries must reposition them-selves to accelerate changes in digital agriculture through effective governance and synergy of actions in different sectors and across nations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0726.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: agricultural waste; bio-waste; synergies; web platform; bioeconomy; industrial symbiosis; waste management
Online: 21 April 2023 (13:48:17 CEST)
Sustainable bio-economy is considered to be one of the most promising routes towards the transition to a circular and climate-neutral economy. The valorization industry of bio-waste and agri-food by-products represents a key player in bioeconomy. In this article the design and the development of a web platform aiming at promoting synergies enabling the agricultural waste valorization is presented. The platform consists of: (i) the AgriPLaCE Waste Management Database which provides the users with an extended list of potential utilization measures for a variety of agricultural waste streams (ii) the AgriPLaCE Synergies Tool which aims to create synergies between different actors involved in the value chain from agricultural waste production to waste treatment and new valuable products’ exploitation. At the initial stage, the conceptual design of both tools took place by conducting an in-depth analysis for the user needs and services alongside the system architecture. Following, the AgriPLaCE platform development stage took place, with the implementation of all the necessary subsystems. The results showed that multiple potential collaborations can arise by the use of the AgriPLaCE platform, while users can also deepen on alternative and emerging treatment technologies and valuable products that can derive from a wide range of agricultural waste streams.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0706.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: solar business; solar PV; social acceptance; energy transition; oil-rich country; Iran
Online: 21 April 2023 (09:49:31 CEST)
Taking a socio-technical perspective, I focus on solar businesses (niche market actors) in Iran. As one of the key stakeholder groups whose business prosperity is tied to the development of solar PV, they play a crucial role in accelerating the energy transition. Given the incumbent fossil-based electricity sector in Iran and the least enabling policies, I am first interested to find (i) the main drivers and barriers of solar businesses; and (ii) the roles these solar businesses play in bringing solar PV deployment forward in Iran. I collected the data via 20 semi-structured interviews with solar businesses in Golestan, Guilan, Tehran, Khorasan Razavi, and Eastern Azerbaijan Provinces in Iran. Taking an inductive approach, I considered sustainability transition and social acceptance theories as sensitising concepts to investigate common and specific points of solar business acceptance in Iran. I find ecological awareness, belief in intergenerational justice, and willingness to innovate, as the main intrinsic drivers and socioeconomic opportunity and tackling the energy imbalance as extrinsic drivers; while the lack of a common vision with the energy governors, and the low knowledge of solar PV among the customers, escalating prices, and challenges to accessing good quality solar equipment are the most prior obstacles. Moreover, I understand educating people, driving the innovative deployment of solar PV, and facilitating the diffusion of it, as the major roles of solar businesses in Iran. I find that the sustainability transition literature overlooked the key role of solar businesses specially in fossil-based and developing economies. My findings suggest that the positive intrinsic mechanisms among the solar businesses, in combination with better-enabling policy frameworks and external factors, like lifting the sanctions and joining the global energy market, climate change mitigation commitments and standards, can help solar businesspeople to lead and accelerate solar PV development in Iran.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0502.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: data centre; vertical farming; energy-saving; sustainability; emission reductions; waste heat energy
Online: 18 April 2023 (07:55:16 CEST)
Data centres, though a necessary part of modern society, are being stigmatised for consuming vast amounts of electricity for their operational and cooling needs. Due to Ireland’s reliance on fossil fuels to meet the increased energy demand of data centres, the data centres are contributing significantly to Ireland’s total carbon emissions. As much of this energy is expelled from data centres as waste heat energy, the potential for recycling some of this wasted heat energy was explored using environmentally friendly systems from recent publications. The recovered waste heat energy was applied in a vertical farming system, and the benefits of this waste heat to the vertical farm were analysed and quantified in two scenarios. Using conservative estimates, it was predicted that each vertical farm could be between 5-23% the size of the data centre and produce enough food to feed between 14-61 adults their daily calorie needs, and between 13-58 people their daily fresh produce requirements, depending on the scenario applied. For a more accurate prediction, each vertical farm would have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, there was not enough data available on Irish data centres to perform these calculations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0499.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: natural ventilation; occupant-generated CO2 tracer gas method; ventilation rates; infiltration rates
Online: 18 April 2023 (07:18:27 CEST)
Natural ventilation in a building is an effective way to achieve acceptable indoor air quality. Ventilation dilutes contaminants such as bio-effluents generated by occupants, substances emitted from building materials, and water vapor generated by occupants' activities. In a building that requires heating and cooling, adequate ventilation is crucial to minimize energy consumption while maintaining healthy indoor air quality. However, measuring the actual magnitude of the ventilation rate, including infiltration through the building envelope and airflow through building openings, is not always feasible. In this study, the occupant-generated carbon dioxide (CO2) tracer gas decay method was applied to estimate the ventilation rates in an office room in Seoul, South Korea, from summer to winter. Using the method, real-time ventilation rates can be calculated by monitoring indoor and outdoor CO2 concentrations without injecting a tracer gas. 145mm-diameter circular openings on the fixed glass were used for natural ventilation in the test room. As a result, firstly, the indoor CO2 concentrations were used as an indicator to evaluate how much the indoor air quality deteriorated when all the windows were closed in an occupied office room compared to international standards for indoor air quality. Moreover, we found out the estimated ventilation rates varied depending on various environmental conditions, even with the same openings for natural ventilation. Considering the indoor and outdoor temperature differences and outdoor wind speeds as the main factors influencing the ventilation rates, we analyzed how they affected the ventilation rates in different seasons of South Korea. When the wind speeds were calm, the temperature difference played as a factor that influences the estimated ventilation rates. On the other hands, when the temperature differences were low, the wind speed was the primary factor. This study raises awareness about the risk of poor indoor air quality in office rooms that could lead to health problems or unpleasant working environments. This study presents an example of estimating the ventilation rates in an existing building. In the same way, the ventilation rate in an existing building can be simply estimated while using the building as usual, and appropriate ventilation strategies for the building can be determined to maintain desired indoor air quality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0121.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: smart local energy systems; theory of change; evidence; evaluation
Online: 7 April 2023 (09:40:16 CEST)
Smart local energy systems (SLES) have been promoted in policy as a solution to decarbonisation challenges which also bring wider benefits, such as community prosperity and energy affordability. But the combination of conditions required to enable their successful emergence and operation are still to be elaborated. This paper reports on the development of a Theory of Change (ToC) for the “societal project” of emergence of SLES with benefits. ToC is a process of making explicit the causal links by which activities lead to outcomes, surfacing assumptions, and recognising possible unintended consequences. We describe the ToC development process, involving consultation and collaboration across a research consortium. It consists of layers (e.g. users, skills, data and digital), and shows conditions considered necessary to deliver SLES, and for these to deliver wider benefits. It also provides interactive links to evidence emerging from the consortium, as well as policy/governance conditions and metrics. We reflect on potential uses of the ToC – internally to the consortium and externally – along with challenges we encountered in pursuing this approach. Policy implications relate to the importance of enabling conditions across multiple sectors, the absence of any of which could inhibit delivery of either SLES or their ensuing benefits.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0018.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Citrus reticulata L. peels; essential oils; solvent extraction; petroleum ether; n-hexane; natural bio-pesticide; Trialeurodes vaporariorum W. (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae)
Online: 3 April 2023 (08:33:29 CEST)
The excessive use of synthetic insecticides in modern agriculture has led to the contamination of the environment and the development of insect resistance. In this study, we evaluated the potential of tangerine (Citrus reticulata L.) peel essential oil (EO) as a natural insecticide against greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum W. (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae)), a common pest in greenhouse production. Petroleum ether (PET) and n-hexane (HEX) were used as solvents to extract essential oil (EO) from tangerine peels. The yield of EO was 1.59 % and 2.00 % (m/m) for PET and HEX, respectively. The insecticidal activity of EO was evaluated by measuring the mortality rate (MR) of greenhouse whiteflies at different time intervals. The results showed that PET and HEX extracts of tangerine EO effectively controlled the greenhouse whitefly. With both solvents, it was observed that with doses of 12.5% (v/v), similar results were achieved as with the positive control (corresponding to the commercial insecticide imidacloprid). Additionally, the FTIR analysis found that the EO contained d-limonene, which may be the source of its insecticidal properties. Therefore, tangerine peel essential oil is an excellent natural insecticide candidate for controlling greenhouse whiteflies effectively and sustainably.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0516.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Melt-blend extrusion; 3D filament; brominated flame retardants; solvent extraction; acetone smoothing
Online: 30 March 2023 (02:41:32 CEST)
Less than half of e-waste plastics is sorted worldwide and this rate is likely to decline as major processing countries have banned importation of e-waste plastics. This forces the development of decentralized processing facilities, also known as microfactories. The present work investigates the recyclability of different grades of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) copolymer, polycarbonate, and polypropylene, which were found to be very abundant in a recycling site in the UK. The determination of the matrix relied on the resin identification code imprinted in the e-waste plastic and subsequent FTIR analysis. The melt-blend extrusion technology enabled the valorization of the wasted thermoplastics as 3D filament without significant degradation of the polymers. The recycled materials maintained the tensile strength around 2.5 MPa in agreement with the specifications offered by virgin polymers. Further characterization was done by means of laser microscope, thermogravimetric analysis, and XRF to determine the commercial viability of the recycled filament. A modified solvent-based method was developed with acetone to remove the brominated flame retardants: 25g/100mL, 30 minutes of contact time, and 4 extraction steps. The FTIR results show that the degradation of the rubbery dispersed phase corresponding to the butadiene can be accumulated in the less soluble fraction of the waste ABS.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0380.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: correlation power-frequency; frequency stability; hydropower; power quality analysis
Online: 21 March 2023 (14:29:33 CET)
One of the challenges posed by renewable energies is the stabilization of parameters related to the quality of electrical energy. This study demonstrates the existence of a relationship between input blocks of hydropower and the variation of the fundamental frequency of the electricity grid. By mapping production data provided by Spanish Electric Network with frequency measured in the laboratory, it is shown that gradients of hydropower are correlated with frequency fluctuations for certain characteristic times. Considering hourly instances of energy input, the study compares two methods for calculating hydropower gradients (linear regression and pseudo-linear regression); and two methods for calculating local frequency extremes (the "specular inertia" method and analysis by comparison with the moving average), in order to corroborate the results.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0158.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Sustainable Development; Sustainability; Sustainable development goals; Environmental Sustainability; Economic Sustainability; Social Sustainability
Online: 9 February 2023 (08:30:18 CET)
“Sustainable development” (SD) is a term that has gained prominence in the international dia-logue around development. Many, however, continue to misunderstand the concept, its principles, its development, and its operationalization. The wide variety of definitions and interpretations of SD lean toward institutional and social prerogatives rather than unifying the essence of the con-cept, which is rooted in conventional ideas and values. By delving deeper into the paradigm, its history, and its potential, this research sought to contribute to ongoing discussions about sus-tainable development. The literature was thoroughly analyzed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2020. This historical and conceptual analysis sought to update the body of knowledge on sustainability and sustainable development by examining the metaphorical and epistemological underpinnings of SD’s various definitions, evolutions, and principles. The research concludes and argues that intergenerational justice, based on the environment, economy, and society, is the central tenet of the entire sustainable develop-ment argument. The focus and consideration of interested parties are moving from the protection of the environment to social sustainability. The future of SD is likely to continue to focus much more on the social pillar and integrate digitalization in implementing the SD concept, especially in the fourth industrial revolution. To promote ethical human behavior and activities worldwide, at national and local levels, decision-makers must be continuously cognizant of the interdepend-encies, direct interactions, and balance between the three core constructs of SD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0019.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: sufficiency economy philosophy; community enterprises; sustainability
Online: 2 February 2023 (01:52:25 CET)
Sustainability is essential for every business and organization, but how can it be achieved? This work is a study of sustainability based on the sufficiency economy philosophy, a valuable concept introduced by the Thai people. We apply it to the notion of sustainability in 400 agricultural community enterprise owners in Thailand, who participated in the study. An oblique rotation component analysis was performed, finding that the variables on the same side are related, and a confirmative component analysis with structural equation models was conducted. The results showed that the approach to applying the sufficiency economy philosophy among community enterprises consists of 11 components, as follows: 1) financial control, 2) planning, 3) member management, 4) morals, 5) prevention plan, 6) moderation, 7) knowledge and expertise, 8) market development, 9) care, 10) quality control and 11) value of investment. The confirmative component analysis with structural equation modeling was consistent with the empirical data. Agricultural community enterprises and entrepreneurs focus on the moral component, conduct business with honesty and avoid causing problems for others, value justice without taking advantage with diligence and adhere to moral principles in life, because all of the above will lead to sustainability in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0127.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: homer; technoeconomic; urban; sustainable
Online: 6 January 2023 (12:57:55 CET)
Keywords: Utilizing; HOMER; techno-economic; sustainable; urban (List three to ten pertinent keywords specific to the article yet reasonably common within the subject discipline.)
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0502.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Vistrails-SAHM software; citrus; spatial distribution; probability of presence; Mediterranean climate; predictor layers
Online: 28 November 2022 (08:10:50 CET)
South Italy is characterised by a semi-arid climate with scarce rain and high evaporative demand, therefore the need to optimise water resources in this area is crucial, and climate change could worsen this condition. In citrus cultivation, which is one of the most important crops bred in Southern Italy, and more generally in Mediterranean regions, deficit irrigation strategies are im-plemented in order to cope with limited resource availability. On this basis, knowledge on how the territorial distribution of citrus would change in relation to these strategies constitutes valuable information for the stakeholders. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the prob-ability of presence of citrus in Sicily at changing of the percentage of water deficit application, in order to analyse change in the surface area and localisation of the crop. The methodology was based on the application of Species Distribution Models and Geographic Information Systems to the case study of the Province of Syracuse in Sicily. Different geostatistical and machine learning models were applied, based on 3-decades bioclimatic variables, DTM and irrigation; assessment of the outcomes was carried by using classification evaluation metrics. The analysis of the outcomes showed that uncorrelated predictor layers mainly included water input that affected most the probability of presence. Moreover, GIS analyses showed that deficit irrigation strategies would generate an overall reduction of cultivation surfaces in the territory and a decrease of citrus pres-ence in southern areas of the considered territory, where climate conditions are less favourable in terms of temperature and precipitations, thus providing useful information for decision support tools in agriculture and land use policy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0244.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Soil Erosion; Floods; LULC; KINEROS2; GIS; Remote Sensing
Online: 16 September 2022 (09:23:13 CEST)
The Kashmir valley is prone to flooding due to its peculiar geomorphic setup compounded by the rapid anthropogenic land system changes and climate change. The study assesses the impact of land use and land cover (LULC) changes between 1980 and 2020 and extreme rainfall on peak discharge and sediment yield in the Upper Jhelum Basin (UJB), Kashmir Himalaya, India using KINEROS2 model. Analysis of LULC change revealed a notable shift from natural LULC to more intensive human-modified LULC, including a decrease in vegetative cover, deforestation, urbanization, and improper farming practices. The findings revealed a strong influence of the LULC changes on peak discharge, and sediment yield relative to the 2014 timeframe, which coincided with the catastrophic September 2014 flood event. The model predicted a peak discharge of 115101 cubic feet per second (cfs) and a sediment yield of 56.59 tons/ha during the September 2014 flooding, which is very close to the observed peak discharge of 115218 cfs indicating that the model is reliable for discharge prediction. The model predicted a peak discharge of 98965 cfs and a sediment yield of 49.11 tons/ha in 1980, which increased to 118366 cfs and, 58.92 tons/ha respectively in 2020, showing an increase in basin’s flood risk over time. In the future, it is anticipated that the ongoing LULC changes will make flood vulnerability worse, which could lead to another major flooding in the event of an extreme rainfall as predicted under climate change and, in turn compromise achievement of sustainable development goals (SDG). Therefore, regulating LULC in order to modulate various hydrological and land surface processes would ensure stability of runoff and reduction in sediment yield in the UJB, which is critical for achieving many SDGs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0153.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment; Urban agriculture; Wheat; Controlled environment agriculture, Vertical garden
Online: 11 October 2021 (10:14:56 CEST)
Main purposes and research question: Wheat is the second largest grain crop by tonnage in the world and the largest in Denmark. Given the observed, adverse impacts on wheat yields of climate change and the importance of wheat in the human diet, the purpose of this study was to use life cycle assessment to compare conventional wheat farming with indoor vertical farming using hydroponics. Methods: Life Cycle Assessment was used to assess the base case systems up to the “farm gate” for 1 tonne of wheat grain. The processes contributing most of the impacts were identified, and scenarios were assessed to determine how much the impacts could be reduced. Results: The conventional system outperformed the base case vertical system in every impact category, due to the electricity consumption in the lighting system. The scenarios included increasing the efficiency of the LED lighting and using 100% wind energy, but the conventional system still outperformed the vertical system by significant margins in all impact categories. This was due to the low photosynthetic conversion efficiency and the high energy density of wheat. Conclusions: Until significant improvements are made to lighting efficiency, the photosynthesis conversion efficiency of wheat, new wheat variants designed for vertical gardens and the sustainability of electricity supply, conventional wheat production will be environmentally preferable and vertical gardens would be advised to focus on food products with low energy densities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0138.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: ICTs; Freight transport; CO2 emissions; Environment; Panel data
Online: 4 June 2021 (11:23:18 CEST)
The link between ICTs, freight transport, and CO2 emissions has not received much explicit examination by researchers, despite freight transportation being an egregious contributor to environmental degradation. This paper investigates how ICTs can affect environmental quality when interacting with freight transport activities in 43 countries over the period 2002-2014, using carbon emissions as a proxy for environmental damages. ICTs are measured in terms of internet, telephone, and mobile phone technologies. Using GMM methodology, the results show that ICTs contribute to dampening environmental degradation when interacting with freight transport activities. Specifically, a 10% increase in the interaction between ICTs and freight transportation will decrease carbon emissions by between 1.27% and 3.02%. The results further suggest that fixed and smartphone technologies are the main contributors to reducing emissions when adopted in some specific transport sectors (i.e. road, rail, and inland), while the internet is the most efficient technology when interacting with air transport activity. In addition, the interaction between ICTs and multimodality accelerates environmental quality. The policy implications of these findings are discussed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0618.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: active packaging; bio-based polymers; bioeconomy; essential oil; food waste; natural additives; permeability; plant extracts; shelf life; sustainable packaging
Online: 25 May 2021 (15:28:12 CEST)
Abstract: The promotion of sustainable packaging is part of the European Green Deal and plays a key role in the EU’s social and political strategy. One option is the use of renewable resources and biomass waste as raw materials for polymer production. Lignocellulose biomass from annual and perennial industrial crops and agricultural residues are a major source of polysaccharides, proteins, and lignin, and can also be used to obtain plant-based extracts and essential oils. Therefore, these biomasses are considered as potential substitute for fossil-based resources. Here, the status quo of bio-based polymers is discussed and evaluated in terms of properties related to packaging applications such as gas and water vapor permeability as well as mechanical properties. So far, their practical use is still restricted due to lower performance in fundamental packaging functions that directly influence food quality and safety, the length of shelf life and thus the amount of food waste. Besides bio-based polymers, this review focuses on plant extracts as active packaging agents. Incorporating extracts of herbs, flowers, trees, and their fruits is inevitable to achieve desired material properties that are capable to prolong the food shelf life. Finally, the adoption potential of packaging based on polymers from renewable resources is discussed from a bioeconomy perspective.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: nuclear batteries; radioactivity; melanins; energy
Online: 29 April 2021 (09:11:17 CEST)
Evidence is growing that mankind must learn from nature, a self-sufficient and self-organized system that adopts all the opportunities to develop life and ingeniously makes the most of whatever energy source. Attempting to satisfy the requirements of our energy-consuming world, we cannot afford to disregard any available source of energy, mainly those characterized by zero-CO2 emissions. In this context an alternative scenario could be opened by the use of the nuclear radiations emitted from naturally occurring or artificially produced radionuclides. Abandoned mines of U, Th and Rare Earths , as well as storage areas of artificially produced isotopes all over the globe are available and affordable sources of radiations that can be converted in electrical power. The transition from laboratory-scale nuclear batteries to large-area converting modules would allow to safely re-use a big amount of already existing radionuclides, converting a trouble into a resource.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0380.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Sustainability transitions; Transition management; technological innovation
Online: 14 April 2021 (13:51:32 CEST)
Sustainability transition theories analyse a systematic shift towards sustainability at micro (niche), meso (regime) and macro (landscape) level. The assessment of technological systems and structures at the firm level in sustainability transition literature is scant. The present study, taking the technological assessment perspective at the firm level, finds answers to questions like (a) how do established corporations move towards sustainable practices? (b) what role does technological innovation play in the firm’s transition towards sustainability? (c) what technological modes are adopted for sustainability transition? We find answers to these questions through an in-depth case analysis of two multi-national companies in the consumer goods industry. Internally developed and externally acquired technologies by firms in the last 15 years are plotted using qualitative and quantitative indicators on pre-designed templates. Technologies for all three sustainability dimensions, namely, environmental, social and economic, are mapped and the impact assessed. The analysis finds a sustainability transition landscape that shows the use of protected (patents, trademarks, designs) and unprotected technologies (open innovation) to generate impacts like production efficiency, consumption reduction, emission reduction, reduce-recycle-reuse among others. Companies implementing sustainable technologies do observe positive impacts. Implementation of reduce-reuse-recycle (3R)-based technologies enhance the achievement of sustainable development targets. Furthermore, the use of trademarks seems common in differentiating their technologies and identities. These and other results are detailed and used to comment on the role of managing intellectual property and harnessing the effect of technological innovations in sustainability transition.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Straw Hat University; Farmer's Professor; Rural Transformation; Targeted poverty alleviation in China
Online: 7 April 2021 (17:40:08 CEST)
China is out of extreme poverty in 2020 on schedule and one decade in advance to fulfill the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and became the first developing country to alleviate poverty in half century. Therefore, a large numbers of effective approaches are emerging, and the intellectual’s technology-led poverty reduction, which locally known as the “Straw Hat University”initiated by “Farmer's professor”mode, is the most tried and tested approach motivated by the intellectual’s “Serve the people” tradition and supported by the all nation. This research conduct case analysis with three most remarkable organic intellectuals as Agronomist Yuan longping, Mycologist Lin Zhanxi and Plant pathologist Zhu Youyong with their bridging gaps in food security, regional imbalance and ethnic disparity respectively to sort out the sustainable modules and universal experiences. The conclusion indicates that“Farmer's Professor” Initiated “Straw Hat University” is an effective approach to solve human beings’ development problems and benefit the livelihoods, especially in the under development regions; and the authentic down to earth experiments into productivity as well as the Intellectual property transformation is the perfect path to deploy offline and online resources building the effective production and supply chain to integrate industries by intellectual’s critical innovation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0431.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: sustainability; Industry 4.0; automated content analysis; sustainable investment; corporate social responsibility; sustainable standards; sustainable reporting; smart manufacturing; renewable energy; cleaner production
Online: 18 September 2020 (11:11:47 CEST)
Background (1) In the time of the 4th Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, a conglomerate of technical and social inventions, political contexts, socio-cultural circumstances, environmental policies, business models, and economic policies has emerged. Sustainability policy in theory and practice aims to deal with the effects of all these factors and to try to make decisions that ensure both social and economic development sustainably. The question is how to familiarize oneself with the current knowledge about the relationship between Industry 4.0 and sustainability?; (2) Methods: This research utilizes an automated content analysis method to analyses scientific journals, newspapers and magazines. The comparison of results of both research group shows that the scientific literature focuses more on changes in business models, production processes and technologies that enable sustainable development; (3) We found that the scientific literature focuses more on changes in business models, production processes and technologies that enable sustainable development. Newspapers and magazines articles write more about sustainable or green investment, sustainable standards and sustainable reporting. Newspapers and magazines articles write more about sustainable or green investment, sustainable standards and sustainable reporting. Newspapers, as well as some latest research journals, include articles of the COVID-19 outbreak and its effect on the economy and the environment. Indeed, the outbreak of the virus brings a new thought to the reorganization of the complex relationships between consumers, businesses and the state; (4) Conclusions: According to the comparison of the analyses of the results, it can is that the analyses of both types of literature, both scientific and professional, shows that there are common topics they write about, which are related to the field of clean production, emissions, renewable energy, climate change, sustainable investments and corporate sustainability. An urgent global issue that extends all over the world is the promotion of energy-saving technologies and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0560.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Urbanization growth prediction; Sustainable development, Land Change Modeler; IDRISI Selva; Land use land cover; Coastal cities; Lagos; Markov Chain; Multi-Layer Perceptron; Sustainability; Agenda 2063
Online: 23 July 2020 (12:32:04 CEST)
The most extensive urban growths in the next 30 years are expected to occur in developing countries. Lagos, Nigeria - Africa’s second most populous megacity- is a prime example. To achieve more sustainable and resilient cities, there is a need for modeling the urban growth patterns of major cities and analyzing their implications. In this study, the urban growth of Lagos state was modeled using the Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP) neural network for the transition modeling and the Markov Chain analysis for the change prediction, achieving a model accuracy of 81.8%. An innovative visual validation of the model results using the ArcGIS was combined with kappa correlation statistics. The results show that by 2031, built-up areas will be the most spatially extensive LULC class in the study area with percentage coverage of 34.1% as opposed to 9% in 1986. The coverage of bare areas is also expected to increase by 53% between 2016 and 2031. Conversely, 24.9% and 68.3% loss of forestlands and wetlands respectively, are expected between 2016 and 2031. In view of the 11th goal of SDGs which focuses on achieving sustainable cities and communities, the objectives of African Union’s Agenda 2063, and based on the urban growth trends observed, the study recommends a prioritization of vertical expansion as opposed to the current horizontal urban growth trends in the study area.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0447.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Sustainable development goals (SDGs); Rwanda; South Africa; Zambia; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 27 May 2020 (08:34:03 CEST)
Sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a global agenda consisting of 17 goals which are to be achieved in 2030 by all member states. SDGs are more holistic goals i.e. these goals are closely interrelated and they affect the progress of one another. Sub-Saharan Africa countries are, once more lagging behind in the implementations of SDGs despite the efforts by governments, non-government organisations and international agencies. Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia where the three Sub-Saharan Africa countries on which the study focused. The three countries in this study were chosen on the basis that they cater to the general overview of African countries performance on SDGs. To conduct this study, a desk research method was adopted and secondary data was utilised. An in-depth analysis was done on the on three subs Saharan African countries i.e. Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia. Those goals where serious attention is needed are goals 1-9, 16 and 17. Most Sub-Saharan African countries performed better on goals 11, 12 and 15. It was concluded that the achievement of Sustainable development goals remains a mere dream for Sub Saharan Africa unless serious interventions are made.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: corporate sustainability reporting; environmental accounting and reporting; public universities; sustainability reporting; CSR
Online: 23 March 2020 (01:10:51 CET)
Corporate sustainability reporting, also known as Triple-bottom-line reporting, involves reporting nonfinancial and financial information to a broader set of stakeholders than just shareholders and seek to fortify an organization’s ability to manage key risks. The current case is that, the quality, rigor, and utility of sustainability reporting remains contentious with concerns about the suitability of the criteria or standards used to prepare the reports. Despite the rapid increase in the number of companies around the world adopting Global Reporting Initiative standards, little is known about the extent of practice of corporate sustainability reporting in public universities in Kenya. The study selected five universities that had their 2017-18 audited financial reports available online for the readers, which served as the main source of secondary data. The guidelines on corporate sustainability reporting was derived from literature review, which provided key indicators upon which the data from each university was evaluated. It was observed that almost all the institutions recognize the critical role of both internal and external independent audit of financial statements. In conclusion, financial reporting sustainability is guided by strict compliance to the factors of sustainability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0047.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: SDGs; sustainable development goalsl; indicator; sustainable cities
Online: 4 December 2019 (11:16:24 CET)
United Nations Human Settlements Programme recommended equation and tools for reporting SDG indicator 11.3.1. This indicator aim at one ratio between population growth and land consumption rates in order to promote sustainable urban expansion. Because nowadays urban areas rapidly expand, with increasing rate of surface extent that over sweep the rate at which population grows. Trends.Earth was used for the key Impervious Surface Indices (30m resolution) and informed on urban trend, extent and SDG 11.3.1 of metropolitan Gombe for the periods 2000-2005, 2005-2010, and 2010-2015.The research reveals that SDG 11.3.1 for three periods stand at 0.4194, 0.4292, and 0.3041 respectively. The research also indicate that the population growth rate is greater than the land consumption.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0234.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Environmental Uncertainties, Agriculture, poverty, insecurity, and sustainable livelihood
Online: 23 January 2019 (09:58:27 CET)
Agricultural intensification has been adopted as a viable option for Poverty eradication and hunger, attainment of food security, socio-economic wellbeing as well as sustainable livelihood across the West Africa sub-humid and semi-arid zones. Thus, there is need to identify and address the challenges of sustainable livelihoods in the agriculture-intensive semi-arid and dry sub-humid zones of West Africa. This was addressed through review of relevant literature and analysis of environmental parameters from recent research by the authors to unveil the environmental uncertainties that threaten the sustainability of agriculture and human livelihoods across the ecologically fragile regions of West Africa, using pointers from Nigeria. The research identified the fundamental challenges, adaptation and mitigation approaches to environmental constraints, and requirements for reducing risk, enhance agricultural resilience as well as livelihoods in the zones. This was based on the premise that primarily, the use of adequate and accurately derived environmental information is crucial for increased agricultural productivity, sustainability of economic diversification and human livelihoods and by implication, enhanced regional and national security.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0556.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: food manufacturing; digital hub; sustainability profile; smart systems; survey
Online: 11 December 2018 (07:31:51 CET)
The UK food industry faces significant challenges to remain sustainable. With major challenges such as Brexit on the horizon, companies can no longer rely on a low labour cost workforce to maintain low production costs and achieve economic sustainability. Smart Systems (SS) is being seen as an approach towards achieving significant improvements in both economic and environmental sustainability. However, there is little evidence to indicate whether UK food companies are prepared for the implementation of such systems. The purpose of this research is to explore the applicability of Smart Systems in UK food manufacturing companies and, to identify the key priority areas and improvement levers for the implementation of such systems. A triangulated primary research approach is adopted and includes a questionnaire, follow up interviews and visits to thirty-two food manufacturing companies in the UK. The questionnaire and interviews are guided by the development of a unique measuring instrument created by the authors that is focusses upon SS technologies and systems. This paper makes an original contribution in that it is one of few academic studies to explore the implementation of SS in the industry and, provides a new perspective on the key drivers and inhibitors around its implementation. Findings suggest that the current turbulence in the industry could be bringing food companies closer to the adoption of such systems, hence it is a good time to define and develop the optimum SS implementation strategy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0499.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: SDGs; urban inequality; urban governance; inclusive development; participatory geospatial methods; citizen-generated data; data practices; urban indicators
Online: 29 November 2018 (03:16:51 CET)
There is much discussion regarding the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) capacity to promote inclusive development. While some argue that they represent an opportunity for goal-led alignment of stakeholders and evidence-based decision-making, other voices express concerns as they perceive them as a techno-managerial framework that measures development according to quantitatively defined parameters and does not allow for local variation. We argue that the extent to which the positive or negative aspects of the SDGs prevail depends on the monitoring system’s ability to account for multiple and intersecting inequalities. The need for sub-nationally (urban) representative indicators poses an additional methodological challenge – especially in cities with intra-urban inequalities related to socio-spatial variations across neighbourhoods. This paper investigates the extent to which the SDG indicators’ representativeness could be affected by inequalities. It does so by proposing a conceptual framing for understanding the relation between inequalities and SDG monitoring, which is then applied to analyse the current methodological proposals for the indicator framework of the “urban SDG”, Goal 11. The outcome is a call for 1) a more explicit attention to intra-urban inequalities, 2) the development of a methodological approach to “recalibrate” the city-level indicators to account for the degree of intra-urban inequalities, and 3) an alignment between methodologies and data practices applied for monitoring SDG 11 and the extent of the underlying inequalities within the city. This would enable an informed decision regarding the trade-off in indicator representativeness between conventional data sources, such as censuses and household surveys, and emerging methods, such as participatory geospatial methods and citizen-generated data practices.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0157.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Disaster Risk Reduction; EO4SD; Official Development Assistance; Actionable Information; World Bank; International Financial Institutions
Online: 7 November 2018 (09:53:46 CET)
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is a high priority on the agenda of main stakeholders involved in sustainable development and Earth Observation (EO) can provide useful, timely and economical information in this context. This short communication outlines the European Space Agency’s (ESA) specific initiative to promote the use and uptake of satellite data in the global development community: ‘Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD)’. One activity area under EO4SD is devoted to Disaster Risk Reduction: EO4SD DRR. Within this project, a team of European companies and institutions are tasked to develop EO services for supporting the implementation of DRR in International Financial Institutions’ (IFI) projects. Integration of satellite-borne data and ancillary data to generate insight and actionable information is thereby considered a key factor for improved decision making. To understand and fully account for the essential user requirements (IFI & Client States), engagement with technical leaders is crucial. Fit-for-purpose use of data and comprehensive capacity building eventually ensure scalability and long-term transferability. Future perspectives of EO4SD and DRR regarding mainstreaming are also highlighted.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0053.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: bio-prospecting; biopiracy; collective action; common property resources; ecosystem sustainability; natural resource management; institutions; property rights; value chain
Online: 2 November 2018 (11:06:20 CET)
Though innovations for sustainable management of natural resources have emerged over time, the rising demand for nature based health solutions and integration of endemic flora into global value chains could have adverse impacts on ecosystems. The ecological risks in the exploitation of wild medicinal plant resources are exacerbated by a myriad of agrotechnological risks and challenges that highly constrain their domestication. Successful exploitation and commercialization of medicinal plants thus require a clear understanding of their demand and production systems or value chain analysis. Accordingly there is need for innovative approaches towards their integration into global value chains. Since quality and safety, traceability, certification, as well as, consumer tastes and preferences are critical drivers in purchasing decisions by global consumers, they are inadvertently exploited to weaken Indigenous knowledge (IK), undermine common property rights and entrench value chains that favour a few elite buyers. This tend to create pervasive incentives for overexploitation of medicinal plant resources and environmental degradation. Potential solution lies in the recognition of drivers of vulnerability to environmental degradation and the innovative use of policy bricolage, feedback loops and interactions between knowledge, power and agency on one hand, and collective action and property rights institutions on the other hand. We conceptualise a framework that can mediate a transformational agenda and enhance systematic understanding of sustainability lenses in endemic medicinal plant resources value chains. This could in turn strengthen IK, enhance collective action and promote participation of local actors with positive impact on the utilisation and integration of endemic medicinal plant resources into global value chains.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0203.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: biodiversity; climate change adaptation; ecosystems; Paris agreement; policy
Online: 10 October 2018 (05:49:38 CEST)
Ecosystems are not merely vulnerable to climate change but, if sustainably restored and protected, are a major source of human resilience. Not only is the science evidence-base for this perspective growing rapidly, but ecosystems are featuring with increasing prominence in global climate change policy. Of 167 climate pledges submitted by the signatories of the Paris Climate Change Agreement (representing 194 nations), 103 include commitments to the restoration, management or protection of natural habitats in their adaptation strategies (of which 70 are aimed at protecting human communities from climate change hazards, i.e. ecosystem-based adaptation). A further 27 describe similar actions in their mitigation plans. In total, 65% of Paris Agreement signatories commit to restoring and/or protecting natural ecosystems. However, commitments rarely translate into robust science-based targets. As the world takes stock of the Agreement in 2018 and climate pledges are revised, we urge the science community to work closely with policy makers to identify meaningful adaptation targets that benefit both people and the ecosystems on which they depend.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0041.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: human ecological footprint; traditional ecological knowledge; biocultural restoration; social-ecological system; Hawaiian islands
Online: 2 August 2018 (08:55:49 CEST)
Pre-Western contact Hawaiʻi stands as a quintessential sustainability example of a large human population that practiced intensive agriculture, yet minimally displaced native habitats that comprised the foundation of its vitality. An explicit geospatial footprint of human-transformed areas across the pre-contact Hawaiian archipelago comprised less than 15% of total land area, yet provided 100% of human needs, supporting a thriving Polynesian society. A post-contact history of disruption of traditional Hawaiian land-use and its supplanting by Western land tenure and agriculture based on ranching, sugarcane, and pineapple, culminated in a landscape, in which over 50% of native habitats have been lost, while self-sufficiency has plummeted to 15% or less. Recapturing the ʻāina momona (productive lands) of ancient times can be accomplished through study of pre-contact agriculture, assessment of biological and ecological changes imposed on Hawaiian social-ecological systems, and conscious planned efforts to increase self-sufficiency and reduce importation. Impediments include the current tourism-based economy, competition from habitat-modifying introduced species, a suite of agricultural pests severely limiting traditional agriculture, and changes in climate rendering some pre-contact agricultural centers suboptimal. Modified agricultural methods will be required to counteract these limitations, and diversified agriculture to broaden the production base, without contributing to further degradation of native habitats.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0054.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: smart transport tools; ‘smart’ and sustainable; social-sustainability
Online: 3 May 2018 (08:17:38 CEST)
In the smart city, information and communications technologies (ICTs) are proposed as solutions to urban challenges, including sustainability concerns. While sustainability commonly refers to economic and environmental dimensions, the concept also contains a social component. Our study asked how smartphone applications (apps) address social sustainability challenges in urban transport, if at all. We focused on transport disadvantages experienced due to low income, physical disability, and language barriers. A review of 60 apps showed that transport apps respond to these equity and inclusion issues in two ways: (a) by employing universal design in general-use apps; including cost-conscious features; and providing language options (b) by specifically developing smartphone apps for persons with disabilities. The article discusses the study by positioning it in the literature of smart cities as well as socially sustainable transport.