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Resources, Volume 11, Issue 6 (June 2022) – 9 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Fast-growing industries and technological development lead to an increase in resource demand and, with this, the need to comprehensively assess criticality aspects of resource use. This can be achieved with the ESSENZ method, which was further improved in this publication by, e.g., including aspects of mine site certification and recyclate use. This so-called ESSENZ+ method is applied to a case study of nickel–manganese–cobalt (NMC) batteries with different NMC ratios. It was shown that criticality aspects are reduced with technological advancement due to lower material requirements and smaller cobalt shares. View this paper
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17 pages, 1280 KiB  
Article
Will a Geopolitical Conflict Accelerate Energy Transition in Oil-Importing Countries? A Case Study of the Philippines from a Real Options Perspective
by Casper Boongaling Agaton
Resources 2022, 11(6), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11060059 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 5892
Abstract
Geopolitical conflicts, involving a major player in the world market, affect the prices of oil and commodities, particularly in oil-importing countries. Consequently, the unprecedented changes in oil prices impact investments in energy transition projects. This study aims to analyze the dynamics of investment [...] Read more.
Geopolitical conflicts, involving a major player in the world market, affect the prices of oil and commodities, particularly in oil-importing countries. Consequently, the unprecedented changes in oil prices impact investments in energy transition projects. This study aims to analyze the dynamics of investment decisions in energy transition under uncertainties in geopolitical risks. This research applies the Black-Scholes-based real options valuation to value the flexibility in postponing energy transition investments considering the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine war. Applying the proposed model to the case of the Philippines, the valuation result with a net present value of USD 231 million for a 1 GW capacity shows that energy transition is a viable project when the cost savings from using fossil fuels to renewables are considered. On the other hand, real options valuation finds a higher flexibility value of USD 990 million, which implies a better decision to postpone the project. The uncertainty in geopolitical conflicts further increases this value causing a longer waiting period to implement the energy transition project. Sensitivity analysis shows that the results are robust to changes in the explanatory variables. Results provide policy implications on making an oil-importing country energy self-sufficient and robust from economic and geopolitical shocks. Full article
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11 pages, 257 KiB  
Article
Community Seedbanks in Uganda: Fostering Access to Genetic Diversity and Its Conservation
by Rose Nankya, Abdel Kader Naino Jika, Paola De Santis, Hannington Lwandasa, Devra Ivy Jarvis and John Wasswa Mulumba
Resources 2022, 11(6), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11060058 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2227
Abstract
Community seedbanks promote conservation and the use of crop genetic diversity, as well as supporting farmer seed systems. This study analyses seed flow and access to crop genetic diversity over time in the Nakaseke, Rubaya, and Kibuga seedbanks of Uganda. The modes of [...] Read more.
Community seedbanks promote conservation and the use of crop genetic diversity, as well as supporting farmer seed systems. This study analyses seed flow and access to crop genetic diversity over time in the Nakaseke, Rubaya, and Kibuga seedbanks of Uganda. The modes of operation of the banks were compared through scrutinizing records of crops and varieties being conserved, quantities of seed distributed, to whom, and quantities returned. The Nakaseke seed bank distributed the highest varietal diversity of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea L.), whereas the Rubaya seedbank distributed the highest quantity of common bean seed, followed by the Kibuga seedbank. There were no significant differences between the type of variety of seed, quantities of seed accessed, and seed returned to the seedbanks by women and men—except for the Nakaseke seedbank, where women returned significantly higher quantities of common bean seed. The Kibuga and Rubaya seedbanks dealt with individual farmers, whereas the Nakaseke seedbank dealt with individual farmers and groups. The extent to which core functions were achieved by a particular seedbank depended on the mode of operation, including actors, management, degree of development, socio-economic setting, among others. Further research is recommended to unpack these factors and come up with the most appropriate combinations for greater seedbank effectiveness. Full article
6 pages, 224 KiB  
Editorial
Biomass Energy Resources: Feedstock Quality and Bioenergy Sustainability
by Daniele Duca and Giuseppe Toscano
Resources 2022, 11(6), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11060057 - 7 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2582
Abstract
The fossil fuel society is facing environmental, socio-economic, and geopolitical issues [...] Full article
16 pages, 1783 KiB  
Article
Biotic Part of the Product Material Footprint: Comparison of Indicators Regarding Their Interpretation and Applicability
by Clemens Mostert and Stefan Bringezu
Resources 2022, 11(6), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11060056 - 6 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2969
Abstract
The product material footprint (PMF) represents a central instrument to assess the potential environmental impacts of products and services based on their life-cycle-wide material use. Within the life cycle impact assessment framework, the indicators raw material input (RMI) and total material requirement (TMR) [...] Read more.
The product material footprint (PMF) represents a central instrument to assess the potential environmental impacts of products and services based on their life-cycle-wide material use. Within the life cycle impact assessment framework, the indicators raw material input (RMI) and total material requirement (TMR) have been used for its calculation, but so far, only abiotic materials have been considered. This research analyses the requirements and indicators for the assessment of the biotic part of the PMF. The central question is whether the indicators RMI biotic and TMR biotic are suitable for this purpose or if they need to be adapted. For comparison, the indicator cumulative raw material demand (CRD) is applied. The indicator concepts of RMI, TMR, and CRD are compared by defining the system boundaries for determining the biotic parts of the footprint. To test the applicability, the production of wheat bread is assessed as a case study. The characterization factors of wheat grains are determined and each of the three indicators is implemented in the software openLCA for use with the ecoinvent database. The results show that RMI biotic and TMR biotic are suitable indicators for the quantification and assessment of the biotic part of the PMF. While CRD abiotic provides the same information as RMI abiotic, both indicators differ regarding the biotic part. The CRD per definition does not consider biotic inputs from agriculture and forestry and thus conveys insufficient information on the used and unused biomass extraction for the product LCA. The ratio of RMI biotic to the net annual increment and TMR biotic to the net primary production could be used for absolute sustainability assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Resources)
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3 pages, 186 KiB  
Editorial
Analysis of Extreme Hydrometeorological Events
by Brunella Bonaccorso and David J. Peres
Resources 2022, 11(6), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11060055 - 5 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1475
Abstract
Extreme hydrometeorological events (e [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Extreme Hydrometeorological Events)
17 pages, 4558 KiB  
Review
Wetland Resources in South Africa: Threats and Metadata Study
by Adeyemi O. Adeeyo, Stanley S. Ndlovu, Linda M. Ngwagwe, Mulalo Mudau, Mercy A. Alabi and Joshua N. Edokpayi
Resources 2022, 11(6), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11060054 - 3 Jun 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 8905
Abstract
Wetlands are important ecosystems with physical and economic benefits. However, many reports confirm the drastic loss of wetlands due to urbanisation and anthropogenic activities in many parts of the world. This study focused on the present-day state of wetlands in the Republic of [...] Read more.
Wetlands are important ecosystems with physical and economic benefits. However, many reports confirm the drastic loss of wetlands due to urbanisation and anthropogenic activities in many parts of the world. This study focused on the present-day state of wetlands in the Republic of South Africa. A meta-analysis was performed to elucidate the distribution and level of protection of selected wetlands. The classification of existing wetlands and the threat against wetlands were reported. Wetlands in South Africa are grossly endangered by human pollution, developmental activities, and invasive plants. From data obtained, about 47.89% of reported wetlands have a low level of protection and are thus susceptible to threats. The South African Department of Environmental Affairs protects most of the wetlands (28.17%) in the country. Major weaknesses identified for wetland degradation are the ignorance of people about the benefits of wetlands and the weak implementation of frameworks and policies that currently exist. The impact of legislations and policies on the preservation of wetlands is presented as well as the need for community education on environmental degradation. Therefore, the current state of several wetlands calls for urgent attention, and there is need for a strengthening of existing laws and policies in order to prevent wetland damage and extinction. Full article
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18 pages, 11185 KiB  
Article
Fluid Production Dataset for the Assessment of the Anthropogenic Subsidence in the Po Plain Area (Northern Italy)
by Celine Eid, Christoforos Benetatos and Vera Rocca
Resources 2022, 11(6), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11060053 - 1 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2208
Abstract
Fluid produced/injected volumes from/into underground natural formations and their spatial allocation play a key role in addressing the superposition of anthropogenic subsidence effects, but the definition of coherent datasets is usually very challenging. In this paper, the creation of a gas and water [...] Read more.
Fluid produced/injected volumes from/into underground natural formations and their spatial allocation play a key role in addressing the superposition of anthropogenic subsidence effects, but the definition of coherent datasets is usually very challenging. In this paper, the creation of a gas and water production dataset for the Po Plain area in northern Italy is presented, focusing on the Emilia-Romagna region (an industrialized, highly-populated area characterized by rapid subsidence). The produced volumes and their spatial/temporal allocation are gathered from different sources, analyzed, and organized via dedicated georeferenced maps. The geological framework of the Po Plain is delineated, with attention to the superficial aquifers. Reference ranges of petrophysical and pseudo-elastic parameters are reported for both aquifer and reservoir formations. Water extractions from the superficial unconsolidated sediments are widespread, both in space and time; instead, primary gas production and underground storage of natural gas, involving deeper formations, are spatially and temporally well constrained. Drastic increases in water production and high concentrations of gas production temporally coincided between the 1950s and 1970s. The ‘hotspots’ of the strongest superposition are recognized in Piacenza, Ferrara, Bologna, and Ravenna provinces. Qualitative and quantitative information represent a reference source for both Oil and Gas Societies and Regional/National authorities in addressing the subsidence analysis to plan the field production life and predict the environmental consequences. Full article
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25 pages, 4627 KiB  
Article
Enhancement of the ESSENZ Method and Application in a Case Study on Batteries
by Julia Pelzeter, Vanessa Bach, Martin Henßler, Klaus Ruhland and Matthias Finkbeiner
Resources 2022, 11(6), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11060052 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2380
Abstract
With a growing awareness of the impact of resource exploitation, issues such as mine site certification and recyclate use in products come to the fore. These aspects are incorporated into the ESSENZ method which assesses resource criticality. Moreover, the method is enhanced by [...] Read more.
With a growing awareness of the impact of resource exploitation, issues such as mine site certification and recyclate use in products come to the fore. These aspects are incorporated into the ESSENZ method which assesses resource criticality. Moreover, the method is enhanced by addressing further shortcomings and considering the SCARCE method. The resultant so-called ESSENZ+ method is tested in a case study on batteries involving a data update concerning the characterization factors of eight raw materials. The comparison of the results, using the original ESSENZ versus the updated ESSENZ+ characterization factors, shows significant changes regarding the demand growth (an increase of four times due to the inclusion of future trends) and price fluctuations (an increase of fourteen times due to a data update). The impact of the introduction of the aspects of mine site certification and recyclate use are examined via sensitivity analyses showing a reduced supply risk, yet to different extents in the different categories. A comparison of nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries with different NMC ratios shows a decreasing supply risk per kWh, along with technological advancement, due to lower material requirements and smaller cobalt shares. ESSENZ+ enables users to include relevant developments in their assessment such as increasing mine site certifications and recyclate use. Full article
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19 pages, 6216 KiB  
Article
Multivariate Analysis of Geological Data for Regional Studies of Geodiversity
by Lars Erikstad, Vegar Bakkestuen, Rolv Dahl, Mari Lie Arntsen, Annina Margreth, Tine Larsen Angvik and Linda Wickström
Resources 2022, 11(6), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11060051 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2434
Abstract
In Norway, a landscape map exists which gives the opportunity to collect data in landscape units for further analysis. This study covers parts of Norway and Sweden, so the landscape map was extended into Sweden to form a unified landscape structure. A collection [...] Read more.
In Norway, a landscape map exists which gives the opportunity to collect data in landscape units for further analysis. This study covers parts of Norway and Sweden, so the landscape map was extended into Sweden to form a unified landscape structure. A collection of geological and terrain data within landscape units can serve as a tool to describe the geodiversity profile of the units, study their geographical distribution and analyse similarities and dissimilarities between them. We collected geological and terrain data for an area covering large parts of southern Norway and Sweden. The data were collected as attributes in landscape polygons. The data were then analysed using multivariate techniques (Principle component analyses) where the first four axes of variation were definable. The first axis is a terrain axis, the second a bedrock unit axis, the third a bedrock diversity axis and the fourth a soil/sediment axis. In total, the four gradients answer for 54.9% of the total variation in the material. Links are found between the terrain data and geological units, but these links are relatively weak. The four gradients represent a step-less model of the geodiversity profile of the landscape areas but are dependent on the quality and scale of the input data. Norwegian and Swedish data had to be harmonised in order to be analysed together; however, because of this they ended up having a coarser resolution than desired, both spatially and scientifically. The stepless model was clustered to form 16 geodiversity profile groups for easy comparison and regional overview. The procedure can serve as a baseline for more detailed and field-based studies of geodiversity profiles, and give the opportunity to make analytical maps through simple overlay techniques and to compare areas with each other with respect to their geodiversity profile. This can be carried out both alone and in a wider landscape setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
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