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Resources, Volume 11, Issue 7 (July 2022) – 9 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In this paper, we use stakeholder input to evaluate and compare three different repurposing alternatives for the tailings dam area of a mine in the state of Colorado, USA, which is expected to close in the next twenty years. By using the multi-attribute utility theory, we determine which alternative better reflects stakeholder preferences and results in the most economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable outcome. Our results show that although stakeholder groups have different ideas about what constitutes sustainable development in the context of mine closure and repurposing, it is possible to identify to what extent different scenarios can address these perspectives. We provide a methodology that mining companies may use to understand stakeholder priorities and preferences. View this paper
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18 pages, 6876 KiB  
Article
Implementation of Circular Business Models for Olive Oil Waste and By-Product Valorization
by Mechthild Donner, Ivana Radić, Yamna Erraach and Fatima El Hadad-Gauthier
Resources 2022, 11(7), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070068 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3899
Abstract
Mediterranean olive oil producers have multiple incentives for adopting circular business models and better resource management, facing water scarcity and huge amounts of waste, but also seeing new opportunities for value creation. This article aimed to understand how circular business models valorizing olive [...] Read more.
Mediterranean olive oil producers have multiple incentives for adopting circular business models and better resource management, facing water scarcity and huge amounts of waste, but also seeing new opportunities for value creation. This article aimed to understand how circular business models valorizing olive oil waste and by-products are implemented. Ten business cases from six Mediterranean countries were studied, mainly based on semi-structured interviews with enterprise managers. Data were analyzed according to the business model canvas elements, success factors, and barriers while considering the institutional context. The results highlight the diversity of activities, types of resources used, and partnerships and products offered in different market segments. The principles of biowaste conversion and circularity, such as cascading, upcycling, recycling, and recovering, are all applied. The key success factors comprise an environmental concern, knowledge about biotechnologies, markets and logistics, a long-term commitment to the sector, local availability of resources, legislation, subsidies, and product acceptance by consumers. The main barriers include a lack of specific public financial support, an insufficient knowledge transfer from research to olive oil producers, and a lack of articulation of needs for research by the enterprises. More public-private collaborations and multi-stakeholder projects are needed for further shifting to a circular economy in the olive oil sector. Full article
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31 pages, 1082 KiB  
Article
Multi-Product Productions from Malaysian Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB): Selection for Optimal Process and Transportation Mode
by Abdulhalim Abdulrazik, Roziah Zailan, Marwen Elkamel and Ali Elkamel
Resources 2022, 11(7), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070067 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2210
Abstract
In Malaysia, palm oil industries have played significant roles in the economic sectors and the nation’s developments. One aspect of these industries that is gaining growing interest is oil palm residue management and bio-based product generations. EFB has been identified to be a [...] Read more.
In Malaysia, palm oil industries have played significant roles in the economic sectors and the nation’s developments. One aspect of these industries that is gaining growing interest is oil palm residue management and bio-based product generations. EFB has been identified to be a feasible raw material for the production of bio-energy, bio-chemicals, and bio-materials. In this paper, our previous deterministic mathematical programming model was extended to include decisions for selecting optimal transportation modes and processes at each level of the processing stage in the supply chain. The superstructure of alternatives was extended to show states of produced products whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, and for which truck, train, barge, or pipeline would be possible modes of transportation. The objective function was to maximize profit which accounts for associated costs including the emission treatment costs from production and transportation. The optimal profit was USD 1,561,106,613 per year for single ownership of all facilities in the supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biomass Energy Resources to Produce Valuable Chemicals)
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31 pages, 9001 KiB  
Article
A Quantitative Sustainability Assessment for Mine Closure and Repurposing Alternatives in Colorado, USA
by Cansu Perdeli Demirkan, Nicole M. Smith and Sebnem Duzgun
Resources 2022, 11(7), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070066 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3193
Abstract
Responsible mine closure and repurposing are key to contributing to sustainable development by ensuring successful environmental rehabilitation and reducing socioeconomic risks. However, mine closure has primarily focused on remediation and rehabilitation of mined lands with limited consideration of stakeholder perspectives and the broader [...] Read more.
Responsible mine closure and repurposing are key to contributing to sustainable development by ensuring successful environmental rehabilitation and reducing socioeconomic risks. However, mine closure has primarily focused on remediation and rehabilitation of mined lands with limited consideration of stakeholder perspectives and the broader social, economic, and cultural impacts of closure. In this paper, we use stakeholder input to evaluate and compare three different repurposing alternatives for the tailings dam area of a mine in the state of Colorado, USA, which is expected to close in the next twenty years. By using multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT), we determine which alternative better reflects stakeholder preferences and results in the most economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable outcome. Our results show that although stakeholder groups have different ideas about what constitutes sustainable development in the context of mine closure and repurposing, it is possible to identify to what extent different scenarios can address these perspectives. We argue that integrating stakeholder views into mine closure design and repurposing can lead to more responsible and sustainable mine closure that is unique to a particular setting and stakeholder needs, and we provide a methodology that mining companies may use to understand stakeholder priorities and preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals and Land-Use Planning: Sustainable Narratives and Practices)
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18 pages, 1631 KiB  
Article
Mining Industry Corporate Social Responsibility to Education Development
by Elżbieta Jasińska and Michał Jasiński
Resources 2022, 11(7), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070065 - 13 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2096
Abstract
The impact of mining industries’ operations on different areas is easy to be noticed. Thus, nowadays different research considering ecology, economy, society, or engineering is performed in light of mining industries. However, the impact on education development is not the first choice. Thus, [...] Read more.
The impact of mining industries’ operations on different areas is easy to be noticed. Thus, nowadays different research considering ecology, economy, society, or engineering is performed in light of mining industries. However, the impact on education development is not the first choice. Thus, the aim of this paper is the verification of possibility to indicate the main key factors (activities) in the mining industry, that are in accordance with the CSR doctrine and are capable of ensuring education development. To reach this purpose, KGHM Polska Miedź SA was selected for the research, as an example of a mining company operating on a global scale. Then, the appropriate CSR standard “Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility, Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance” was a basis for the operationalization process to assure the research tool, that defines the list of the activities in accordance with CSR doctrine. The obtained research tool was used to perform the survey, which indicated the key factors that assure education development. As a result, over 65 key factors were indicated. Generally, the factors considered, e.g., free access to education for workers, suppliers, and vendors, do not affect the education of children and young workers, as does preparing company documents in language adequate to the operating area. Full article
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17 pages, 663 KiB  
Article
Neighborhood-Scale Urban Water Reclamation with Integrated Resource Recovery for Establishing Nexus City in Munich, Germany: Pipe Dream or Reality?
by Mohammed S. M. Al-Azzawi, Daphne Gondhalekar and Jörg E. Drewes
Resources 2022, 11(7), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070064 - 13 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2278
Abstract
With the rapid expansion of cities due to population growth and urbanization, conventional centralized wastewater collection and treatment systems are slowly becoming a burden; expensive maintenance is required for aging plants and piping infrastructure, the cost of expanding the capacity to cover demand [...] Read more.
With the rapid expansion of cities due to population growth and urbanization, conventional centralized wastewater collection and treatment systems are slowly becoming a burden; expensive maintenance is required for aging plants and piping infrastructure, the cost of expanding the capacity to cover demand from population growth, and new regulations for tighter control over certain pollutants such as micropollutants. As an alternative to this system, this study discusses the feasibility of decentralized treatment systems at the neighborhood scale. Taking a Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus approach, such systems can support water and energy conservation, recovery of water, energy, and nutrients as well as generation of energy from wastewater, be customized to individual water and energy requirements, and eliminate the need for lengthy pipe networks. The method employed in this study is comparing the economic feasibility of the status quo to a proposed decentralized solution. The study finds that the costs of implementing a hypothetical decentralized water reclamation with an integrated resource recovery system using an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) in a downtown high-density neighborhood of the city of Munich, Germany, can theoretically be recuperated within two years. This alternative system may cost 60% of what it costs to run the centralized system. By linking the AnMBR to a biogas digestor and using systematically harvested organic waste as a co-substrate, the decentralized system can generate enough energy to run itself and even feed some energy to the grid. This study is highly hypothetical, yet generating evidence such as this can support a systemic socio-technical transition towards a more circular economy with optimal resource recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Recovery from Wastewater)
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13 pages, 1056 KiB  
Article
Fleur de sel: How Does a Pinch of Suitable Choice Practices Value This Sustainable Natural Resource?
by Jorge Ramos
Resources 2022, 11(7), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070063 - 12 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2144
Abstract
As mechanized processes developed, small producers of traditional sea salt ceased to be competitive. However, when the valuable salt flower (a.k.a. fleur de sel, flower of salt) market appeared, it gave new breath to the activity of traditional salt pan production. Salt [...] Read more.
As mechanized processes developed, small producers of traditional sea salt ceased to be competitive. However, when the valuable salt flower (a.k.a. fleur de sel, flower of salt) market appeared, it gave new breath to the activity of traditional salt pan production. Salt flower sensitivity and delicateness became a part of modern food habits. Its crystals present some grain differentiation and these can fulfill diversified consumer tastes. In cooking art, a regular fine flower of salt can be used to finish dishes, whereas a longer and thin grain known as ‘scale’ (a.k.a. écaille de fleur de sel in French) can be used for a more gourmet-like palate. Here a suitable method is presented to sort and grade flower of salt to satisfy different palates. The method of salt flower selection is based on four main characteristics, which should be considered: cleansing, moisture, color, and size. It is the grain size that contributes most to demand allocation. The results show that what is produced (supply) and the demand from customers do not exactly match. The tiniest types of salt flower are usually completely absorbed by the market, whereas the largest types have no market at all. Full article
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9 pages, 5311 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Inefficient Urban Growth on Spatial Inequality of Urban Green Resources (Case Study: Urmia City)
by Majid Ramezani Mehrian, Ayoub Manouchehri Miandoab, Asghar Abedini and Farshid Aram
Resources 2022, 11(7), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070062 - 7 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2148
Abstract
Urban green spaces are essential for improving the livability of cities. Urban parks as green and public open spaces and signs of nature in cities have special economic and social value. The existence of neighborhood parks and their proper distribution is a key [...] Read more.
Urban green spaces are essential for improving the livability of cities. Urban parks as green and public open spaces and signs of nature in cities have special economic and social value. The existence of neighborhood parks and their proper distribution is a key element for improving the quality of life in the cities. Spatial equity and accessibility to parks are factors influencing the performance of parks. This study was conducted to determine the current situation of Urmia city in this regard by using the travel cost approach and network analysis, and also examining the impact of rapid urban growth on spatial inequalities. According to the results, 18% of the residential land in Urmia city is located outside of the park service area, and 68% of residential lands outside the park’s service area are areas that have developed as a result of urban growth in the last two decades. Based on the analysis, in 23 neighborhoods of Urmia city, the entire neighborhood is located in the service area of parks and has pedestrian access to this service. Other neighborhoods—to address the issue of spatial justice related to urban parks—fall into three categories: high, medium, and low priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resources of Urban Green Spaces and Sustainable Development)
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20 pages, 4904 KiB  
Article
Groundwater Characteristics and Quality in the Cascades Region of Burkina Faso
by Moussa Diagne Faye, Moussa Bruno Kafando, Boukary Sawadogo, Romeal Panga, Souleymane Ouédraogo and Hamma Yacouba
Resources 2022, 11(7), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070061 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2145
Abstract
In the context of low rainfall, groundwater abstraction is the main source of water, especially in rural areas. For better water management, a good knowledge of water resources is necessary. The Cascades region depends, like most regions, on the use of groundwater, especially [...] Read more.
In the context of low rainfall, groundwater abstraction is the main source of water, especially in rural areas. For better water management, a good knowledge of water resources is necessary. The Cascades region depends, like most regions, on the use of groundwater, especially in rural areas. However, this region has been subject to a strong anthropogenic impact in recent years, in association with mineralization. This study aims to establish the status of groundwater quality in order to strengthen the knowledge of groundwater resources, for better planning of preservation strategies and sustainability of actions. Fifty-eight borehole water samples were collected using techniques and methods for assessing groundwater properties. The results indicate that the electrical conductivity (EC) values of the water show slight mineralization. The waters are aggressive, with severe-to-significant corrosion, and with calcite saturation in relation to the geological facies. Principal component analysis allowed us to conclude that residence time and leaching due to anthropogenic activities have an impact on quality. The chemical and bacteriological quality of the groundwater systems is of great concern, as some parameters exceed the Burkina Faso guidelines. Full article
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13 pages, 1535 KiB  
Article
Exploring Ocean Floor Geodiversity in Relation to Mineral Resources in the Southwest Pacific Ocean
by Arie Christoffel Seijmonsbergen, Sanne Valentijn, Lisan Westerhof and Kenneth Frank Rijsdijk
Resources 2022, 11(7), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11070060 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2486
Abstract
The future extraction of mineral resources may irreversibly damage ocean floor geodiversity in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. Therefore, understanding of the spatial distribution of ocean floor geodiversity in relation to mineral resources is important. For that purpose, we first developed a geodiversity index [...] Read more.
The future extraction of mineral resources may irreversibly damage ocean floor geodiversity in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. Therefore, understanding of the spatial distribution of ocean floor geodiversity in relation to mineral resources is important. For that purpose, we first developed a geodiversity index map of the western Pacific Ocean including spatial information of openly available digital layers of four components: seafloor geomorphology, sediment thickness, bathymetry and seafloor roughness. Second, we analysed how these components contributed to the geodiversity index. Finally, correlations between three mineral resources (seafloor massive sulphides, polymetallic nodules and cobalt-rich crusts) and the geodiversity index, its components, and the ocean floor age were calculated. The results showed that the ocean floor environment and the time necessary for the formation of the three mineral resources were predominantly related to the bathymetry component and the age of the ocean floor, and to a lesser extent to the seafloor roughness, geomorphology and sediment thickness components. We conclude that the ocean floor geodiversity index and its components contribute to an improved understanding of the spatial distribution of abiotic seafloor diversity and can be optimized by using higher resolution data. We suggest that ocean floor geodiversity could be considered in future resource extraction to support responsible mining and help limit environmental damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodiversity Assessment: What, Why and How?)
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