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Bio-Based Materials for Eco-Efficient Innovation

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 6179

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Lab of Chemical Engineering and Engineering Sustainability, Faculty of Pure and Applied Science, Open University of Cyprus, Giannou Kranidioti, 33, Latsia, 2220 Nicosia, Cyprus
Interests: city metabolism; climate resilience cities; food waste management; environmental management systems; zero-waste approach; waste prevention; quality management systems; sustainable development goals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lab of Chemical Engineering and Engineering Sustainability, Faculty of Pure and Applied Science, Open University of Cyprus, Giannou Kranidioti, 33, Latsia, Nicosia 2220, Cyprus
Interests: unified waste metrics; waste data analysis; life cycle analysis; gamification tools; circular economy; environmental performance

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Chemical Engineering and Engineering Sustainability, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, Open University of Cyprus, Giannou Kranidioti 89, Latsia, Nicosia 2231, Cyprus
Interests: strategic planning development; circular economy; zero-waste approach; waste prevention; circular and bio-economy and industrial symbiosis; management and treatment of solid waste; end of waste criteria; hazardous waste; environmental impact and environmental risk assessment analysis; life cycle assessment; sustainable development goals
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will focus on bio-based materials, which are a type of sustainable materials that are biodegradable and created from biomass. Materials have often only included advancements, such as plastic, synthetic fibers, and fossil fuels, which at the time, enhanced cost, performance, and convenience. However, there is a need to address the damage that these conventional materials cause to the environment. Recent advancements in the sustainability field have demonstrated their ability to not only reverse this adverse effect but also positively affect the environment. As biotechnology and biomass are widely used in the production of goods, energy, and resources, our economy will soon transition to a bioeconomy. Corporations must commit to using bio-based, reusable, and biodegradable products and take a stand against the utilization of single-use plastic for this to become a reality.

This Special Issue will address questions, such as "Why utilize bio-based materials?" Fundamentally, there are two main causes. The first is that oil will eventually run out, necessitating the search for substitute raw materials. The second is the requirement to lessen industry's impact on the environment and our use of natural resources. Although industry is sometimes viewed as a significant polluter, industrial pollution has significantly decreased over the past 30 years in most Western European countries. The fundamental cause of this is advancements in technology. However, the lofty goal set by the EU to lead the world in tackling climate change will not be accomplished with present technologies. One of the most promising new strategies for resource preservation and pollution avoidance is the development of a bio-based economy, which might help us achieve the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 and combating climate change.

Cleaner manufacturing techniques, renewable resources, and products are offered by bio-based materials. They provide a practical strategy for addressing pressing global requirements, such as lowering dependency on petroleum in a sustainable fashion, on the necessary scale, and with the available resources. All throughout the world, consumers, governments, and investors are realizing this. This Special Issue's goal is to connect higher-education institutions, small and medium-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, research institutes, and entrepreneurship. The scope of this Special Issue will be to explore alternative methods concerning biomaterials and bicircular economy to replace conventional raw material usage and enhance the circulation and biodegradability of new materials in the context of the existing climate change implications. The main goal of the Issue is the collection of papers in the following topics: 

  • Green and sustainable products
  • Biobased products
  • Distribution, use, and application
  • End of life of products
  • End-of-waste criteria
  • Recycling and circulation
  • Circular Economy
  • Waste and energy flows
  • Alternative energy sources
  • Social and environmental protection
  • Bio-circular economy
  • Material recovery
  • Material flow analysis
  • Natural based solution
  • Life cycle assessment

Dr. Irene Voukkali
Dr. Iliana Papamichael
Dr. Antonis A. Zorpas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • bio-based materials
  • circularity
  • waste flows
  • energy flows
  • bio-circular
  • sustainability
  • environmental impact

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 7788 KiB  
Article
Eco-Innovation: Corn Stover as the Biomaterial in Packaging Designs
by Yu Duan, Linli Zhang, Hang Su, Dongfang Yang and Jinhui Xu
Sustainability 2024, 16(4), 1381; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16041381 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 739
Abstract
Shandong, China’s largest agricultural province, generates a massive amount of agricultural waste each year, with corn stover being the predominant type. Although current agricultural waste management primarily involves sustainable practices carried out by professional companies, this study seeks to explore a simpler, more [...] Read more.
Shandong, China’s largest agricultural province, generates a massive amount of agricultural waste each year, with corn stover being the predominant type. Although current agricultural waste management primarily involves sustainable practices carried out by professional companies, this study seeks to explore a simpler, more accessible method of handling stover waste. Guided by positivist theory and several experiments, a formula was developed, primarily composed of corn stover powder and natural substances such as glycerin. In this process, we designed and implemented four control experimental groups with water as the quantity used to investigate the influence of different material content in the formula. The resultant material was then subjected to property analyses, including tests on colouration, toughness, etc. Ultimately, the material was applied in a small-scale test as a raw material for an agricultural product packaging design. The study, rooted in sustainability, environmental protection, and the establishment of a local circular economy, fills the gap in current research of lacking design knowledge interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Based Materials for Eco-Efficient Innovation)
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14 pages, 1767 KiB  
Article
Effects of the Ingredients on Maturity and Humification during Kitchen Waste Composting as Illustrated by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
by Yao Feng, Zhaojun Li, Chenfeng Liu, Tiezhu Yan, Huading Shi and Rongjin Yang
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13436; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813436 - 07 Sep 2023
Viewed by 721
Abstract
Kitchen waste (KW) production has risen considerably due to the increasing affluence of populations and a booming catering sector. If not properly disposed, KW can bring serious issues for the environment. Composting is widely used as an efficient method for the resource utilization [...] Read more.
Kitchen waste (KW) production has risen considerably due to the increasing affluence of populations and a booming catering sector. If not properly disposed, KW can bring serious issues for the environment. Composting is widely used as an efficient method for the resource utilization of KW. In the present paper, the effects of different ratios of ingredients (corn straw: garden waste = 4:1, based on the dry mass) on maturity and humification during KW composting were investigated. The results showed that the nitrogen retention capacity of the treatments with a ratio of ingredients to KW of 1:2.5 and 1:5.0 was higher than that of other treatments. Additionally, it was found that the number of ingredients had an effect on the germination index (GI) during composting, and the final GI values of the four treatments were in the following order: 1:7.5 > 1:5.0 > 1:10.0 > 1:2.5. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) showed that the organic matter (OM) content of each treatment increased after composting, and the maturity of the 1:2.5 and 1:5.0 treatments was higher than the other two treatments. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that the maturity and humification were correlated with moisture content, pH and NO3-N during composting. This study concludes that the treatment with an ingredients to KW ratio of 1:5.0 was much more useful for KW composting, which is of importance to guide the disposal of KW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Based Materials for Eco-Efficient Innovation)
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16 pages, 2040 KiB  
Article
Can Industry Counteract the Ecological Crisis? An Approach for the Development of a New Circular Bioeconomic Model Based on Biocomposite Materials
by Eliana Fernández Fortunato, Fernando Jiménez-Sáez and Eloy Hontoria
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3382; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043382 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2043
Abstract
The ecological crisis we are facing, in addition to depleting non-renewable raw materials, has driven the emergence of biocomposite (BC) materials as a sustainable alternative that can create new opportunities for industrial product design and development. The use of biological resources in economic [...] Read more.
The ecological crisis we are facing, in addition to depleting non-renewable raw materials, has driven the emergence of biocomposite (BC) materials as a sustainable alternative that can create new opportunities for industrial product design and development. The use of biological resources in economic processes, as the bioeconomic (BE) model proposes, can lead to a transformation from the traditional linear extractive production logic to a new productive paradigm. This paper analyses technical and scientific information on the valorisation of agri-food waste to which innovative and efficient techniques and technologies have been applied, resulting in natural resource use in new products. Our review aims to explore and assess the production, development and industrial exploitation of renewable biological resources as a way to bridge the transition from the linear economic model to a circular bioeconomy (CBE) paradigm shift. For a detailed exploration and assessment of the research problem, this paper presents a comparative study between two paradigmatic projects organised and financed by different R&D programmes of the European Union (EU). We identify the agents and strategies of a potential BC innovation system, and we propose a conceptual model for the creation of an innovative and alternative industrial-scale productive value chain to replace petrochemical-based composite materials with BC and establish a new paradigm of production and consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Based Materials for Eco-Efficient Innovation)
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24 pages, 2652 KiB  
Article
Fortifying Social Acceptance When Designing Circular Economy Business Models on Biowaste Related Products
by Tuomo Eskelinen, Oswald Sydd, Miika Kajanus, David Fernández Gutiérrez, Miguel Mitsou, José M. Soriano Disla, Manuel Vals Sevilla and Johan Ib Hansen
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 14983; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142214983 - 13 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1655
Abstract
(1) Background: VALUEWASTE, a European Commission Horizon 2020 project, is attempting to find new and sustainable sources of protein and fertiliser products using biowaste as a resource. Introducing these products to the market is essential to understand the social acceptance, behavioural changes and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: VALUEWASTE, a European Commission Horizon 2020 project, is attempting to find new and sustainable sources of protein and fertiliser products using biowaste as a resource. Introducing these products to the market is essential to understand the social acceptance, behavioural changes and socioeconomic impacts related to products and value chains. (2) Methods: The applied framework provides insights from market, socioeconomic, and community acceptance points of view. Initially, we designed the context and targets of the study. The acceptance levels were tested in two study regions: the cities of Murcia (Spain) and Kalundborg (Denmark). Secondly, we established a survey questionnaire (N = 523) combining social acceptance and life-cycle assessment methodology questions. Lastly, we performed a scenario-based workshop discussing behavioural changes related to the introduction of new bio-products to customers. (3) Results: Our study of developing new bio-products (food, feed, fertiliser) from biowaste produced forceful comparative results from the two regions regarding three aspects of social acceptance: market, socioeconomic, and community. (4) Conclusions: The present study, engaging citizens, consumers, producers, and policy makers, provides insights into what is important for the social acceptance of new protein sources for food, feed, and recycled fertilisers from bio-waste in the Murcia and Kalundborg city regions. Our observations, based on analyses applying three dimensions of social acceptance, can be directly applied elsewhere, guiding decision makers on how to fortify social acceptance regarding new circular economy business models and the bioeconomy in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Based Materials for Eco-Efficient Innovation)
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