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Reviews, Advances and Applications in Environmental Sustainability

A topical collection in Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This collection belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

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Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agrochemistry and Environment, University Miguel Hernández of Elche, 03202 Elche, Spain
Interests: soil-water-plant system; waste management and recycling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. CERNAS—Centro de Estudos de Recursos Naturais, Ambiente e Sociedade, Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra, Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, Bencanta, 3045-601 Coimbra, Portugal
2. Coimbra Agriculture School, Polytechnic of Coimbra, Bencanta, 3045-601 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: wildfires; sustainable land management; conservation of natural resources
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Interests: aquatic ecology; monitoring; assessment; ecological modelling; water quality management; ecotechnology; decision support tools; sustainability; ISO standards related to water monitoring and assessment documents via the BELGAQUA and B-IWA organisations
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Interests: climate change; hydrologic modeling; multicriteria decision making method; robust decision making; urban hydrology; water resources management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleague,

The development of technologies and knowledge related to Environmental Sciences and Technology and the impact of this development on sustainability require an effort from researchers to review the advances and applications achieved.

Often, researchers focus on the development of new scientific and technical knowledge, and their efforts occur simultaneously in different parts of the world. However, the sharing of these advances and their implications for society, the economy, and the environment are often neglected. It is extraordinarily important to think about and evaluate all the knowledge acquired and how it influences our ways of life. Moreover, it is important to share the applications. It is essential to know if we are moving on the right path towards sustainability.

For these reasons, it is necessary to publish a series of review articles that will allow us to determine, in an objective way, the influence of scientific and technological advances and their implications for sustainability. The development of information technologies; problems derived from global warming, land occupation, demographic growth, and waste; renewable energies; and the use of limited natural resources are some of the issues that must be treated from a global point of view. For researchers, the existence of clear and concise articles and reviews on these and other topics and their influence for a more sustainable way of life is essential.

The aim of this Special Issue is to bring together the wide variety of advances achieved in recent years, to examine their influence on the new governance and administration of the planet and its resources, and to determine whether they are effective in achieving sustainability.

Prof. Dr. Jose Navarro Pedreño
Prof. Dr. António Dinis Ferreira
Prof. Dr. Peter Goethals
Prof. Eun-Sung Chung
Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Torretta
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • air pollution
  • built environment
  • chemicals and toxics
  • circular economy
  • climate change
  • global warming
  • energy and renewable resources
  • environmental sustainability
  • hazards
  • health
  • natural resources
  • new technologies and applications
  • plastic and microplastic
  • pollution control
  • risk assessment
  • rivers, lakes, wetlands, seas, and oceans
  • soil and land management
  • waste management
  • wastewater management
  • water

Published Papers (18 papers)

2024

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2021

15 pages, 2337 KiB  
Article
Vegetation Type Mapping in Southern Patagonia and Its Relationship with Ecosystem Services, Soil Carbon Stock, and Biodiversity
by Pablo L. Peri, Juan Gaitán, Boris Díaz, Leandro Almonacid, Cristian Morales, Francisco Ferrer, Romina Lasagno, Julián Rodríguez-Souilla and Guillermo Martínez Pastur
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 2025; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16052025 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1721
Abstract
Vegetation Type (VT) mapping using Optical Earth observation data is essential for the management and conservation of natural resources, as well as for the evaluation of the supply of provisioning ecosystem services (ESs), the maintenance of ecosystem functions, and the conservation of biodiversity [...] Read more.
Vegetation Type (VT) mapping using Optical Earth observation data is essential for the management and conservation of natural resources, as well as for the evaluation of the supply of provisioning ecosystem services (ESs), the maintenance of ecosystem functions, and the conservation of biodiversity in anthropized environments. The main objective of the present work was to determine the spatial patterns of VTs related to climatic, topographic, and spectral variables across Santa Cruz province (Southern Patagonia, Argentina) in order to improve our understanding of land use cover at the regional scale. Also, we examined the spatial relationship between VTs and potential biodiversity (PB), ESs, and soil organic content (SOC) across our study region. We sampled 59,285 sites sorted into 19 major categories of land cover with a reliable discrimination level from field measurements. We selected 31 potential predictive environmental dataset covariates, which represent key factors for the spatial distribution of land cover such as climate (four), topography (three), and spectral (24) factors. All covariate maps were generated or uploaded to the Google Earth Engine cloud-based computing platform for subsequent modeling. A total of 270,292 sampling points were used for validation of the obtained classification map. The main land cover area estimates extracted from the map at the regional level identified about 142,085 km2 of grasslands (representing 58.1% of the total area), 38,355 km2 of Mata Negra Matorral thicket (15.7%), and about 25,189 km2 of bare soil (10.3%). From validation, the Overall Accuracy and the Kappa coefficient values for the classification map were 90.40% and 0.87, respectively. Pure and mixed forests presented the maximum SOC (11.3–11.8 kg m−2), followed by peatlands (10.6 kg m−2) and deciduous Nothofagus forests (10.5 kg m−2). The potential biodiversity was higher in some shrublands (64.1% in Mata Verde shrublands and 63.7% in mixed shrublands) and was comparable to those values found for open deciduous forests (Nothofagus antarctica forest with 60.4%). The provision of ESs presented maximum values at pure evergreen forests (56.7%) and minimum values at some shrubland types (Mata Negra Matorral thicket and mixed shrubland) and steppe grasslands (29.7–30.9%). This study has provided an accurate land cover and VT map that provides crucial information for ecological studies, biodiversity conservation, vegetation management and restoration, and regional strategic decision-making. Full article
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2023

Jump to: 2024, 2022, 2021

29 pages, 1573 KiB  
Review
Decision Support Systems Based on Gaseous Emissions and Their Impact on the Sustainability Assessment at the Livestock Farm Level: An Evaluation from the User’s Side
by Evangelos Alexandropoulos, Vasileios Anestis, Federico Dragoni, Anja Hansen, Saoirse Cummins, Donal O’Brien, Barbara Amon and Thomas Bartzanas
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13041; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713041 - 29 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1590
Abstract
To achieve national and global air quality and climate change objectives, the agricultural sector increasingly requires dependable decision support tools for gaseous emissions at the farm level. We evaluated thirteen greenhouse gas (GHG)-based decision support systems (DSS), considering criteria such as not only [...] Read more.
To achieve national and global air quality and climate change objectives, the agricultural sector increasingly requires dependable decision support tools for gaseous emissions at the farm level. We evaluated thirteen greenhouse gas (GHG)-based decision support systems (DSS), considering criteria such as not only the accessibility, user-friendliness, stakeholder involvement, sustainability methodology, and modeling aspects, but also the input parameters and outputs provided, all crucial for decision making. While most DSSs provide information for facilitating their use, only four are suitable for inexperienced users, and stakeholder participation in DSS development is infrequent. The dominant methodology for farm-level GHG estimation is IPCC 2006, with quantitative models primarily used for indicators’ assessment. Scenario and contribution analyses are the prevailing decision support approaches. Soil, crop, and fertilizer types are the most implemented non-livestock-related inputs, while climate- and feed-related costs are the least required. All DSSs assess farm-level mitigation measures, but less than half offer sustainability consultation. These tools promote environmental sustainability by evaluating mitigation strategies, disseminating farm sustainability information, and guiding sustainable farm management. Yet, challenges such as disparate estimation methods, result variations, comparison difficulties, usability concerns, steep learning curves, the lack of automation, the necessity for multiple tools, the limited integration of the results, and changing regulations hinder their wider adoption. Full article
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10 pages, 244 KiB  
Article
Smokers’ Attitude and Behavior towards Cigarette Littering in Romania: A Survey-Based Approach
by Elena Simina Lakatos, Lucian Ionel Cioca, Andrea Szilagyi, Andreea Loredana Bîrgovan and Elena Cristina Rada
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11908; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511908 - 2 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1260
Abstract
Cigarette butts continue to be a significantly detrimental challenge for both human health and the quality of the environment and life in general. The escalating accumulation of inadequately discarded cigarette butts continues unabated, in spite of the myriad legislative procedures that have been [...] Read more.
Cigarette butts continue to be a significantly detrimental challenge for both human health and the quality of the environment and life in general. The escalating accumulation of inadequately discarded cigarette butts continues unabated, in spite of the myriad legislative procedures that have been instituted by authorities with the objective of incentivizing diminution of this phenomenon. For decades, the scientific literature has discussed the importance of smokers’ behavior and beliefs in contributing to the problem. Thus, the objective of this study is to analyze cigarette butt littering behavior using a survey-based questionnaire. A total of 1643 complete responses were collected from Romanian smokers addressing their knowledge, practices, and views regarding the disposal of cigarette butts. According to the findings, awareness about the impacts and characteristics of cigarette butts is problematic, as are smokers’ self-reported explanations for their conduct. Specifically, more than 30% of the sample stated that cigarette butts are biodegradable, and 31.5% believe that cigarette butts are not toxic to the environment. The results also showed that only 19.7% of the smokers strongly believed that they should be considered accountable for their behavior. Future study directions are provided to advance studies in this area and improve present approaches to lessen the frequency of this behavior. Full article

2022

Jump to: 2024, 2023, 2021

31 pages, 5568 KiB  
Review
Can Proximal Environments Prevent Social Inequalities Amongst People of All Ages and Abilities? An Integrative Literature Review Approach
by Alba Ramírez Saiz, Andrea Alonso, Delfín Jiménez Martín and Patxi Lamíquiz
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12911; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912911 - 10 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3111
Abstract
Although many studies are currently examining the city of proximity as a way to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly cities, few consider it meaningful to achieve an “inclusive” mobility model for people of all ages and abilities, including people with disabilities, children, or [...] Read more.
Although many studies are currently examining the city of proximity as a way to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly cities, few consider it meaningful to achieve an “inclusive” mobility model for people of all ages and abilities, including people with disabilities, children, or the elderly. This literature review paper focuses on the extent to which the city of proximity can provide inclusive mobility and reduce inequalities in the urban scene, thus achieving social sustainability. Out of the 256 references analysed under an integrative review methodology, only 10 delivered solid results. One of the main contributions of this paper is an indicator and sub-indicator system to improve the integrative methodology in urban studies, which led to the identification of several incoherencies in proximity models in terms of accessibility and design for all risking fostering urban with these policies. Although the mentioning of vulnerable collectives may mean a rise in inclusion awareness, one of the most relevant outputs of this paper is the lack of specific measures to revert the disadvantageous situations that conventional mobility planning delivers, as well as the neglection to use proximity actions to promote inclusive and socially resilient urban cities. Full article
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15 pages, 1115 KiB  
Article
Audit Evaluation and Driving Force Analysis of Marine Economic Development Quality
by Sheng Gao, Huihui Sun and Runjie Wang
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6822; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116822 - 2 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1546
Abstract
High quality development of the marine economy is the main focus of China’s future. This paper combined principal component analysis (PCA) method, coupling coordination degree (CCD) model, and data envelopment analysis (DEA) model to evaluate the quality of marine economic development, and analyze [...] Read more.
High quality development of the marine economy is the main focus of China’s future. This paper combined principal component analysis (PCA) method, coupling coordination degree (CCD) model, and data envelopment analysis (DEA) model to evaluate the quality of marine economic development, and analyze the drivers in Jiangsu Province, China, from 2008 to 2016. The results show that the investment in marine economic development has gradually declined, while the output has been increasing. It gradually presents a state of intensive development with low input and high output. The coupling coordination level of high-quality development of the marine economy in 2009–2014 and 2016 was above the good coordination level. The quality of marine economic development continued to grow, with an average increase of 25.1%, of which the technological progress change index played a decisive role, mainly through improving total factor productivity. Marine economic development is becoming more diversified. Total industrial wastewater discharge, the added value of marine and related industries, and the number of marine-related employees are the main influencing factors. Full article
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21 pages, 1154 KiB  
Article
Port Planning and Sustainable Development Based on Prediction Modelling of Port Throughput: A Case Study of the Deep-Water Dongjiakou Port
by Xinyu Zhuang, Wenhan Li and Yisong Xu
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 4276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074276 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3333
Abstract
With the rapid development of ports, the port industry continues to focus on the function, service, and value chains. Further accelerating the high-quality development of ports has become crucial to promoting urban construction and economic development. Dongjiakou Port is an important shipping and [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of ports, the port industry continues to focus on the function, service, and value chains. Further accelerating the high-quality development of ports has become crucial to promoting urban construction and economic development. Dongjiakou Port is an important shipping and logistics hub in the center of the Bohai Economic Rim and the Northeast Asia economic circle, which has superior deep-water resources. Through active transformation and upgrade, it has become an international trade hub with sustainable practices. This research examined Dongjiakou Port as a case study and employed a grey prediction model to analyze and predict port throughput and to determine the indicators and impact factors for a green port. In addition, the grey model and principal component analysis were used to predict the throughput of Dongjiakou Port from 2021 to 2025, and the effectiveness of the model was verified by comparing the predicted and actual throughput from 2014 to 2020. In addition, this research also provided suggestions for the sustainable development of ports from the aspects of port planning, port cargo structures, and effective port governance and development. The prediction model can provide support for future port planning and port design, to a certain extent, and can also provide references for predicting port throughput and promoting the construction of new ports and sustainable port development. Full article
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15 pages, 8593 KiB  
Article
A 3D-FE Model for the Rutting Prediction in Geogrid Reinforced Flexible Pavements
by Giovanni Leonardi and Federica Suraci
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3695; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063695 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2464
Abstract
Permanent deformation (rutting) is an important disturbing failure on flexible road pavements. This phenomenon appears on the flexible pavement as longitudinal depressions, and it is a consequence of the degradation of materials under high traffic loading based on consolidation/densification, surface wear, plastic/shear flow, [...] Read more.
Permanent deformation (rutting) is an important disturbing failure on flexible road pavements. This phenomenon appears on the flexible pavement as longitudinal depressions, and it is a consequence of the degradation of materials under high traffic loading based on consolidation/densification, surface wear, plastic/shear flow, and mechanical deformation. Hence, the rutting phenomenon depends on the accumulation of permanent deformations on pavement surfaces subjected to repeated wheel loads. In recent years, several studies have confirmed that the service life of asphalt pavements can be increased by using geosynthetics between or within layers because of the improved mechanical properties. The aim of this paper is to present the results of the 3D-finite element (FE) simulations and the development of the rutting phenomenon in a traditional flexible pavement and a reinforced one, both subjected to a cyclic load. Through Abaqus/CAE software, a road section reinforced by a geogrid was analyzed and compared with a traditional road section to investigate the advantages given by the geosynthetic completely embedded at two-thirds of the asphalt concrete layer (AC) in terms of permanent deformations. The results show the capability of the proposed FE study, that uses the plasticity model of Drucker-Prager for unbound materials combined with the simple creep law to model HMA layers to predict the permanent deformation distribution. Full article
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19 pages, 16785 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Selected Algorithms for Air Pollution Source Localisation Using Drones
by Grzegorz Suchanek, Jerzy Wołoszyn and Andrzej Gołaś
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 3049; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14053049 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2250
Abstract
Polluted air causes enormous damage to human health. There is a high demand to find a solution for locating the places of illegal waste incineration due to the persistent smog problem. The use of multi-rotor drones for that purpose has now become one [...] Read more.
Polluted air causes enormous damage to human health. There is a high demand to find a solution for locating the places of illegal waste incineration due to the persistent smog problem. The use of multi-rotor drones for that purpose has now become one of the important research topics. The aim of the work was to check the possibility of using simple algorithms to search for the source of pollution. The algorithms that require low computing power, which may be part of the robot’s measurement and the control system’s internal software, were considered. The focus was on building a system based on a single robot that independently searches an area of a certain size. The simulation of the accuracy and scalability of the three different search algorithms was analysed for areas up to 200 m × 200 m. Two multi-rotor robots were prepared for the fieldwork. The validation of the two selected algorithms was carried out in outdoor environmental conditions. The fieldwork tests were carried out in areas with a maximum size of 100 m × 100 m. The obtained results were different, in particular on the wind speed and direction and the intensity of the pollution source. The random influence of these factors can verify the operation of the proposed system in practical applications. The difference between the true and the position of the source indicated by the robot was up to 15 m. That difference depended on the mutual arrangement of the measurement points and the pollution source location. Full article
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17 pages, 10442 KiB  
Article
Occupational Health and Safety Scope Significance in Achieving Sustainability
by Sotirios Kavouras, Ioannis Vardopoulos, Roido Mitoula, Antonis A. Zorpas and Panagiotis Kaldis
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2424; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042424 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 7144
Abstract
A safe and healthy working environment is vital for overall sustainability, due to the fact that it affects opportunities of economic and social development. However, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), despite the international commitment to Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) via [...] Read more.
A safe and healthy working environment is vital for overall sustainability, due to the fact that it affects opportunities of economic and social development. However, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), despite the international commitment to Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) via the 2030’s Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), work-related accidents are still far too common. Work-related mortality accounts for 5% of all deaths worldwide; a toll which has increased dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, in the context of COVID-19, new demands on the labour market, such as teleworking, adequate protective measures, and proper use of personal protective equipment when physical presence cannot be avoided, are necessitating new approaches to ensure health and safety. Arguably, education can be viewed as a cross-cutting strategy in advance of a culture of safety for future generations, through strengthening skills and broadening knowledge. Indeed, even though education cannot be considered a panacea, related to SDG 4, which seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, it can be considered a critical component to deal with OSH issues using a preventive, rather than a reactive, approach. Given this fact, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has stressed the prevention approach through mainstreaming OSH in education at all levels, and in all fields of vocational and academic training. Aware of the potential of universities to provide graduates the broad-based knowledge to produce labour-market skills including OSH, the aim of this study is to contribute to the discussion on mainstreaming OSH into Greek university education, using Harokopio University (HUA) as a case study. For this purpose, a web-based survey was conducted to address HUA’s students, faculty members, and staff OSH knowledge, risks awareness, and attitudes, as well as their perceptions, opinions, and beliefs about the role of OSH for academia. A statistical analysis depicted respondents’ high level of willingness to contribute to the promotion of OSH, while additional evidence suggests a considerable commitment of the respondents to participate in HUA’s OSH-related training and education. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2024, 2023, 2022

46 pages, 1539 KiB  
Concept Paper
Structural and Contentual Complexity in Water Governance
by Rudy Vannevel and Peter L. M. Goethals
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9751; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179751 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2427
Abstract
Social-ecological systems and governance are complex systems and crises that affect those systems are likely to be complex as well. Environmental topics are multi-faceted with respect to both structure and content. Structural complexity is about societal and institutional organization and management, whereas contentual [...] Read more.
Social-ecological systems and governance are complex systems and crises that affect those systems are likely to be complex as well. Environmental topics are multi-faceted with respect to both structure and content. Structural complexity is about societal and institutional organization and management, whereas contentual complexity deals with environmental (or societal) analyses, knowledge, and problem-solving. Interactions between both are manifold, and it is essential they are included in decision-making. Describing these interactions results in a series of nineteen units, arranged in a matrix according to their prevailing mutual dependencies. These units show dominant processes and concepts, representative of environmental analysis. This approach, called ACCU (aggregation of concepts and complex adapted systems units), is provided with evidence through practices of, in particular, water governance. Full article
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12 pages, 3510 KiB  
Article
Using Onboard-Produced Drinking Water to Achieve Ballast-Free Management
by Kun-Tu Lu, Hon-Kit Lui, Chen-Tung Arthur Chen, Li-Lian Liu, Lei Yang, Cheng-Di Dong and Chiu-Wen Chen
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7648; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147648 - 8 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3492
Abstract
Based on the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (the Ballast Water Management Convention, or BWM Convention) of the International Maritime Organization, from 8 September 2017, all ships must have an approved Ballast Water Management Treatment [...] Read more.
Based on the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (the Ballast Water Management Convention, or BWM Convention) of the International Maritime Organization, from 8 September 2017, all ships must have an approved Ballast Water Management Treatment System (BWTS) to prevent the invasion of alien species through the discharge of ballast. Generally speaking, the need for an approved BWTS is limited to large vessels, as they are too large or too expensive for small vessels to install. This study aims to propose a simple ballast-free approach for small vessels (e.g., tugs, workboats, research vessels) that require ballast to compensate for the weight loss of fuel when sailing. Our approach involves refitting the dedicated ballast tank of these small vessels to be drinking water tanks and filling the tanks with onboard-generated distilled or reverse osmosis water to adjust the stability of the ships. We assessed our approach using three vessels. Two ships using our proposed method were certified by the American Bureau of Shipping as containing no ballast water tank, and not being subject to the BWM Convention. This study provides an environmentally harmless, easy to use, and economical approach for small vessels to comply with the BWM Convention. Full article
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26 pages, 13515 KiB  
Review
Recently Developed Adsorbing Materials for Fluoride Removal from Water and Fluoride Analytical Determination Techniques: A Review
by Athanasia K. Tolkou, Natalia Manousi, George A. Zachariadis, Ioannis A. Katsoyiannis and Eleni A. Deliyanni
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7061; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137061 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 5041
Abstract
In recent years, there has been an increase in public perception of the detrimental side-effects of fluoride to human health due to its effects on teeth and bones. Today, there is a plethora of techniques available for the removal of fluoride from drinking [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been an increase in public perception of the detrimental side-effects of fluoride to human health due to its effects on teeth and bones. Today, there is a plethora of techniques available for the removal of fluoride from drinking water. Among them, adsorption is a very prospective method because of its handy operation, cost efficiency, and high selectivity. Along with efforts to assist fluoride removal from drinking waters, extensive attention has been also paid to the accurate measurement of fluoride in water. Currently, the analytical methods that are used for fluoride determination can be classified into chromatographic methods (e.g., ionic chromatography), electrochemical methods (e.g., voltammetry, potentiometry, and polarography), spectroscopic methods (e.g., molecular absorption spectrometry), microfluidic analysis (e.g., flow injection analysis and sequential injection analysis), titration, and sensors. In this review article, we discuss the available techniques and the ongoing effort for achieving enhanced fluoride removal by applying novel adsorbents such as carbon-based materials (i.e., activated carbon, graphene oxide, and carbon nanotubes) and nanostructured materials, combining metals and their oxides or hydroxides as well as natural materials. Emphasis has been given to the use of lanthanum (La) in the modification of materials, both activated carbon and hybrid materials (i.e., La/Mg/Si-AC, La/MA, LaFeO3 NPs), and in the use of MgO nanostructures, which are found to exhibit an adsorption capacity of up to 29,131 mg g−1. The existing analytical methodologies and the current trends in analytical chemistry for fluoride determination in drinking water are also discussed. Full article
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14 pages, 3447 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Potential of Catch-Only Models to Inform on the State of Global Fisheries and the UN’s SDGs
by Rishi Sharma, Henning Winker, Polina Levontin, Laurence Kell, Dan Ovando, Maria L. D. Palomares, Cecilia Pinto and Yimin Ye
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6101; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116101 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3374
Abstract
Catch-only models (COMs) have been the focus of ongoing research into data-poor stock assessment methods. Two of the most recent models that are especially promising are (i) CMSY+, the latest refined version of CMSY that has progressed from Catch-MSY, and (ii) SRA+ (Stock [...] Read more.
Catch-only models (COMs) have been the focus of ongoing research into data-poor stock assessment methods. Two of the most recent models that are especially promising are (i) CMSY+, the latest refined version of CMSY that has progressed from Catch-MSY, and (ii) SRA+ (Stock Reduction Analysis Plus), one of the latest developments in the field. Comparing COMs and evaluating their relative performance is essential for determining the state of regional and global fisheries that may be lacking necessary data that would be required to run traditional assessment models. In this paper we interrogate how performance of COMs can be improved by incorporating additional sources of information. We evaluate the performance of COMs on a dataset of 48 data-rich ICES (International Council for the Exploration of Seas) stock assessments. As one measure of performance, we consider the ability of the model to correctly classify stock status using FAO’s 3-tier classification that is also used for reporting on sustainable development goals to the UN. Both COMs showed notable bias when run with their inbuilt default heuristics, but as the quality of prior information increased, classification rates for the terminal year improved substantially. We conclude that although further COM refinements show some potential, most promising is the ongoing research into developing biomass or fishing effort priors for COMs in order to be able to reliably track stock status for the majority of the world’s fisheries currently lacking stock assessments. Full article
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22 pages, 1355 KiB  
Article
Quantifying Ecosystem Services of High Mountain Lakes across Different Socio-Ecological Contexts
by Uta Schirpke, Manuel Ebner, Hanna Pritsch, Veronika Fontana and Rainer Kurmayer
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6051; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116051 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3975
Abstract
Mountain lakes are highly sensitive to global change, requiring sustainable management strategies that support crucial ecosystem services (ES). However, small mountain lakes are rarely in the focus of ES assessments, and indicators are potentially lacking. Therefore, this study aimed at comprehensively assessing key [...] Read more.
Mountain lakes are highly sensitive to global change, requiring sustainable management strategies that support crucial ecosystem services (ES). However, small mountain lakes are rarely in the focus of ES assessments, and indicators are potentially lacking. Therefore, this study aimed at comprehensively assessing key ES of 15 study lakes located in two regions in the European Alps. We involved local stakeholders and experts to identify important ES. We quantified eight ES in non-monetary terms, using 29 indicators based on limnological, spatial and socio-economic data. Finally, we evaluated ES in relation to the socio-ecological context of the study lakes. The most important ES included surface water for non-drinking purposes, maintaining populations and habitats, outdoor recreation, aesthetic value, entertainment and representation, scientific research, education as well as existence, option, or bequest value. Quantitative results indicate varying levels of ES across the study lakes. Based on 12 different socio-ecological variables, we identified four groups of lakes differing also in five ES. Maintaining populations and habitats, aesthetic value as well as existence, option or bequest value were rather independent from the socio-ecological context. Our findings contribute to a deeper understanding of ES of mountain lakes, also supporting the development of sustainable management strategies in mountain regions. Full article
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17 pages, 23215 KiB  
Article
Fuel Injection Responses and Particulate Emissions of a CRDI Engine Fueled with Cocos nucifera Biodiesel
by Yew Heng Teoh, Heoy Geok How, Farooq Sher, Thanh Danh Le, Huu Tho Nguyen and Haseeb Yaqoob
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4930; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094930 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2686
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to study the effect of coconut oil biodiesel (COB)-diesel blends on exhaust particulate matter (PM) emissions and fuel injection responses in an unmodified turbocharged four-stroke common-rail direct injection (CRDI) diesel engine. Characterization of COB and their blends [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to study the effect of coconut oil biodiesel (COB)-diesel blends on exhaust particulate matter (PM) emissions and fuel injection responses in an unmodified turbocharged four-stroke common-rail direct injection (CRDI) diesel engine. Characterization of COB and their blends has been conducted to ascertain the applicability of these fuels for the existing engine. The test fuels used were fossil diesel fuel, COB10, COB20, COB30 and COB50 of biodiesel-diesel fuels. A test cycle which composed of 16 different steady-state modes at various loads and speed conditions was followed. Generally, the results showed a marginally advanced SOI timing and longer injection duration with increasing COB blends at higher load as compared to diesel fuel. Additionally, the lower calorific value (CV) and higher viscosity of the COB fuel blends have resulted in reduced turbo boost pressure and increased common-rail fuel injection pressure, respectively, across all engine speeds and loads. On the aspects of PM emissions characterization, results indicated that the blending of COB with conventional diesel had benefits over diesel in PM reduction. In fact, the largest achievable PM mass reduction of 38.55% was attained with COB50. In addition, it was noticed that the size of PM particles accumulated such that the granular size increased with higher diesel content in the blend. Additionally, the composition analysis on the PM collected by EDX spectroscopy has revealed that the C, O and Si as three main elements that made up the PM particles in descending order. Overall, the results indicated that COB biodiesel is a clean-burning alternative fuel and can be used satisfactorily in an unmodified diesel engine without the needs for engine remapping. Full article
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17 pages, 733 KiB  
Review
A Systematic Review of the Existing Literature for the Evaluation of Sustainable Urban Projects
by Pierluigi Morano, Francesco Tajani, Maria Rosaria Guarini and Francesco Sica
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4782; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094782 - 24 Apr 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2550
Abstract
From the 21st century to the present(2021), a worldwide awareness that cities’ development must be based on projects for socio-economic growth and environmental protection is increasing. World governmental agencies and the European Union have suggested action strategies for the construction of «prototype cities» [...] Read more.
From the 21st century to the present(2021), a worldwide awareness that cities’ development must be based on projects for socio-economic growth and environmental protection is increasing. World governmental agencies and the European Union have suggested action strategies for the construction of «prototype cities» whose value must be founded on the inclusion and/or preservation of anthropic-natural elements and their effects on territories. In order to minimize the theoretical–practical gap between planning and project design with a view to sustainable development and the evaluation of their performance from economic, social and environmental points of view, the present contribution aims to outline a framework useful for systematizing the main scientific contributions concerning sustainability and the evaluation of urban transformation projects. The objective is pursued by analyzing bibliographic references with specific regard to the use of logical-operative methodologies used to rationalize the processes of interventions’ evaluation and selection. The task of examining the available literature is carried out with an investigation protocol of four sequential steps. From the implementation of the last one, the evidence expressing the heterogeneity of the examples in the literature is described. Accordingly, the theoretical-methodological framework for the project evaluation from an urban sustainability perspective is illustrated. Full article
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21 pages, 1653 KiB  
Article
Sustainability of Energy-Induced Growth Nexus in Brazil: Do Carbon Emissions and Urbanization Matter?
by Tomiwa Sunday Adebayo, Abraham Ayobamiji Awosusi, Jamiu Adetola Odugbesan, Gbenga Daniel Akinsola, Wing-Keung Wong and Husam Rjoub
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4371; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084371 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 64 | Viewed by 4634
Abstract
This study assesses the relationship between economic performance and environmental sustainability by taking into account the role of energy consumption, urbanization, and trade openness in Brazil by using data spanning from 1965 to 2019. The study is distinct from previously documented studies in [...] Read more.
This study assesses the relationship between economic performance and environmental sustainability by taking into account the role of energy consumption, urbanization, and trade openness in Brazil by using data spanning from 1965 to 2019. The study is distinct from previously documented studies in literature in terms of scope for Brazil, where few entries have been recorded. The major objectives are to address the questions: (a) Is there a long-run connection between the variables under consideration? (b) Can CO2 emissions, trade openness, and energy consumption predict economic performance of Brazil? (c) What is the connection between economic growth and the independent variables at different frequencies and time-period? Furthermore, the study utilized dynamic ordinary least square (DOLS), fully modified ordinary least square (FMOLS), Maki Cointegration, and autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) to capture the long-run association between the variables of interest. Also, we used the Wavelet coherence and Gradual-shift causality tests to capture the causal linkage between economic growth and the regressors. The advantage of the wavelet coherence test is that it can capture causal linkage between series at different frequencies and periods. The outcome of both Maki cointegration and ARDL bounds testing to cointegration affirms the presence of long-run interaction among the parameters of interest. Furthermore, the outcomes of the DOLS and FMOLS revealed that energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and urbanization exert positive impacts on economic growth in Brazil while there is no significant connection between trade openness and economic growth. Moreover, Gradual shift causality test outcomes disclosed that urbanization, trade openness, CO2 emissions and energy usage can predict the economic performance of Brazil. The outcomes of the wavelet coherence test give credence to the FMOLS, DOLS, and Gradual shift causality tests. Full article
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15 pages, 1216 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Different Tillage Practices on Soil Water Infiltration for Sustainable Agriculture
by Roua Amami, Khaled Ibrahimi, Farooq Sher, Paul Milham, Hiba Ghazouani, Sayed Chehaibi, Zahra Hussain and Hafiz M. N. Iqbal
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3155; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063155 - 13 Mar 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3674
Abstract
Over the years, cultivation using sustainable tillage practices has gained significant importance, but the impact of tillage on soil water infiltration is still a concern for landowners due to the possible effects on crop yield. This study investigates the impact of different tillage [...] Read more.
Over the years, cultivation using sustainable tillage practices has gained significant importance, but the impact of tillage on soil water infiltration is still a concern for landowners due to the possible effects on crop yield. This study investigates the impact of different tillage managements on the infiltration rate of sandy clay loam soil under a semiarid environment. Field experiments were conducted in Chott Mariem Sousse, Tunisia. The tillage practices consisted of three treatments, including a tine cultivator (TC, 16 cm), moldboard plows (MP, 36 cm) and no-tillage (NT). Three infiltration models, Kostiakov, Philip and Horton, were applied to adjust the observed data and evaluate the infiltration characteristics of the studied soils. Comparison criteria, including the coefficient of determination (R2), along with the root mean square error (RMSE) and mean absolute error (MAE), were used to investigate the best-fit model. The results showed that moldboard plowing enhanced soil infiltration capacity relative to tine cultivation and no-tillage treatments. The mean saturated hydraulic conductivity was highest under MP, while it was lowest in NT, with 33.4% and 34.1% reduction compared to TC and MP, respectively. Based on the obtained results, Philip’s model showed better results with observed infiltration due to a higher R2 (0.981, 0.973 and 0.967), lower RMSE (3.36, 9.04 and 9.21) and lower MAE (1.46, 3.53 and 3.72) recorded, respectively, for NT, MP and TC. Horton’s model had a low regression coefficient between observed and predicted values. It was suggested that the Philip two-term model can adequately describe the infiltration process in the study area. Full article
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