Công bố quốc tế lĩnh vực môi trường số 45-2022

  • Cập nhật: Thứ hai, 5/12/2022 | 9:35:12 AM

QLMT - Chuyên trang Quản lý môi trường trân trọng giới thiệu tới quý độc giả Công bố quốc tế lĩnh vực môi trường số 45-2022 với những nội dung chính như sau:

Về quản lý môi trường

- Lượng khí thải CO2 ở Trung Đông: Phân tích tách rời và phân hủy lượng khí thải carbon và dự đoán quỹ đạo tương lai của nó

- Thuốc kháng sinh ở bờ biển Basque (N Tây Ban Nha): Xuất hiện trong chất thải và nguồn nước tiếp nhận, và đánh giá rủi ro (2017–2020)

- Dự báo bản đồ ranh giới khí hậu trong tương lai (2021–2060) bằng cách sử dụng phương pháp làm mịn theo cấp số nhân và GIS Những tiến bộ gần đây về tác động của vi hạt nhựa đối với các yếu tố tuần hoàn trong môi trường

- Nhựa nano: Phát hiện và tác động trong môi trường nước – Đánh giá

- Khử cacbon cho thị trường điện quốc gia của Úc và vai trò của các công nghệ carbon thấp, vững chắc

- Quyết định chiến lược cho danh mục năng lực trong mạng lưới chuỗi cung ứng xem xét sự không chắc chắn về giá giấy phép phát thải và nhu cầu

- Một mô hình DEA nghịch đảo mới với những thay đổi biên giới để phân tích lộ trình đạt được mục tiêu phát thải CO2 của Trung Quốc vào năm 2030

- Nghiên cứu tình huống thiết kế mạng lưới hậu cần bền vững cho hoạt động thu gom chất thải y tế nguy hại trong đại dịch COVID-19

- Đánh giá cập nhật về sự cố môi trường, đánh giá khoa học và loại bỏ chất chống cháy brom hóa bằng vật liệu nano được thiết kế

- Các tác động phi tuyến tính của các yếu tố tự nhiên và nhân tạo đối với các dịch vụ hệ sinh thái: Tích hợp các ngưỡng vào quy hoạch bảo tồn

- Luồng yếu tố R&D có thúc đẩy sự hội tụ không gian của hiệu quả các-bon trong khu vực không?

Về môi trường đô thị

- Carbon đen và đặc tính nguyên tố của PM2.5 trong các khu vực giao thông đông đúc ở hai thành phố ở Fiji, một quốc đảo nhỏ đang phát triển

- Truy tìm nguồn gốc ô nhiễm nước sông và hiệu quả xử lý nước thải dựa trên steroid: Phân phối pha nước hòa tan và lơ lửng

- Phát hiện nhạy cảm các dấu hiệu phân tử SARS-CoV-2 trong hệ thống cống rãnh của cộng đồng đô thị bằng cách sử dụng quá trình tinh chế RNA vi rút tự động và PCR giọt kỹ thuật số

- Định giá nước thải: Sự thay đổi mô hình hướng tới nền kinh tế sinh học tuần hoàn và tính bền vững

- Sử dụng bùn hạt vi tảo vi khuẩn bổ sung carbon dioxide để xử lý nước thải đô thị trung hòa carbon trong điều kiện ngoài trời: Hiệu suất, đặc tính hạt và tính bền vững môi trường

- Đặc tính hóa thành các gốc tự do bền vững với môi trường được hình thành trong quá trình đốt tro bay và than sinh học nhiệt phân của bùn thải và sinh khối

- Một giải pháp heuristic hai giai đoạn cho mạng lưới phân phối và nhận cộng tác nhiều kho với các lần chuyển để giảm lượng khí thải carbon

- Làm thế nào để các đảo nhiệt đô thị ảnh hưởng đến hiệu suất năng lượng nhiệt của các tòa nhà?

- Phương pháp đa tiêu chí để nội địa hóa tối ưu mảng xanh đô thị

- Các chiến lược kinh doanh để thay đổi mang tính chuyển đổi: Ứng dụng cho các phong trào cơ sở vì hệ thống nước đô thị bền vững

- Định lượng nhiều lợi ích về môi trường, sức khỏe và kinh tế từ việc điện khí hóa đội xe buýt giao thông công cộng Delhi, ước tính một quận gần đường tránh được phơi nhiễm PM2.5

Về môi trường khu công nghiệp

- Đặc tính phát thải mùi trong nhà máy xử lý nước thải sử dụng hệ thống cảm biến hóa học dựa trên máy bay không người lái

- Các xu hướng và thách thức gần đây với việc tổng hợp màng: Cơ hội công nghiệp đối với việc khắc phục môi trường

- Những tiến bộ trong công nghệ thu giữ carbon: Đánh giá

- Các mô hình không gian của hiệu quả sử dụng nước công nghiệp và các yếu tố ảnh hưởng — dựa trên mô hình tái chế DDF hai giai đoạn năng động và mô hình hồi quy có trọng số theo địa lý

- Quản lý quá trình khử cacbon trong ngành: Ý nghĩa chính sách từ góc độ doanh nghiệp

- Hiệu quả vật liệu và hiệu quả giảm thiểu khí nhà kính của chất thải công nghiệp bằng tuần hoàn vật liệu tại Hàn Quốc

- Cơ chế lắp ráp và mô hình đồng xuất hiện của các cộng đồng vi sinh vật DNRA và dấu ấn khử nitrat trong trầm tích sông Songhua của cơ sở công nghiệp cũ lớn nhất Trung Quốc

- Những thách thức của ngành khai thác than Ba Lan trên con đường đổi mới và phát triển bền vững

- Khoa học lập bản đồ lĩnh vực tri thức của nghiên cứu hiệu suất năng lượng trong ngành công nghiệp AEC: Một phân tích khoa học

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QUẢN LÝ MÔI TRƯỜNG

1. CO2 emissions in the Middle East: Decoupling and decomposition analysis of carbon emissions, and projection of its future trajectory

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 845, 1 November 2022, 157182

Abstract

Despite their acute climatic susceptibility, the hot, arid Middle Eastern countries are among the world's largest energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). Nonetheless, no study has been conducted to decompose regionally the influential primary factors of the Middle East's carbon emissions. This study utilized the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) method to fill this knowledge gap and investigate the driving forces of CO2 emissions in 12 Middle Eastern countries, namely, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen (1990–2020). The research confirmed that, with a contribution rate of 53.89 %, population growth is the primary driver of CO2 emissions in the Middle East, followed by energy intensity (31.97 %) and economic growth (18.42 %); and the most straightforward approach to reduce emissions, are boosting energy efficiency and reforming energy subsidies. It also concluded that the West Asian economy is gradually decoupling from CO2 due to the effective decarbonization of countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, based on the Tapio decoupling model results. Furthermore, each country's future emissions (2020–2026) were projected using a novel group method of data handling (GMDH) approach based on the main identified factors. The countries' decoupling status confirms the accuracy of the projected data on CO2 emissions growth. The region's CO2 emissions are expected to rise 13.28 % by 2026, with Syria and Yemen experiencing the most significant increases (129.45 % and 112.14 %, respectively) due to post-civil war economic growth. Other aspects of regional conflicts and migration impacts on the CO2 emission influencing factors were also explored. Indeed, besides providing a comprehensive analysis of the current and future status of CO2 emissions in the Middle East, the effects of military conflicts on CO2 emissions have been investigated using this regional case study for global application.

2. The spatial differences of the synergy between CO2 and air pollutant emissions in China's 296 cities

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 846, 10 November 2022, 157323

Abstract

The emissions reduction of CO2 and air pollutants are the main task in China. The two have the same roots and they interact with each other. However, CO2 and air pollutants are quite different in space, so it is of great practical significance to explore the spatial differences of their synergy. As PM2.5 and O3 are more concerned at present, thus, this paper examined the decoupling of CO2, PM2.5 and O3 from GDP in China's 296 cities using the latest available data from 2015 to 2016. And the spatial differences of synergy among CO2, PM2.5 and O3 were quantitatively analyzed by using spatial autocorrelation analysis and geographically weighted regression model. The results showed that: (1) The cities achieving the three synergy emissions reduction were mainly in the southeast of China. (2) Only 26 cities had achieved the strong decoupling of CO2, PM2.5 and O3 from GDP. (3) The synergy characteristics between CO2 and PM2.5, CO2 and O3 were different. This paper put forward the policies according to the conclusions.

3. Antibiotics in the Basque coast (N Spain): Occurrence in waste and receiving waters, and risk assessment (2017–2020)

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 847, 15 November 2022, 157563

Abstract

The study of the presence of antibiotics in the aquatic environment is a preliminary step to analyse their possible harmful effects on aquatic ecosystems. In order to monitor their occurrence in the aquatic environment, the European Commission established in 2015, 2018, and 2020 three Watch Lists of substances for Union-wide monitoring (Decisions (EU) 2015/495, 2018/840, and 2020/1161), where some antibiotics within the classes of macrolides, fluoroquinolones and penicillins were included.

In the Basque coast, northern Spain, three macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin) and ciprofloxacin were monitored quarterly from 2017 to 2020 (covering a period before and after the COVID19 outbreak), in water samples collected from two Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs), and three control points associated with receiving waters (transitional and coastal water bodies). This work was undertaken for the Basque Water Agency (URA).

The three macrolide antibiotics in water showed a frequency of quantification >65 % in the Basque coast, with higher concentrations in the WWTP emission stations than in receiving waters. Their frequency of quantification decreased from 2017 to 2020, as did the consumption of antibiotics in Spanish primary care since 2015. Ciprofloxacin showed higher frequencies of quantification in receiving waters than in wastewaters, but the highest concentrations were observed in the WWTP emission stations. Although consumption of fluoroquinolones (among which is ciprofloxacin) in primary care in the Basque Country has decreased in recent years, this trend was not observed in the waters sampled in the present study. On the other hand, concentrations of clarithromycin, azithromycin, and ciprofloxacin in receiving waters exceeded their respective Predicted No-Effect Concentrations, so they could pose an environmental risk. These substances are widely used in human and animal medicine, so, although only ciprofloxacin is included in the third Watch List, it would be advisable to continue monitoring macrolides in the Basque coast as well.

4. Forecasting future climate boundary maps (2021–2060) using exponential smoothing method and GIS

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 848, 20 November 2022, 157633

Abstract

Future-oriented forecasts have an important place in making forward-looking decisions and planning. At the beginning of these studies is the monitoring and detection of climate change. The climate is very variable. Therefore, by making predictions about the climate, preliminary information about how and to what extent the climate will change can be obtained, and accordingly, necessary precautions can be taken quickly. This study aims to produce predictive climate boundary maps using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), in which climate classification methods and time series methods are evaluated to monitor and determine the changes caused by the climate in 13 selected provinces in Turkey. The triple exponential smoothing method and the Erinc climate classification method were discussed. The data were obtained from the General Directorate of Meteorology (GDM) between 1930 and 2020, and each year's precipitation efficiency index (Im) of the Erinc climate classification method was calculated. It is divided into two classes for forecasting and testing current indices: test Im indices (1930–2014) and forecast test Im indices (2015–2020). MAD, MSE, and MAPE criteria were calculated to determine whether the Im estimates were meaningful. However, the accuracy of the estimates was ensured by considering the MAPE criteria for this study. After this stage, the analyses were performed again with test Im indices (1930–2020) and forecast Im indices (2021–2060), and Im indices predictions for the future were made. Finally, the obtained forecast indices were subjected to GIS interpolation analyses (Kriging and IDW), and future climate boundary maps were produced. Thanks to the outputs obtained from the study, how the climate classes of any region will be in the future and to what extent they will change will be provided by evaluating the climate classification and time series methods together. It will contribute to different studies in this field with its innovative analysis approach.

5. Recent advances on the effects of microplastics on elements cycling in the environment

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 849, 25 November 2022, 157884

Abstract

Microplastics (<5 mm) are an emerging pollutant which have received increasing concern in recent years. Microplastics pose a serious hazard and potential risk to the environment due to their migration, transformation, adsorption and degradation properties. The effects of different types of microplastics on the elemental cycles (carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles) in ecosystems were comprehensively summarized. The impacts of microplastics on the element cycle occur mainly in the soil environment and to less extent in other environments. Microplastics affect carbon sources, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and carbon conversion processes, mainly by affecting plant and animal activities, changing gene abundance, enzyme activity, and microbial community composition. Microplastics can affect nitrogen sources, nitrogen fixation, ammonification, nitrification and denitrification processes by changing gene abundance, enzyme activity and microbial community composition. Microplastics can also influence phosphorus content and phosphorus conversion processes by stimulating enzyme activity and changing the composition of microbial communities. Future research needs to analyze the coupling of multiple microplastics and influencing factors on elemental cycling processes. This work provides a better view of the impacts of microplastics on element cycles and the interaction between microplastics and organisms.

6. Nanoplastics: Detection and impacts in aquatic environments – A review

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 849, 25 November 2022, 157852

Abstract

The rise in the global production of plastics has led to severe concerns about the impacts of plastics in aquatic environments. Although plastic materials degrade over extreme long periods, they can be broken down through physical, chemical, and/or biological processes to form microplastics (MPs), defined here as particles between 1 μm and 5 mm in size, and later to form nanoplastics (NPls), defined as particles <1 μm in size. We know little about the abundance and effects of NPls, even though a lot of research has been conducted on the ecotoxicological impacts of MPs on both aquatic biota. Nevertheless, there is evidence that NPls can both bypass the cell membranes of microorganisms and bioaccumulate in the tissues and organs of higher organisms. This review analyzes 150 publications collected by searching through the databases Web of Science, SCOPUS, and Google Scholar using keywords such as nanoplastics*, aquatic*, detection*, toxic*, biofilm*, formation*, and extracellular polymeric substance* as singular or plural combinations. We highlight and critically synthesize current studies on the formation and degradation of NPls, NPls' interactions with aquatic biota and biofilm communities, and methods of detection. One reason for the missing data and studies in this area of research is the lack of a protocol for the detection of, and suitable methods for the characterization of, NPls in the field. Our primary aim is to identify gaps in knowledge throughout the review and define future directions of research to address the impacts of NPls in aquatic environments. The development of consistent and standardized sets of procedures would address the gaps in knowledge regarding the formation and degradation of NPls as well as sampling and characterizing natural NPls needed to observe the full extent of NPls on aquatic biota and biofilm communities.

7. Dramatic changes in aerosol composition during the 2016–2020 heating seasons in Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region and its surrounding areas: The role of primary pollutants and secondary aerosol formation

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 849, 25 November 2022, 157621

Abstract

With the implementation of a series of air pollution mitigation strategies during the past decade, great air quality improvements have been observed in the BTH region. Despite of significant decreases in gaseous pollutants, such as SO2 and NO2, the enhancement of secondary aerosol formation was observed. NO3− has surpassed SO42− and OM to become the dominant PM2.5 component. We find that the reduction of POC mainly dominated the decreasing trend of OC. As for secondary inorganic components, the key processes or factors controlling the spatial-temporal variation characteristics were different. The areas with large SO42− concentrations corresponded well to those with high SO2 concentrations, while the synchronized NO3− better followed spatial patterns in O3 than NO2. From 2016 to 2020, the response of SO42− to SO2 was close to a linear function, while the reaction of NO3− to the decrease of NO2 displayed nonlinear behavior. Such different relationships indicated that SO42− was predominantly controlled by SO2, while NO3− was not only related to NO2 but also determined by the secondary conversion process. The ratios of SO42−, NO3−, NH4+, and OC to EC between 2016 and 2020 were generally higher than 1 in typical BTH cities, and the ratio of NO3− to EC was exceptionally high, with a range reaching up to 200 %. Besides, this ratio coincided well with the enhancement of Ox, indicating the potential role of Ox to secondary NO3− formation. The diurnal cycle of NO3−, O3, and NO2 concentration change rate indicated that the relative increase of O3 during nighttime may offset the effectiveness of NOX emission reduction. This study provided observational evidence of enhanced secondary NO3− formation with the rising trend of atmospheric oxidation and emphasized the importance of nighttime chemistry for NO3− formation in the BTH region.

8. Decarbonising Australia's National Electricity Market and the role of firm, low-carbon technologies

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 373, 1 November 2022, 133757

Abstract

Many of the world's electricity systems are decarbonising, driven in most cases by the deployment of variable renewable energy technologies. This paper studies such systems using generation expansion planning in the form of a linear program to determine and understand least-cost pathways to deep decarbonisation of existing wholesale electricity markets over a 30-year horizon. This work extends previous generation expansion modelling with several, additional options that now enable the substitution of woody biomass for coal and biomethane for natural gas, the retrofit of carbon capture and storage to existing and new build fossil plant, and different constraints on variable renewable energy that differentiate between renewable resource adequacy, system security and economic performance. The most recent, independent, and authoritative technical and financial input data are also used. In all decarbonisation pathways studied, emission reductions are primarily driven by the replacement of the existing coal fleet with utility-scale solar photovoltaic and wind generation. Nonetheless, systematic application of these additional options gives rise to a wide range of different technologies for ‘firming’ renewable-rich, decarbonised systems, with batteries, pumped hydroelectric energy storage, fossil plant with co-fired biomass and biomethane, carbon capture and storage and nuclear small modular reactors all playing significant roles in different cases. This range of observed pathways is thought to have several implications for system planning, with variable renewable energy tending to be economically competitive up to an imposed technical limit, but with that limit being uncertain and therefore requiring continuous re-evaluation as our understanding evolves. The results of an extensive range of sensitivity studies also suggest that deep decarbonisation is achievable without large increases in costs for consumers, that we should embrace the optionality and competition between different technologies, and that stakeholders have significant choice about non-cost related impacts and preferences, which are manifold.

9. Strategic decision for capacity portfolio in supply chain network considering emission permit price and demand uncertainty

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 374, 10 November 2022, 133797

Abstract

This paper develops a modeling approach to investigate supply chain firms’ strategic decisions to select a capacity portfolio in green technologies for their operations. Our approach enables one to study the equilibrium solution of the entire supply chain network with multiple suppliers and manufacturers. The market and policy-based uncertainties in emission permit price and customer demand are considered, while the supply chain firms can purchase or sell the credit for emission on a carbon emission trading market. We propose a stochastic two-stage model in which the technological capacity investment should be determined in the first stage of the game considering both permit price and demand uncertainties. Once the uncertainties are clear in the second stage, supply chain firms will decide upon their quantity and price to their customers. Proposed analytical and numerical results elucidate the uncertainty value of carbon permit price from novel real option perspectives. The result reveals that the uncertainty of carbon price might have a two-sided impact, both as a risk factor and a potential opportunity for investing in green technologies. The numerical case study shows results corresponding to a paradox, resulting in a balance between cooperation and competition between supply chain parties. We further show why the supply chain members should act strategically to get in a suboptimal choice for all parties involved in the network.

10. A new inverse DEA model with frontier changes for analyzing the achievement path of CO2 emissions target of China in 2030

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 375, 15 November 2022, 134014

Abstract

China has promised to reduce its CO2 emissions per gross domestic product (GDP) by 60–65% relative to 2005 emissions by 2030, which puts higher requirements for the quality of China's future economic development. Meanwhile, using current methods to scientifically analyze the realization path of CO2 emission reduction while ensuring future economic development remains a challenge. This study develops a new inverse data envelopment analysis (DEA) method to analyze the annual realization path of CO2 emission reduction and economic growth targets in China from 2020 to 2030. This method not only considers undesirable output and frontier changes but also analyzes the realization path of CO2 emission reduction on the premise of ensuring economic growth. Moreover, the proposed method can analyze resource optimization allocation to achieve the corresponding goals, and its contributions to sustainable development are discussed. The results indicate that (1) In terms of CO2 emission reduction, the eastern region will face the largest pressure of CO2 emission reduction, accounting for 52.85% of the total CO2 emission reduction, followed by the central region, accounting for 37.2%, and the western region will face the least pressure, accounting for 9.95%; whereas in terms of the change trend of CO2 emission reduction, the eastern and central regions show opposite CO2 emission reduction trends, while the trend in the western region is relatively stable. (2) At provincial level, CO2 emission reduction shows a polarized distribution. Many provinces, such as Jiangsu, Guangdong, Hunan, and Chongqing, undertake great pressure to reduce CO2 emission. However, some provinces, such as Shandong, Shanxi, and Yunnan, almost have no potential to reduce CO2 emission while maintaining economic growth. (3) The increasement of human and energy resources input in the future is key to achieving CO2 emission reduction and economic development goals. Finally, some useful implications are summarized by analyzing the results to provide powerful decision support for achieving CO2 emission reduction and economic growth targets of China in 2030.

11. Designing a sustainable logistics network for hazardous medical waste collection a case study in COVID-19 pandemic

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 376, 20 November 2022, 134192

Abstract

The process of collecting and transporting hazardous medical waste poses a potential threat to the environment and public safety. Furthermore, the waste management system faces higher transportation costs due to the increasing human activities related to rapid population growth. The absence of an efficient and safe logistics network for the timely collection and transportation of hazardous wastes may have negative effects on the environment and public health. Therefore, more sustainable transportation of hazardous waste services is a necessity This paper attempts to design a sustainable network for hazardous medical waste collection services during the COVID-19 pandemic. An electric medical waste collection vehicle routing problem is introduced to construct optimal routes and rosters for a fleet of electric vehicles as well as cover their choice of charging technologies, times and locations. This problem allows us to minimize the health risk of hazardous medical waste while providing cost-effective, zero-emission waste management logistics. Therefore, this problem covers environmental and economic objectives to achieve sustainable development. An effective heuristic that covers adaptive large neighbourhood search and a local search is designed to deal with the complex problem. A series of extensive computational experiments is carried out using real-life benchmark instances to assess the performance of the algorithm. A sensitivity analysis is also conducted to investigate the effect of multiple charger types on the cost and risk objectives. The experiment results indicate that mixed-use of different charger types can reduce the total energy cost and transport risk compared to the case of using only a single charger.

12. An updated review on environmental occurrence, scientific assessment and removal of brominated flame retardants by engineered nanomaterials

Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 321, 1 November 2022, 115998

Abstract

Due to the extensive manufacturing and use of brominated flame retardants (BFRs), they are known to be hazardous, bioaccumulative, and recalcitrant pollutants in various environmental matrices. BFRs make flame-resistant items for industrial purposes (textiles, electronics, and plastics equipment) that are disposed of in massive amounts and leak off in various environmental matrices. The consumption of plastic items has expanded tremendously during the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted into the increasing load of solid waste on land and water. Some BFRs, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDs), are no longer utilized or manufactured owing to their negative impacts, which promotes the utilization of new BFRs as alternatives. BFRs have been discovered worldwide in soil, sludge, water, and other contamination sources. Various approaches such as photocatalysis-based oxidation/reduction, adsorption, and heat treatment have been found to eradicate BFRs from the environment. Nanomaterials with unique properties are one of the most successful methodologies for removing BFRs via photocatalysis. These methods have been praised for being low-cost, quick, and highly efficient. Engineered nanoparticles degraded BFRs when exposed to light and either convert them into safer metabolites or completely mineralize. Scientific assessment of research taking place in this area during the past five years has been discussed. This review offers comprehensive details on environmental occurrence, toxicity, and removal of BFRs from various sources. Degradation pathways and different removal strategies related to data have also been presented. An attempt has also been made to highlight the research gaps prevailing in the current research area.

13. Non-linear effects of natural and anthropogenic drivers on ecosystem services: Integrating thresholds into conservation planning

Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 321, 1 November 2022, 116047

Abstract

Ecosystem services (ESs) have been widely used for ecological protection and land spatial planning. Natural and anthropogenic drivers exhibit a strong dynamic coupling relationship with ESs. However, current ESs-related research focused on mapping the ESs spatially or investing the trade-offs and synergies relationship between ES, ignoring the nonlinear response of ESs to natural and anthropogenic drivers. Here we aimed to investigate the nonlinear effect of 14 potential drivers (8 natural and 6 anthropogenic) on the total value of six typical ESs (ESV). Taking Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration (BTH) in China as an example, we established 14 constrain lines and identified critical thresholds through the restricted cubic splines (RCS) regression. We found strong non-linear impacts of natural and anthropogenic drivers on ESV and critical thresholds existed among all the 14 constrain lines. The RCS plots showed that the overall ESV was kept at a high level before or after certain thresholds (e.g., altitude >687 m, slope >13.4°, NDVI >0.7, distance from water <31.2 km, etc.). We categorized these threshold combinations and found the potentially high ES delivery areas were mainly distributed in the Yanshan Mountian, accounting for approximately 5% of the total BTH region. These critical thresholds offer a new method to delineate conservation and restoration priority areas.

14. A critical review of Gross ecosystem product accounting in China: Status quo, problems and future directions

Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 322, 15 November 2022, 115995

Abstract

As a measure of ecosystems' contribution to human well-being, the concept of Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP) is an integrated monetary index for the evaluation of final ecosystem services, which has attracted widespread attention around the world. In China, both national and local governments have launched a series of GEP accounting pilot projects, with the aim to incorporate this new concept into real world decision-making. However, a critical review of these practices remains lacking, especially regarding their current status and problems. In this study, by performing a systematic review and data integration of current literature and government documents, we comprehensively described the GEP accounting practices in China, including pilot project's coverage, accounting methods, and policy application. Then, we identified five major problems in current GEP accounting practices in China, which prevent GEP from being accurately measured in the short term. We proposed that GEP accounting should be a constantly evolving process with both long-term and short-term improvement goals. More in detail, the accuracy issues in GEP accounting require longer periods of time to resolve; while its repeatability, comparability, and applicability should be improved in the short term, so that it can be incorporated into decision-making. In response to these challenges, we suggested the adaptation of GEP accounting index screening principles as a possible future direction, which can help to apply GEP results in the current stages of decision making. By improving GEP concept and accounting, it will be possible to establish a unified comparable GEP accounting system and reduce the gap between the GEP and decision-making.

15. Does R&D element flow promote the spatial convergence of regional carbon efficiency?

Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 322, 15 November 2022, 116080

Abstract

Carbon efficiency has attracted increased attention due to the carbon neutrality goal of various responsible countries, including China. R&D element has been proved to be an effective method to promote carbon efficiency from a static perspective without considering spatial factors. However, due to regional inequality in China, the level of carbon efficiency and R&D element flow vary in different regions. If ignoring the importance of R&D element flow from a dynamic perspective and neglecting the spatial factors of carbon efficiency convergence, it may be not conducive to the improvement of carbon efficiency and its overall development. Thus, this study proposes a gravity model to figure out the specific condition of R&D element flow (including R&D personnel flow and R&D capital flow) between Chinese provinces and cities from 2009 to 2019, builds up a MinDS model with undesirable outputs to estimate carbon efficiency and analyzes the characteristics of regional carbon efficiency with kernel density estimation, and employs a spatial Durbin model to investigate the effect of R&D element flow on regional carbon efficiency convergence. The results show that, firstly, the R&D personnel flow and R&D capital flow show a gathering trend in the neighboring regions, and the flow distribution is unbalanced. Secondly, the overall regional carbon efficiency has improved at first, then decreased gradually. There are large spatial differences among Chinese regional carbon efficiency, and the carbon efficiency between provinces and cities converges. Thirdly, R&D element flow promotes regional carbon efficiency convergence. The results of this study can be useful for solving the problem of unequal regional carbon efficiency development by managing the distribution and transfer of R&D element among provinces and cities.

16. Examining who benefited from green infrastructure during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020: Considering the issues of access to green areas from socioeconomic and environmental perspectives

Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 322, 15 November 2022, 116044

Abstract

Access to green areas was one of the most contested issues during Japan's first coronavirus emergency period in 2020. The access was examined using a large-scale online questionnaire survey. An integrated analysis of socioeconomic attributes and environmental factors was conducted, and a typology of respondents, in terms of being beneficiaries of green infrastructure, was provided. Based on empirical datasets, we identified: (1) a relatively strong influence of the pandemic on the access to green areas for young females, both positively and negatively, (2) difficulties of green area access for unmarried low-income respondents in terms of aspects such as travel time, and (3) the influence of neighboring environments on green area access; for example, if there were agricultural lands near the respondents' residential areas, they tended to visit those lands instead of other green areas. The identified typology can serve as a basis for policy targets or components within policy, to enhance the management of green infrastructure as "open” and public areas. This analysis method can be applied to different regions globally, and it contributes to policymaking for green area management to enhance social and individual well-being.


MÔI TRƯỜNG ĐÔ THỊ

1. A novel grey spatial extension relational model and its application to identify the drivers for ambient air quality in Shandong Province, China

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 845, 1 November 2022, 157208

Abstract

The ambient air quality is a complex dynamical system that is shocked by a number of subsystems, such as government policies, industry regulation adjustment and internationalization. To identify the drivers for ambient air quality, a grey spatial extension relational analysis model is proposed. Firstly, a spatial extension method for one-dimensional time series of complex systems is introduced, and the two key parameters are obtained based on the grey similarity and proximity relational analysis models. Secondly, grey relational coefficient is calculated by the difference of the three-dimensional vector, and a grey spatial extension relational analysis model is presented. Furthermore, the properties of the proposed model were investigated. Finally, the model is used to identify the drivers of the ambient air quality in eastern coastal Shandong Province, China. Results suggest that the drivers of the ambient air quality vary among cities, but with some common ones. Therefore, this paper provides an important reference for the improvement of ambient air quality.

2. Black carbon and elemental characterization of PM2.5 in dense traffic areas in two cities in Fiji, a Small Island Developing State

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 845, 1 November 2022, 157136

Abstract

PM2.5 characterizations are essential in understanding its impact on the health of the exposed population. Sampled PM2.5 by Mani et al. (2020) was characterized to determine atmospheric metal concentration and inhalation health risk in Suva and Lautoka Cities, the only two cities in Fiji and one of the largest in the South Pacific Islands. Twenty-two elements (Al, As, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Pb, S, Si, Sr, V, Zn) were analyzed using ICP-OES. Black Carbon (BC) sampling was also done at three different sites in Suva City, namely, Fiji National University Samabula Intersection site, Suva City Bus Station site and the Reservoir Road Community Settlement Site as well as at Lautoka City Bus Station. Mean BC concentrations over the sampling period were found to be 3.9 ± 2.9 (median = 3.3 μg/m3), 2.6 ± 2.7 μg/m3 (median = 1.7 μg/m3), 2.4 ± 2.3 μg/m3 (median = 1.7 μg/m3) and 4.0 ± 4.7 μg/m3 (median = 2.4 μg/m3) respectively. Health risk assessments (Carcinogenic Risk (CR) and Non-Carcinogenic Risk (HQ)) were also done to assess the risk of inhalation exposure in adults and children. The Hazard Index for children in Lautoka (HI = 1.03) was found to slightly exceed the safe level of 1. This study provides the first inventory of atmospheric particulate bound metal concentrations and diurnal BC profiles in Fiji and informs policy makers and scientists for further studies.

3. Winter and spring variation in sources, chemical components and toxicological responses of urban air particulate matter samples in Guangzhou, China

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 845, 1 November 2022, 157382

Abstract

The sources and chemical components of urban air particles exhibit seasonal variations that may affect their hazardousness to human health. Our aims were to investigate winter and spring variation in particulate matter (PM) sources, components and toxicological responses of different PM size fractions from samples collected in Guangzhou, China. Four size-segregated PM samples (PM10–2.5, PM2.5–1, PM1–0.2, and PM0.2) were collected separately during winter (December 2017 and January 2018) and spring (March 2018). All PM samples were analyzed for chemical components and characterized by source. RAW 264.7 macrophages were exposed to four doses of PM samples for 24 h. Cytotoxicity, oxidation, cell cycle, genotoxicity and inflammatory parameters were tested. PM concentrations were higher in the winter samples and caused more severe cytotoxicity and oxidative damage than to PM in the spring samples. PM in winter and spring led to increases in cell cycle and genotoxicity. The trends of size-segregated PM components were consistent in winter and spring samples. Metallic elements and PAHs were found in the largest concentrations in winter PM, but ions were found in the largest concentrations in spring PM. metallic elements, PAHs and ions in size-segregated PM samples were associated with most toxicological endpoints. Soil dust and biomass burning were the main sources of PM in winter, whereas traffic exhaust and biomass burning was the main source with of spring PM. Our results suggest that the composition of PM samples from Guangzhou differed during winter and spring, which led to strong variations in toxicological responses. The results demonstrate the importance of examining a different particle sizes, compositions and sources across different seasons, for human risk assessment.

4. Steroid-based tracing of sewage-sourced pollution of river water and wastewater treatment efficiency: Dissolved and suspended water phase distribution

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 846, 10 November 2022, 157510

Abstract

In this work, the environmental distribution of steroid compounds and the level of sewage-derived contamination were assessed using sterol ratios in the confluence area of two major rivers in the Serbian capital, where raw sewage is discharged without any treatment. Special attention was paid to steroids partitioning between the dissolved and suspended phases of river and wastewater samples, since steroids tend to easily bind to particulate matter. The efficiency of sterol removal in two wastewater treatment plants in Serbia was also evaluated. Human/animal sterols coprostanol and cholesterol, and phytosterol β-sitosterol were the dominant compounds in all water samples. The sterol abundance pattern in river water was different from that in raw sewage, indicating a more pronounced biogenic input, as well as greater impact of wastewater discharges on the composition of the suspended phase. Severe contamination of the investigated area was determined, with the Danube being more contaminated than the Sava River due to different hydrodynamic conditions leading to significantly higher sterol levels in the suspended particulate matter. It was also shown that the greater part of human/animal sterols and phytosterols present in river water samples (83.0 ± 11.9 % and 87.1 ± 15.2 %) and wastewater samples (92.1 ± 6.8 % and 95.0 ± 5.7 %) was bound to suspended material compared to the dissolved phase, emphasizing the need to consider and analyze both water phases in the tracing of steroid-based environmental pollution in order to obtain a realistic picture of steroid contamination and their fate in the aquatic environment. A high removal rate (>98 %) of coprostanol and cholesterol during wastewater treatment was determined and only the coprostanol/(coprostanol + cholestanol) ratio was found to be sensitive enough to be affected by an improvement in the quality of treated wastewater.

5. Sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 molecular markers in urban community sewersheds using automated viral RNA purification and digital droplet PCR

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 847, 15 November 2022, 157547

Abstract

Wastewater based epidemiology (WBE) has emerged as a strategy to identify, locate, and manage outbreaks of COVID-19, and thereby possibly prevent surges in cases, which overwhelm local to global health care networks. The WBE process is based on assaying municipal wastewater for molecular markers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Standard processes for purifying viral RNA from municipal wastewater are often time-consuming and require the handling of large quantities of wastewater, negatively affecting throughput, timely reporting, and safety. We demonstrate here an automated, faster system to purify viral RNA from smaller volumes of wastewater but with increased sensitivity for detection of SARS-CoV-2 markers. We document the effectiveness of this new approach by way of comparison to the PEG/NaCl/Qiagen method prescribed by the State of Michigan for SARS-CoV-2 wastewater monitoring and show its application to several Detroit sewersheds. Specifically, compared to the PEG/NaCl/Qiagen method, viral RNA purification using the PerkinElmer Chemagic™ 360 lowered handling time, decreased the amount of wastewater required by ten-fold, increased the amount of RNA isolated per μl of final elution product by approximately five-fold, and effectively removed ddPCR inhibitors from most sewershed samples. For detection of markers on the borderline of viral detectability, we found that use of the Chemagic™ 360 enabled the measurement of viral markers in a significant number of samples for which the result with the PEG/NaCl/Qiagen method was below the level of detectability. The improvement in detectability of the viral markers might be particularly important for early warning to public health authorities at the beginning of an outbreak. Applied to sewersheds in Detroit, the technique enabled more sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 markers with good correlation between wastewater signals and COVID-19 cases in the sewersheds. We also discuss advantages and disadvantages of several automated RNA purification systems, made by Promega, PerkinElmer, and ThermoFisher.

6. Valorization of wastewater: A paradigm shift towards circular bioeconomy and sustainability

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 848, 20 November 2022, 157709

Abstract

Limitation in the availability of natural resources like water is the main drive for focussing on resource recovery from wastewater. Rapid urbanization with increased consumption of natural resources has severely affected its management and security. The application of biotechnological processes offers a feasible approach to concentrating and transforming wastewater for resource recovery and a step towards a circular economy. Wastewater generally contains high organic materials, nutrients, metals and chemicals, which have economic value. Hence, its management can be a valuable resource through the implementation of a paradigm transformation for value-added product recovery. This review focuses on the circular economy of "close loop” process by wastewater reuse and energy recovery identifying the emerging technologies for recovering resources across the wastewater treatment phase. Conventional wastewater treatment technologies have been discussed along with the advanced treatment technologies such as algal treatment, anammox technology, microbial fuel cells (MFC). Apart from recovering energy in the form of biogas and biohydrogen, second and third-generation biofuels as well as biohythane and electricity generation have been deliberated. Other options for resource recovery are single-cell protein (SCP), biopolymers as well as recovery of metals and nutrients. The paper also highlights the applications of treated wastewater in agriculture, aquaponics, fisheries and algal cultivation. The concept of Partitions-release-recover (PRR) has been discussed for a better understanding of the filtration treatment coupled with anaerobic digestion. The review provides a critical evaluation on the importance of adopting a circular economy and their role in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). Thus, it is imperative that such initiatives towards resource recovery from wastewater through integration of concepts can aid in providing wastewater treatment system with resource efficiency.

7. Using carbon dioxide-added microalgal-bacterial granular sludge for carbon-neutral municipal wastewater treatment under outdoor conditions: Performance, granule characteristics and environmental sustainability

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 848, 20 November 2022, 157657

Abstract

Microalgal-bacterial granular sludge (MBGS) process has a gorgeous prospect for municipal wastewater treatment, but the research on the treatment of complex organic wastewater by MBGS process with CO2 addition under outdoor conditions is not enough. Therefore, this paper evaluated the feasibility of CO2-added MBGS process for complex organic wastewater disposal under natural day-night cycles. The results showed that the addition of CO2 overall improved the removal efficiency of pollutants. Typically, the removal efficiency of total phosphorus increased averagely from 88.5 % to 95.0 % in 12-h day cycle and from 26.2 % to 45.3 % in 12-h night cycle. The addition of CO2 increased the size of MBGS from 1.0 mm to 16.5 mm within 30 days due to extracellular polymeric substances secretion and the dominant filamentous microalgae on granules. The decrease of catalase activity and malondialdehyde content indicated that CO2 reduced oxidative damage and maintained the normal growth of MBGS. Further estimates of the collected gas showed that CO2-added MBGS process could reduce global CO2 emissions by one hundred million tons per year. This study is expected to contribute to the goal of carbon neutrality in the area of wastewater treatment by MBGS process.

8. Occurrence and modeling of disinfection byproducts in distributed water of a megacity in China: Implications for human health

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 848, 20 November 2022, 157674

Abstract

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are initially formed in the process of chlorination in the drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs), then further formed in the distribution system due to the presence of residual chlorine and reactive organic matters. However, in China, DBPs are monitored in the effluent from the DWTPs, but less is known about concentrations of DBPs in tap water since they are usually monitored once per half a year. The smart water service system is establishing real-time monitoring of water indices, although DBPs are an urgent need, they are difficult to monitor in real-time due to their diversity and complicated detection methods. If the correlation between DBP concentration and routinely real-time monitored water quality parameters (e.g., pH value, residual chlorine, ammonia) can be evaluated, the concentration of DBPs can be predicted, which will strengthen the control of tap water safety. This article comprehensively assessed the physicochemical parameters and the occurrence of DBP formation in the tap water with an 18-month investigation in Z city (China). DBP formation in tap water of different seasons and different water sources were compared. Based on the relationship between DBPs and physicochemical parameters, linear prediction and nonlinear prediction models of trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetonitriles (HANs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) were established, and the accuracy of these models was verified by measured data. Finally, the toxicity and carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health risk assessment of DBPs in tap water were analyzed.

9. Characterization into environmentally persistent free radicals formed in incineration fly ash and pyrolysis biochar of sewage sludge and biomass

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 373, 1 November 2022, 133666

Abstract

Environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) are emerging contaminants formed during thermochemical processes. However, the formation and control strategy of EPFRs during the thermochemical process of traditional organic solid waste sludge and biomass is not well understood. This work investigated the EPFRs formations of fly ash and biochar via sampling in running factories and theoretical study on a laboratory scale. The oxygen-centered and carbon-centered EPFRs were detected in the pyrolysis biochar sampled on-site. EPFRs are rarely detected in fresh fly ash from incinerators, which is due to paramagnetic metal interference detection signals and sulfate hindering the potential formation sites of EPFRs. The formation of EPFRs was further detected in the simulated combustion particles, and the characteristics of EPFRs were closely related to the precursor and temperature. Sludge-based biochar (SBC) and rice husk-based biochar (RBC) prepared at different temperatures and residence times were further investigated. The pyrolysis temperature significantly impacted the EPFRs types and spin concentration in the resulting biochar. The pyrolysis temperature of 500 °C resulted in the highest spin concentration of 1.07✕1018 spins/g in RBC. Appropriate residence time could limit EPFRs formation. The minimum spin concentration of EPFRs in RBC and SBC was obtained at 2 h. In addition, adding biomass into sludge pyrolysis could lead to more EPFRs. Controlling the pyrolysis temperature above 500 °C and the residence time of around 2 h can impose restrictions on forming EPFRs. The findings improved the fundamental understanding of EPFRs generation in solid products derived from organic solid waste thermochemical processing, providing an opportunity to control EPFRs production.

10. A two-stage heuristic solution for multi-depot collaborative pickup and delivery network with transfers to reduce carbon emissions

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 373, 1 November 2022, 133839

Abstract

Sharing resources and curbing emissions are critical for promoting the adoption of cleaner logistics technologies and improving environmental sustainability. However, little research has examined reducing the impact of carbon emissions on the environment by considering transfer between depots. Hence, this study investigated the impact of carbon emissions on a multi-depot collaborative pickup and delivery network with time windows and transfers (MDCPDPTW-Ts) and proposed a carbon emissions measurement to describe the relationship between fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Then, a two-stage heuristic framework was proposed to simplify MDCPDPTW-Ts and generate high-quality delivery routes. Finally, a case study from Dalian, China, was used to verify the effectiveness of the research methodology. The results demonstrated the following: (1) The multi-depot transfer network constructed in this paper is significantly better than the traditional no-transfer scheme, reducing the cost by 26.64%. (2) Sharing transfer facilities among different depots is the most attractive mode of realizing clean logistics, reducing the emission cost by 59.2% compared with the traditional depot-based transfer scheme. (3) Reasonable carbon prices and carbon quotas are highly significant to establishing a sustainable carbon trading market. As carbon prices increase, carbon emissions first show a sharp reduction trend and then gradually tend to remain unchanged. Therefore, this work can provide practical and theoretical implications for the sustainable development of multi-depot collaborative logistics.

11. How do urban heat islands affect the thermo-energy performance of buildings?

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 373, 1 November 2022, 133713

Abstract

Cities occupy 3% of the surface of the planet, but account for 60–80% of energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions. Likewise, buildings consume 35% of the energy and emit 38% of global greenhouse gases. Cities can aggravate such problems further by generating the phenomenon of urban heat islands (UHI). Few studies have evaluated the state of the art in UHIs' influence on buildings' energy performance, so the present research aims to analyze the main studies evaluating the thermo-energy behavior of buildings subjected to UHI. This was done with a systematic literature review and a scientific mapping of the publications present in Web of Science until 2021. 100 articles were selected for analysis in this review. The results point to an important evolution in the study of parameters affecting urban buildings’ performance, in addition to the analysis of different urban land uses as a strategy to sectorize UHI. Such scientific evolution is analyzed and discussed in four-time segments. Fragmentation on building cooling loads and the energy penalty index derived from UHI are discussed, resulting in an average cooling penalty of 6.63 kWh/m2/y/°C and 3.81 kWh/m2/y/°C, for residential and office use respectively. This study presents limitations and proposes applications for the use of this index, as well as prospects for future studies and main research gaps in the area.

12. Multi-criteria methods for the optimal localization of urban green areas

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 374, 10 November 2022, 133690

Abstract

With reference to the important issues on sustainable urban development, ecosystem services play a significant role today, able to significantly affect the quality of life in cities. In this perspective, urban regeneration processes must be encouraged through the creation of green areas. Such intervention strategies enhance the livability and resilience of growing cities by: (i) generating ecosystem services (ESs); (ii) containing the negative impacts of urbanization; and (iii) contributing to a Circular Economy (CE). This study uses techniques of multi-criteria evaluation with to characterize a methodology that can favor the best localization of urban parks. Elements of novelty of the research concern both the logical structure of the implemented algorithms, based on a panel of rigorously selected indicators, and the consistency checks between the different methods examined. Specifically, we propose a set of six indicators of general validity and easy to estimate, with aim to define: (i) a methodology easily replicable to different socio-economic contexts; (ii) a useful tool for decision-makers and urban planners as they are easy to be practically implemented. Once indicators are selected, we implement and compare four different evaluation approaches – AHP, ELECTRE, TOPSIS and VIKOR – to select the optimal localization of a green areas in an Italian city. The goal is to provide a more cohesive framework for the evaluation of the optimal location of urban green strategies, in the light of economic, environmental, and social criteria.

13. Prediction of PM2.5 concentration in urban agglomeration of China by hybrid network model

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 374, 10 November 2022, 133968

Abstract

The urban agglomeration area is a heavy disaster area of PM2.5 pollution, and the problem of PM2.5 pollution seriously affects the natural environment and public health. Accurate prediction of PM2.5 concentrations in urban agglomerations is the basis for effective environmental management. Deep learning methods such as Bi-directional Long Short-Term Memory (BiLSTM) and Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) have been applied to PM2.5 concentration prediction in urban agglomerations. However, the existing research methods have low prediction accuracy and poor practicality, and lack a universal method to accurately predict PM2.5 concentrations in 19 urban agglomerations of China. Based on this, this paper combines BiLSTM and CNN, and introduces a Learning Rate Schedule (LRS) to propose a hybrid model of LRS + BiLSTM + CNN. This model combines the advantages of BiLSTM and CNN to extract temporal and spatial features of PM2.5 data. In addition, LRS is introduced in the process of model training, which dynamically adjusts the learning rate of the network model and reduces the training cost of the model. Finally, the daily average datasets of six air qualities from nineteen urban agglomerations of China are used as examples, and seven benchmark network models, CNN, Long Short-Term Memory, BiLSTM, CNN + LSTM, LSTM + CNN, and CNN + BiLSTM, are considered for validation experiments. The results show that the prediction effect of the proposed model is significantly better than that of the benchmark model in 17 urban agglomerations, such as Mid-southern Liaoning urban agglomerations and Central Yunnan urban agglomeration. Compared with the above seven benchmark models, the prediction accuracy is improved by 12.7%, 8.9%, 12.4%, 12.8%, 16.4%, 19.7%, 9.5%; 10.2%, 24.2%, 14.4%, 17.9%, 18.4%, 19.9% and 2.6% respectively. The LRS is fully applicable to nineteen urban agglomerations, which has clear effects on the optimization of the network model. LRS + BiLSTM + CNN has high accuracy and practicality in predicting PM2.5 concentrations in urban agglomeration areas in China, and can provide effective technical support for environmental governance of urban agglomeration areas.

14. Entrepreneurial strategies for transformative change: An application to grassroots movements for sustainable urban water systems

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 375, 15 November 2022, 134003

Abstract

1. Introduction

The sustainability transitions and innovation literature increasingly acknowledge the potential of local agency in driving transformative change through social and technological innovation (e.g., Van Oers et al., 2018; Seyfang and Longhurst, 2016). Given the required capacity for facilitating collective action and initiating local transition processes, so-called grassroots movements can act as such change agents (Seyfang and Smith, 2007; Smith et al., 2014). Grassroots movements composed of committed individuals and collective actors, can respond to unmet local interests or values such as sustainable development, and provide protected spaces for local knowledge to drive novel, bottom-up solutions (Smith et al., 2014; Seyfang and Smith, 2007).

So far, research on grassroots movements in the context of sustainability transitions has predominantly focused on investigating how movements are created and how they impact the setting up of, e.g., energy cooperatives (Bomberg and McEwen, 2012; Magnani and Osti, 2016), alternative food networks (Kump and Fikar, 2021; Gernert et al., 2018), local waste management schemes (Weber et al., 2018), or sustainable consumption (Grabs et al., 2016) and low carbon communities (Middlemiss and Parrish, 2010). This research has highlighted why some grassroots movements are particularly successful in configuring urban infrastructure systems (Wolfram, 2016). However, how actors involved in grassroots movements develop and implement new ideas, technologies or practices have gotten limited attention in the literature on sustainability transitions and grassroots movements (Kump and Fikar, 2021; Barnes et al., 2018; Gorissen et al., 2018), not least in the context of transitioning urban water systems.

We contribute to the literature on sustainability transitions and grassroots movements by providing a novel conceptual framework for investigating the activities of actors engaged in grassroots movements and by interpreting them as (combinations of) different entrepreneurial strategies. We specifically add insights to the role of individual and collective agency, which is often neglected in the sustainability transitions literature (Koistinen et al., 2018). To address agency in our analysis, we draw on the institutional entrepreneurship literature, combining the entrepreneurial strategies concepts by Battilana et al. (2009) and Hung and Whittington (2011). According to our framework, actors engaged in grassroots movements challenge the institutionalized status quo by articulating their ideas of a social or technical innovation (framing), amassing the necessary resources (aggregating), activating allies and collaborators (mobilizing) and coordinating external relations to diffuse new ideas and practices (networking). Therefore, we investigate how actors engaged in grassroots movements use combinations of framing, aggregating, mobilizing and networking activities to initiate successful bottom-up projects and thereby contribute to achieve transformative change. In doing so, we enrich the extant literature on entrepreneurial strategies, using inductive coding to derive additional activities of strategies from our empirical analysis, providing fine-grained insights into how the strategies of grassroots movements function together.

We address these questions by analyzing the case of Coopérative Equilibre (henceforth Equilibre), a housing cooperative and part of a grassroots movement for sustainable urban water systems in Switzerland. As a crucial and exceptionally successful example of a bottom-up process for transitioning water infrastructures in the urban area of Geneva, we trace how Equilibre managed to implement non-grid wastewater reuse and source separation technologies at multiple housing projects. The integration of such technologies into conventional water infrastructures can increase the resilience and flexibility for coping with growing urbanization, climate change and related extreme events (Dunn et al., 2017; Larsen et al., 2013). Moreover, by reusing valuable resources, the technologies are able to close urban water loops, creating an overall more sustainable urban water system (Oral et al., 2020). In spite of the technologies' advantages and availability, public authorities in Switzerland - as well as in most high- and middle-income countries - continue relying on centralized management and large-scale infrastructures for the provision of water services (Eggimann et al., 2018; Kiparsky et al., 2013). Grassroots movements can thus play an important role in promoting transformative change toward sustainable development (Purtik et al., 2016).

15. Analyzing greenhouse gas emissions from municipal wastewater treatment plants using pollutants parameter normalizing method:a case study of Beijing

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 376, 20 November 2022, 134093

Abstract

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) contribute increasing amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs), due to rapid development and increasingly stringent wastewater discharge limits in China. In this study, GHG emissions from 38 WWTPs in Beijing were estimated using the pollutants parameter normalizing method (PPNM) and the effects of various factors were analyzed. The result showed that, the total GHG emissions of Beijing WWTPs in 2017 were 1 045 661.5 t CO2-eq (tons of CO2-equivalent), the direct and indirect emissions were 186 366.0 and 859 295.5 t CO2-eq, respectively. The average emission intensity was 0.603 kg CO2-eq/m3. Direct and indirect GHG emissions were influenced by various factors, such as treatment process, influent parameters and treatment scale. The anaerobic-anoxic-oxic (AAO) process demonstrated low emission intensities (0.092 kg CO2/m3), while biofilm processes (MBBR) obtained relatively high emission intensities (0.277 kg CO2/m3). Direct GHG emission has a positive correlation with the amount of pollutant removed and low influent pollutant concentrations (chemical oxygen demand [COD]<300 mg/L and total nitrogen [TN] <20 mg/L) can lead to high indirect GHG emission intensities. The low power utilization efficiency of small-scale WWTPs (<1 × 107 t/a; 6.60 kWh/kg COD; 30.54 kWh/kg TN) contributed to additional GHG emissions. Compared with the GHG emissions in Shanghai in 2016, higher influent pollutant concentrations and stricter discharge limits contributed to higher GHG emission intensity in Beijing for both direct (0.108 kg CO2/m3) and indirect (0.496 kg CO2/m3) emissions. The comparison results between cities indicated that the PPNM method achieved a more accurate account of GHG emissions, and the analysis results provided support for carbon emission reduction.

16. Key indicators of high-quality urbanization affecting eco-environmental quality in emerging urban agglomerations: Accounting for the importance variation and spatiotemporal heterogeneity

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 376, 20 November 2022, 134087

Abstract

As the basis of social sustainable development, eco-environmental quality (EEQ) plays an essential role in the process of high-quality urbanization (HQU). Therefore, evaluating the response mechanism of EEQ in the context of HQU will provide effective guidance for promoting sustainable development. Based on the requirements of high-quality development and the component elements of urbanization and eco-environment, the appropriate variables were selected to construct an evaluation index system between HQU and EEQ of the Shandong Peninsula urban agglomeration (SPUA) in north China. This study employed the improved coupling coordination degree (CCD) model and Moran's I to explore the dynamic mechanism and spatiotemporal distribution of coupling coordination between HQU and EEQ of the SPUA from 2001 to 2020. Meanwhile, the random forest model and the geographically and temporally weighted regression model were used to further investigate the variation in importance and spatiotemporal heterogeneity of the HQU indicators affecting EEQ. This study found that the CCD between HQU and EEQ followed a continuous upward trend in the SPUA from 2001 to 2020, which was much higher in eastern developed cities with a spatial dependency of high-high clustering. Due to the irreplaceability of energy in residents' lives, per capita energy consumption was found to be the most important impact indicator on EEQ. Population density achieved the fastest growth in importance over the study period, and the spatial indicators exhibited greater importance in the west of the SPUA. Furthermore, significant spatiotemporal differences were identified in the effects of HQU indicators on EEQ. HQU was more conducive to an improvement of EEQ in the eastern coastal SPUA. These findings could provide guidance for policy makers to adopt scientific measures in rational urban planning and ecological management of urban agglomerations in developing countries.

17. Quantifying the multiple environmental, health, and economic benefits from the electrification of the Delhi public transport bus fleet, estimating a district-wise near roadway avoided PM2.5 exposure

Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 321, 1 November 2022, 116027

Abstract

This study investigates the co-benefits from the utilization of the battery-electric bus (BEB) fleet in the Delhi public transportation system as a part of the Delhi electric vehicles policy 2020. To this aim, an integrated quantitative assessment framework is developed to estimate the expected environmental, health, and economic co-benefits from replacing the currently existing public bus fleet with the new BEBs in Delhi. First, the model estimates the avoided emissions from deploying the BEB fleet, using a detailed battery energy simulation model, considering the impact of the battery capacity loss on the annual operational time (hours of service) of the BEB. The annual operational time of the BEB is greatly affected by its battery degradation, which results in time lost due to charging the battery. This indicates that the annual passenger-kilometer (PKM) delivered by the BEB is less than the regular bus, under the same traveling condition. Second, considering fine particles (PM2.5) as the most health-harming pollutant, the model calculates the near roadway avoided PM2.5 exposure in the selected traffic zones of 11 major districts of Delhi, using a Gaussian dispersion model. Third, the near roadway avoided PM2.5 exposure is further used in a health impact assessment model, which considers concentration-response functions for several diseases to evaluate the public health benefits from introducing the BEB fleet in Delhi. The research findings indicate that, the utilization of the new BEB fleet leads to a 74.67% reduction in the total pollutant emissions from the existing bus fleet in Delhi. The results of the integrated co-benefits assessment reveal a significant reduction in PM2.5 emissions (44 t/y), leading to avoidance of mortality (1370 cases) and respiratory diseases related hospital admissions (2808 cases), respectively, and an annual savings of about USD 383 million from the avoided mortality and morbidity cases in Delhi.

MÔI TRƯỜNG KHU CÔNG NGHIỆP

1. Vertical profiles of O3, NO2 and PM in a major fine chemical industry park in the Yangtze River Delta of China detected by a sensor package on an unmanned aerial vehicle

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 845, 1 November 2022, 157113

Abstract

The vertical profiles and diurnal variations of air pollutants at different heights in the fine chemical industry park (FCIP) were systematically studied in this study. Air pollutants in a major FCIP in the Yangtze River Delta of China within 500 m above ground level (AGL) detected by a sensor package on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The air pollutants including ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM), total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO), respectively, had been measured through more than one hundred times of vertical flights from Aug. 2020 to Jul. 2021. The concentrations of NO2 and CO generally decreased with the height while the concentrations of O3 increased with the height within 500 m AGL. The photochemical reaction resulted in a strong inverse relationship between the vertical profiles of O3 and that of NO2. The concentrations of PM2.5 and TVOCs generally decreased with the height below 100 m AGL and were fully mixed above 100 m AGL. The vertical profiles of different particle sizes were well consistent with the R2 value of 0.97 between PM1 and PM2.5 and 0.93 between PM2.5 and PM10. The NO2 and PM2.5 concentrations sometimes increased with height maybe due to the influence of temperature inversion layer or long-distance transportation from northern China. The diurnal variations of NO2, O3, TVOCs and CO concentrations at different heights within 500 m AGL were basically consistent. The diurnal variations range of PM2.5 concentrations below 100 m AGL was large and different from other heights, which should be greatly influenced by the local emissions. The unstable atmospheric stability was accompanied by strong photochemical reactions and convective activities, resulting in low concentrations of NO2 and PM2.5, while high concentrations of O3.

2. Legacy and alternative flame retardants in indoor dust from e-waste industrial parks and adjacent residential houses in South China: Variations, sources, and health implications

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 845, 1 November 2022, 157307

Abstract

Many studies have elucidated health concerns of informal e-waste recycling activities, yet few has evaluated the effectiveness of the regulations as well as the human exposure risks to adjacent residents. Herein, legacy polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDs), and alternative organophosphate esters (OPEs) were investigated in indoor dust collected from three e-waste industrial parks and five adjacent villages located in south China. The levels and composition patterns varied significantly between workshop and home dust. BDE209 showed much higher (p < 0.01) concentrations in workshop dust versus home dust, while relatively comparable levels were found for OPEs and HBCDs. Principal component analysis revealed that OPEs and PBDEs were mainly related to home and workshop dust, respectively. Results strongly indicated that e-waste dismantling activities still contribute to a high burden of BDE209 to surrounding residents, whilst the sources of OPEs may also originated from household products, especially for TCEP. The estimated daily intakes (EDIs) via dust ingestion and dermal absorption for occupational worker and nearby toddlers were below available reference dose (RfD) values even at worst case scenario. This study highlights the significance of deca-BDEs rather than alternative OPEs in e-waste generated in China, which could provide scientific suggestions for policy formulation.

3. Characterization of odour emissions in a wastewater treatment plant using a drone-based chemical sensor system

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 846, 10 November 2022, 157290

Abstract

Conventionally, odours emitted by different sources present in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are measured by dynamic olfactometry, where a human panel sniffs and analyzes air bags collected from the plant. Although the method is considered the gold standard, the process is costly, slow, and infrequent, which does not allow operators to quickly identify and respond to problems. To better monitor and map WWTP odour emissions, here we propose a small rotary-wing drone equipped with a lightweight (1.3-kg) electronic nose. The "sniffing drone” sucks in air via a ten-meter (33-foot) tube and delivers it to a sensor chamber where it is analyzed in real-time by an array of 21 gas sensors. From the sensor signals, machine learning (ML) algorithms predict the odour concentration that a human panel using the EN13725 methodology would report. To calibrate and validate the predictive models, the drone also carries a remotely controlled sampling device (compliant with EN13725:2022) to collect sample air in bags for post-flight dynamic olfactometry. The feasibility of the proposed system is assessed in a WWTP in Spain through several measurement campaigns covering diverse operating regimes of the plant and meteorological conditions. We demonstrate that training the ML algorithms with dynamic (transient) sensor signals measured in flight conditions leads to better performance than the traditional approach of using steady-state signals measured in the lab via controlled exposures to odour bags. The comparison of the electronic nose predictions with dynamic olfactometry measurements indicates a negligible bias between the two measurement techniques and 95 % limits of agreement within a factor of four. This apparently large disagreement, partly caused by the high uncertainty of olfactometric measurements (typically a factor of two), is more than offset by the immediacy of the predictions and the practical advantages of using a drone-based system.

4. Recent trends and challenges with the synthesis of membranes: Industrial opportunities towards environmental remediation

Chemosphere, Volume 306, November 2022, 135634

Abstract

The industrial and agricultural revolution has posed a serious and potential threat to environment. The industrial and agricultural pollutants are directly released into the environment. This issue has clinched the scientists to work on different materials in order to decontaminate the environment. Among all other techniques, the membrane filtration technology has fascinated researchers to overcome the pollution by its promising features. This review elaborated various membrane synthesis approaches along with their mechanism of filtration, their applications towards environmental remediation such as removal of heavy metals, degradation of dyes, pharma waste, organic pollutants, as well as gas sensing applications. The membrane synthesis using different sort of materials in which inorganic, carbon materials, polymers and metal organic framework (MOFs) are highlighted. These materials have been involved in synthesis of membrane to make it more cost effective and productive to remove such hazardous materials from wastewater. Based on the reported literature, it has been found that inorganic and polymer membranes are facing issues of brittleness and swelling prior to the industrial scale applications related to the high temperature and pressure which needs to be addressed to enhance the permeation performance.

5. Heavy metal pollution in the soil of contaminated sites in China: Research status and pollution assessment over the past two decades

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 373, 1 November 2022, 133780

Abstract

Contaminated sites are receiving more and more attention internationally because they pose a serious threat to the ecological environment and human health. Although the research focused on heavy metals pollution in the soil of contaminated sites has been rapidly developing over the past two decades, systematic research status analysis and pollution assessment are still lacking. Here, through the "front page filtering” script and successive screening of the relevant studies, the research status of heavy metal pollution in the soil of contaminated sites worldwide and especially in China had been synthetically analyzed. The result showed that China and USA were the most active countries in related research, and the main research subjects were the assessment of contaminated sites and remediation methods. The keyword co-occurrence network of heavy metal contaminated sites in China was divided into three clusters, focusing on different environmental media, physical-chemical remediation and phytoremediation technologies. The types of contaminated sites in China mainly included mining areas (the largest proportion), industrial zones, sewage irrigation, and dismantling sites, etc. Cd and Pb were the most widely studied heavy metal in China. The pollution of heavy metals in the soils of contaminated sites was ranked as: Cd > Pb > Cu/Zn/Hg > As/Cr > Ni, and it was more serious in southeast China than northwestern China.

6. Advancements in carbon capture technologies: A review

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 373, 1 November 2022, 133932

Abstract

The increase in the level of greenhouse gases into the environment, specifically carbon dioxide (CO2), leads to global warming, and limiting its emission has been a primary concern to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Among the various methods of decarburization, carbon capture and storage/utilization has become paramount concerns for its separation from exhaust gases. In this paper, widespread technological solutions for CO capture and separation are presented and discussed to reduce carbon footprint from the source. The review elucidates various recent technologies under development, including the emerging ones with ionic liquids (ILs), membranes, and hybrid systems to tackle energy and environmental issues, along with challenges challenges for their readiness to use. Ionic liquids have appreciably drawn attention for CO capture technologies using nanofluids, phenoxide salt, and micro-encapsulation have been explored and would be effective future technologies.

7. Spatial patterns of industrial water efficiency and influencing factors —based on dynamic two-stage DDF recycling model and geographically weighted regression model

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 374, 10 November 2022, 134028

Abstract

Facing water scarcity and water pollution, improving recycling water efficiency has become a crucial task, especially in urban areas. This research proposes a dynamic two-stage recycling model within the directional distance function (DDF) which takes reused water in the wastewater treatment (WT) as a recycled product for clean water use (WU) stage's input in the next period. To comprehensively evaluate the efficiency of industrial recycling water from the perspective of quality and quantity, greywater footprint and wastewater discharge are treated as unexpected outputs. Moran’ I and Spatial Error Model (SEM) are applied to analyzing the spatial correlation and screening out the key influencing factors of industrial recycling water efficiency in China, furthermore, geographically weighted regression (GWR) model being built to measure spatial heterogeneity of the key influencing factors. The results reveal that: The overall efficiency of industrial recycling water efficiency in China is 0.75, which has not reached the effective utilization status. The integrated system is efficient if and only if both subsystems are efficient, especially wastewater treatment subsystems. China's industrial recycling water efficiency does not show obvious spatial autocorrelation, and its local differences have experienced the transformation from spatial agglomeration dominated by wastewater treatment subsystems to spatial heterogeneity dominated by clean water use subsystems. Besides, water resource endowment and water structure are conducive to improving the efficiency, while industrial water intensity inhibits its improvement. There still existed spatial heterogeneity of influencing factors where regional industrial structure and industrial water intensity effect acted as a stimulus to industrial recycling water efficiency in the central and western regions, in contrast, water resources endowment and water structure mainly boosting in the eastern region, and environmental negative effect mainly inhibiting in the southeast coast and central region of clean water use efficiency. Some policy implications from provincial and national perspectives are suggested.

8. Governing industry decarbonisation: Policy implications from a firm perspective

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 375, 15 November 2022, 133884

Abstract

Industry is responsible for around 1/3 of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. To limit global warming, many nations, including Switzerland, have committed to a (near) net-zero emission industry target by 2050. While the policy relevance of an industry transition increases, specific knowledge on the key barriers and drivers towards industrial decarbonisation is still largely missing. With the objective to contribute to the decision basis for effective policy development and based on 17 semi-structured interviews with firms from the Swiss industry, we investigate the key factors that hinder or accelerate a timely adoption of decarbonisation technologies. We relate the identified barriers and drivers from our interviews to an adapted St. Gallen Management Model (SGMM), a well-known, system-oriented management framework. Our study shows that the SGMM categories technology & economy (e.g. high technology costs), state & policymakers (e.g. emission price) and finance & controlling (e.g. pay-back periods) are most frequently mentioned by the interviewees and that the firms’ decarbonisation decisions are influenced by both the firm itself as well as external stakeholders, such as the government, consultants, customers, NGOs or suppliers. Therefore, we conclude that the firm itself and each of these stakeholders must play a key part in fostering industry decarbonisation. We suggest future research to (1) quantitatively assess the importance of the identified barriers and drivers and (2) investigate how policy actions of the relevant stakeholders could be effectively orchestrated and incentivised.

9. Material efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction effect of industrial waste by material circulation in Korea

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 376, 20 November 2022, 134053

Abstract

As a response to climate change, all industries are making efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for carbon neutrality in our society. The waste recycling sector is making efforts in reducing GHG emissions in connection with the circular economy. The Korean government enacted the Framework Act on Resource Circulation and is making efforts to convert waste into renewable materials. This study proposed a method for systematic evaluation and management of material efficiency measurement and GHG emissions for analysis of the effects of recycling of industrial wastes. It focuses on recycled materials rather than recycling waste by applying the methods of material flow analysis and life cycle assessment. As a target for the feasibility analysis of the proposed method, slag, which has the largest amount of generated industrial waste, was selected. The GHG emissions in converting the generated slag into cement ingredient, recycled aggregates, aluminum ingot, zinc ingot, steel ingredient, and silicate fertilizer were calculated. Additionally, the GHG reduction effect by converting the sources of GHG emission throughout the entire life cycle of recycled materials into a renewable energy source was calculated. Actually, 1 ton of six recycled materials generated 30.1 kgCO2eq., 23.21 kgCO2eq., 351.0 kgCO2eq., 337.0 kgCO2eq., 27.6 kgCO2eq., and 30.1 kgCO2eq., respectively. Also, six recycled materials were analyzed to potentially reduce GHG emissions of 81.8%, 75.6%, 87.1%, 88.6%, 77.9%, 81.8%, respectively.

10. Spatial and temporal distribution characteristics of carbon emissions and their drivers in shrinking cities in China: Empirical evidence based on the NPP/VIIRS nighttime lighting index

Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 322, 15 November 2022, 116082

Abstract

Shrinking cities are a category of cities characterized by population loss, and the environmental problems of these cities are often neglected. Using panel data from 2012 to 2019, this paper investigates the spatial and temporal distribution characteristics of carbon emissions in shrinking cities in China and the driving factors. The results find that: (1) From 2012 to 2019, carbon emissions tend to increase in shrinking cities and decrease in non-shrinking cities. Due to earlier industrial development and ecological neglect, shrinking cities in Northeast China have higher carbon emissions than other regions. (2) Population size, industrial structure and public services promote the growth of carbon emissions in shrinking cities. The influence of living environment on carbon emissions in shrinking cities is not significant. There is an environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) relationship between economic level and carbon emission. (3) In shrinking cities, the increase in commuting time and distance due to spatial expansion promotes the growth of carbon emissions. Foreign investment decreases with the loss of population, which reduces carbon emissions. Technological progress gradually declines as investment in science and technology decreases, which makes carbon emissions grow. This paper clarifies the driving factors of carbon emissions in shrinking cities in China, and therefore, the findings of this paper have important reference value for the formulation of carbon reduction policies in shrinking cities in developing countries.

11. Assembly mechanism and co-occurrence patterns of DNRA microbial communities and imprint of nitrate reduction in the Songhua River sediments of China's largest old industrial base

Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 322, 15 November 2022, 116091

Abstract

Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) reduces nitrate to ammonium nitrogen instead of nitrogen gas, which is an important internal linking process of nitrogen cycle. No literature has reported the assembly mechanism of DNRA microbial communities. Here, the deep assembly mechanisms and co-occurrence patterns of DNRA microbial communities and imprint of nitrate reduction in Songhua River Basin (an inland river located in northeastern China) were studied. The DNRA potential rates were detected at six sampling sites, ranging from 0.25 ± 0.23 to 4.22 ± 0.61 μmol N/L/h, accounting for 33.07% to 98.08% of the total nitrate reduction. Spearman analysis indicated that the nrfA gene abundance was significantly positively correlated with the concentration of total nitrogen (TN) in sediments (p < 0.05), suggesting that nutrient inputs may enhance the metabolic potential of DNRA bacteria. Co-occurrence network and Spearman correlation analyses showed that the DNRA rates were significantly correlated with the abundance of keystone species, but not with the dominant genera (p < 0.05). Variance partitioning analysis (VPA) revealed that sediment physicochemical properties and spatial factors explained only 21.07% and 14.51% of the DNRA community variation. Null model and neutral community model both revealed stochastic processes play a major role in shaping DNRA microbial community structure. The drift was the most important process, explaining 36.36% of the community variation, followed by homogeneous selection and homogenizing dispersal, which accounted for 27.27% and 22.73%, respectively. Additionally, Geobacteraceae played an important role in DNRA and the entire bacterial community in Songhua River. This study explored the underestimated DNRA process and the deep community assembly mechanisms, which will contribute to understanding nitrate conversion and the impact of nitrogen pollution on microbial communities of river sediments in cold regions.

12. Impact of China's environmental protection tax on corporate performance: Empirical data from heavily polluting industries

Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Volume 97, November 2022, 106892

Abstract

The environmental protection tax (EPT) is an important environmental economic measure in China, and its main purpose is to protect the environment and reduce pollution emissions. We empirically investigate the impact of the EPT on corporate performance based on quarterly data from Chinese A-share listed companies in heavily polluting industries from the 3rd quarter of 2015 to 2020 using the difference-in-differences (DID) model. It is found that the imposition of the EPT significantly reduces the performance of heavily polluting companies in the short run. A mechanism test shows that the EPT has an innovation effect, "forcing” companies to increase their R&D investment and realize transformation and upgrading, which inhibits the growth of corporate performance in the short run. However, the green effect of the tax is weak, and there is no incentive for companies to invest in green innovation and environmental protection. Heterogeneity tests show that the better the regional institutional environment is, the more pronounced the implementation effect of the tax is; moreover, the smaller a firm is, the more pronounced the "pain” that the tax brings.

13. Challenges of the polish coal mining industry on its way to innovative and sustainable development

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 375, 15 November 2022, 134061

Abstract

This paper refers to the current energy situation in the European Union (EU) countries with a particular focus on energy produced from renewable energy sources and coal – sources that provide opportunities for balancing the energy of the region. The strengths and weaknesses of coal mining in Poland were also identified, along with its opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). Innovative and sustainable development based on the Triple Helix Model (THM), as well as the Open innovation (OI) concept and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles were identified as opportunities for its sustainable development. The combination of these solutions should enable sustainable development of the industry, preserving its economic and social importance and reducing its negative impact on the environment. The use of new clean technologies in the operation and combustion of coal should reduce emissions of harmful substances into the environment. Intensive and government-supported cooperation between the scientific and research community and industry should significantly facilitate these processes. Another aspect important for the changes to be introduced is the social factor, for which the current situation represents an opportunity to preserve jobs in the mining industry, but also a challenge for its sustainable development. These seemingly mutually exclusive elements should form the basis of a new opening for Polish and European mining as an innovative industry based on knowledge and preserving the basic principles of ESG. The paper also outlines the most significant challenges facing the Polish mining industry on its way to innovative development. The article provides a new and relevant to the current reality perspective on the Polish mining industry in the context of the entire EU, for which the current geopolitical situation forces the necessity of setting a new direction of development. The geopolitical changes that have recently taken place in the global economy such as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic and the armed conflict within Ukraine have caused very great turbulence in the energy market. Enthusiasm and uncritical adoption of green concepts in the EU has caused, along with the reduction of gas and coal imports from Russia, turbulence in the energy market. This situation has created a great opportunity for the development of the mining industry in Poland, which has not yet managed, following the example of other EU countries, to extinguish the industry. In order to take advantage of this opportunity and obtain a permanent place in the energy mix in the EU, it is necessary to rapidly develop the mining industry in a sustainable manner based on innovative solutions.

14. Science mapping the knowledge domain of energy performance research in the AEC industry: A scientometric analysis

Energy, Available online 3 November 2022, 125938

Abstract

This study aims to reveal the current state of energy performance research in the AEC industry. The research objectives are to identify hot topics (i.e., knowledge domain) and hot keywords (i.e., knowledge base), productive countries and institutions, research gaps, and emerging areas in this domain (i.e., knowledge evolution). For this purpose, systematic bibliometric and scientometric analyses were performed by referring to 5489 bibliometric records published between 1991 and 2023. CiteSpace, VOSviewer, and Gephi were used for performing scientometric analysis. The key points include (1) promoting research collaborations between countries and institutions, (2) uncovering gaps and requirements of optimizing energy performance through pre-construction, construction, operation and maintenance, (3) identifying the target market for stakeholders and financiers, and (4) guiding to specify the common grounds for international regulations and policies. Further, this study presents a knowledge map summarizing the prominent research results. The contribution is to provide a holistic comprehension of the recent status, hot keywords and topics, productive countries and institutions, research gaps, and emerging areas of energy performance. The gaps revealed in this study show possible future research directions, necessities, and the fields that should be investigated. Accordingly, this research would be a valuable guideline for professionals addressing energy performance.

15. Impacts of heterogeneous environmental regulation on green transformation of China's iron and steel industry: Evidence from dynamic panel threshold regression

Journal of Cleaner Production, Available online 16 November 2022, 135214

Abstract

Comprehensively observing the influencing mechanisms of heterogeneous environmental regulations on industrial green transformation will provide important implications for environmental policy-making. This study first proposes a global super adjusted epsilon-based measure with undesirable outputs to evaluate industrial green transformation performance (GTP). A dynamic panel threshold model with interaction term is then constructed to estimate the non-linear and interactive effects of heterogeneous regulations on GTP. Empirical tests based on 49 large- and medium-sized iron and steel (IS) firms during 2010–2017 demonstrate that: 1) The GTP of the IS industry experienced fluctuating enhancement during the observation period, and a cumulative cyclic effect is found for the GTP; 2) both formal and informal regulations improve industrial GTP, and formal regulation shows two thresholds while informal regulation has one threshold; 3) the interactive effect between formal and informal regulations has formed and exerted positive effects on GTP. Based on the empirical results, corresponding suggestions are posited to further facilitate the IS industry's green transformation and environmental governance.

16. Integration of wastewater treatment units and optimization of waste residue pyrolysis conditions in the brominated phenol flame retardant industry

Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Volume 115, 25 November 2022, Pages 183-192

Abstract

Among the bromine flame retardants, tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) is a highly effective flame retardant that can be used as both reactive and additive. However, the synthesis reaction of TBBPA has a low conversion rate and many brominated phenolic organics. Therefore, there is an urgent need to remove brominated organic pollutants produced in the process of producing flame retardants to reduce the harm to the environment and human beings and to reduce production costs. In this study, an efficient process was developed to treat the wastewater and waste residue generated in TBBPA production process, realizing its harmless and resource utilization. In the resource utilization system, through the ingenious design of solution mixing, precipitation separation, three-effect evaporation and concentration, valuable substances were extracted to realize the recovery and reuse of wastewater. In the harmless utilization process of hazardous waste residue, through high-temperature pyrolysis at 500 °C for 2 h after optimization with hypoxia-hyperoxia atmosphere modulation, it can avoid the production of dioxins and carbon black, effectively remove the organic impurities, realize the harmlessness and obtain high-quality sodium sulfate. This paper aims to propose a simple, efficient and feasible utilization system, including the three major technological processes of TBBPA production, integrated wastewater treatment and optimized the harmless treatment of waste residue to obtain sodium sulfate, so as to realize TBBPA green production. Compared with the traditional TBBPA synthesis system, wastewater and waste residue treatment processes, the TBBPA quality is increased by 2 % and the economic cost is reduced by 10 %, which is of great significance to the development of the industry.


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