Công bố quốc tế lĩnh vực môi trường số 08-2024/ International Environmental Bulletin No. 08-2024

  • Cập nhật: Thứ hai, 26/2/2024 | 10:30:33 AM

QLMT - Ban biên tập Chuyên trang Quản lý Môi trường, Tạp chí Môi trường và Đô thị Việt Nam trân trọng giới thiệu tới quý độc giả Công bố quốc tế lĩnh vực môi trường số 08-2024.

The Environmental Management Special Section is pleased to present to our valued readers the International Environmental Bulletin No. 08-2024, featuring the following key topics:

Về quản lý môi trường

- Nồng độ và khía cạnh pháp lý của PBDE trong nhựa của thiết bị điện và điện tử phế thải ở Brazil.

- Hiệu suất tỷ lệ tái chế và các yếu tố quyết định kinh tế xã hội: Bằng chứng từ dữ liệu tổng hợp và khu vực trên khắp các quốc gia thuộc Liên minh Châu Âu.

- Mối liên quan giữa việc tiếp xúc với kim loại với IgE toàn phần và IgE đặc hiệu với chất gây dị ứng: Phân tích NHANES (2005–2006).

- Hiểu các hoạt động vận động hành lang của ngành năng lượng tái tạo Úc.

- Đầu tư vào quản lý chất thải nguy hại (Buxus papillosa) vì sự thịnh vượng của môi trường và nền kinh tế tuần hoàn: Mô phỏng dựa trên phương pháp luận bề mặt đáp ứng.

- Mối liên quan toàn cầu giữa ô nhiễm không khí và tỷ lệ tử vong do COVID-19: Đánh giá hệ thống và phân tích tổng hợp.

- Áp dụng cách tiếp cận đa dạng để chuyển đổi năng lượng xanh toàn diện trên toàn cầu: Vượt ra ngoài quá trình khử cacbon và công nhận các chiến lược giảm cacbon thực tế.

- Xác định tác động của việc mở rộng hoạt động của con người trên toàn cầu đối với môi trường sống tự nhiên.

- Lọc hóa chất từ hạt vi nhựa: Tổng quan về các loại hóa chất, cơ chế lọc và các yếu tố ảnh hưởng.

- Các chính sách tài chính, tiêu thụ năng lượng và các quy định nghiêm ngặt về môi trường tác động như thế nào đến quá trình chuyển đổi năng lượng ở các nền kinh tế G7: Ý nghĩa chính sách đối với COP28.

Về môi trường đô thị

- Tập thể dục khi nào và ở đâu: Đánh giá mức độ phơi nhiễm cá nhân với các chất ô nhiễm trong không khí xung quanh vùng nhiệt đới đô thị ở Singapore.

- Một khung học sâu mới để dự đoán ngắn hạn tải làm mát trong các tòa nhà công cộng.

- Loại bỏ SARS-CoV-2 trong các nhà máy xử lý nước thải đô thị: Tập trung vào bùn hoạt tính thông thường, lò phản ứng sinh học màng và phân hủy kỵ khí.

- Chiếu sáng tốt hơn, không nhiều hơn: Các chính sách ở khu vực thành thị hướng tới chiếu sáng thân thiện với môi trường đối với các tòa nhà bằng đá lịch sử, đồng thời ngăn chặn sự xâm chiếm sinh học.

- Phân tích theo mùa về các thông số khí tượng và nồng độ chất gây ô nhiễm không khí ở Kolkata: Đánh giá mối quan hệ giữa chúng.

- Sự tương phản về không gian và những thay đổi theo thời gian trong mức độ dễ bị tổn thương và phơi nhiễm nhiệt ở quy mô nhỏ ở khu vực Paris.

- Đánh giá hiệu suất và sự hài lòng của phương tiện di chuyển vi mô trong các thành phố thông minh để vận chuyển năng lượng sạch bền vững bằng phương pháp APPRESAL mới.

- Sử dụng hồi quy đa tuyến tính được phát triển từ ma trận kích thích-phát thải để ước tính hàm lượng nước thải trong dòng chảy đô thị bị ảnh hưởng bởi rò rỉ và tràn cống thoát nước vệ sinh.

- Ô nhiễm không khí tại các thành phố lớn của Ba Lan trong giai đoạn 2005–2021: Cường độ, tác động và nỗ lực giảm thiểu.

- Phân loại dựa trên mô hình Hỗn hợp Gaussian để phân tích dữ liệu môi trường nhiệt ngoài trời theo chiều dọc nhằm đánh giá các điều kiện tiện nghi trong không gian mở đô thị.

- Chuyển đổi kinh tế trong các ngành công nghiệp đô thị trong quá trình chuyển đổi năng lượng: Kỹ thuật đánh đổi mới để cân bằng tiêu thụ năng lượng.

Về môi trường khu công nghiệp

- Đánh giá không gian và thời gian và mô phỏng kịch bản về tiềm năng rủi ro của các khu công nghiệp ở quy mô khu vực.

- Đánh giá rủi ro ô nhiễm xác suất theo nguồn cụ thể và đánh giá rủi ro sức khỏe của kim loại nặng trong đất tại một khu vực khai thác cổ điển điển hình.

- Hóa học của chu trình nhiệt hóa sắt-clo để sản xuất hydro tận dụng nhiệt thải công nghiệp.

- Điều hướng quá trình chuyển đổi năng lượng và khử cacbon công nghiệp: nỗ lực mới nhất của Ghana nhằm phát triển ngành công nghiệp tích hợp bauxite-nhôm.

- Tính không đồng nhất trong giá bóng của các chất gây ô nhiễm nước: Nghiên cứu ngành chế biến thủy sản ở Việt Nam.

- Công nghệ carbon thấp trong ngành công nghiệp ô tô và vận tải khử cacbon.

- Lưu trữ năng lượng nhiệt dạng giường đóng gói để thu hồi nhiệt thải trong ngành công nghiệp sắt thép: Nghiên cứu mô hình lạnh về khả năng giữ bột và giảm áp suất.

- Ưu tiên công nghệ hydro dựa trên tính bền vững và độ tin cậy để khử cacbon trong ngành lọc dầu: Hệ thống hỗ trợ quyết định theo tập hợp bạch cầu trung tính có giá trị duy nhất.

- Mức độ trung hòa carbon của Hoa Kỳ năm 2050: Huyền thoại hay thực tế? Đánh giá tác động của các ngành công nghệ cao và tiêu thụ điện xanh.

- Các lựa chọn linh hoạt trong ngành công nghiệp sắt thép khử cacbon.


Ảnh minh hoạ. ITN

Xin trân trọng giới thiệu!
The Environmental Management Special Section is pleased to present to our valued readers the International Environmental Bulletin No. 08-2024, featuring the following key topics: 

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT / QUẢN LÝ MÔI TRƯỜNG 

1. Concentrations and legislative aspects of PBDEs in plastic of waste electrical and electronic equipment in Brazil
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167349

Abstract

Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have been widely used as additives in polymeric products such as electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) to help meet fire safety regulations. However, some BFRs like polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), are now listed under the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and banned in many countries, due to their adverse health impacts, environmental persistence, and capacity for bioaccumulation and long-range atmospheric transport. Despite this, in Brazil, only a few studies exist of the presence of these contaminants in the environment, and even fewer in waste EEE (WEEE). Against this backdrop, this study measured the presence of PBDEs in samples (n = 159) of WEEE in the metropolitan region of Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil. PBDEs were detected in 149 samples, with concentrations in 18 samples exceeding the European Union's Low POP Content Limit (LPCL) of 1000 mg/kg. Decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) was the congener present at the highest concentration in most samples, with those of other PBDEs such as BDE-47 much lower. In general, samples containing >1000 mg/kg are those categorised as display items and miscellaneous EEE (n = 15.27 %), comprising: parts from cathode ray tube TVs (n = 11), audio systems (n = 2), and LCD TVs (n = 2). In addition, in 5 % (n = 3) of IT and telecommunications equipment samples (computer parts) PBDE concentrations exceeded 1000 mg/kg. Our results show the need for greater control and monitoring of the presence of these pollutants in WEEE before recycling and final disposal, to prevent PBDEs entering the recycling stream.

2. Recycling rate performance and socioeconomic determinants: Evidence from aggregate and regional data across European Union countries
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 434, 1 January 2024, 139877

Abstract

The recycling rates for the EU Member States deviate significantly from the targets set by Directive (2018)/851 for attaining the target of 55% by 2025 (European union, 2018). The aim of the study is to investigate the short- and long-term relationship between macroeconomic variables and the recycling rates performance at both national and regional level. Within this context, four sets of variables are examined, namely sociodemographic, economic and institutional factors. For the purpose of the analysis, the available data acquired from 28 EU countries during the period between 2000 and 2020, as well as from 38 EU regions during 2000–2018 and a panel data approach using OLS, Fixed Effects, Random Effects, FMOLS, and ECM techniques is implemented. Findings robustly indicate that factors such as economic performance, institutional quality, and higher educational attainment significantly contribute to the EU circular economy. Results imply that changes in agricultural intensification and population density significantly affect recycling levels. A particularly significant finding that contributes to the existing literature is the higher speed of adjustment, as indicated by the lagged ECT, at the NUTS-1 level compared to the NUTS-2 level. Thus, recycling policy outcomes, implemented policies, and interventions adjust more rapidly towards their equilibrium state, resulting in immediate impacts and faster changes at NUTS-1 level. On the contrary, it takes more time for these policy outcomes to materialize at the regional scale. Policymakers should prioritize reducing income disparities, improving transparency, investing in education, and promoting sustainable agriculture and waste management infrastructure to support the circular economy.

3. Associations of exposure to metals with total and allergen-specific IgE: An NHANES analysis (2005–2006)
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167385

Abstract

Background

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is a diagnostic biomarker for allergic diseases. While some metal exposure has been found to be associated with allergic diseases, there are still a lot of knowledge gaps regarding the relationship between metal exposure and allergen-specific IgE antibodies, particularly in adults.

Methods

We included a total of 1433 adult participants from the 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), all of whom had concentrations of 10 metals (including Barium (Ba), Cadmium (Cd), Cobalt (Co), Cesium (Cs), Molybdenum (Mo), Lead (Pb), Antimony (Sb), Thallium (Tl), Tungsten (Tu), and Uranium (Ur)) in urine, as well as measurements of 19 allergen-specific IgE and total IgE antibodies. Linear regression, logistic regression, weighted quantile sum (WQS) regression, and Bayesian kernel machine regression (BKMR) were used to estimate associations between metals and total and allergen-specific IgE.

Results

Linear regression models revealed a positive correlation between Pb and Cd levels and the total IgE levels. Furthermore, the WQS and BKMR models suggested a positive association between mixed metals and total IgE levels, with the WQS model highlighting Pb and Cd as the major contributors. Logistic regression models showed positive correlations between Pb and food sensitization, Ur and plant sensitization, negative correlations between Cs and plant sensitization, Co and dust mite and pet sensitization, Mo and dust mite and cockroach sensitization, and Tl and mold sensitization. Moreover, the BKMR results indicated a statistically significant negative correlation between mixed metals and mold sensitization.

Conclusion

According to the research findings, exposure to metals is associated with total and allergen-specific IgE in American adults. Further assessment of these relationships is necessary in representative populations of other countries.

4. Understanding the lobbying actions taken by the Australian renewable energy industry
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 434, 1 January 2024, 139674

Abstract

The fossil fuel industry has dominated Australia’s economy for decades and has built a strong alliance with governments in various spheres, benefiting from subsidies and influencing policymaking. With global pressures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the increasing penetration of renewable sources, the status quo of the Australian electricity market is being challenged. Within this study, we seek to understand how the emerging renewable industry is acting to accelerate the sustainable energy transition in Australia. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with professionals within the sector to provide evidence to investigate if there is an imbalance between their measures and those taken by the fossil fuel industry to participate in the formulation of policies. From the interviews, a qualitative analysis was conducted and key themes emerged and were grouped in three main dimensions: the "barriers” faced by RE in Australia, the "enablers” or opportunities identified by the participants to overcome the existing barriers, and "strategies” used to influence decision-making. Results suggest that, compared to the renewable energy companies, the dominant fossil fuel industry is highly resourced, companies have strong internal structures and are actively involved in lobbying. Despite this disparity, the renewable sector has put strategies in place to strengthen their voice and influence by forming interest groups, carefully selecting topics for discussion, and engaging consultants to provide advisory services to support policy engagement.

5. Hazardous waste management (Buxus papillosa) investment for the prosperity of environment and circular economy: Response surface methodology-based simulation
Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 350, 15 January 2024, 119567

Abstract

Dealing with the current defaults of environmental toxicity, heating, waste management, and economic crises, exploration of novel non-edible, toxic, and waste feedstock for renewable biodiesel synthesis is the need of the hour. The present study is concerned with Buxus papillosa with seeds oil concentration (45% w/w), a promising biodiesel feedstock encountering environmental defaults and waste management; in addition, this research performed simulation based-response surface methodology (RSM) for Buxus papillosa bio-diesel. Synthesis and application of novel Phyto-nanocatalyst bimetallic oxide with Buxus papillosa fruit capsule aqueous extract was advantageous during transesterification. Characterization of sodium/potassium oxide Phyto-nanocatalyst confirmed 23.5 nm nano-size and enhanced catalytic activity. Other characterizing tools are FTIR, DRS, XRD, Zeta potential, SEM, and EDX. Methyl ester formation was authenticated by FTIR, GC-MS, and NMR. A maximum 97% yield was obtained at optimized conditions i.e., methanol ratio to oil (8:1), catalyst amount (0.37 wt%), reaction duration (180 min), and temperature of 80 °C. The reusability of novel sodium/potassium oxide was checked for six reactions. Buxus papillosa fuel properties were within the international restrictions of fuel. The sulphur content of 0.00090% signified the environmental remedial nature of Buxus papillosa methyl esters and it is a highly recommendable species for biodiesel production at large scale due to a t huge number of seeds production and vast distribution.

6. Impacts of water constraints on economic outputs and trade: A multi-regional input-output analysis in China
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 434, 1 January 2024, 140345

Abstract

Water resource constraints pose significant challenges to sustainable development of economy, environment, and human society. This study addresses the existing gap in understanding the impacts of water resource constraints on economic outputs and inter-provincial trade in China. A water-use constrained multi-regional input-output (MRIO) model is developed to analyze the impacts on economic outputs resulting from different water constraints imposed on economic sectors. A series of scenarios are designed to represent different levels of sectoral water use restrictions based on short-term water policy and water stress alleviation targets. Results reveal that regions experience different levels of water stress displaying diverse economic impacts due to future water restrictions. Overall, national economic outputs will experience a 0.76–1.14% decrease compared to the baseline scenario, that is, the "business-as-usual” scenario. Provinces with lower levels of economic development tend to be less resilient to the economic losses arising from water constraints. As such, Ningxia and Shanxi show with the greatest relative economic impact, accounting for 7.09% and 4.21% of their respective provinces’ economic outputs under the baseline scenario. Furthermore, the direction of net bilateral trade, such as net trade between Henan and Shaanxi or between Henan and Hunan, would reverse under water constraint scenarios from the baseline scenario. This underscores the importance of considering the cascading effects of local water constraints on inter-provincial trade. Our study highlights the trade-offs between water conservation and economic development, emphasizing the need for region-specific water-saving measures.

7. Global association between air pollution and COVID-19 mortality: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167542

Abstract

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenge for global public health systems and exacerbates existing health disparities. Epidemiological evidence suggested a potential linkage between particulate and gaseous pollutants and COVID-19 mortality. We aimed to summarize the overall risk of COVID-19 mortality associated with ambient air pollutants over the short- and long-term.

Methods

For the systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched five databases for studies evaluating the risk of COVID-19 mortality from exposure to air pollution. Inclusion of articles was assessed independently on the basis of research topic and availability of effect estimates. The risk estimates (relative risk) for each pollutant were pooled with a random-effect model. Potential heterogeneity was explored by subgroup analysis. Funnel plots and trim-and-fill methods were employed to assess and adjust for publication bias.

Findings

The systematic review retrieved 2059 records, and finally included 43 original studies. PM2.5 (RR: 1.71, 95 % CI: 1.40–2.08, per 10 μg/m3 increase), NO2 (RR: 1.33, 1.07–1.65, per 10 ppb increase) and O3 (RR: 1.61, 1.00–2.57, per 10 ppb increase) were positively associated with COVID-19 mortality for long-term exposures. Accordingly, a higher risk of COVID-19 mortality was associated with PM2.5 (1.05, 1.02–1.08), PM10 (1.05, 1.01–1.08), and NO2 (1.40, 1.04–1.90) for short-term exposures. There was some heterogeneity across subgroups of income level and geographical areas.

Conclusion

Both long-term and short-term exposures to ambient air pollution may increase the risk of COVID-19 mortality. Future studies utilizing individual-level information on demographics, exposures, outcome ascertainment and confounders are warranted to improve the accuracy of estimates.

8. Embracing a diverse approach to a globally inclusive green energy transition: Moving beyond decarbonisation and recognising realistic carbon reduction strategies
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 434, 1 January 2024, 140414

Abstract

The green energy transition is aimed at mitigating the impact of climate change. Yet, the current emphasis on ‘green’ is narrowly centred around decarbonisation, or CO2 reduction, often side-lining the roles of other gases, such as sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and PCF-14 (CF4), which have a respective 24,300- and 7380-times higher global warming potential than CO2 on a time horizon of a century. In addition, any energy transition is a complex affair that simultaneously impacts the environmental, economic and social systems, with significant system-level interactions. For example, the material requirement for renewable energy is known to be substantial, at a factor of 15 times greater than natural gas-based energy for offshore wind generation, and almost 7 times greater for solar. The resulting increased competition for materials is reducing the appetite for global collaboration. In addition, the global capacity to deploy renewable energy technology or participate in climate change mitigation is geographically variable and no single solution is universally viable. This study examines an expanded definition of ‘green’ energy and proposes a beyond-decarbonisation approach that is more comprehensive and globally inclusive, in pursuit for a sustainable transition. The increased diversity of our approach promises advantages such as heightened global collaboration, diminished geopolitical tension, improved energy access, expanded market opportunities, and socio-environmental co-benefits. Strategies pivotal to this approach involve understanding the role of carbon-based energy systems in the transition, amplifying renewable resources, augmenting cross-sector energy efficiency, implementing effective carbon markets, and integrating nature-based as well as carbon removal technologies. Moreover, it is imperative to implement all-cost and all-benefit monitoring and evaluation systems to optimise existing decarbonisation methods systematically. This could entail the use of composite metrics that normalise the gain in climate change mitigation against economic, social or environmental metrics. Addressing societal apprehensions requires a focus on pragmatic and fair outcomes, geopolitical stability, market impacts, developmental objectives, effective public engagement, and recognition of the role of enterprises. Policymakers are important in fostering global synergy by implementing policies that encourage international collaboration, investment, enterprise engagement, institution fortification, and cross-sector policy integration.

9. Roles of historical land use/cover and nitrogen fertilizer application changes on ammonia emissions in farmland ecosystem from 1990 to 2020 in China
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167565

Abstract

In the past decades, China has witnessed significant changes in its land use/land cover (LULC) pattern. These changes have led to a direct impact on ammonia (NH3) emissions in soil background, and indirectly affected the total nitrogen fertilizer (N-fertilizer) application, crop planting amount and the resulting straw mass through the changes of cropland area. Great changes have also taken place in the amount and structure of fertilizer application in China, which affects the NH3 emissions from farmland ecosystems caused by N-fertilizer application. The aforementioned changes have led to significant alterations in NH3 emissions from China's farmland ecosystems over the past 30 years. The process of these changes remains to be analyzed, and the contributions of LULC changes and N-fertilizer application in this process are yet to be assessed. This study aims to investigate the NH3 emission changes and spatiotemporal variation characteristics from farmland ecosystems during 1990 and 2020 due to the LULC changes. Additionally, the study employs scenario analysis method to discuss the effects of LULC changes and N-fertilizer application changes on NH3 emissions in farmland ecosystems. Results indicate that there is evident spatiotemporal heterogeneity in China's LULC pattern, particularly in eastern China. The southeast region is predominantly characterized by the conversion of cropland into construction land. Moreover, some regions such as Northwest China and Northeast China have experienced the conversion of other land types into cropland, significantly influenced by national development policies. From 1990 to 2020, the national NH3 emissions from farmland ecosystem range from 3294.75 Gg to 4064.20 Gg. NH3 emissions and their interannual variation in farmland ecosystems exhibit significant differences across various regions. The regions with higher contributions to NH3 emissions in farmland ecosystems are East China, Central China, and North China, accounting for 25.32 %–37.26 %, 18.85 %–22.46 % and 11.24 %–18.50 % of the total emissions, respectively. NH3 emissions in each region are influenced by cropland area, N-fertilizer application, and regional development characteristics. Compared to LULC changes, changes in N-fertilizer application have a more pronounced impact on NH3 emission changes in farmland ecosystems. From 1990 to 2020, the contribution (increase or decrease) of N-fertilizer application changes to NH3 emission changes in farmland ecosystems in China ranges from 0.11 % to 16.61 %, while the contribution (increase or decrease) of LULC changes ranges from 0.47 % to 2.38 %. South China demonstrates a unique situation regarding the influence of LULC changes. This region has a relatively small cropland area, and fluctuations in cropland area significantly affect NH3 emissions in farmland ecosystems. The influence of policies is evident. From the changes in cropland area in Northwest China and Northeast China to changes in N-fertilizer application, policy changes have consistently impacted the changes in NH3 emissions in China's farmland ecosystems. From "soft policies” involving encouragement and guidance to "hard policies” encompassing the establishment of necessary targets, the degree of strictness in policy directly affects the timeliness of policies effectiveness. The results of this study indicate that reducing the application of N-fertilizers is the primary approach to reducing NH3 emissions in China's farmland ecosystems. In terms of policy guidance, compared to implementing structural and pathway adjustments, implementing clear total control of fertilizer usage is a timely and effective choice for reducing NH3 emissions.

10. Identifying the impact of global human activities expansion on natural habitats
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 434, 1 January 2024, 140247

Abstract

Human activities expansion globally has exerted tremendous pressure on natural habitats and threatens the conservation of global biodiversity. Studying the impact of human activities expansion on natural habitats globally and in various biomes can provide scientific reference for differentiated approaches to global habitat restoration. However, previous studies still lack identification of the impact of global human activities expansion on natural habitats, especially in different biomes. Here we used the InVEST model to assess the changes in habitat quality globally and across biomes over the past 20 years and analyzed the impact of human activities expansion on them using Spearman correlation coefficients. The results showed an overall global degradation of natural habitats of 0.537% during 2000–2020, while human activities increased by 10.990%. Mangroves were the biomes with the most severe habitat degradation, while deserts and xeric shrublands were the biomes with the most significant habitat restoration. At the global scale, human activities had caused significant and growing negative impact on natural habitats, while in terms of different biomes, human activities may bring about habitat restoration. The findings of this study recommend the implementation of differentiated human activities regulation measures in different biomes to promote global habitat restoration.

11. Leaching of chemicals from microplastics: A review of chemical types, leaching mechanisms and influencing factors
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167666

Abstract

It is widely known that microplastics are present everywhere and they pose certain risks to the ecosystem and humans which are partly attributed to the leaching of additives and chemicals from them. However, the leaching mechanisms remain insufficiently understood. This review paper aims to comprehensively and critically illustrate the leaching mechanisms in biotic and abiotic environments. It analyzes and synthesizes the factors influencing the leaching processes. It achieves the aims by reviewing >165 relevant scholarly papers published mainly in the past 10 years. According to this review, flame retardants, plasticizers and antioxidants are the three main groups of additives in microplastics with the potentials to disrupt endocrine functions, reproduction, brain development and kidney functions. Upon ingestion, the MPs are exposed to digestive fluids containing enzymes and acids which facilitate their degradation and leaching of chemicals. Fats and oils in the digestive tracts also aid the leaching and transport of these chemicals particularly the fat-soluble ones. Leaching is highly variable depending on chemical properties and bisphenols leach to a larger extent than other endocrine disrupting chemicals. However, the rates of leaching remain poorly understood, owing probably to multiple factors at play. Diffusion and partitioning are two main mechanisms of leaching in biotic and abiotic environments. Photodegradation is more predominant in the latter, generating reactive oxygen species which cause microplastic aging and leaching with minimal destruction of the chemicals leached. Effects of microplastic sizes on leaching are governed by Sherwood number, thickness of aqueous boundary layer and desorption half-life. This review contributes to better understanding of leaching of chemicals from microplastics which affect their ecotoxicities and human toxicity.

12. How do fiscal policies, energy consumption and environmental stringency impact energy transition in the G7 economies: Policy implications for the COP28
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 434, 1 January 2024, 140367

Abstract

In recent decades, stringent environmental policies have gained prominence to tackle rising ecological and environmental threats and achieve energy transition. The current research extends fiscal and environmental deliberations by analyzing how fiscal, environmental and energy policies impact energy transition in advanced industrial economies. Our empirical analysis helps us identify that renewable energy, economic developments and environmental stringency ensure energy transition. On the other hand, fossil fuels, governmental expenditures and taxation revenues hinder ecological progress and energy transition. Based on our analysis, we propose that policymakers must align fiscal and environmental policies to bring structural changes and upgrade energy infrastructure to combat environmental threats from climate change.

13. Change in groundwater table depth caused by natural change and human activities during the past 40 years in the Shiyang River Basin, northwest China
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167722

Abstract

Groundwater is the primary water source for agriculture, social economy, and ecosystem in the Shiyang River Basin (SRB), northwest China. Research on its variation and attribution is of great importance for the sustainable development of local economy, water resources, and the environment. In this study, the changes in the groundwater table depth (GTD) during 1980–2017 in different sub-basins and different periods were analyzed using the linear trend and moving t-test methods. The contribution of natural and human activity to GTD in the before and after periods of the Comprehensive Treatment Program of the SRB (CTSRB) were quantified using a multiple general linear model. The results showed that (1) the GTD in SRB showed a significant increasing trend during 1980–2017, and it could be divided into three stages: slow increase (1980–1987), rapid increase (1987–2008), and spatially different trends (2009–2017). In sub-basins, the increasing rates in the three stages in Wuwei were 1.05 m/10a, 2.86 m/10a, and 4.50 m/10a, respectively, while those in Minqin were 3.89 m/10a, 6.24 m/10a, and 0.85 m/10a, respectively. (2) The contribution of human irrigation activity to GTD in Minqin decreased from 77.3 % during the pre-CTSRB period to 38.0 % during the post-CTSRB period, while that in Wuwei increased from 67.3 % to 83.8 %. This was due to the CTSRB focusing on the groundwater and ecological restoration in the lower reaches of SRB. (3) The dominant attributing factor to the increase in GTD was groundwater exploitation driven by expanded irrigated-farmland during the pre-CTSRB period. However, the implementation of CTSRB has achieved remarkable results, and the groundwater level in Minqin virtually reached a stable state, especially in the Lake irrigation district. This study provides a reference and basis for sustainable utilization and management of groundwater resources in similar arid and semi-arid regions.

14. Do government spending on pollution abatement and targeted environmental policies promote green growth in Canada?
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 434, 1 January 2024, 140391

Abstract

The present study empirically investigates whether targeted government spending and environmental policies promote green growth, as measured by greenhouse gas productivity. Government spending for pollution abatement (GEPA) represents non-market environmental policies encompassing both enforcement regulations and stakeholder incentives, while policy dummy represents province specific targeted environmental policies. Using panel data from 1995 to 2020 across ten provinces of Canada, an empirical model based on STIRPAT has been developed and estimated, addressing various econometric issues to ensure the robustness and consistency of the results. The findings confirm that both GEPA and targeted environmental policies are crucial determinants in achieving green growth. Additionally, variables such as business sector expenditures for R&D, the share of renewable energy, per capita GDP, and population also contribute to green growth. These results highlight the importance of the stick-and-carrot approach as a key strategy and policy tool for sustainable development. The implications of these findings extend beyond Canada and hold valuable lessons for emerging and developing countries that predominantly rely on command-and-control regulations without adequate support. To effectively address the challenge of achieving green growth, a coordinated approach that combines targeted government spending and environmental policies, supported by innovation and renewable energy exploration, is essential. Overall, this study's findings have significant implications for environmental sustainability on a global scale.

15. Health and economic burden of wildland fires PM2.5-related pollution in Portugal – A longitudinal study
Environmental Research, Volume 240, Part 1, 1 January 2024, 117490

Abstract

Portugal has been affected by wildland fires that destroy thousands of hectares of forest, causing damage to the environment and to the exposed populations. This study aims to assess the influence of wildland fire emissions on air quality, its effect on population health and the related costs, between 2015 and 2018 in Portugal.

The cause-specific mortality due to PM2.5 was calculated considering the exposure for five endpoints in adults, twelve age groups for adults and considering children under five years old. The contribution of wildfire emissions to PM2.5 concentrations in Portugal was assessed through EMEP-MSC/W model.
Results showed that the average annual fire emissions of PM2.5, CO, CH4, CO2 and NO2 a significant and continuous increase was observed during the first three years (2015, 2016 and 2017) for all pollutants, followed by a decrease in 2018, with values lower than those observed in 2015.

Regarding the long-term exposure to PM2.5 emitted by fires a total of 32, 93, 189 and 31 deaths, corresponding to a cost of 59, 174, 360 and 60 million EUR in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively, were estimated.

On the other hand, in the first three years an increase in years of life lost (YLL) values of 496, 1608 and 3092 was observed, corresponding to a cost of 16, 54 and 105 million EUR, respectively, followed by a decrease in 2018 with a YLL of 480, corresponding to a cost of 17 M€.

16. Decarbonising ASEAN coastal shipping: Addressing climate change and coastal ecosystem issues through sustainable carbon neutrality strategies
Environmental Research, Volume 240, Part 2, 1 January 2024, 117353

Abstract

This study analyzes the impact of ASEAN's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 on climate change and coastal ecosystems by examining carbon emissions and energy usage from 2019 to 2050 using different scenarios to reduce emissions and meet global temperature goals. This research proposes strategies to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change effects on coastal ecosystems, focusing on evaluating CO2 emissions from ASEAN's coastal shipping sector. Geospatial data was used to analyze ship activity and develop carbon neutrality strategies. Various sources are used to gather data, including the Maritime Portal, exact Earth AIS, FASA and GFW. This study finds that container ships emitted 13.7 × 106 t of CO2 in 2019, with the transportation sector contributing 3.8% of the total greenhouse gas in 2020. Without regulations, CO2 emissions could increase fourfold by 2050. The study recommends implementing policies such as adopting clean fuels, energy efficiency standards and fuel-related regulations to reduce CO2 emissions by 65–80% by 2050. It also emphasizes the importance of cleaner technologies, regulatory considerations and collaboration, which would have positive implications for coastal ecosystems. This study is beneficial to professionals in the maritime and shipping industries, policy makers, environmental consultants, sustainability specialists, and international organizations.

URBAN ENVIRONMENT/ MÔI TRƯỜNG ĐÔ THỊ 

1. When and where to exercise: An assessment of personal exposure to urban tropical ambient airborne pollutants in Singapore
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167086

Abstract

Background

Physical activity is associated with health benefits and has been shown to reduce mortality risk. However, exposure to high levels of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) during exercise can potentially reduce the health benefits of physical activity. This study aims to assess and compare the PM2.5 concentrations of different exercise venues in Singapore by their location attributes and time of day.

Methods

Personal PM2.5 exposures (μg/m3) at 24 common outdoor exercise venues in Singapore over 49 sampling days were collected using real-time personal sensors from September 2017 to January 2020. Wilcoxon rank-sum test and Kruskal–Wallis test were used to compare PM2.5 concentrations between different timings (peak (0700–0900; 1800–2000) vs. non-peak (0600–0700; 0900–1800; 2000–2300); weekend vs. weekday), and location attributes (near major roads (<50 m) vs. away from major roads (≥50 m)). Multivariable linear regression models were used to assess the associations between location attributes, timings and ambient PM2.5 with personal PM2.5 concentration, adjusting for potential confounders.
Results
Compared with peak hours, exercising during non-peak hours was associated with a significantly lower PM2.5 exposure (median, 17.8 μg/m3 during peak vs. 14.5 μg/m3 during non-peak; P = 0.006). Exercise venues away from major roads have significantly lower PM2.5 concentrations as compared to those located next to major roads (median, 14.4 μg/m3 away from major roads vs. 18.5 μg/m3 next to major roads; P < 0.001). Individuals who exercised in parks experienced the highest PM2.5 exposure (median, 55.0 μg/m3) levels in the afternoon during 1400–1500. Furthermore, ambient PM2.5 concentration was significantly and positively associated with personal PM2.5 exposure (β = 0.85, P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that exercising outdoors in the urban environment exposes individuals to differential levels of PM2.5 at different times of the day. Further research should investigate a wider variety of outdoor exercise venues, explore different types of air pollutants, and consider the varying activity patterns of individuals.

2. A novel deep-learning framework for short-term prediction of cooling load in public buildings
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 434, 1 January 2024, 139796

Abstract

Optimal control of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, along with demand-side management, are both cost-effective methods in the process of energy conservation and carbon reduction. The successful implementation of these initiatives largely hinges on accurate cooling load predictions. Due to the complex nonlinear and dynamic time-varying nature of demand loads, however, it is a formidable challenge to accurately predict the cooling load. To address these issues, a novel deep learning-based prediction framework, aTCN-LSTM, is proposed. First, a gate-controlled multi-head temporal convolutional network is designed to capture the inherent nonlinear and local temporal features from the time series of cooling loads. Second, a sparse probabilistic self-attention mechanism is integrated with a bidirectional long short-term memory (BiLSTM) network to extract the long-term dependencies within the cooling load sequences. Finally, through integration with the proposed two components, the framework is developed and validated through a 14-month real cooling load forecasting problem for a 51-story hotel building in Guangzhou, China. Experiments and comparison studies demonstrate the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed method. The mean absolute percentage error of the proposed method's 1-step, 6-step, and 12-step prediction results is reduced by 27.48%, 14.05%, and 13.38%, respectively, compared with the state-of-the-art baseline model. Consequently, it stands poised to serve as an effective guide for HVAC chiller scheduling and demand management initiatives.

3. SARS-CoV-2 removal in municipal wastewater treatment plants: Focus on conventional activated sludge, membrane bioreactor and anaerobic digestion
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167434

Abstract

This work focuses on the removal of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the various stages of a full-scale municipal WWTP characterised by two biological processes in parallel: (i) conventional activated sludge (CAS) and (ii) membrane bioreactor (MBR). The monitoring was carried out during the Omicron wave in 2022, a period characterised by a high concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in influent wastewater. The average concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in influent wastewater was 3.7 × 104 GU/L. In the primary sedimentation, the removal of SARS-CoV-2 was not appreciable. The largest log removal value of SARs-CoV-2 occurred in the biological stages, with 1.8 ± 0.9 and 2.2 ± 0.7 logs in CAS and MBR systems. The mean concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 in the CAS and MBR effluents were 6.8 × 102 GU/L and 6.4 × 102 GU/L, respectively. The MBR effluent showed more negative samples, because small particles are retained by membrane and cake layer.

The analysis of the different types of sludge confirmed the accumulation of SARS-CoV-2 in primary (5.2 × 104 GU/L) and secondary sludge (3.5 × 104 GU/L), due to the affinity of enveloped viruses towards biosolids. A SARS-CoV-2 concentration in the digested sludge equal to 4.8 × 104 GU/L denotes a negligible reduction in the mesophilic anaerobic digester at temperature of 31–33 °C.

4. Closing the gap in methane emission from urban wastewater sewer system in China
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 437, 15 January 2024, 140722

Abstract

Though urban sewer is an important CH4 emission source, it is impractical to assess overall CH4 emission from massive and closed underground sewer networks through either online or off-line measurements owing to the complexity in construction and operation of sewer systems and highly variable wastewater quality. Here, we develop a feasible method based on emission factors and official statistical data for overall CH4 estimation from sewers. By using this method, we show that the CH4 emissions from sewers in China was 0.6185 Tg in 2019 and the national mean of the per capita CH4 emission from sewers was 1361 g cap-1. We find that temperature significantly correlates with sewer CH4 emissions specified with population or sewage quantity. We further argue that economic growth and urban infrastructure management also affect the CH4 emissions from sewers or surface waters due to sewage leakage/discharge. Our proposed method is practical for the sewer CH4 estimation worldwide.

5. Better, not more, lighting: Policies in urban areas towards environmentally-sound illumination of historical stone buildings that also halts biological colonization
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167560

Abstract

Anthropogenic or Artificial light at night (ALAN) pollution, or more simply light pollution, is an issue of increasing concern to the general public, as well as to scientists and politicians. However, although advances have been made in terms of scientific knowledge, these advances have not been fully transferred to or considered by politicians. In addition, illumination of stone monuments in urban areas is an emerging contribution to ALAN pollution that has scarcely been considered to date. This paper presents a literature review of the topic of light pollution and related policies, including a bibliometric analysis of studies published between 2020 and 2022. The prevailing legislation in Europe regarding the regulation of outdoor lighting, which emphasises the complexity of controlling light pollution, is summarised and the regulation of monumental lighting in Spain is discussed. Findings concerning the impact of ALAN on biodiversity in urban areas, and the promising biostatic effect of ornamental lighting (halting biological colonization on stone monuments, mainly caused by algae and cyanobacteria) are described. Finally, trends in monument illumination and policymaking towards environmentally sustainable management are considered.

6. Seasonal analysis of meteorological parameters and air pollutant concentrations in Kolkata: An evaluation of their relationship
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 436, 10 January 2024, 140514

Abstract

Air pollution and climate change present formidable global challenges, particularly in India, where the average concentration in 2022 surpassed the WHO annual guideline level, resulting in detrimental health impacts including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and pediatric illnesses. This research delves into the analysis and validation of the intricate connection between meteorological factors and air pollutants for the city of Kolkata, India. Season-wise correlation analyses utilizing Pearson and Spearman rank correlations are presented to identify both linear and nonlinear relationships between meteorological factors and air pollutants. The significance of correlations is determined using the t-test. Notably, the study incorporated the dew point temperature as a specific meteorological parameter to establish its correlation with various pollutant concentrations. Findings underscore a strong association between dew point and as well as concentration, notably in winter (r  0.65 and r 0.72, respectively) and in summer (r  0.74 and r 0.73, respectively). The dew point temperature shows strong correlation with particulate matter than maximum temperature and average temperature for Kolkata. Additionally, other climate factors such as relative humidity, and cloud cover exhibited strong relationships with particulate matter during both winter and summer seasons. These findings shed light on the critical role of meteorological aspects in influencing air pollution dynamics in Kolkata and contribute to the understanding of how weather conditions impact air quality in tropical coastal regions.

7. Spatial contrasts and temporal changes in fine-scale heat exposure and vulnerability in the Paris region
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167476

Abstract

Heat is identified as a key climate risk in Europe. Vulnerability to heat can be aggravated by enhanced exposure (e.g., urban heat island), individual susceptibility (e.g., age, income), and adaptive capacity (e.g., home ownership, presence of vegetation). We investigated the spatial and temporal patterns of the environmental and social drivers of vulnerability to heat in the Paris region, France, over the 2000–2020 period, and their association with mortality (restricted to 2000–2017).

Daily temperatures were modeled for the 5265 IRIS of the Paris region for 2000–2020. Annual land use and socioeconomic data were collected for each IRIS. They were used to identify a priori five classes of heat-vulnerable areas based on a cluster analysis. The temperature-mortality relationship was investigated using a time-series approach stratified by clusters of vulnerability.

The Paris region exhibited a strong urban heat island effect, with a marked shift in temperature distributions after 2015. The clustering suggested that the most heat-vulnerable IRIS in the Paris region have a high or very high exposure to temperature in a highly urbanized environment with little vegetation, but are not systematically associated with social deprivation. A similar J-shape temperature-mortality relationship was observed in the five clusters. Between 2000 and 2017, around 8000 deaths were attributable to heat, 5600 of which were observed in the most vulnerable clusters.

Vulnerability assessments based on geographical indicators are key tools for urban planners and decision-makers. They complement the knowledge about individual risk factors but should be further evaluated through interdisciplinary collaborations.

8. Closing the gap in methane emission from urban wastewater sewer system in China
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 437, 15 January 2024, 140722

Abstract

Though urban sewer is an important CH4 emission source, it is impractical to assess overall CH4 emission from massive and closed underground sewer networks through either online or off-line measurements owing to the complexity in construction and operation of sewer systems and highly variable wastewater quality. Here, we develop a feasible method based on emission factors and official statistical data for overall CH4 estimation from sewers. By using this method, we show that the CH4 emissions from sewers in China was 0.6185 Tg in 2019 and the national mean of the per capita CH4 emission from sewers was 1361 g cap-1. We find that temperature significantly correlates with sewer CH4 emissions specified with population or sewage quantity. We further argue that economic growth and urban infrastructure management also affect the CH4 emissions from sewers or surface waters due to sewage leakage/discharge. Our proposed method is practical for the sewer CH4 estimation worldwide.

9. Method development and empirical research in examining the construction of China's "Zero-waste Cities”
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167345

Abstract

At the current stage, >100 cities in China are in the process of constructing "Zero-waste Cities” (ZCs). However, the absence of a unified quantitative evaluation method hinders the real-time display, assessment, and analysis of the progress and effectiveness of construction in various cities. Based on China's "Zero-waste City” (ZC) construction index system, a five-dimensional evaluation approach of transforming the city's construction index system into an evaluation index system is proposed, and an evaluation method for examining the construction of China's ZCs is developed. Meanwhile, the obstacle analysis model is employed to identify ZC's advantages and weaknesses. Following this evaluation framework, empirical research was conducted on Shenzhen. Results showed: 1) Shenzhen's ZC scoring result increased significantly from 58.9 to 108.3 by implementing the pilot project; 2) The dimensions of Management Measure, Support Capacity, and City Characteristic had achieved or approached full scores, but the dimension of Management Level still need improvement. 3) While industrial waste management reached an excellent level and agricultural waste proved manageable, domestic waste landfill and construction waste disposal still existed challenges. This method takes into account the uniformity of evaluation methods in nationwide and the diversity of solid waste environmental issues in cities. It can achieve a quantitative assessment of the ZC construction level for all cities in China, and providing a scientific basis for the horizontal comparison of the construction effectiveness of each city.

10. Assessing performance and satisfaction of micro-mobility in smart cities for sustainable clean energy transportation using novel APPRESAL method
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 436, 10 January 2024, 140372

Abstract

South Korea signed the Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030, updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to target a 40% reduction in GHGs (Green House Gas) from 2018 levels by 2030. In addition, South Korea submitted its Long-Term Strategy (LTS) to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Nowadays, to mitigate the GHG emission every country explicitly planning to reduce non-renewable energy resource vehicles. The electric vehicle (EV) markets growing rapidly with various technologies, strategies and innovations to support decarbonization. In 2022, by the transportation CO2 (Carbon dioxide) emission report of International Energy Agency (IEA), the cars and vans contributes 48% in the over all CO2 emissions. Increasing the electric micro-mobility service would be one of the best effective approach in accordance to reduce CO2 emission. This research study support to reduce the GHG emission by increasing the clean energy vehicle. A case study conducted to analyze firm-wise e-scooter sharing service performance and its satisfaction in smart cities of South Korea. Lacking in the consistent good quality and performance affects the number of electric vehicle users. Hence, electric vehicle firm should focus into their product better performance and quality. This research supports to analyze the e-scooter based on the various criteria from the user’s perspective. This research study helps to firms to identify their lacking criteria and improve their quality and performance. We considered the performance, accessibility, tangibility, reliability and responsiveness factors which affects user’s perspective in e-scooter sharing services. A survey was conducted over sixty user’s for different e-scooter services with twenty four factors. Generally, MCDM (Multi-Criteria Decision-Making) techniques holds two phases to determine the weight of the criteria and another phase to ranking the alternatives. The existing MCDM techniques lacks to handle the user’ satisfaction index analysis and not considering the influence grade of each factors in the analysis. To overcome this draw back and analyze the micro-mobility services based over the user’s point of view, we introduced a novel fuzzy based MCDM method name as Approach for Preference, Performance and Ranking Evaluation with SAtisfaction Level (APPRESAL) approach. The findings show that Lime, a micro-mobility firm, outperformed other firms with high-quality service and user satisfaction, followed by Wind, XingXing, Alpaca, and Beam. The influences of defected factors from the accessibility, reliability, responsiveness, and assurance dimensions had an adverse effect on quality of firm’s micro-mobility service with unsatisfactory performance.

11. Using multilinear regressions developed from excitation-emission matrices to estimate the wastewater content in urban streams impacted by sanitary sewer leaks and overflows
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167736

Abstract

Failing sewer infrastructure introduces unknown quantities of raw wastewater into urban streams, raising human and ecological health concerns. To address this problem, we developed multilinear regressions that relate fluorescent dissolved organic matter to wastewater content. The models were constructed with the area-normalized regional volumes of excitation-emission matrices measured for mixtures of deionized water, surface water from a wastewater-impacted stream, wastewater from a sanitary sewer adjacent to the stream, and Suwannee River natural organic matter. The best performing multilinear regression had a standard error of 0.55 % wastewater. A matrix-matched calibration was used to internally validate the approach and confirm the wastewater content of select samples. The multilinear model was externally validated through (i) comparison to concentrations of contaminants of emerging concern in surface water and wastewater and (ii) extension to samples from previous campaigns that employed alternative wastewater indicators. Using the validated model, we estimated an average wastewater content of 2.4 ± 4.0 % in 165 samples collected from 14 locations in the Gwynns Falls watershed (USA) between April 2019 and April 2023. The maximum wastewater content was 35 % at a site where sanitary sewer leaks and overflows have been previously documented. The reported approach represents a cost-effective and scalable technique to estimate wastewater content in urban streams through analysis of fluorescent dissolved organic matter.

12. Air pollution in major Polish cities in the period 2005–2021: Intensity, effects and attempts to reduce it
Environmental Research, Volume 240, Part 2, 1 January 2024, 117497

Abstract

Air quality in Poland is among the lowest in Europe due to high emissions of harmful substances. This causes the development of diseases and leads to a high number of premature deaths. Particularly high pollution occurs in parts of urban areas. The most serious problem is unregulated emissions from buildings and vehicles. That is why it is so important to take action to improve air quality at the local level. The study assessed changes in the concentrations of NO2, O3, PM10, PM2.5 and benzo(a)pyrene in 11 major Polish cities between 2005 and 2021. In 2021 average levels were: NO2 - 25 μg/m3, O3 - 45 μg/m3, PM10 - 26 μg/m3, PM2.5 -17 μg/m3, benzo(a)pyrene - 2.1 ng/m3. The highest exceedances of WHO standards over the studied period were for PM2.5, followed by NO2 and PM10. The annual average levels fell by 17% for NO2 and by 18% for PM10 between 2005 and 2021, and by 34% for PM2.5 and 27% for benzo(a)pyrene between 2010 and 2021. The most polluted cities are Kraków, Katowice and Łódź. The highest concentrations of pollutants typically occurred in 2006 and 2011, the lowest in 2020. Strategic documents and programmes that formulate objectives for reducing emissions and improving air quality were evaluated. Policy documents enable numerous measures to improve air quality. Plans are not always effectively implemented due to a lack of formal tools and financial resources.

13. Can agricultural low-carbon development benefit from urbanization?-Empirical evidence from China's new-type urbanization pilot policy
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 435, 5 January 2024, 140388

Abstract

Advancing agricultural low-carbon development (ALCD) holds substantial real-world significance for the low-carbon sustainable growth of the global economy. Traditional urbanization, focusing on the "one-way” concentration of elements in cities and pursuing urban expansion's scale and speed, poses a threat to ALCD. In contrast, new-type urbanization (NTU), which emphasizes a "two-way” concentration of elements in both rural and urban areas, provides an approach to address this issue. Nevertheless, no research has investigated the relationship between NTU, particularly the new-type urbanization pilot policy (NTUPP), and ALCD. To fill this void, this research employs panel data from 210 Chinese cities from 2006 to 2019, using a difference-in-differences (DID) model to investigate the impact and mechanisms of NTUPP on ALCD for the first time. The study reveals: (1) NTUPP significantly boosts the level of ALCD, with cities that have implemented NTUPP showing an average enhancement of 19.13% in ALCD levels compared to those without NTUPP. (2) NTUPP chiefly fosters ALCD by improving agricultural technological efficiency rather than advancing technological progress. (3) Relative to smaller cities, northern cities, eastern cities, resource-based cities, major grain-producing areas, cities with substantial government intervention, and cities with lower levels of financial development, NTUPP is more efficacious in enhancing ALCD in larger cities, southern cities, central and western cities, non-resource-based cities, non-major grain-producing areas, cities with minimal government intervention, and cities with advanced financial development. (4) NTUPP advances ALCD in local cities and boosts ALCD in neighboring cities via spatial spillover effects. This research aids the Chinese government in clarifying the implementation effects of the new-type urbanization pilot policy based on its findings, offering theoretical underpinnings and practical evidence for government departments in shaping and assessing the policy, and providing insights and evidence for other nations worldwide to advance sustainable agricultural development via enhanced urbanization efforts.

14. Gaussian Mixture Model based classification for analyzing longitudinal outdoor thermal environment data to evaluate comfort conditions in urban open spaces
Urban Climate, Volume 53, January 2024, 101792

Abstract

Global warming and the urban heat island effect have led to a decline in the quality of urban open spaces. Although many studies have been conducted on the thermal environment of urban open spaces, there is a lack of a detailed analysis of the time dimension. This study is to propose a method for analyzing long-term time series data on thermal environment, to more comprehensively evaluate the comfort of urban open spaces. We employed thermal environment data from urban open spaces in Melbourne and conducted a time series comfort analysis using a Gaussian mixture model. The research findings indicate that urban open spaces surrounded by low-rise buildings exhibit the highest thermal comfort, whereas those encompassed by a combination of buildings and green spaces exhibit the lowest comfort level. More importantly, we discovered similarities in the comfortable time periods across the five types of urban open spaces, with the majority falling between 6:00 AM and 10:00 AM. These discoveries can assist in achieving a more objective evaluation of the thermal environment in urban open spaces and provide scientific guidance for urban planning and landscape design, thus enhancing the quality of life for urban residents.

15. Multi-scale analysis on sustainability and driving factors based on three-dimensional ecological footprint: A case study of the Yangtze River Delta region, China
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 436, 10 January 2024, 140596

Abstract

Accurate assessment of the sustainable development level is crucial to providing reasonable and effective management recommendations. However, analysis with a single scale can only reflect the sustainable status at a specific level. In this study, a multi-scale analysis of sustainability was conducted via the three-dimensional Ecological Footprint (EF) model in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD). Moreover, driving factors of sustainability were analyzed using the Multi-scale Geographically Weighted Regression model (MGWR). The conclusions include: (1) the development of YRD showed an unsustainable trend from 2014 to 2021, with per capita EF decreasing from 5.769 ha/cap to 5.283 ha/cap. The provincial sustainability is ranked as follows, from being the most sustainable to the least: Anhui Province > Jiangsu Province > Zhejiang Province > Shanghai City. (2) Based on dual indicators of EF depth and size, 41 cities were categorized into nine groups. The dominant type is always Medium size-Low depth (ML) and High size-Low depth (HL) type cities from 2014 to 2021. From the perspective of city scale, the sustainability of five cities weakened, while seven cities showed improvements. (3) Output value of primary industry (OVPI) and population (POP) were always the dominant factors affecting EF, but showed positive and negative correlations respectively. OVPI changes from north-south symmetric type to central symmetric type, while POP changes from central symmetric type to north-south symmetric type. This paper aims to comprehensively assess the sustainable development status from agglomeration-province-city perspectives, and its findings can provide a reference for similar regions with unbalanced development status between ecology and production.

16. Economic Transformations in Urban Industries during Energy Transition: Novel Tradeoff Technique for Balancing Energy Consumption
Sustainable Cities and Society, Available online 17 January 2024, 105220

Abstract

Mobile terminal devices are becoming more prevalent owing to the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). Mobile device terminals generate large amounts of information, which results in increased power consumption (PC) and delays. Nevertheless, the short delay often leads to increased PC. The present study proposes a tradeoff technique for balancing PC and delay so as to achieve optimum PC and delay in a smart grid as a very large scale system. The first objective is to explain how a delay threshold reduces delay in the market. Following that, the delay and PC of the mobile terminal layer, fog node layer, and cloud server layer with lineup view are described. The energy optimization issue is solved via computing the optimum workload of the layers using nonlinear programming. A cloud-fog solidarity planning scheme has been modelled for reducing PC. In addition, it is possible to create an algorithm that completes work when the nodes depart. The experimental outcomes show a reduction of about 22% in energy use, as well as a reduction in delay of 12.5% over the prime come prime served method. Integrating economic considerations, the study reveals a cloud-fog solidarity planning scheme aimed at dropping energy consumption and optimizing delay, resulting in a 22% decrease in energy use and a 12.5% reduction in delay compared to the prime come prime served method in the context of urban industries' energy transition.

17. Assessment and optimization of urban ecological network resilience based on disturbance scenario simulations: A case study of Nanjing city
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 438, 20 January 2024, 140812

Abstract

Urbanization has serious implications for the structure and function of ecological networks. Augmenting resilience offers a salient remedy to sustain ecological network stability, thereby leading to heightened ecological efficacy. Nevertheless, extant research pertaining to ecological network resilience predominantly centers around static assessment, disregarding the external dynamic disturbances as well as changes in resilience over long time-series. Furthermore, scant attention has been given to the simultaneous incorporation of both structural and functional attributes in the selection of indicators for resilience assessment. In this study, taking Nanjing as an example, with a five-year interval, we determined the spatial scope of the ecological networks in 2000–2020, used two disturbance scenario simulation methods, probabilistic attack and deterministic attack, and finally optimized the ecological network with the goal of resilience enhancement. The results show that (1) the resilience index thresholds of the ecological networks decreased from 0.43 to 0.37, and the network resilience became progressively worse, but the decline in resilience index thresholds decreased in recent years. (2) The phenomenon of resurgent functional resilience increased, and ecological network redundancy increased. (3) In recent years, critical resilience nodes evinced a trend characterized by a diminishment of significance in the central region and a concomitant enhancement of importance in the southern domain. (4) The functional and structural optimization strategies increased the resilience index thresholds by 0.06 and 0.11, respectively. This study advances the refinement of methodologies and frameworks germane to the dynamic assessment of ecological network resilience, thereby furnishing instructive guidance for the fortification of urban ecosystem resilience and the promotion of sustainable urban governance.

INDUSTRIAL AREA ENVIRONMENT / MÔI TRƯỜNG KHU CÔNG NGHIỆP 

1. Spatiotemporal assessment and scenario simulation of the risk potential of industrial sites at the regional scale
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167537

Abstract

Spatiotemporal risk and future evolutionary distribution characteristics of industrial sites are crucial for regional environmental supervision. However, traditional site survey methods have long cycles, high costs, and small coverage and usually only consider the static risk of a single industrial site to a single receptor. Low-cost, large-scale, and long-term multi-source data can compensate for the shortcomings of traditional site surveys. Previous studies have rarely considered the spatiotemporal heterogeneity of industrial sites and assessed their dynamic risks at the regional scale. This study used China's Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration as the study area. We assessed the risk potential of industrial sites from 2000 to 2020 using multi-source and multiperiod data. We also simulated the risk potential for 2030 and 2050 using a patch-generating land use simulation (PLUS) model under different scenarios. The results indicated that the proportion of medium- and high-risk potential grids from 2000 to 2020 ranged from 2.53 % to 5.61 % in the study area, with the vast majority of areas (94.39 %–97.47 %) having low- or no-risk potential. The PLUS model exhibited remarkable reliability from 2005 to 2020, with the overall accuracy, Kappa coefficient, and Moran's index ranging from 83 % to 89 %, 0.38 to 0.59, and 0.34 to 0.56, respectively. The future prediction results indicated that the number of high-risk potential grids (>5 %) showed an upward trend under natural development scenarios in 2030 and 2050 and a downward trend under the ten-chapter soil pollution action plan or strict control scenarios. This study provides vital information for addressing the challenges of industrial site management and environmental risks in similar regions.

2. Carbon emission scenarios of China's construction industry using a system dynamics methodology – Based on life cycle thinking
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 435, 5 January 2024, 140457

Abstract

China is currently one of the world's major energy consumers and CO2 emitters. To save energy, and reduce consumption and carbon emissions, China proposed (at the 2020 United Nations General Assembly and Climate Summit) the introduction of stronger policies and measures for CO2 emissions to peak in 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The construction industry is a major contributor to China's carbon emissions, thus research on energy saving and carbon reduction in this industry is essential. The construction industry is characterized by complex upstream and downstream industrial chains, with different energy consumption at each stage, and a long overall life cycle. We used life-cycle thinking (LCT) to analyze the carbon emissions of the whole life cycle of the construction industry and built a model by using a system dynamics method, which analyzes the carbon emission process of the construction industry at different stages. Combined with the planning and policies implemented by the construction-related departments, we identified the main indicators of policy regulation and control. We used sensitivity analysis to examine the impacts of factors of regulation and control. We also adjusted key indicators and set up different scenarios to simulate the carbon emissions based on the effort to achieve "peak carbon.” The results show that the carbon emissions of the construction industry will be reduced by 2060, achieving the goals of "peak carbon” and "carbon neutrality.” Although the construction and operation stages individually can achieve peak carbon by 2030, the whole process of the construction industry will reach peak carbon by 2045, 2038, or 2036, depending on specific aspects of the scenario considered. However, the indicators, such as the green building ratio can realize carbon emission reduction at building operation stage for 4%∼6%, but cause greater carbon emission for 5%∼7% at construction material production and transportation stage-a phenomenon called "policy island.” Therefore, the coupling of policies should be a key concern in policy formulation and implementation.

3. Source-specific probabilistic contamination risk and health risk assessment of soil heavy metals in a typical ancient mining area
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 906, 1 January 2024, 167772

Abstract

Heavy metal pollution (HMP) from mining operations severely threatens soil ecosystems and human health. Identifying the sources of soil heavy metals (HMs) and assessing source-specific risks are critical for developing effective risk mitigation strategies. In this study, a combination of methodologies including PMF, Monte Carlo analysis, soil pollution risk index, and a human health risk assessment model were utilized to investigate soil HM risks in a typical ancient mining area in Daye City, China, considering both environmental pollution and human health impacts. Cu emerged as the most significant soil pollution risk, whereas As posing the highest health risk. About 48.44 % of the multi-element integrated soil pollution risk has escalated to the heavy level. Furthermore, around 22.42 % of the non-carcinogenic risk (NCR) and 9.53 % of the carcinogenic risk (CR) exceeded unacceptable thresholds (THI > 1 for NCR and TCR > 1E-4 for CR). The PMF model identified four distinct sources: the smelting industry, traffic emissions, a combination of agricultural and natural factors, and mining activities. The mixed agricultural and natural source significantly impacted health risks, contributing 42.17 % to NCR and 53.88 % to CR, followed by the mining source, contributing 31.67 % to NCR and 24.07 % to CR. Interestingly, the mining source contributed the highest soil pollution risk at 42.45 %, while the mixed agricultural and natural source exhibited the lowest at 16.33 %. Furthermore, the study explored source-specific risk components by evaluating the contributions of different sources to specific elements. The mining source was identified as the focus for soil HMP control, followed by the mixed agricultural and natural source. Overall, this study provided an in-depth analysis of soil heavy metal risks in mining areas from the source apportionment perspective, which broadened the research framework of soil heavy metal source analysis and risk assessment, potentially providing scientific guidance for managing regional soil HMP.

4. Chemistry of the iron-chlorine thermochemical cycle for hydrogen production utilizing industrial waste heat
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 438, 20 January 2024, 140681

Abstract

This research presents an inventive thermochemical cycle that utilizes a reaction between iron and HCl acid for hydrogen production. The reaction occurs spontaneously at room temperature, yielding hydrogen and a FeCl2 solution as a by-product. Exploring the thermal decomposition of the FeCl2 by-product revealed that, at conditions suitable for utilization of low-temperature industrial waste heat (250 °C), chlorine gas formation can be circumvented. Instead, the resulting by-product is HCl, which is readily soluble in water, facilitating direct reuse in subsequent cycles. The utilization of low-temperature industrial heat not only optimizes resource utilization and reduces operational costs but also aligns with environmentally sustainable production processes. From the kinetic studies the activation energy was calculated to be 45 kJ/mol and kinetics curves were constructed. They showed significant kinetics at room temperature and above but rapid decrease towards lower temperatures. This is important to consider during real-scale technology optimization. The theoretical overall energy efficiency of the cycle, with 100% and 70% heat recuperation, was calculated at 68.8% and 44.8%, respectively. In practical implementation, considering the efficiency of DRI iron reduction technology and free waste heat utilization, the cycle achieved a 41.7% efficiency. Beyond its energy storage capabilities, the Iron-chlorine cycle addresses safety concerns associated with large-scale hydrogen storage, eliminating self-discharge, reducing land usage, and employing cost-effective storage materials. This technology not only facilitates seasonal energy storage but also establishes solid-state energy reserves, making it suitable for balancing grid demands during winter months using excess renewable energy accumulated in the summer.

5. Navigating the energy transition and industrial decarbonisation: Ghana's latest bid to develop an integrated bauxite-to-aluminium industry
Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 107, January 2024, 103337

Abstract

Research on how countries are positioning and ‘greening’ their heavy industries in response to the ‘global energy transition’ has focused on higher-income countries with established heavy industries, rather than lower-income countries with fledgling industries and aspirations to continue expanding them. Our paper responds to this lacuna by examining Ghana's current plans for, and challenges with, developing an integrated bauxite-to-aluminium industry. Adopting a multiscalar political economy approach, and drawing on research methods including documentary analysis and key informant interviews, we argue that Ghana's challenges stem significantly from the mode of its insertion – or subordination – within the global economy. Like other late-developing countries in the global economic periphery, Ghana is struggling to access the latest ‘green’ technologies or devise a strategy for powering its bauxite-to-aluminium industry because of uncertainties in the ‘green’ taxonomies of core economies in the Global North. Nationally, meanwhile, tentative plans to feed Ghana's aluminium industry with relatively ‘green’ hydropower (also Ghana's cheapest electricity source) are provoking pushback because of the trade-offs involved, while other contestations are emerging around expanding bauxite mining into forest reserves. Collectively, these multiscalar challenges may frustrate Ghana's ambitions once more, even though a bauxite-to-aluminium industry could generate significant economic benefits. Ghana's government can overcome some of these issues by consulting meaningfully with domestic stakeholders around the design of an integrated bauxite-to-aluminium industry. However, at an international level, peripheral economies like Ghana need clarity about how particular energy technologies will be classified by core economies moving forwards, and for climate financing and (green) technology transfer pledges to be honoured.

6. How industry integration improves the eco-efficiency of the textile industry: The case of Qun-yi village in China
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 438, 20 January 2024, 140490

Abstract

During the formulation of policies related to China's Rural revitalization strategy in recent decades, industries (e.g., the textile industry) with high environmental restoration costs and low added value of social and economic benefits have been transformed or phased out to achieve eco-efficiency. In the policy implementation, a new self-organized social network of village committees, entrepreneurs, enterprises and villagers has been established to support village-level self-organization. Aiming to explore the nexus of industry integration and eco-efficiency for industry development in rural areas, we conducted a longitudinal single case study Qun-yi Village. In the evolution process from 1995 to 2022, the textile industry integration process of the Village was divided into three periods. We found that first comprehensive industrial integration characterized by increasing complex industry structures and blurred industry boundaries, has greatly improved eco-efficiency by reducing economic and environmental restoration costs and increasing output value. Second, a successful village-level self-organization featured by strong village committee leadership, participation of actors and perceived benefits significantly facilitate and moderate the process of industrial integration aiming for high eco-efficiency. This study provided important theoretical and policy insights into the industrial integration for high eco-efficiency in rural areas in developing countries from the perspective of village-level self-organization.

7. Technologies for CO2 emission reduction and low-carbon development in primary aluminum industry in China: A review
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 189, Part A, January 2024, 113965

Abstract

As a typical energy-intensive industry, the primary aluminum industry (PAI) is the third largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, followed by the electricity and steel industries. GHG emissions of PAI exceed those of the other non-ferrous metal sectors, accounting for more than 3 % of total global emissions. As the largest producer and consumer of primary aluminum (accounting for 57 % of the global amount), China bears an important responsibility for energy conservation and emission reduction. This review aims to discuss low-carbon strategies and technology improvement related to PAI, with an emphasis on their potential, cost, and development prospects. This study established an analytical framework, based on life cycle assessment (LCA) that considered factors reported in related literature, for the design of strategies for reducing GHG emissions in China's PAI. The LCA-based carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) emissions per ton (t) of primary aluminum and secondary aluminum were estimated to be 14.98 t and 0.32 t, respectively. This indicated that the CO2e emission of recycling process was only approximately 2 % of that of normal process. China's PAI exhibits considerable potential for emission reduction, with its peak being scheduled to be achieved by 2030. The potential to be tapped mainly includes clean energy, waste aluminum recycling, and low-carbon technology. This study suggests that the focus of China's PAI should be on cost-effective technology improvement in the short term, on power decarbonization and aluminum-scrap recycling in the medium term, and on technologies with a higher cost but better emission reduction in the long term.

8. Heterogeneity in shadow prices of water pollutants: A study of the seafood processing industry in Vietnam
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 434, 1 January 2024, 140290

Abstract

Water pollution poses a critical challenge, especially in fast-growing regions, with profound implications for human well-being. Marginal abatement cost (MAC) estimation is crucial for designing efficient water pollution control policies. This study applied the directional distance function to estimate MACs for three water pollutants (Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Chemical Oxygen Demand, and Total Suspended Solids) within Vietnam's seafood processing industry. Additionally, the paper conducted a regression analysis to investigate the determinants of these MACs, utilizing primary data from 116 seafood processing plants in the Mekong River Delta. The median MACs for Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Chemical Oxygen Demand, and Total Suspended Solids were 2451 US$/ton, 3983 US$/ton, and 5519 US$/ton, respectively. The results revealed substantial MAC heterogeneity. Capital-intensive firms, less labor-intensive entities, those with a more complex ownership structure, entities not situated along the seashore or riverside, export-oriented firms, and those demonstrating higher compliance exhibited consistently lower MACs for the three water pollutants. These findings challenge the efficiency of uniform standards or environmental fees in controlling pollution, suggesting that a tradable permit system could offer a more cost-saving alternative.

9. Heavy industry regulations, hospitalization, and medical expenditures: Evidence from micro-level medical records in a northeast Chinese city
Energy Economics, Volume 129, January 2024, 107248

Abstract

Heavy industry regulations are expected to significantly contribute to enhancing public health and reducing social health costs. Based on microlevel medical records from a northeast Chinese city, we prove that environmental regulations targeting heavy industry plants significantly decrease hospitalization rates and medical expenditures. Specifically, the rate of hospitalization decreases by 0.165 per 10,000 population per day for respiratory, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, pulmonary, brain disease and adverse pregnancies, especially for those aged 0–15 years or older than 45 years. Our mechanistic analysis highlights that the reduction in hospitalization rates is attributed to the decreased concentrations of SO2 and NOx. Further analysis shows that heavy industry regulations lead to a reduction of 100,000 CNY in total medical expenditures within a span of 15 days for each plant. However, the benefits in medical costs remain significantly lower than the economic costs incurred by the policies.

10. Low-carbon technologies in automotive industry and decarbonizing transport
Journal of Power Sources, Volume 591, 30 January 2024, 233888

Abstract

This paper reviews the challenges faced by the global automotive industry as it transitions towards decarbonization. The article presents a comprehensive survey of hybrid, battery electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles, offering insights into their merits, drawbacks, and the potential implications they might have on consumers. It also highlights advancements in electrochemical storage devices, improvements needed to make them competitive with conventional fuels, and the role of government policies in driving adoption. Factors that influence the adoption of low- and ultra-low carbon technologies are also examined from a market perspective. The paper concludes by calling for further research, development, and collaboration to overcome challenges and fully realize the potential of these technologies. Ultimately, the adoption of low-carbon technologies is influenced by government regulations, consumer demand, technological progress, and economic considerations within the automotive industry.

11. Packed bed thermal energy storage for waste heat recovery in the iron and steel industry: A cold model study on powder hold-up and pressure drop
Journal of Energy Storage, Volume 75, 1 January 2024, 109735

Abstract

Waste heat recovery in the energy intensive industry is one of the most important measures for the mitigation of climate change. The present study examines the integration of a packed bed thermal energy storage for waste heat recovery in the iron and steel industry. Along with the highly fluctuating availability of excess heat the main difficulty of waste heat recovery in industrial processes is the high amount of powder that is transported by the hot exhaust gases. Therefore, the experimental investigations in this study focus on the powder hold-up and pressure drop in a packed bed thermal energy storage that is operated with a gas-powder two phase exhaust gas as heat transfer fluid. The ultimate goal is, to assess its suitability and robustness under such challenging operational conditions. The results indicate, that 98% of the powder that is introduced into the system with the heat transfer fluid during charging accumulates in the packed bed. Remarkably, most of the powder hold-up in the packed bed is concentrated near the surface at which the heat transfer fluid enters the packed bed. When reversing the flow direction of the heat transfer fluid to discharge the storage with a clean single phase gas, this gas is not contaminated with the powder that has been accumulated in previous charging periods. The entirety of these findings reinforces the suitability of packed bed thermal energy storage systems for waste heat recovery in the energy intensive industry.

12. Sustainability and reliability-based hydrogen technologies prioritization for decarbonization in the oil refining industry: A decision support system under single-valued neutrosophic set
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 52, Part A, 2 January 2024, Pages 765-786

Abstract

The purpose of the present work is to design an extended decision support system (DSS), namely the CRITIC (combining criteria interaction through inter-criteria correlation) & CRADIS (compromise ranking of alternatives from distance to ideal solution) model under the single-valued neutrosophic set. Its notable advantages are that it renders a more robust expression of uncertainty and the decision-making process is more closely managed. Also, it allows the DM to evaluate on a broader area and avoid data and conflict among the decision-making team. Therefore, the proposed extended DSS is implemented to help the strategic decision on the hydrogen technologies prioritization for decarbonization considering the sustainability and reliability principles in the oil refining industry. The results indicate that the alternative of green hydrogen from low-temperature electrolysis using solar renewable energy is the most suitable scenario for the decarbonization in the oil refineries located in south Iran, in particular the Abadan's oil refinery.

13. United States’ 2050 carbon neutrality: Myth or reality? Evaluating the impact of high-tech industries and green electricity consumption
Journal of Cleaner Production, Available online 23 January 2024, 140855

Abstract

Despite its economic prosperity, the United States has encountered challenges in promoting ecological quality. Therefore, it is imperative for the United States to acknowledge that maintaining its economic accomplishments requires concurrent efforts to safeguard its ecological quality. To solve this challenge, this study aims to scrutinize the impact of green electricity consumption, globalization (in terms of trade and finance), and high technology on the United States' load capacity factor. Employing quarterly frequency data spanning from 1990 to 2020, this research utilizes cutting-edge quantile-based econometric techniques, including wavelet quantile regression, which effectively captures interrelationships across various periods and quantiles. Additionally, it employs quantile causality and quantile-on-quantile regression methods, robust in handling nonlinearity, to assess the ecological repercussions of these variables. The overarching findings reveal that, high tech, financial development, economic growth, and globalization (both in trade and finance) lessen ecological quality. Conversely, green electricity consumption consistently promotes ecological quality. Furthermore, the quantile causality results unveil evidence of feedback causality between the load capacity factor and its drivers, underpinning the need for policy formulation based on these findings.

14. The impact of air pollution on corporate environmental information disclosure–Evidence from heavy pollution industries in China
Finance Research Letters, Volume 59, January 2024, 104793

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between air pollution and the quality of environmental information disclosure taking the A-share listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen from 2014 to 2020 as sample. The study found that: firstly, air pollution will reduce the quality of enterprise environmental information disclosure. The main reason is that senior executives living in air pollution areas are more likely to have negative emotions, and the negative emotions of senior executives will make them have a negative attitude towards environmental information disclosure, thus reducing the quality of environmental information disclosure of enterprises. Second, the nature of state-owned enterprises positively regulates the negative correlation between air pollution and enterprise environmental information disclosure, while senior executive shareholding weakens the relationship between air pollution and environmental information disclosure. Further analysis found that: first, air pollution reduces the level of non-monetary and monetary environmental information disclosure. The research provides empirical evidence that air quality changes affect micro-business behavior.

15. Direct reduction of iron to facilitate net zero emissions in the steel industry: A review of research progress at different scales
Journal of Cleaner Production, Available online 24 January 2024, 140933

Abstract

The global annual production of steel is approximately 2 billion tons, accounting for 8% of the world's energy demand and 7 % of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the energy sector. Coal-based direct reduced iron (DRI) reduces CO2 emissions by 38 % compared with traditional blast furnace–basic oxygen furnace (BF-BOF) ironmaking. Using a combination gas of methane (CH4) and hydrogen (H2) + carbon monoxide (CO) in DRI reduces CO2 emissions by 61 % compared with BF-BOF. Substituting H2 for CH4 (H2-DRI) reduces CO2 emissions by 97 %. Meanwhile, H2-DRI competes with CH4-based DRI in greenhouse-gas emissions, but H2-DRI falls short in terms of economics, safety, and high-temperature reduction efficiency. This article reviews the latest advancements in DRI reaction at different scales, from molecular to particle, pellet, reactor, and industrial levels. Research on DRI primarily focuses on particle agglomeration, pellet expansion, and enhancing reduction efficiency. The reaction environment is characterized through theoretical calculations, numerical simulations, and improvements in reactor structure, reducing gas composition, and pellet-ore preparation processes within the existing technological framework. Ultimately, technological advancements in the steel industry are influenced by climate objectives, policy support, investment returns, and reducing the cost of green H2. Accelerating research on different scales of H2-DRI can help achieve net-zero emissions in the steel industry.

16. Flexibility options in a decarbonising iron and steel industry
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 189, Part B, January 2024, 113988

Abstract

The decarbonisation of the iron and steel industry is expected to significantly increase its electricity consumption due to higher levels of electrification and the partial shift to hydrogen as iron reductant. With its batch processes, this industry offers large potential for the application of demand response strategies to achieve electricity cost savings. Previous research has primarily focused on investigating the demand response potential for currently operating manufacturing processes and partly for future low-carbon processes. This study aims to consolidate this knowledge and apply it to a modelling analysis that investigates the demand response potential of two new low-carbon technologies: the hydrogen-based direct reduction of iron with electric arc furnace technology (H2-DRI-EAF) and the blast furnace basic oxygen furnace technology retrofitted with carbon capture (BF-BOF-CCUS). A cost optimisation approach is applied to plant configurations with varying parameters relevant for flexibility, such as electrolyser and storage sizes, and in the context of future electricity prices. Multiple price profiles are selected to encompass uncertainties on the development of the power system. The potential for a H2-DRI-EAF plant is 3–27 times higher than for a BF-BOF-CCUS, with electricity costs savings potentials of 35% and 3%, respectively. The study finds that electricity prices have the most significant impact on the profitability of investing in electrolyser overcapacities, which enable operating costs reduction. Therefore, the profitability of these investments are strongly dependent on future power system configurations.

CHUYÊN TRANG QUẢN LÝ MÔI TRƯỜNG
Tạp chí Môi trường và Đô thị Việt Nam


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