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Volume 10, September

Resources, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2021) – 13 articles

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Article
Contribution of Soil Type to Quantity and Nutritional Value of Grass Species on the South African Highveld
Resources 2021, 10(10), 106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100106 (registering DOI) - 18 Oct 2021
Abstract
The biggest threat to cattle production in most South African communal areas is poor management of grazing, which negatively affects vegetation and soil structures. This study was conducted to assess the spatial variation of grass species density, production potential and quality in Breyten [...] Read more.
The biggest threat to cattle production in most South African communal areas is poor management of grazing, which negatively affects vegetation and soil structures. This study was conducted to assess the spatial variation of grass species density, production potential and quality in Breyten (Hutton soil type), Davel (Avalon soil type), and Wesselton (Clovelly soil type) communal rangelands in the highveld region of Mpumalanga province. Three 100 m transects per grazing area, placed at 50 m intervals (0, 50, and 100 m) were used to collect soil samples at 200 mm depth. A 100 m permanent line point method, replicated three times (50 m apart) per site, was used to identify and collect grass species samples. Grass species were classified according to life form, palatability, ecological status, and abundance. Grasses species were also harvested for chemical composition and in vitro ruminal dry matter degradability determination. Soils from the study areas had an acidic pH range (3.5–4.5). Hutton soil had the highest (p < 0.05) nitrate (N-NO3) concentration (0.770 mg/kg) compared to Clovelly (0.030 mg/kg) and Avalon (0.533 mg/kg) soil types. Thirty-one grass species composed of 28 turf perennials, two weak perennials and one perennial creeping grass were identified across the study areas. About 16% of identified grass species were classified as highly palatable, 39% as moderately palatable, and 32% as unpalatable. Across all the soil types, Digitaria eriantha had the highest (p < 0.05) crude protein (CP) (106.5 g/kg DM) content when compared to other grass species. In the Avalon soil type, D. eriantha had the lowest (p < 0.05) neutral detergent fiber (NDF) (696.4 g/kg DM). Across all soils, D. eriantha, Aristida congesta, Eragrostis curvula, Eragrostis gummiflua, and Eragrostis plana grasses had the same (p > 0.05) 48-h in vitro ruminal dry matter degradability Hutton soil had a higher proportion of common and dominant grass species as well as more palatable species with higher crude protein content than Avalon and Clovelly soils. However, for all three rangelands, there is a need for supplementary feeding to enhance the production efficiency of livestock given that the nutritive value of grasses was low. Full article
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Article
Risk Assessment of Water Intakes in South-Eastern Poland in Relation to the WHO Requirements for Water Safety Plans
Resources 2021, 10(10), 105; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100105 - 14 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Since 2017, risk assessments for water intakes in Poland have provided the basis for decisions to establish indirect water protection zones. The preventive, risk-based approach and the related risk minimization measures are required under the provisions of the Drinking Water Directive (DWD) of [...] Read more.
Since 2017, risk assessments for water intakes in Poland have provided the basis for decisions to establish indirect water protection zones. The preventive, risk-based approach and the related risk minimization measures are required under the provisions of the Drinking Water Directive (DWD) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on the quality of water intended for human consumption. This approach is in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for water safety plans. The aim of this study was to present a methodology and to carry out a risk assessment of the threats to surface water intakes, which in Poland, should be completed by the end of 2022. Risk assessments were performed for four onshore-type surface water intakes located in south-eastern Poland. The results were presented in aggregate form, which enabled clear presentation and conclusions. It was found that the greatest risks are associated with seasonal changes in water quality (mainly high turbidity and water blooms), unregulated sewage management, the occurrence of floodwater flows and catastrophic events caused by the potential failure of wastewater treatment plants. Based on the results of the risk assessment, the need to establish new, or to adjust the existing, protection zones for the analyzed water intakes was identified. Full article
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Article
Recycling Thermal Insulation Materials: A Case Study on More Circular Management of Expanded Polystyrene and Stonewool in Switzerland and Research Agenda
Resources 2021, 10(10), 104; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100104 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 146
Abstract
The limits to linear models of production based on material extraction, manufacture, use, and disposal are becoming increasingly apparent across the global economy. The Circular Economy (CE) describes an alternative to this problematic “take-make-waste” linear model that is concerned with resource efficiency and [...] Read more.
The limits to linear models of production based on material extraction, manufacture, use, and disposal are becoming increasingly apparent across the global economy. The Circular Economy (CE) describes an alternative to this problematic “take-make-waste” linear model that is concerned with resource efficiency and waste minimization. The construction and demolition sector represents an important focus for a CE transition due to its significant environmental impact. The use of thermal insulation to reduce energy demand associated with heating and cooling in buildings is vital for reducing the sector’s high environmental impact; however, there are significant challenges to recycling thermal insulation materials (IM). This study examines these challenges in the context of Switzerland and evaluates the potential for more circular management of expanded polystyrene and stonewool IM. The research provides an original analysis of the Swiss IM value chain in the context of the CE agenda based on a literature review, semi-structured interviews, and a workshop. Research gaps are highlighted based on scientific literature. The roles and agency of actors involved in the Swiss IM value chain are examined. Enablers of and barriers to wider IM recycling as reported by workshop participants are outlined. Interventions for tackling the current challenges faced for the recycling of thermal IM are suggested. Finally, an agenda for future research is proposed. Throughout the discussion, the importance of the involvement, commitment, and collaboration of stakeholders across the entire IM value chain for an effective and expedient transition to a CE is highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Supply Chain Management for Circular Economy)
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Article
Investigation of Microbiological Quality Changes of Roof-Harvested Rainwater Stored in the Tanks
Resources 2021, 10(10), 103; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100103 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 116
Abstract
Rainwater has been found to be a valuable source of drinking water in Europe, especially in such crisis situations as those caused by contamination of water uptake into water supply systems, large-scale floods or terrorist attacks (e.g., biological weapons). The microbiological quality of [...] Read more.
Rainwater has been found to be a valuable source of drinking water in Europe, especially in such crisis situations as those caused by contamination of water uptake into water supply systems, large-scale floods or terrorist attacks (e.g., biological weapons). The microbiological quality of water plays a significant role, which is directly related to the potential health risks associated with harvested rainwater (including rainwater stored in the tanks). Microbial contamination is commonly found in rainwater. However, in the literature, detailed results of qualitative and quantitative microbiological assessments are sparse and remain unexplored. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate and analyze changes in the microbiological quality of roof-harvested rainwater stored in the tanks, depending on the collection conditions (type of roof surface), storage duration and season. Authors elucidate that conditions such as storage duration, the season in which rainwater is collected, the roof-like surface types and morphology of the catchment area highly affect rainwater quality. This study showed that rainwater harvested from a galvanized steel sheet roof had the best microbial quality, regarding the lowest number of bacteria, while rainwater from a flat roof covered with epoxy resin was the worst. Further, it was detected that rainwater collected in autumn and spring obtained the best microbiological quality. Moreover, a decrease in the number of bacteria was observed in correlation to storage duration. The water became sanitary safe after six weeks of storage at 12 °C. Its use for purposes requiring drinking water quality before six weeks of storage required disinfection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Water Treatment and Water Reuse)
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Article
Distribution of Phosphorus Forms Depends on Compost Source Material
Resources 2021, 10(10), 102; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100102 - 08 Oct 2021
Viewed by 190
Abstract
Composting is a sustainable method for recovering nutrients from various organic wastes, including food waste. Every input waste has different nutrient contents, in turn, suggesting that every compost has different fertilizer and/or soil improvement values. The phosphorus (P) concentration and relative distribution of [...] Read more.
Composting is a sustainable method for recovering nutrients from various organic wastes, including food waste. Every input waste has different nutrient contents, in turn, suggesting that every compost has different fertilizer and/or soil improvement values. The phosphorus (P) concentration and relative distribution of P forms is related to the original organic material. The relative distribution of P forms determines how readily plants can absorb P from the compost-amended soil. The aim of this study was to investigate the content and relative share of P forms in composts made from fish waste, sewage sludge, green waste, and horse manure. Six forms of P (labile; bound to reducible metals; bound to non-reducible metals; bound to easily degradable organic material; and bound to calcium) were determined using sequential extraction method. The results indicated that fish waste compost had relatively high proportion of labile P, suggesting good biological availability. In comparison, sewage sludge compost contained the highest overall P concentration per dry weight unit, while labile P constituted only 6% of summary of P forms. The results indicate that the evaluation of composts as alternative P sources in agriculture should rely on the relative distribution of P forms in the compost in addition to the typically recognized value of the total P. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Waste Prevention: Reduction, Reuse and Recycling)
Article
Exploitation of Mineral Resources Requires Proper People: Expectations of the World’s Top Mining Companies
Resources 2021, 10(10), 101; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100101 - 30 Sep 2021
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Human resources are essential for the mining industry. It is important to understand the requirements of the companies regarding the characteristics of their employees. Job- and career-related web pages of 40 of the world’s top mining companies have been analyzed for the general [...] Read more.
Human resources are essential for the mining industry. It is important to understand the requirements of the companies regarding the characteristics of their employees. Job- and career-related web pages of 40 of the world’s top mining companies have been analyzed for the general demands on their employees. These demands are attributed intuitively to seven basic categories (each category includes words with more or less coherent meanings). It is found that the most commonly demanded characteristics are skills, dedication to the work, and personality. Surprisingly, the least attention is paid to social issues. The disclosed expectations are weakly coherent, with the only persistent demand being talent. It also appears that North American and European companies are especially concerned of work dedication, whereas Asian and African companies are primarily concerned of skills. The present study deduces that policy improvements in contemporary mining are necessary—at least, the demands on the employees should be made better in agreement with the actual needs of the mining industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Production, Consumption, and Conservation in Nature Resource Markets)
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Article
ISO 22000 Certification: Diffusion in Europe
Resources 2021, 10(10), 100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100100 (registering DOI) - 30 Sep 2021
Viewed by 305
Abstract
The main aim of this paper is to answer the research question, “Is the Gompertz model suitable for studying the diffusion of the ISO 22000 standard in Europe?” Forecasting models adopting the Gompertz model were developed to estimate to which extent the Food [...] Read more.
The main aim of this paper is to answer the research question, “Is the Gompertz model suitable for studying the diffusion of the ISO 22000 standard in Europe?” Forecasting models adopting the Gompertz model were developed to estimate to which extent the Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) based on the ISO 22000 standard are expected to be implemented and certified in the European continent. To provide a forecast for the next few years, data from the diffusion of renowned ISO standards, namely, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, were extrapolated in order to overcome the shortcoming since data concerning ISO 22000 certification was only available for the period 2007 to 2018. The results provide a cross-sectional portrayal of the European diffusion of ISO 22000 certification and suggest an interval of the estimated number of certificates issued in Europe. This research paper presents the first attempt to empirically analyze the dynamic of diffusion of the European ISO 22000 certification. A more accurate fitting with real results may be expected with further information available in the forthcoming years. Full article
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Article
Different Nonlinear Regression Techniques and Sensitivity Analysis as Tools to Optimize Oil Viscosity Modeling
Resources 2021, 10(10), 99; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100099 - 29 Sep 2021
Viewed by 157
Abstract
Four nonlinear regression techniques were explored to model gas oil viscosity on the base of Walther’s empirical equation. With the initial database of 41 primary and secondary vacuum gas oils, four models were developed with a comparable accuracy of viscosity calculation. The Akaike [...] Read more.
Four nonlinear regression techniques were explored to model gas oil viscosity on the base of Walther’s empirical equation. With the initial database of 41 primary and secondary vacuum gas oils, four models were developed with a comparable accuracy of viscosity calculation. The Akaike information criterion and Bayesian information criterion selected the least square relative errors (LSRE) model as the best one. The sensitivity analysis with respect to the given data also revealed that the LSRE model is the most stable one with the lowest values of standard deviations of derivatives. Verification of the gas oil viscosity prediction ability was carried out with another set of 43 gas oils showing remarkably better accuracy with the LSRE model. The LSRE was also found to predict better viscosity for the 43 test gas oils relative to the Aboul Seoud and Moharam model and the Kotzakoulakis and George. Full article
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Article
Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of a Novel Bio-Based Multilayer Panel for Construction Applications
Resources 2021, 10(10), 98; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100098 - 29 Sep 2021
Viewed by 255
Abstract
The bioeconomy can be integral to transforming the current economic system into one with reduced environmental and social impacts of material consumption. This work describes a bio-based multi-layer panel that is based on residual coniferous bark. To ensure that the presented bio-based panel [...] Read more.
The bioeconomy can be integral to transforming the current economic system into one with reduced environmental and social impacts of material consumption. This work describes a bio-based multi-layer panel that is based on residual coniferous bark. To ensure that the presented bio-based panel positively contributes to environmental protection while remaining competitive with conventional products and meeting high social standards, the development of the panel is accompanied by a life cycle sustainability assessment. This study performs a comparative LCA and LCC of the developed panel to conventional benchmark panels, as well as a qualitative social life cycle assessment. While the panel performs only economically marginally weaker than the benchmarks, the results are more heterogeneous for the environmental dimension with benefits of the bio-based panel in categories such as climate change, acidification, and ozone formation and detriments in categories including eutrophication. The S-LCA analysis shows that all of the involved companies apply social principles in direct proximity; however, social responsibility along the supply chain could be further promoted. All results need to be viewed with the caveat that the manufacturing processes for the new panel have been implemented, to date, on a pilot scale and further improvements need to be achieved in terms of upscaling and optimisation cycles. Full article
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Article
Natural and Geomorphological Response of the Small Lowland River Valley for Anthropogenic Transformation
Resources 2021, 10(10), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10100097 - 29 Sep 2021
Viewed by 256
Abstract
The regulation of small rivers and the consequent maintenance works are common in the Central European Lowlands. This article attempts to determine the relationship between the invertebrate fauna (and consequently the biocenosis) of the small lowland river valley and its landforms (morphodynamics) under [...] Read more.
The regulation of small rivers and the consequent maintenance works are common in the Central European Lowlands. This article attempts to determine the relationship between the invertebrate fauna (and consequently the biocenosis) of the small lowland river valley and its landforms (morphodynamics) under the conditions of very large and rapid changes caused by river regulation and maintenance. On this basis, an attempt to analyze the response of the ecosystem to rapid transformations associated with engineering works was made. The study covered Kraska, a small river typical for Polish Lowlands, which has been regulated along almost the entire length. The results showed that, in the regulated sections, where the natural forms of the relief were destroyed, there were significantly fewer taxa and significantly smaller numbers of the specimen. Despite the clear negative impact of the regulatory work on the ecosystem, the river in some sections showed the ability to spontaneously restore certain geomorphic features. Full article
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Article
Southern African Soap Plants and Screening of Selected Phytochemicals and Quantitative Analysis of Saponin Content
Resources 2021, 10(10), 96; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100096 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 320
Abstract
In southern Africa, several plants are used ethnobotanically as soap substitutes, however, this information resides in different literature sources. The foaming and cleansing properties of such plants are attributed mainly to the presence of saponins, but other compounds such as alkaloids and terpenoids [...] Read more.
In southern Africa, several plants are used ethnobotanically as soap substitutes, however, this information resides in different literature sources. The foaming and cleansing properties of such plants are attributed mainly to the presence of saponins, but other compounds such as alkaloids and terpenoids are also implicated. This study aimed to compile a comprehensive list of plants used traditionally as soap substitutes in southern Africa and to assess the chemical properties of selected species. Qualitative phytochemical analysis was done using five solvents (ethanol, methanol, water, chloroform, and acetone) to determine the presence of saponins, alkaloids, and terpenoids in selected soap plants. Quantitative analysis of the saponin content was done employing spectrophotometric tests of methanol extracts. There are thirty-seven (37) known southern African soap plants from twenty-four (24) different families, with the Fabaceae having the highest number of species (eight). Saponin concentrations of nine previously unstudied selected soap plants are reported for the first time in this study, whereby Calodendrum capense had the highest saponin concentrations are at 107.89 ± 4.89 mg/g, followed by Noltea africana (52.65 ± 6.81 mg/g), Crinum bulbispermum (35.43 ± 4.25 mg/g), and Merwilla plumbea (25.59 ± 0.83 mg/g). The knowledge of plant composition gives a better understanding of plant chemistry and possible use of plants medicinally, industrially and as soap substitutes. Furthermore, this allows the verification and the justification of traditional plant use. Soap plants have been used traditionally for many years, the potential to commercialise the use of these plants has been realised with the increase in the use of organic products by conscious consumers hence, the purpose of this investigation can have bearing on future projects and products. Full article
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Article
Addressing Stakeholder Concerns Regarding the Effective Use of Bio-Based and Biodegradable Plastics
Resources 2021, 10(10), 95; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100095 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 317
Abstract
Bio-based and biodegradable materials have the potential to replace traditional petroleum-based plastics across a range of products and contribute to a more circular economy. However, the uptake of these materials will not succeed unless consumers, manufacturers, and regulators are convinced of their efficacy. [...] Read more.
Bio-based and biodegradable materials have the potential to replace traditional petroleum-based plastics across a range of products and contribute to a more circular economy. However, the uptake of these materials will not succeed unless consumers, manufacturers, and regulators are convinced of their efficacy. Investigating performance and safety concerns put forward by academic and non-academic communities, this paper assesses whether these concerns are being adequately addressed by current policy and regulation. In addition, measures to overcome significant concerns are developed through a series of stakeholder engagement events, informed by the Prospex-CQI-and STIR methodology. Discussions across the stakeholder engagement events have highlighted several concerns that create barriers to market up-take of bio-based and biodegradable plastic products, including the continued confusion regarding terminology and resultant communication, difficulties in navigating the plethora of documents related to safety, the appropriateness of safety documents when applied to new products, and the overall suitability and sustainability of such materials as an alternative to traditional plastics. To overcome these concerns, a series of recommendations for research, policy, and practice are made with respect to the following key areas of concern: regulation and legislative instruments, material quality and performance, market penetration and availability, waste management infrastructure, sourcing and supply chain, communication and information provision, and material health and safety. Full article
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Article
From the Beehives: Identification and Comparison of Physicochemical Properties of Algerian Honey
Resources 2021, 10(10), 94; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10100094 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 512
Abstract
In this study, the authors aimed at characterizing 11 Algerian kinds of honey taken from various geographical locations (beehives located at Djelfa (Medjbara and Dzaira), Laghouat, Aflou, Medea, Tiaret, Sidi bel-Abbes, Tiaret, Ain-Safra, Mostaganem, El Bayadh, and Ghardïa). The authors investigated the physicochemical [...] Read more.
In this study, the authors aimed at characterizing 11 Algerian kinds of honey taken from various geographical locations (beehives located at Djelfa (Medjbara and Dzaira), Laghouat, Aflou, Medea, Tiaret, Sidi bel-Abbes, Tiaret, Ain-Safra, Mostaganem, El Bayadh, and Ghardïa). The authors investigated the physicochemical parameters of these honey samples, including density, water content, electrical conductivity, ash content, pH, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content, free acidity, and color. The physicochemical parameters obtained were found to be within acceptable ranges according to the international standards (Codex Alimentarius) for 9 out of 11 analyzed samples: density 1.38–1.50 g/cm3 (the same as kg/L, as commonly used for honey), water content 14.03–18.80%, electrical conductivity 0.38 × 10−1 − 6.41 × 10−1 mS/cm, ash content 0.06–0.48%, pH 3.50–4.50, free acidity 11–47 meq/kg, and color 1.1–9.2 Pfund index. Analysis of HMF content showed that only two honey samples have high values (117.7 and 90.0 meq/kg). Most samples of Algerian honey are of suitable quality according to international standards. Full article
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