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Resources, Volume 11, Issue 4 (April 2022) – 4 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Agroforestry residual biomass must be considered an available resource and can be valued. In addition to the resolution of environmental problems often associated with the disposal of this waste, this perspective, through the use of less environmentally friendly practices, such as the burning of waste, also allows the creation of local value chains. In addition to solving environmental problems, a proper circular bioeconomy system is created, contributing to sustainable rural development. View this paper
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Article
A Database for the Extraction, Trade, and Use of Sand and Gravel
Resources 2022, 11(4), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources11040038 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 982 | Retraction
Abstract
Increasing demand for sand and gravel globally is leading to social, environmental, and political issues that are becoming more widely recognised. Lack of data and poor accessibility of the few available data contribute to exacerbating these issues and impair evidence-based management efforts. This [...] Read more.
Increasing demand for sand and gravel globally is leading to social, environmental, and political issues that are becoming more widely recognised. Lack of data and poor accessibility of the few available data contribute to exacerbating these issues and impair evidence-based management efforts. This article presents a database framework designed to describe stocks and flows data for sand and gravel from different sources. The classification system underlying the database builds on the Universal Materials Information System (UMIS) nomenclature, which is used to construct hierarchical order in the data. The common classification system is used to structure sand and gravel data records into a database formatted in the same manner as the Yale Stocks and Flow Database (YSTAFDB), a common data format. To illustrate how the database is built and used, a case study using UK data is presented. The UK is chosen owing to its relatively better access to data compared to other locations. Quantitative analyses of the UK data highlight possible risks in the supply chain of these materials for the UK. Results show that indigenous extraction only contributes 11% to UK sand and gravel production, with trade accounting for the rest of the inputs, of which 50% is reliant on only one nation. Full article
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Article
Long-Term Sustainability of Copper and Iron Based on a System Dynamics Model
Resources 2022, 11(4), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources11040037 - 06 Apr 2022
Viewed by 843
Abstract
Copper and iron are critical to the economic growth of modern society. Nations depend on these metals for the development of infrastructure, transportation, and other industries. However, concerns regarding future availability of “peak minerals” with a “limit to growth” have been extensively debated. [...] Read more.
Copper and iron are critical to the economic growth of modern society. Nations depend on these metals for the development of infrastructure, transportation, and other industries. However, concerns regarding future availability of “peak minerals” with a “limit to growth” have been extensively debated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the amount of potential resources and the recycling rate from secondary metal scrap recycling for the sustainable development of mineral resources. The long-term mineral supply and demand balance with respect to recycling for copper and iron were developed for the next 50 years at the regional and global levels. The results indicate that the supply of copper would increase four-fold by 2070 compared to 1991, with primary copper remaining the main contributing source. For iron, the total supply would increase by nine times from 2000 to 2070, with secondary recycling surpassing the primary iron supply by 2033 and becoming the main contributor by 2070. Even though there is no future resource constraint, further promotion of scrap recycling, especially for copper, is necessary to address environmental concerns through reduction in material extraction. Emphasizing the importance of metals in society is essential for stock accountability through resource efficiency and resource conservation. Full article
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Article
Study and Evaluation of Surface Water Resources Affected by Ancient and Illegal Mining in the Upper Part of the Milluni Micro-Basin, Bolivia
Resources 2022, 11(4), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources11040036 - 31 Mar 2022
Viewed by 912
Abstract
One of the factors with the most significant impact due to pollution caused by mining activities is water. Surface water resources are limited, and in many cases, they are the primary water source for consumption; thus, its quality is a fundamental subject of [...] Read more.
One of the factors with the most significant impact due to pollution caused by mining activities is water. Surface water resources are limited, and in many cases, they are the primary water source for consumption; thus, its quality is a fundamental subject of study. The traditional way of studying water quality is to measure parameters and compare the results with tables of values established in the regulations. The quality of drinking water is characterized and controlled. However, this traditional comparison method may be subjective and insufficient to classify water quality as safe. Therefore, it is necessary to develop and complement the conventional monitoring, linking physicochemical analysis with remote perception. The different variables analyzed can be integrated and result in much more complete water quality indices, achieving the evolution of the monitoring programs of the water quality of the surface bodies. This research combines remote sensing with traditional monitoring to obtain a more robust and affordable indicator, resulting in a study of the central water bodies of Milluni. The main finding—the alarming contamination in the Milluni Chico and Milluni Grande lagoons—provides more accurate information to decision-makers to improve water management in Bolivia. Full article
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Review
Residual Biomass: A Comprehensive Review on the Importance, Uses and Potential in a Circular Bioeconomy Approach
Resources 2022, 11(4), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources11040035 - 30 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1123
Abstract
The paradigm shift towards sustainable growth is urgent, and biomass, which is the oldest energy source that humans have used since the discovery of fire, might play an important role. Biomass waste from forestry and agriculture is expected to fuel part of the [...] Read more.
The paradigm shift towards sustainable growth is urgent, and biomass, which is the oldest energy source that humans have used since the discovery of fire, might play an important role. Biomass waste from forestry and agriculture is expected to fuel part of the increasing demand for biomass, and its valorization allows for more the efficient use of nutrients and resources. In this study, we carried out an extensive literature review on the valorization of residual agroforestry biomass since the 1970s to understand the leading research focuses on the subject over the last few decades, identify the most recent trends, and establish a possible solution path for the future of biomass. It was observed that most studies focused on biomass as being capable of replacing fossil energy sources. According to the literature, biomass has the most significant potential to meet requirements and ensure fuel supplies in the future. The developments of the last decades have significantly improved the conversion processes, leading to greener solutions, but there is still much to be studied and put into practice. Closing the loop into biomass waste recovery will be essential for a genuinely circular bioeconomy. Full article
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