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Clean Technol., Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2020) – 10 articles

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Open AccessReview
Hydrogen Is Promising for Medical Applications
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 529-541; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cleantechnol2040033 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 791
Abstract
Hydrogen (H2) is promising as an energy source for the next generation. Medical applications using H2 gas can be also considered as a clean and economical technology. Since the H2 gas based on electrolysis of water production has potential [...] Read more.
Hydrogen (H2) is promising as an energy source for the next generation. Medical applications using H2 gas can be also considered as a clean and economical technology. Since the H2 gas based on electrolysis of water production has potential to expand the medical applications, the technology has been developed in order to safely dilute it and to supply it to the living body by inhalation, respectively. H2 is an inert molecule which can scavenge the highly active oxidants including hydroxyl radical (·OH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO), and which can convert them into water. H2 is clean and causes no adverse effects in the body. The mechanism of H2 is different from that of traditional drugs because it works on the root of many diseases. Since H2 has extensive and various effects, it may be called a “wide spectrum molecule” on diseases. In this paper, we reviewed the current medical applications of H2 including its initiation and development, and we also proposed its prospective medical applications. Due to its marked efficacy and no adverse effects, H2 will be a next generation therapy candidate for medical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy Technologies)
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Open AccessReview
Solvolysis of Kraft Lignin to Bio-Oil: A Critical Review
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 513-528; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cleantechnol2040032 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Lignin, a component of lignocellulosic biomass, is abundant and is produced extensively as a waste product of the Kraft pulping process, lignin obtained from this process is called Kraft lignin (KL). Lignin’s three-dimensional structure composed of aromatic alcohols (monolignols) makes it a potential [...] Read more.
Lignin, a component of lignocellulosic biomass, is abundant and is produced extensively as a waste product of the Kraft pulping process, lignin obtained from this process is called Kraft lignin (KL). Lignin’s three-dimensional structure composed of aromatic alcohols (monolignols) makes it a potential source of renewable aromatic chemicals or bio-oil, if depolymerized. Among all the depolymerization methods for KL, solvolysis is the most popular, showing consistently high bio-oil yields. Despite the large number of studies that have been carried out, an economically feasible industrial process has not been found and comparison among the various studies is difficult, as very different studies in terms of reaction media and catalysts report seemingly satisfactory results. In this review, we compare and analyze KL solvolysis studies published, identify trends in bio-oil composition and give a comprehensive explanation about the mechanisms involved in the processes. Additional commentary is offered about the availability and future potential of KL as a renewable feedstock for aromatic chemicals, as well as logistical and technical aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Process Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Critical Analysis and Evaluation of the Technology Pathways for Carbon Capture and Utilization
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 492-512; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cleantechnol2040031 - 11 Dec 2020
Viewed by 678
Abstract
Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is the process of capturing unwanted carbon dioxide (CO2) and utilizing for further use. CCU offers significant potential as part of a sustainable circular economy solution to help mitigate the impact of climate change resulting from [...] Read more.
Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is the process of capturing unwanted carbon dioxide (CO2) and utilizing for further use. CCU offers significant potential as part of a sustainable circular economy solution to help mitigate the impact of climate change resulting from the burning of hydrocarbons and alongside adoption of other renewable energy technologies. However, implementation of CCU technologies faces a number of challenges, including identifying optimal pathways, technology maturity, economic viability, environmental considerations as well as regulatory and public perception issues. Consequently, this research study provides a critical analysis and evaluation of the technology pathways for CCU in order to explore the potential from a circular economy perspective of this emerging area of clean technology. This includes a bibliographic study on CCU, evaluation of carbon utilization processes, trend estimation of CO2 usage as well as evaluation of methane and methanol production. A value chain analysis is provided to support the development of CCU technologies. The research study aims to inform policy-makers engaged in developing strategies to mitigate climate change through reduced carbon dioxide emission levels and improve our understanding of the circular economy considerations of CCU in regard to production of alternative products. The study will also be of use to researchers concerned with pursuing empirical investigations of this important area of sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Agro Waste Sugarcane Bagasse as a Cementitious Material for Reactive Powder Concrete
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 476-491; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cleantechnol2040030 - 07 Dec 2020
Viewed by 791
Abstract
In the field of advanced concrete science, the construction industry has risen to great heights. Due to its own characterisation, the manufacturing cost of reactive powder concrete (RPC) is very high. This can be minimised by substituting the components of the RPC with [...] Read more.
In the field of advanced concrete science, the construction industry has risen to great heights. Due to its own characterisation, the manufacturing cost of reactive powder concrete (RPC) is very high. This can be minimised by substituting the components of the RPC with the aid of agro waste. Because of the production of sugar from the sugar cane industry, bagasse ash is abundantly available in India. It is not ideal for the direct replacement of ingredients in concrete because of the presence of carbon dioxide in bagasse ash. The study of bagasse ash’s actions under different temperatures and different exposure times is discussed in this paper. It is inferred from the findings obtained from the energy dispersive study of X-ray (EDAX) that the presence of reactive silica in bagasse ash could be substituted by RPC ingredients due to heat treatment. RPC is composed of exceptionally fine powders (cement, sand, quartz powder and silica smolder) and superplasticiser. The superplasticiser, utilised at its ideal dose, decreases the water to cement proportion (w/c) while enhancing the workability of the concrete. A thick matrix is accomplished by optimising the granular packing of the dry fine powders. This compactness gives RPC ultra-high quality and durability. Reactive powder concretes have compressive qualities extending from 200 to 800 MPa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers 2020)
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Open AccessReview
Chromogenic Technologies for Energy Saving
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 462-475; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cleantechnol2040029 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1626
Abstract
Chromogenic materials and devices include a wide range of technologies that are capable of changing their spectral properties according to specific external stimuli. Several studies have shown that chromogenics can be conveniently used in building façades in order to reduce energy consumption, with [...] Read more.
Chromogenic materials and devices include a wide range of technologies that are capable of changing their spectral properties according to specific external stimuli. Several studies have shown that chromogenics can be conveniently used in building façades in order to reduce energy consumption, with other significant effects. First of all, chromogenics influence the annual energy balance of a building, achieving significant reductions in consumption for HVAC and artificial lighting. In addition, these technologies potentially improve the indoor level of visual comfort, reducing the risks of glare and excessive lighting. This brief review points to a systematic discussion—although not exhaustive and mainly limited to recent results and investigations—of the main studies that deal with building-integrated chromogenics that have appeared, so far, in the scientific literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Combustion Characteristics of Waste Cooking Oil–Butanol/Diesel/Gasoline Blends for Cleaner Emission
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 447-461; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cleantechnol2040028 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Sustainable green biofuels could replace a significant amount of fossil fuels responsible for environmental pollution. In this study, waste cooking oil (WCO) was tested in a diesel engine either neat or blended separately with diesel, butanol and gasoline, with an additive concentration between [...] Read more.
Sustainable green biofuels could replace a significant amount of fossil fuels responsible for environmental pollution. In this study, waste cooking oil (WCO) was tested in a diesel engine either neat or blended separately with diesel, butanol and gasoline, with an additive concentration between 10% and 30% by volume. The heating values of the WCO were slightly decreased when blended with butanol, whereas they increased when blended with either gasoline or diesel. The flash point temperatures decreased. All fuel samples were non-corrosive and non-acidic. At full load, the brake specific fuel consumption of the WCO–additive fuels was approximately 1–3% higher than diesel. The thermal efficiency of the neat WCO, neat diesel and WCO–10% diesel were very close to each other, whereas, in the case of 20% butanol blend, the efficiency decreased by about 2% when compared to the neat diesel value. The WCO–butanol fuel gave the lowest NOx emission and a 0.6% lower CO2 emission than diesel. Combustion characteristics results showed stable engine operation for all blends. The combustion duration was maximal with WCO–butanol blends. The study concluded that the WCO with 10–20% butanol or fossil diesel exhibited similar performance and emission characteristics observed for neat fossil diesel. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
The Untapped Area Potential for Photovoltaic Power in the European Union
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 440-446; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cleantechnol2040027 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 771
Abstract
The political goal of the European Union is to transform into a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050. To accelerate this transition, the European Commission has presented a European Green Deal in 2019. The aim is to reduce up to 55% [...] Read more.
The political goal of the European Union is to transform into a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050. To accelerate this transition, the European Commission has presented a European Green Deal in 2019. The aim is to reduce up to 55% the greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The paper looks at the role photovoltaic electricity generation can play to achieve this and whether the required areas for the installation of the photovoltaicaic power needed are available. Following a review of the existing literature, the paper concludes that better use of the technology that has been largely neglected so far coupled with dual-use options would generate much more PV capacity than required to achieve a neutral economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Road for Renewable Energies)
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Open AccessArticle
Open-Eco-Innovation for SMEs with Pan-European Key Enabling Technology Centres
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 422-439; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cleantechnol2040026 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
The project “key enabling technologies for clean production” (KET4CP), which is supported by the European Commission, has the aim to connect small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and Technology Centres (TC) for cleaner, greener and more efficient production. Within this context, SMEs and TCs [...] Read more.
The project “key enabling technologies for clean production” (KET4CP), which is supported by the European Commission, has the aim to connect small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and Technology Centres (TC) for cleaner, greener and more efficient production. Within this context, SMEs and TCs across Europe work together to establish an open-innovation network and to raise awareness in productivity and environmental performance. This article presents how an open European network of TCs opens its innovation process to support SMEs to become cleaner, greener and more efficient. Furthermore, this article shows how the TCs and SMEs become a part of the open-eco-innovation platform in clean production and how successful the open-eco-innovation process of different European countries is. We revealed that a pan-European open innovation process for eco-innovations with TCs for key enabling technologies (KET TCs) and Enterprise Europe Network partners (EEN) is a successful approach for SMEs that want to produce and develop cleaner products. An application example is mentioned, in which TCs from different European countries have contributed to developing a product of a SME for energy harvesting. The SME, together with the TCs, developed a generator that is installed in city-level water supply pipes and so, it is outstanding in its application. This innovative application is also described in this article. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Low-Cost Experimental Procedure for the Production of Laboratory Samples of Torrefied Biomass
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 406-421; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cleantechnol2040025 - 06 Oct 2020
Viewed by 788
Abstract
Currently, the search for alternative sources of energy is not only due to the scarcity of non-renewable sources, since these still have an availability capable of meeting actual consumption needs, but also due to the negative environmental impacts that its consumption presents. Thus, [...] Read more.
Currently, the search for alternative sources of energy is not only due to the scarcity of non-renewable sources, since these still have an availability capable of meeting actual consumption needs, but also due to the negative environmental impacts that its consumption presents. Thus, the use of biomass as a renewable and sustainable energy source is increasingly presented as an alternative that must be taken into account. Torrefaction is a conversion process that aims to improve the properties of biomass through its thermal decomposition at temperatures between 220 and 320 °C. Torrefaction can be defined by several variables, which have an impact on the final quality of the torrefied biomass. Therefore, there is an increase in the number of studies involving this topic, in order to improve the production of biomass and its use as a renewable energy source, in addition to reducing the costs of this process. In this work, a protocol was developed for a laboratory test procedure to produce low-cost torrefied biomass samples using equipment that can present a cost reduction of around 90%. The samples were analyzed to prove the viability of the developed protocol. The results obtained agree with the current literature, also confirming the improvement of the biomass properties. This work can serve as a platform for the development of other technologies, such as gasification for the production of hydrogen from torrefied biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Process Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Emissions of the Heat Supplied by District Heating Networks through A Life Cycle Perspective
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 392-405; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/cleantechnol2040024 - 06 Oct 2020
Viewed by 920
Abstract
The Life Cycle Assessment methodology has proven to be effective in evaluating the impacts of goods production throughout their life cycle. While many studies are available on specific products, in recent years a growing interest is related to the analysis of services, including [...] Read more.
The Life Cycle Assessment methodology has proven to be effective in evaluating the impacts of goods production throughout their life cycle. While many studies are available on specific products, in recent years a growing interest is related to the analysis of services, including energy supply for final customers. Different LCA evaluations are available for electricity, while the heating and cooling sector has not yet been properly investigated. The objective of this study is the analysis of the specific impacts of the heat supplied to the final users connected to a district heating system, in comparison with traditional individual natural gas boilers, which represent the baseline heating solution in several urban contexts in Europe. The results show that the comparison is heavily dependent on the allocation method used for combined heat and power plant production. District Heating impact on heat supplied to the users can vary from 0.10 to 0.47 kgCO2eq/kWh, while distributed natural gas boilers present an overall impact equal to 0.27 kgCO2eq/kWh. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers 2020)
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