Special Issue "Engineering for Sustainable Environment"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Li-Chi Chiang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei City, Taiwan
Interests: agricultural non-point source pollution prevention; agricultural water resource management; hydrological/water quality modeling; watershed planning and management; land use and environmental change; environmental pollution monitoring and analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
Interests: ecological hydrology monitoring and modeling in drainage basin; global change- land use modeling; landscape ecology; system dynamic modeling of wetlands; spatial analysis and modeling; blockchain; spatial dynamic modeling
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development“, and indicated 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aiming to develop a holistic approach to realizing sustainable development. A number of SDGs, such as zero hunger (SDG-2), clean water and sanitation (SDG-6), affordable and clean energy (SDG-7), and responsible consumption and production (SDG-12), are highly related to the fields of the sustainable environment. In December 2019, the European Commission set up the “European Green Deal”, and pointed out 10 strategies to boost the sustainable economy, while improving quality of life and the environment. A number of action plans, such as “circular economy”, “biodiversity”, “zero pollution”, and “farm to fork” have been implemented in accordance with the proposed strategies. Along the way to realizing sustainability, the development and deployment of green technologies and engineering are essential to decouple economic growth and environmental protection.

This Special Issue collects original research and critical reviews about scientific and technical information on the recent advances in green technologies and engineering for achieving sustainable environment. The primary areas of interest of this Special Issue include, but are not limited to the following: (1) design criteria for various types of green technologies for achieving new agriculture and circular economy systems; (2) combination of natural and constructed facilities for integrated watershed management; (3) smart technologies for the monitoring, control, and assessment of agricultural and environmental quality; (4) holistic assessment and modelling tools for environmental governance and management; and (5) adaptation to climate change for realizing a sustainable environment.

Asst. Prof. Shu-Yuan Pan
Assoc. Prof. Li-Chi Chiang
Prof. Yu-Pin Lin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • new agriculture
  • circular economy
  • nonpoint source pollution control
  • best management practices
  • non-conventional water reuse
  • ecosystem services
  • resilient city and flood management
  • food, water, energy, and land nexus
  • adaptation to climate change

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Wind Environment Simulation Accuracy in Traditional Villages with Complex Layouts Based on CFD
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8644; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168644 - 16 Aug 2021
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Using wind speed, wind direction, and turbulence intensity values as evaluation indicators, the ventilation performance of villages with complex building layouts was studied. We used the SKE, RNG, and RKE solvers in CFD-3D steady-state Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) to simulate the wind environment of [...] Read more.
Using wind speed, wind direction, and turbulence intensity values as evaluation indicators, the ventilation performance of villages with complex building layouts was studied. We used the SKE, RNG, and RKE solvers in CFD-3D steady-state Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) to simulate the wind environment of a village. The findings show that for the simulation of rural wind environments with complex building layouts, steady-state simulation solvers need to be evaluated in detail to verify their accuracy. In this study, a village with a complex architectural layout in Southern Shaanxi, China, was taken as the research object, and three steady-state simulation solvers were used to evaluate the ventilation performance of the village. The simulated data were compared with the measured data to find the most suitable solver for this kind of village wind environment simulation. The results show that for the simulation of the village wind environment with a complex building layout, the RNG simulation results have the lowest reliability among the three steady-state solvers. The reliability of wind speed distribution and turbulence intensity distribution are 0.7881 and 0.2473, respectively. However, the wind speed and turbulence intensity values obtained by the SKE solver are the closest to the measured values, which are 0.8625 and 0.9088, respectively. Therefore, for villages with complex building layouts, the SKE solver should be the first choice for simulating wind environment distribution. When using the RNG solver, the overall turbulence intensity value obtained is higher than the measured value. The average deviation between the simulated data and SKE and RKE at a height of 1.7 m is 42.61%. The main reason for this is that RNG overestimates the vortices and underestimates the airflow rate in the building intervals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering for Sustainable Environment)
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Article
A Novel Internet of Energy Based Optimal Multi-Agent Control Scheme for Microgrid including Renewable Energy Resources
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8146; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18158146 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
The increasing integration of Renewable Energy Resources (RERs) in distribution networks forms the Networked Renewable Energy Resources (NRERs). The cooperative Peer-to-Peer (P2P) control architecture is able to fully exploit the resilience and flexibility of NRERs. This study proposes a multi-agent system to achieve [...] Read more.
The increasing integration of Renewable Energy Resources (RERs) in distribution networks forms the Networked Renewable Energy Resources (NRERs). The cooperative Peer-to-Peer (P2P) control architecture is able to fully exploit the resilience and flexibility of NRERs. This study proposes a multi-agent system to achieve P2P control of NRERs based Internet of Things (IoT). The control system is fully distributed and contains two control layers operated in the agent of each RER. For primary control, a droop control is adopted by each RER-agent for localized power sharing. For secondary control, a distributed diffusion algorithm is proposed for arbitrary power sharing among RERs. The proposed levels communication system is implemented to explain the data exchange between the distribution network system and the cloud server. The local communication level utilizes the Internet Protocol (IP)/Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) is used as the protocol for the global communication level. The effectiveness of the proposed system is validated by numerical simulation with the modified IEEE 9 node test feeder. The controller proposed in this paper achieved savings of 20.65% for the system, 25.99% for photovoltaic, 35.52 for diesel generator, 24.59 for batteries, and 52.34% for power loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering for Sustainable Environment)
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Article
Operational Performance and Load Flexibility Analysis of Japanese Zero Energy House
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6782; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18136782 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 498
Abstract
ZEHs (Zero Energy House) featuring energy-efficient designs and on-site renewable integration are being widely developed. This study introduced Japanese ZEHs with well-insulated thermal envelopes and investigated their detailed operational performances through on-site measurements and simulation models. Measurement data show that ZEHs effectively damped [...] Read more.
ZEHs (Zero Energy House) featuring energy-efficient designs and on-site renewable integration are being widely developed. This study introduced Japanese ZEHs with well-insulated thermal envelopes and investigated their detailed operational performances through on-site measurements and simulation models. Measurement data show that ZEHs effectively damped the variation of indoor air temperature compared to conventional houses, presenting great ability to retain inside heat energy, and are expected to potentially deliver energy flexibility as a virtual thermal energy storage medium. We developed a simplified thermal resistance–capacitance model for a house heating system; response behaviors were simulated under various scenarios. Results compared the variations of indoor temperature profiles and revealed the dependence of load flexibility on the building’s overall heat loss performance. We observed that overall heat loss rate played a crucial role in building heat energy storage efficiency; a well-insulated house shortened the heat-up time with less energy input, and extended the delayed period of indoor temperature under intermittent heating supply; a high set-point operative temperature and a low ambient temperature led to lower virtual thermal energy storage efficiency. The preheating strategy was simulated as an effective load-shifting approach in consuming surplus PV generation; approximately 50% of consumed PV generation could be shifted to replace grid import electricity for room heating during the occupied period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering for Sustainable Environment)
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Article
Study on the Passive Heating System of a Heated Cooking Wall in Dwellings: A Case Study of Traditional Dwellings in Southern Shaanxi, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3745; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073745 - 03 Apr 2021
Viewed by 816
Abstract
In China, research on winter heating and energy saving for residential buildings mainly focuses on urban residences rather than rural ones. According to the 2018 China Building Energy Consumption Research Report, rural residential buildings emit about 423 million tons of carbon, accounting for [...] Read more.
In China, research on winter heating and energy saving for residential buildings mainly focuses on urban residences rather than rural ones. According to the 2018 China Building Energy Consumption Research Report, rural residential buildings emit about 423 million tons of carbon, accounting for 21% of the country’s total carbon emissions. According to the research on China’s greenhouse gas inventory, the main sources of carbon emissions in rural areas are from cooking and the burning of fuelwood and biomass for heating in winter. In this study, the southern Shaanxi area, which is hot in summer and cold in winter, was selected as the research site, and a fire wall system was planned that combines cooking and heating facilities in residential buildings. The system uses the heat generated by cooking and the heat storage capacity of the wall, as well as the principle of thermal radiation and heat convection, to increase the indoor temperature. The advantage is that the hot air generated is mainly concentrated in the inside of the wall, which reduces the direct contact with the cold outdoor air and avoids excess heat loss. In this study, in addition to considering the influence of the cooking fire wall system on the indoor temperature, the difference in the outer wall with or without solar thermal radiation was also considered. The research results show that the use of a cooking fire wall heating system reduces the annual heat load of the building to 440.8318 KW·h, which is a reduction rate of 7.91%. When there is solar radiation on the outer wall, the annual thermal load of the building is reduced by 1104.723 kW·h, and the reduction rate is 19.84%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering for Sustainable Environment)
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Article
Evaluation of Social Values for Ecosystem Services in Urban Riverfront Space Based on the SolVES Model: A Case Study of the Fenghe River, Xi’an, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2765; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052765 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 795
Abstract
Urban riverfront space has diversified ecosystem services, but due to excessive changes in the geographical environment, such as drastic changes in land use, people gain social value at a great ecological cost. Obtaining benefits from the ecosystem in this way is not sustainable. [...] Read more.
Urban riverfront space has diversified ecosystem services, but due to excessive changes in the geographical environment, such as drastic changes in land use, people gain social value at a great ecological cost. Obtaining benefits from the ecosystem in this way is not sustainable. Therefore, this paper uses the SolVES model to evaluate the social value of ecosystem services on the east bank of the Fenghe River, while also studying the contribution of different environmental variables to social value. The main results are as follows. (1) Environmental variables affect the spatial distribution characteristics of social value. The distance to water (DTW) means the social value was distributed in strips, and the distance to road (DTR) concentrated the social value along the road. The landscape type (LT) means the social value was concentrated in the landscape space. (2) When DTW, DTR, and LT were collectively used as environmental variables, the distribution characteristics of various social values were similar to when LT was used as the only environmental variable. (3) The results of MaxEnt show that LT made a greater contribution to the aesthetic, recreation, therapeutic, and historic values, and was the largest contribution factor to the aesthetic, therapeutic, and historic values, with contribution rates of 47.6, 50.5, and 80.0%, respectively. DTW is the factor that contributed the most to recreation, with a contribution rate of 43.1%. Improving social value based on the influence and contribution of environmental variables can reduce the damage to the ecological environment caused by changes in geographic factors. This is sustainable for both the ecosystem and the services it provides to mankind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering for Sustainable Environment)
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Article
Dual-Channel Global Closed-Loop Supply Chain Network Optimization Based on Random Demand and Recovery Rate
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8768; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17238768 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 677
Abstract
In the process of globalization, customer demand is usually difficult to predict, and product recycling is generally difficult to achieve accurately. It is also urgent to deal with increased inventory while avoiding shortages, with the purpose of reducing supply chain risks. This study [...] Read more.
In the process of globalization, customer demand is usually difficult to predict, and product recycling is generally difficult to achieve accurately. It is also urgent to deal with increased inventory while avoiding shortages, with the purpose of reducing supply chain risks. This study analyzes the integrated supply chain decision-making problem in the random product demand and return environment. It proposes a multi-objective optimization model, which is an effective tool to solve the design and planning problems of the global closed-loop supply chain. It consists of a multi-period, single-product and multi-objective mixed integer linear programming model, which can solve some strategic decision problems, including the network structure, entity capacities, flow of products and components, and collection levels, as well as the inventory levels. From the perspective of economic, environmental and social benefits, three objective functions are defined, including maximizing the net present value (NPV) of the system, minimizing the total CO2e emissions of supply chain activities, and maximizing social sustainability indicators. Finally, a numerical example is provided to verify the advantages of this model, and sensitivity analysis results are provided. The results show that changes in product demand and return rate will have a great impact on economic and social performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering for Sustainable Environment)
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Review

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Review
A Comprehensive Review on Types, Methods and Different Regions Related to Water–Energy–Food Nexus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8276; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168276 - 04 Aug 2021
Viewed by 411
Abstract
Water, food, and energy are three of the most important resources for long-term survival and development. The term “nexus” is used to underline the need of controlling these primary components collectively rather than separately because they are interconnected and linked. With the purpose [...] Read more.
Water, food, and energy are three of the most important resources for long-term survival and development. The term “nexus” is used to underline the need of controlling these primary components collectively rather than separately because they are interconnected and linked. With the purpose of better understanding nexus thinking and showcasing nexus analysis approaches and tools, this study explores the current state of the approach to the water–energy–food relationship, which has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. Water–energy, water–food, water–energy–food, water–energy, and climate are the four forms of nexus. This paper examines a variety of methodologies based on their principal objectives and provides a basic overview of a wide range of currently available methods and instruments for analyzing the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus. According to this study, the quantity of studies on the water–energy–food nexus has increased significantly, as the scientific community’s ability to analyze water, food, and energy interlinkages at a greater resolution. The integration and optimization of this multi-centric nexus is explored, with focus on four regions—Asia, Europe, America, and Africa—as a case study. The WEF nexus should be used in case studies to help illustrate its intricacies. Furthermore, this study builds a methodology and frameworks to find study linkages between water, energy, food, and other components, for a nexus analysis and discuss the major challenges and its solutions. This study also includes a scientometric analysis that looks at the countries and keyword mapping. Furthermore, the study is being planned, with an emphasis on quantitative analysis of the water–energy–food nexus which is helpful for the water security at local and global scale. This study aids in the coordination of research efforts to solve the difficult issues in nexus research and create sustainable and adaptable water, energy, and food systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering for Sustainable Environment)
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