Special Issue "Exclusive Papers of the Editorial Board Members of section Environmental Sustainability and Applications"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Elena Rada
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is dedicated to theoretical and applied aspects of environmental sustainability. Submissions are restricted to editorial board members of Sustainability who can contribute to an enlargement of the vision in this sector, thanks to the open access publishing strategy that characterizes the journal and promotes dissemination. Any kind of perspective involving environmental sustainability will be welcome. Both specialized topics and interdisciplinary approaches are expected in this exclusive Special Issue. Papers that connect sustainability not only to the environmental sector but also to the economic, legislative, philosophic, safety, energy, and human health sectors are also welcome. Review papers are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Vincenzo Torretta
Dr. Elena Cristina Rada
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. Sustainability 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 1900 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.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Microaerobic Digestion of Low-Biodegradable Sewage Sludge: Effect of Air Dosing in Batch Reactors
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9869; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179869 - 02 Sep 2021
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Abstract
The adoption of prolonged solid retention times during the biological treatment of urban wastewaters is a well-known strategy to reduce sewage sludge production. However, it also results in the production of a biological sludge with low percentages of biodegradable organic matter, also characterized [...] Read more.
The adoption of prolonged solid retention times during the biological treatment of urban wastewaters is a well-known strategy to reduce sewage sludge production. However, it also results in the production of a biological sludge with low percentages of biodegradable organic matter, also characterized by high humification degrees, which may hamper the anaerobic digestion treatment aimed at sludge stabilization. To accelerate the hydrolytic stage, the application of microaerobic conditions during the anaerobic digestion of low-biodegradable sewage sludge was investigated in this study. In particular, six bio-methanation tests of a real sewage sludge were carried out, introducing air in the bioreactors with doses ranging between 0 and 16.83 L air/kg VSin d, in order to evaluate the air dosage that optimizes the biomethane production and organic matter degradation. Notably, the lower air loading rates investigated in this study, such as 0.68 and 1.37 L air/kg VSin d, led to an increase in methane production of up to 19%, due to a higher degradation of total lipids and proteins. In addition, these microaerobic conditions also resulted in a decrease in the sludge humification degree and in lower volatile fatty acid accumulation. Full article
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Article
Removal and Survival of Fecal Indicators in a Constructed Wetland after UASB Pre-Treatment
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9302; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169302 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 360
Abstract
The experimentation plant, based on a sub-surface horizontal flow phytodepuration (SSHFP) unit with a pre-treatment by an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor, proved valuable in treating the sewage of a small rural community located in north Brazil. During a six-month trial, the [...] Read more.
The experimentation plant, based on a sub-surface horizontal flow phytodepuration (SSHFP) unit with a pre-treatment by an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor, proved valuable in treating the sewage of a small rural community located in north Brazil. During a six-month trial, the plant achieved an average removal efficiency of 98.2% (1.74 log removal) for fecal coliforms (FC) and 96.0% (1.40 log removal) for Enterococci (EN), as well as 95.6% for BOD5, 91.0% for COD,00 and 95.4% for suspended solids (SS). The contribution of the UASB reactor to this overall performance was very significant as, alone, it achieved a yield of 62.7% for FC and 60% for EN, in addition to 65.2% for BOD5 and 65.0% for SS. EN was chosen, in addition to FC, because of its higher specificity and strong environmental persistence, leading to an increased risk to human health. In fact, the experimental results confirmed its lower removal efficiency compared to FC. The mechanical and biological mechanisms that led to such a removal efficiency of the two fecal indicators (FIs) are outlined in the article. The same mechanisms led to a good level of equivalence between the removal efficiency of the two FIs with the removal efficiency of SS and BOD5, for both the whole plant and the UASB reactor alone. The research demonstrated the close correlation between the concentrations of EN and FC for the plant effluent. This correlation can be explained by the following mathematical expression of the regression line Log EN = 0.2571 Log FC + 3.5301, with a coefficient of determination R2 = 0.912. This implies that the concentration of the more specific indicator EN could be calculated, with acceptable approximation, from the simple analysis of FC and vice versa. The experimental plant brought important health benefits to the local population. In particular, there were no significant odor emissions; moreover, the risk of fecal pathogenic diseases was drastically reduced; finally, there was no proliferation of insects and other disease vectors, due to the absence of stagnant or semi-stagnant water exposed to the atmosphere. Full article
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Article
Effect of Intake Air Temperature and Premixed Ratio on Combustion and Exhaust Emissions in a Partial HCCI-DI Diesel Engine
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8593; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158593 - 01 Aug 2021
Viewed by 485
Abstract
Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) is considered an advanced combustion method for internal combustion engines that offers simultaneous reductions in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions and increased fuel efficiency. The present study examines the influence of intake air temperature (IAT) and [...] Read more.
Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) is considered an advanced combustion method for internal combustion engines that offers simultaneous reductions in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions and increased fuel efficiency. The present study examines the influence of intake air temperature (IAT) and premixed diesel fuel on fuel self-ignition characteristics in a light-duty compression ignition engine. Partial HCCI was achieved by port injection of the diesel fuel through air-assisted injection while sustaining direct diesel fuel injection into the cylinder for initiating combustion. The self-ignition of diesel fuel under such a set-up was studied with variations in premixed ratios (0–0.60) and inlet temperatures (40–100 °C) under a constant 1600 rpm engine speed with 20 Nm load. Variations in performance, emissions and combustion characteristics with premixed fuel and inlet air heating were analysed in comparison with those recorded without. Heat release rate profiles determined from recorded in-cylinder pressure depicted evident multiple-stage ignitions (up to three-stage ignition in several cases) in this study. Compared with the premixed ratio, the inlet air temperature had a greater effect on low-temperature reaction and HCCI combustion timing. Nonetheless, an increase in the premixed ratio was found to be influential in reducing nitric oxides emissions. Full article
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Article
Engaging the Senses: The Association of Urban Green Space with General Health and Well-Being in Urban Residents
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7322; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13137322 - 30 Jun 2021
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Abstract
This study evaluated the short-term responses of physiological and psychological indices and examined the human senses that are mostly engaged during a green space and urban exposure in residents of Athens, Greece. The forest had beneficial effects for human physiology, anxiety and mood [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the short-term responses of physiological and psychological indices and examined the human senses that are mostly engaged during a green space and urban exposure in residents of Athens, Greece. The forest had beneficial effects for human physiology, anxiety and mood states and was also associated with all five senses and positive reactions, while the opposite was observed in the urban center. The difference of pre- and post-green space exposure salivary cortisol was correlated with the participants’ environmental profile and body mass index. Green spaces can alleviate stress and improve overall mood, while helping individuals experience their surroundings with all five senses. Full article
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