67 research outputs found

    Environmental benefits of large‐scale second‐generation bioethanol production in the EU: an integrated supply chain network optimization and life cycle assessment approach

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    The use of agricultural residues for the generation of bioethanol has the potential to substitute fuels such as petrol or first‐generation bioethanol and thereby generate environmental benefits. Scientific research in this field typically confines the environmental dimension to global warming, disregarding other environmental impact and damage categories. By multi‐criteria mixed‐integer linear programming, this work examines environmental benefits and economic viability of optimal second‐generation bioethanol production network configurations to substitute petrol and/or first‐generation bioethanol in the EU. The results comprise environmentally optimal decisions for 18 impact and 3 damage categories, as well as economically optimal solutions for different excise and carbon tax scenarios. The impact categories global warming potential, particulate matter, and land use are affected the most. Optimal network decisions for different environmental objectives can be clustered into three groups of mutual congruencies, but opportunity costs between the different groups can be very high, indicating conflicting decisions. The decision to substitute petrol or first‐generation ethanol has the greatest influence. The results of the multi‐dimensional analysis suggest that the damage categories human health and ecosystem quality are suitable to unveil tradeoffs between conflicting environmental impacts, for example, global warming and land use. Taking human health and ecosystem quality as environmental decision criteria, second‐generation bioethanol should be used to concurrently substitute first‐generation bioethanol and petrol (100% and 18% of today's demand in the EU, respectively). However, economic optimization shows that with current taxation, bioethanol is hardly competitive with petrol, and that excise tax abatement or carbon taxes are needed to achieve these volumes. This article met the requirements for a gold‐gold JIE data openness badge described at http://jie.click/badges.Horizon 2020 Framework Programme http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/10001066

    Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of a Novel Bio-Based Multilayer Panel for Construction Applications

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    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.The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement number 723670, with the title “Systemic approach to reduce energy demand and CO2 emissions of processes that transform agroforestry waste into high added value products (REHAP)”

    Multicriteria optimization as enabler for Sustainable Ceramic Matrix Composites (SCMC)

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    Please click Additional Files below to see the full abstract. Please click Download on the upper right corner to see the presentation

    Island and Indigenous systems of circularity: how Hawaiʻi can inform the development of universal circular economy policy goals

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    Given the dire consequences of the present global climate crisis, the need for alternative ecologically based economic models could not be more urgent. The economic and environmental concerns of the circular economy are well-developed in the literature. However, there remains a gap in research concerning the circular economy’s impact on culture and social equity. The underdeveloped social and cultural pillars of the circular economy, along with universal policy goals calling for a context- and need-based framework, makes it necessary to bridge natural and social science objectives in the circular economy. Islands can serve as model systems for studying the circular economy. We examine how Hawaiʻi, through the philosophy of aloha ʻāina, the Hawaiian ancestral circular economy, and contemporary community approaches toward advancing Indigenous economic justice can be one model system for understanding principles of circularity and policy advocacy. We introduce the concept of the ancestral circular economy and how aspects of this Indigenous institution can inform the development of universal circular economy policy goals. Furthermore, we present aloha ʻāina as a framework for reciprocal care between human–environment relations while addressing the social and cultural pillars that aid in the development of these dimensions of the circular economy