Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Search results for: circular economy

10 Incorporating Circular Economy into Passive Design Strategies in Tropical Nigeria

Authors: Noah G. Akhimien, Eshrar Latif

Abstract:

The natural environment is in need for an urgent rescue due to dilapidation and recession of resources. Passive design strategies have proven to be one of the effective ways to reduce CO2 emissions and to improve building performance. On the other hand, there is a huge drop in material availability due to poor recycling culture. Consequently, building waste pose environmental hazard due to unrecycled building materials from construction and deconstruction. Buildings are seen to be material banks for a circular economy, therefore incorporating circular economy into passive housing will not only safe guide the climate but also improve resource efficiency. The study focuses on incorporating a circular economy in passive design strategies for an affordable energy and resource efficient residential building in Nigeria. Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration is still on the increase as buildings are responsible for a significant amount of this emission globally. Therefore, prompt measures need to be taken to combat the effect of global warming and associated threats. Nigeria is rapidly growing in human population, resources on the other hand have receded greatly, and there is an abrupt need for recycling even in the built environment. It is necessary that Nigeria responds to these challenges effectively and efficiently considering building resource and energy. Passive design strategies were assessed using simulations to obtain qualitative and quantitative data which were inferred to case studies as it relates to the Nigeria climate. Building materials were analysed using the ReSOLVE model in order to explore possible recycling phase. This provided relevant information and strategies to illustrate the possibility of circular economy in passive buildings. The study offers an alternative approach, as it is the general principle for the reworking of an economy on ecological lines in passive housing and by closing material loops in circular economy.

Keywords: Building, circular economy, efficiency, passive design, sustainability.

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9 Perspectives on Sustainable Bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea Region

Authors: Susanna Vanhamäki, Gabor Schneider, Kati Manskinen

Abstract:

‘Bioeconomy’ is a complex concept that cuts across many sectors and covers several policy areas. To achieve an overall understanding and support a successful bioeconomy, a cross-sectorial approach is necessary. In practice, due to the concept’s wide scope and varying international approaches, fully understanding bioeconomy is challenging on policy level. This paper provides a background of the topic through an analysis of bioeconomy strategies in the Baltic Sea region. Expert interviews and a small survey were conducted to discover the current and intended focuses of these countries’ bioeconomy sectors. The research shows that supporting sustainability is one of the keys in developing the future bioeconomy. The results highlighted that the bioeconomy has to be sustainable and based on circular economy principles. Currently, traditional bioeconomy sectors like food, wood, fish & waters as well as fuel & energy, which are in the core of national bioeconomy strategies, are best known and are considered more relevant than other bioeconomy industries. However, there is increasing potential for novel sectors, such as textiles and pharmaceuticals. The present research indicates that the opportunities presented by these bioeconomy sectors should be recognised and promoted. Education, research and innovation can play key roles in developing transformative and sustainable improvements in primary production and renewable resources. Furthermore, cooperation between businesses and educators is important.

Keywords: Bioeconomy, circular economy, policy, strategy.

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8 Managing the Baltic Sea Region Resilience: Prevention, Treatment Actions and Circular Economy

Authors: J. Burlakovs, Y. Jani, L. Grinberga, M. Kriipsalu, O. Anne, I. Grinfelde, W. Hogland

Abstract:

The worldwide future sustainable economies are oriented towards the sea: the maritime economy is becoming one of the strongest driving forces in many regions as population growth is the highest in coastal areas. For hundreds of years sea resources were depleted unsustainably by fishing, mining, transportation, tourism, and waste. European Sustainable Development Strategy is identifying and developing actions to enable the EU to achieve a continuous, long-term improvement of the quality of life through the creation of sustainable communities. The aim of this paper is to provide insight in Baltic Sea Region case studies on implemented actions on tourism industry waste and beach wrack management in coastal areas, hazardous contaminants and plastic flow treatment from waste, wastewaters and stormwaters. These projects mentioned in study promote successful prevention of contaminant flows to the sea environments and provide perspectives for creation of valuable new products from residuals for future circular economy are the step forward to green innovation winning streak.

Keywords: Resilience, hazardous waste, phytoremediation, water management, circular economy.

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7 Biodegradability Evaluation of Polylactic Acid Composite with Natural Fiber (Sisal)

Authors: A. Bárbara Cattozatto Fortunato, D. de Lucca Soave, E. Pinheiro de Mello, M. Piasentini Oliva, V. Tavares de Moraes, G. Wolf Lebrão, D. Fernandes Parra, S. Marraccini Giampietri Lebrão

Abstract:

Due to increasing environmental pressure for biodegradable products, especially in polymeric materials, in order to meet the demands of the biological cycles of the circular economy, new materials have been developed as a sustainability strategy. This study proposes a composite material developed from the biodegradable polymer PLA Ecovio® (polylactic acid - PLA) with natural sisal fibers, where the soybean ester was used as a plasticizer, which can aid in adhesion between the materials and fibers, making the most attractive final composite from an environmental point of view. The composites were obtained by extrusion. The materials tests were produced and submitted to biodegradation tests. Through the biodegradation tests, it can be seen that the biodegradable polymer composition with 5% sisal fiber presented about 12.4% more biodegradability compared to the polymer without fiber addition. It has also been found that the plasticizer was not a compatible with fibers and the polymer. Finally, fibers help to anticipate the decomposition process of the material when subjected to conditions of a landfill. Therefore, its intrinsic properties are not affected during its use, only the biodegradation process begins after its exposure to landfill conditions.

Keywords: Biocomposites, sisal, polylactic acid, PLA.

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6 Sustainability Assessment of a Deconstructed Residential House

Authors: Atiq U. Zaman, Juliet Arnott

Abstract:

This paper analyses the various benefits and barriers of residential deconstruction in the context of environmental performance and circular economy based on a case study project in Christchurch, New Zealand. The case study project “Whole House Deconstruction” which aimed, firstly, to harvest materials from a residential house, secondly, to produce new products using the recovered materials, and thirdly, to organize an exhibition for the local public to promote awareness on resource conservation and sustainable deconstruction practices. Through a systematic deconstruction process, the project recovered around 12 tonnes of various construction materials, most of which would otherwise be disposed of to landfill in the traditional demolition approach. It is estimated that the deconstruction of a similar residential house could potentially prevent around 27,029 kg of carbon emission to the atmosphere by recovering and reusing the building materials. In addition, the project involved local designers to produce 400 artefacts using the recovered materials and to exhibit them to accelerate public awareness. The findings from this study suggest that the deconstruction project has significant environmental benefits, as well as social benefits by involving the local community and unemployed youth as a part of their professional skills development opportunities. However, the project faced a number of economic and institutional challenges. The study concludes that with proper economic models and appropriate institutional support a significant amount of construction and demolition waste can be reduced through a systematic deconstruction process. Traditionally, the greatest benefits from such projects are often ignored and remain unreported to wider audiences as most of the external and environmental costs have not been considered in the traditional linear economy.

Keywords: Circular economy, construction and demolition waste, resource recovery, systematic deconstruction, sustainable waste management.

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5 Procedure for Impact Testing of Fused Recycled Glass

Authors: David Halley, Tyra Oseng-Rees, Luca Pagano, Juan A Ferriz-Papi

Abstract:

Recycled glass material is made from 100% recycled bottle glass and consumes less energy than re-melt technology. It also uses no additives in the manufacturing process allowing the recycled glass material, in principal, to go back to the recycling stream after end-of-use, contributing to the circular economy with a low ecological impact. The aim of this paper is to investigate the procedure for testing the recycled glass material for impact resistance, so it can be applied to pavements and other surfaces which are at risk of impact during service. A review of different impact test procedures for construction materials was undertaken, comparing methodologies and international standards applied to other materials such as natural stone, ceramics and glass. A drop weight impact testing machine was designed and manufactured in-house to perform these tests. As a case study, samples of the recycled glass material were manufactured with two different thicknesses and tested. The impact energy was calculated theoretically, obtaining results with 5 and 10 J. The results on the material were subsequently discussed. Improvements on the procedure can be made using high speed video technology to calculate velocity just before and immediately after the impact to know the absorbed energy. The initial results obtained in this procedure were positive although repeatability needs to be developed to obtain a correlation of results and finally be able to validate the procedure. The experiment with samples showed the practicality of this procedure and application to the recycled glass material impact testing although further research needs to be developed.

Keywords: Construction materials, drop weight impact, impact testing, recycled glass.

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4 Valorization of Industrial Wastes on Hybrid Low Embodied Carbon Cement Based Mortars

Authors: Z. Abdollahnejad, M. Mastali, F. Pacheco-Torgal

Abstract:

Waste reuse is crucial in a context of circular economy and zero waste sustainable needs. Some wastes deserve further studies by the scientific community not only because they are generated in high amount but also because they have a low reuse rate. This paper reports results of 32 hybrid cement mortars based on fly ash and waste glass. They allow to explore the influence of mix design on the cost and on the embodied carbon of the hybrid cement mortars. The embodied carbon data for all constituents were taken from the database Ecoinvent. This study led to the development of a mixture with just 70 kg CO2e.

Keywords: Waste reuse, fly ash, waste glass, hybrid cements, cost, embodied carbon.

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3 A Review on the Outlook of the Circular Economy in the Automotive Industry

Authors: A. Buruzs, A. Torma

Abstract:

The relationship of the automotive industry with raw material supply is a major challenge and presents obstacles. Automobiles are ones of the most complex products using a large variety of materials. Safety, eco-friendliness and comfort requirements, physical, chemical and economic limitations set the framework in which this industry continuously optimizes the efficient and responsible use of resources. The concept of circular economy covers the issues of waste generation, resource scarcity and economic advantages. However, circularity is already known for the automobile industry – several efforts are done to foster material reuse, product remanufacturing and recycling. The aim of this study is to give an overview on how the producers comply with the growing demands on one hand, and gain efficiency and increase profitability on the other hand from circular economy.

Keywords: Automotive industry, circular economy, international requirements, natural resources.

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2 Evaluation of a Remanufacturing for Lithium Ion Batteries from Electric Cars

Authors: Achim Kampker, Heiner H. Heimes, Mathias Ordung, Christoph Lienemann, Ansgar Hollah, Nemanja Sarovic

Abstract:

Electric cars with their fast innovation cycles and their disruptive character offer a high degree of freedom regarding innovative design for remanufacturing. Remanufacturing increases not only the resource but also the economic efficiency by a prolonged product life time. The reduced power train wear of electric cars combined with high manufacturing costs for batteries allow new business models and even second life applications. Modular and intermountable designed battery packs enable the replacement of defective or outdated battery cells, allow additional cost savings and a prolongation of life time. This paper discusses opportunities for future remanufacturing value chains of electric cars and their battery components and how to address their potentials with elaborate designs. Based on a brief overview of implemented remanufacturing structures in different industries, opportunities of transferability are evaluated. In addition to an analysis of current and upcoming challenges, promising perspectives for a sustainable electric car circular economy enabled by design for remanufacturing are deduced. Two mathematical models describe the feasibility of pursuing a circular economy of lithium ion batteries and evaluate remanufacturing in terms of sustainability and economic efficiency. Taking into consideration not only labor and material cost but also capital costs for equipment and factory facilities to support the remanufacturing process, cost benefit analysis prognosticate that a remanufacturing battery can be produced more cost-efficiently. The ecological benefits were calculated on a broad database from different research projects which focus on the recycling, the second use and the assembly of lithium ion batteries. The results of this calculations show a significant improvement by remanufacturing in all relevant factors especially in the consumption of resources and greenhouse warming potential. Exemplarily suitable design guidelines for future remanufacturing lithium ion batteries, which consider modularity, interfaces and disassembly, are used to illustrate the findings. For one guideline, potential cost improvements were calculated and upcoming challenges are pointed out.

Keywords: Circular economy, electric mobility, lithium ion batteries, remanufacturing.

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1 Large Scale Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from Wastewater: A Study of Techno-Economics, Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Authors: Cora Fernandez Dacosta, John A. Posada, Andrea Ramirez

Abstract:

The biodegradable family of polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates is an interesting substitute for convectional fossil-based plastics. However, the manufacturing and environmental impacts associated with their production via intracellular bacterial fermentation are strongly dependent on the raw material used and on energy consumption during the extraction process, limiting their potential for commercialization. Industrial wastewater is studied in this paper as a promising alternative feedstock for waste valorization. Based on results from laboratory and pilot-scale experiments, a conceptual process design, techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment are developed for the large-scale production of the most common type of polyhydroxyalkanoate, polyhydroxbutyrate. Intracellular polyhydroxybutyrate is obtained via fermentation of microbial community present in industrial wastewater and the downstream processing is based on chemical digestion with surfactant and hypochlorite. The economic potential and environmental performance results help identifying bottlenecks and best opportunities to scale-up the process prior to industrial implementation. The outcome of this research indicates that the fermentation of wastewater towards PHB presents advantages compared to traditional PHAs production from sugars because the null environmental burdens and financial costs of the raw material in the bioplastic production process. Nevertheless, process optimization is still required to compete with the petrochemicals counterparts.

Keywords: Circular economy, life cycle assessment, polyhydroxyalkanoates, waste valorization.

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