Our current dependency on the oil and gas (O&G) industry for economic development and social activities necessitates research into the sustainability of the industry's supply chains. At present, studies on sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) practices in the industry do not include firm-internal factors that affect the sustainability strategies employed by different functional areas of its supply chains. Our study aims to address this gap by identifying the relevant internal factors and exploring their relationship with SSCM strategies. Specifically, we discuss the commitment to and preparedness for sustainable practices of companies that operate in upstream and downstream O&G supply chain. We study the impact of these factors on their sustainability strategies of four key supply chain functions: supplier management, production management, product stewardship and logistics management. The analyses of data collected through a survey among 81 companies show that management preparedness may enhance sustainable supply chain strategies in the O&G industry more than commitment does. Among the preparedness measures, management of supply chain operational risks is found to be vital to the sustainability of all supply chain functions except for production management practices. The findings also highlight the central importance of supplier and logistics management to the achievement of sustainable O&G supply chains. Companies must also develop an organizational culture that encourages, for example, team collaboration and proactive behaviour to finding innovative sustainability solutions in order to translate commitment to sustainable practices into actions that can produce actual difference to their SSCM practices.
Cresol Red, a commercial dye that used widely to color nylon, wool, cotton, and polyacrylonitrile-modified nylon in the massive textile manufacture is toxic recalcitrant. Absidia spinosa M15, a novel fungal strain isolated from a tropical rain forest, was found to decolorize Cresol Red 65% within 30 d under agitation condition. UV-Vis spectroscopy, TLC analysis and mass spectra of samples after decolorization process in culture medium confirmed final decolorization of Cresol Red. Two metabolites were identified in the treated medium: benzeneacetic acid (tR 9.6 min and m/z 136) and benzoic acid (tR 5.7 min and m/z 122). Laccase showed the significant activity (133.8 U/L) in biomass obtained at the end of experiment demonstrates role of the enzyme in the decolorization process.
The treatment of high-strength organic brewery wastewater with added acetaminophen (AAP) by an anaerobic digester was investigated. An anaerobic packed-bed reactor (APBR) was operated as a continuous process with an organic loading rate of 1.5-g COD per litre per day and a hydraulic retention time of three days. The results of steady-state analysis showed that the greatest APBR performances for removing COD and TOC were as high as 98 and 93%, respectively, even though the anaerobic digestibility after adding the different AAP concentrations of 5, 10 and 15 mg L(-1) into brewery wastewater can affect the efficiency of organic matter removal. The average CH4 production decreased from 81 to 72% is counterbalanced by the increased CO2 production from 11 to 20% before and after the injection of AAP, respectively. The empirical kinetic models for substrate utilisation and CH4 production were used to predict that, under unfavourable conditions, the performance of the APBR treatment process is able to remove COD with an efficiency of only 6.8%.
The provision of appropriate waste management is not only an indicator of development but also of broader sustainability. This is particularly relevant to expanding cities in developing countries faced with rising waste generation and associated environmental health problems. Despite these urgent issues, city authorities often lack the evidence required to make well-informed decisions. This study evaluates the carbon and economic performance of low-carbon measures in the waste sector at a city level, within the context of a developing country. Palembang in Indonesia is used as a case of a medium-sized city in a newly industrialized country, with relevance to other similar cities in the developing world. Evidence suggests that the waste sector can achieve substantial carbon emission reductions, and become a carbon sink, in a cost effective way. Hence there is an economic case for a low carbon development path for Palembang, and possibly for other cities in developing and developed countries facing similar challenges.
The kitchen waste fraction in municipal solid waste contains high organic matter particularly carbohydrate that can contribute to fermentable sugar production for subsequent conversion to bioethanol. This study was carried out to evaluate the influence of single and combination pretreatments of kitchen waste by liquid hot water, mild acid pretreatment of hydrochloric acid (HCl) and sulphuric acid (H2SO4) and enzymatic hydrolysis (glucoamylase). The maximum total fermentable sugar produced after combination pretreatment by 1.5% HCl and glucoamylase consisted of 93.25 g/L glucose, 0.542 g/L sucrose, 0.348 g/L maltose, and 0.321 g/L fructose. The glucose released by the combination pretreatment method was 0.79 g glucose/g KW equivalent to 79% of glucose conversion. The effects of the pre-treatment on kitchen waste indicated that the highest solubilization was 40% by the combination method of 1.5% HCl and glucoamylase. The best combination pre-treatment gave concentrations of lactic acid, acetic acid, and propionic acid of 11.74 g/L, 6.77 g/L, and 1.02 g/L, respectively. The decrease of aliphatic absorbance bands of polysaccharides at 2851 and 2923 cm(-1) and the increase on structures of carbonyl absorbance bands at 1600 cm(-1) reflects the progress of the kitchen waste hydrolysis to fermentable sugars. Overall, 1.5% HCl and glucoamylase treatment was the most profitable process as the minimum selling price of glucose was USD 0.101/g kitchen waste. Therefore, the combination pretreatment method was proposed to enhance the production of fermentable sugar, particularly glucose from kitchen waste as the feedstock for bioethanol production.
The production of natural biopolymers as flocculants for water treatment is highly desirable due to their inherent low toxicity and low environmental footprint. In this study, bio-flocculants were extracted from Hibiscus/Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) by using a water extraction method, and the extract yield and its performance in sludge dewatering were evaluated. Single factor experimental design was employed to obtain the optimum conditions for extraction temperature (25-90 °C), time (0.25-5 h), solvent loading (0.5-5 w/w) and agitation speed (0-225 rpm). Results showed that extraction yield was affected non-linearly by all experimental variables, whilst the sludge dewatering ability was only influenced by the temperature of the extraction process. The optimum extraction conditions were obtained at 70 °C, 2 h, solvent loading of 2.5 w/w and agitation at 200 rpm. Under the optimal conditions, the extract yield was 2.38%, which is comparable to the extraction of other polysaccharides (0.69-3.66%). The bio-flocculants displayed >98% removal of suspended solids and 68% water recovery during sludge dewatering, and were shown to be comparable with commercial polyacrylamide flocculants. This work shows that bio-flocculants could offer a feasible alternative to synthetic flocculants for water treatment and sludge dewatering applications, and can be extracted using only water as a solvent, minimising the environmental footprint of the extraction process.
Biohydrogen production from dark fermentation of lignocellulosic materials represents a huge potential in terms of renewable energy exploitation. However, the low hydrogen yield is currently hindering its development on industrial scale. This study reviewed various technologies that have been investigated for enhancing dark fermentative biohydrogen production. The pre-treatment technologies can be classified based on their applications as inoculum or substrates pre-treatment or they can be categorised into physical, chemical, physicochemical and biological based on the techniques used. From the different technologies reviewed, heat and acid pre-treatments are the most commonly studied technologies for both substrates and inoculum pre-treatment. Nevertheless, these two technologies need not necessarily be the most suitable since across different studies, a wide array of other emerging techniques as well as combined technologies have yielded positive findings. To date, there exists no perfect technology for either inoculum or substrate pre-treatment. Although the aim of inoculum pre-treatment is to suppress H2-consumers and enrich H2-producers, many sporulating H2-consumers survive the pre-treatment while some non-spore H2-producers are inhibited. Besides, several inoculum pre-treatment techniques are not effective in the long run and repeated pre-treatment may be required for continuous suppression of H2-consumers and sustained biohydrogen production. Furthermore, many technologies employed for substrates pre-treatment may yield inhibitory compounds that can eventually decrease biohydrogen production. Consequently, much research needs to be done to find out the best technology for both substrates and inoculum pre-treatment while also taking into consideration the energetic, economic and technical feasibility of implementing such a process on an industrial scale.
The 'seasonal haze' problem is one which afflicts large parts of Southeast Asia in years of drought. The major cause is forest, bush and field fires in the states of Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia, and to a lesser extent in Sabah, Sarawak, and other parts of Malaysia. Almost all of these fires now seem preventable, since they are intentionally set to clear land for cultivation. Theoretically, the government authorities at central, provincial and local levels in these countries should be responsible for controlling activities in their territory. In practice, however, air pollution control through regulatory policies and practices is extraordinarily difficult to implement and maintain in a situation of this kind in developing countries, especially at a time of crippling economic setbacks. Moreover, the establishment of legal liability, through an international tribunal or otherwise, hardly seems a politically feasible course of action for the government of an affluent 'victim state' such as Singapore. Faith in the usual solutions--science, regulation, law and diplomacy--is weakened by one's sense of current realities. The purpose of this paper is to review the issues and suggested responses, the cost implications of each, the responsibilities as well as entitlements that might apply to the various stakeholders, and the special role of Singapore as an affluent 'victim state'. We also discuss the incentive mechanisms that would be needed to manage forest fires.
Forest growth models are useful tools for investigating the long-term impacts of logging. In this paper, the results of the rain forest growth model FORMIND were assessed by a multicriteria decision analysis. The main processes covered by FORMIND include tree growth, mortality, regeneration and competition. Tree growth is calculated based on a carbon balance approach. Trees compete for light and space; dying large trees fall down and create gaps in the forest. Sixty-four different logging scenarios for an initially undisturbed forest stand at Deramakot (Malaysia) were simulated. The scenarios differ regarding the logging cycle, logging method, cutting limit and logging intensity. We characterise the impacts with four criteria describing the yield, canopy opening and changes in species composition. Multicriteria decision analysis was used for the first time to evaluate the scenarios and identify the efficient ones. Our results plainly show that reduced-impact logging scenarios are more 'efficient' than the others, since in these scenarios forest damage is minimised without significantly reducing yield. Nevertheless, there is a trade-off between yield and achieving a desired ecological state of logged forest; the ecological state of the logged forests can only be improved by reducing yields and enlarging the logging cycles. Our study also demonstrates that high cutting limits or low logging intensities cannot compensate for the high level of damage caused by conventional logging techniques.
Marine plastic pollution (MPP) is an urgent environmental and socio-economic problem. MPP amounts to 300 million tons annually, originates largely from land-based sources and severely impacts marine ecosystem, harms livelihoods and causes costs for businesses and governments. Plastics permeate the whole width and depth of seas and oceans, near well-developed coastal zones and equally in remotest corners. This undermines economic and social value of the oceans, particularly in terms of fisheries productivity and tourism. The G20 members, responsible for about two-thirds of global plastic waste, recognize the problem and undertake preventive measures - individually and collectively. Yet, are there efficient, effective and sufficient given the urgency of MPP and the contribution of G20 countries. This article highlights existing policies and identifies further policy options using a custom framework for MPP policy that merges Circular Economy (CE) and life-cycle perspectives.
This study assessed the environmental impacts of the formulation of graphene oxide (GO)/multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) conductive membranes and of the process operating parameters of electrically-enhanced palm oil mill effluent (POME) filtration. Two different analyses approaches were employed, cradle-to-gate approach for conductive membrane production and gate-to-gate approach for the POME filtration process. The parameters in conductive-membrane formulation (e.g. the weight ratio of carbon nanomaterials, and concentration of GO/MWCNT nanohybrids) and process operating parameters (e.g. electric field strength and electricity operating mode) were investigated. The findings herein are twofold. Firstly, for the fabrication of GO/MWCNT conductive membranes, the best weight ratio of GO:MWCNTs was found to be 1:9, given its superior membrane electrical conductivity with lower environmental impacts by 8.51% compared to pristine MWCNTs. The most suitable concentration of carbon nanomaterials was found to be 5 wt%, given its lowest impacts on resource depletion, human health, and ecosystems. Secondly, for the electrically-enhanced POME filtration, the optimum process operating parameters were found to be the application of an electric field of 300 V/cm in the continuous mode, given its lower environmental impacts (22.99%-89.30%) secondary to its requirement of the least electricity to produce permeate. The present study has established not only the optimized conditions in membrane formulation but also the operating parameters of electrically-enhanced filtration; such findings enable the use of cleaner production and sustainable approach to minimize fouling for industrial applications, whilst maintaining excellent efficiency.
This study proposed the recycling of sewage sludge (SS) and red gypsum (RG) as potential temporary landfill cover materials. Mixtures with different SS and RG compositions were prepared and tested in determining the most suitable design mix based on the resulting physical, mechanical, and geotechnical properties, namely the hydraulic conductivity, compressive strength, and plasticity. A maximum compressive strength of 524 kPa was achieved for the optimum SS:RG composition of 1:1, corresponding to Ca:Si composition of 2.5:1, which was appropriate to form the calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) gel. The SS and RG compositions did not affect the hydraulic conductivity, which was in the order 10-5 cm/s for all mixtures. Mixtures with RG greater than SS in composition exhibited plastic behaviour due to the Fe content in the RG, which helped minimize the risk of cracking. The optimum mixture had compressive strength greater than the specified minimum of 345 kPa, medium hydraulic conductivity, and moderate plasticity, thus appropriate for application as an alternative material for the temporary landfill cover in the tropics.
Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources (DSRS) borehole disposal is an innovative concept recommended by international atomic energy agency (IAEA) to improve the safety and security of the management end point for these sources. A green application of Palm Oil Fuel Ash (POFA) as a supplementary material for cementitious backfill barrier in DSRS borehole disposal facility is proposed. Samples with up to 50% POFA replacement complied with the mechanical and hydraulic performance requirements for backfill barriers in retrievable radioactive waste disposal facilities. The structures of one year old OPC and optimum OPC-POFA cement backfills were evaluated using FESEM, XRD, EDXRF, BET, and TGA and their 226 Ra confinement performances were assessed. 30% POFA replacement improved the geochemical conditions by reducing competitive Ca2+ release into the disposal environment. It enhanced 226Ra confinement performance independently on the amount of water intrusion or releases below 2% of 1 Ci source. The improved performance is attributed to the higher fraction of active sites of OPC-POFA backfill compared to that of OPC backfill. 226Ra sorption onto C-S-H is irreversible, spontaneous, endothermic, and independent on the degree of the surface filling. The provided experimental data and theoretical analysis proved the feasibility of this green use of POFA in reducing the radiological hazard of 226Ra.
Given the economic growth and energy consumption patterns, most countries are striving to solve the problems of CO2 emissions reduction to achieve sustainable development. This paper employs an improved DEA model to measure energy and environmental efficiency for some selected countries in central and western Europe. In addition, the DEA window evaluation technique is applied to measure cross-sectional efficiency using two inputs (energy consumption, labor force), a desirable output (gross domestic product), and an undesirable output (CO2 emission) for the period from 2010 to 2014. The study finds that the UK ranks the highest position in term of energy and environmental efficiency. This shows that the UK has more effective policies regarding energy efficiency, consumption, production, import and energy intensity measures for sustainable economic growth as well as environmental protection. Ireland is the second-best country after the United Kingdom. The efficiency scores of the two countries are 0.99 and 0.89 respectively. On the empirical outcomes, this study suggests effective reforms in energy sector for countries with less energy efficiency that are still facing the problem of environmental degradation.
The huge amount of agro-wastes generated due to expanding agricultural activities can potentially cause serious environmental and human health problems. Using the biorefinery concept, all parts of agricultural plants can be converted into multiple value-added bioproducts while reducing waste generation. This approach can be viewed as an effective strategy in developing and realizing a circular bioeconomy by accomplishing the dual goals of waste mitigation and energy recovery. However, the sustainability issue of biorefineries should still be thoroughly scrutinized using comprehensive resource accounting methods such as exergy-based approaches. In light of that, this study aims to conduct a detailed exergy analysis of whole-crop safflower biorefinery consisting of six units, i.e., straw handling, biomass pretreatment, bioethanol production, wastewater treatment, oil extraction, and biodiesel production. The analysis is carried out to find the major exergy sink in the developed biorefinery and discover the bottlenecks for further performance improvements. Overall, the wastewater treatment unit exhibits to be the major exergy sink, amounting to over 70% of the total thermodynamic irreversibility of the process. The biomass pretreatment and bioethanol production units account for 12.4 and 10.3% of the total thermodynamic inefficiencies of the process, respectively. The exergy rates associated with bioethanol, biodiesel, lignin, biogas, liquid digestate, seed cake, sodium sulfate, and glycerol are determined to be 5918.5, 16516.8, 10778.9, 1741.4, 6271.5, 15755.8, 3.4, and 823.5 kW, respectively. The overall exergetic efficiency of the system stands at 72.7%, demonstrating the adequacy of the developed biorefinery from the thermodynamic perspective.
Mixed culture sludge has been widely used as a microbial consortium for biohydrogen production. Simple thermal treatment of sludge is usually required in order to eliminate any H2-consuming bacteria that would reduce H2 production. In this study, thermal treatment of sludge was carried out at various temperatures. Electron flow model was then applied in order to assess community structure in the sludge upon thermal treatment for biohydrogen production. Results show that the dominant electron sink was acetate (150-217 e- meq/mol glucose). The electron equivalent (e- eq) balances were within 0.8-18% for all experiments. Treatment at 100 °C attained the highest H2 yield of 3.44 mol H2/mol glucose from the stoichiometric reaction. As the treatment temperature increased from 80 to 100 °C, the computed acetyl-CoA and reduced form of ferredoxin (Fdred) concentrations increased from 13.01 to 17.34 e- eq (1.63-2.17 mol) and 1.34 to 4.18 e- eq (0.67-2.09 mol), respectively. The NADH2 balance error varied from 3 to 10% and the term e-(Fd↔NADH2) (m) in the NADH2 balance was NADH2 consumption (m = -1). The H2 production was mainly via the Fd:hydrogenase system and this is supported with a good NADH2 balance. Using the modified Gompertz model, the highest maximum H2 production potential was 1194 mL whereas the maximum rate of H2 production was 357 mL/h recorded at 100 °C of treatment.
Much of the environmental policy literature tends to focus on democratic contexts where environmental innovation is a product of pluralistic interactions among state and non-state actors. By bringing the (authoritarian) politics into the analysis, this article seeks to discover the processes leading to environmental innovation under nondemocratic conditions. We utilise case studies in China and then-nondemocratic Malaysia, both grappling with the twin imperatives of rapid development and social control, where the governments initiated environmental innovations to expand space for public participation and monitoring against noxious plants. We adapt the conceptual framework of "environmental innovation strategies" to illustrate the mechanisms underpinning innovative practices that address environmental issues by going beyond pre-existing public regulatory provisions. We highlight aspects distinguishing the interactive processes under authoritarianism. First, the drivers of environmental innovation are contingent on the government's role and concerns over social control and state legitimacy. Second, due to limits over political space, environmental nongovernmental organisations (ENGOs) act as issue entrepreneurs-instead of policy entrepreneurs-who turn conditions into problems deserving government attention and solution, as they engage in conflictual interactions with state authorities. Third, such innovations can strengthen nondemocratic governance while not fully plugging the gaps in existing environmental regulations. This contributes to illuminating the behaviours of state-based environmental innovators under illiberal political regimes, potentially offering lessons to activists on how to stimulate further innovations in such contexts.
Palm kernel shells (PKS), empty fruit bunches (EFB), and trunks are by-products of the palm oil industry and form approximately 50 wt % of fresh fruit bunch (FFB). In particular, EFB accounts for approximately 20 wt % of FFB. Although large amounts of EFB are generated from palm oil mills every year in Indonesia and Malaysia, EFB is treated as waste because commercial technologies for thermo-chemical conversion of EFB into renewable energy are still under development. A robust conversion method can transform EFB into an appealing renewable energy source. In order to secure this renewable energy source, Korea can import EFB as biomass. This paper investigates literature on the status of utilization of EFB, by-products from palm oil mills in order to identify the best available technological process to use EFB as bio-solid refuse fuels (SRF). Meanwhile, physico-chemical analyses (proximate, elemental, and calorific value analyses), biomass and heavy metal content were measured in order to assess whether EFB would be suitable for use as a bio-SRF, in accordance with the Korean quality standard for SRF. According to the analysis results, EFB showed applicability to use as bio-SRF; main analysis results - moisture (9.63 wt %), ash (5.94 wt %), biomass content (97.82 wt %) and calorific value (3668 kcal kg).
A novel, cost-effective and real-time process monitoring and control system was developed to maintain stable operation of waste-to-energy gasification process. It comprised a feedback loop control that utilized the differential temperatures of the oxidation and reduction zones in the gasifier to determine the regional heat-flow (endothermic or exothermic), to assess the availability of oxidizing agent (for instance, air or O2) at the char bed and to calculate the fuel feeding rate. Based on the correlations developed, the air-to-fuel ratio or the equivalence air ratio (ER) for air gasification could be instantaneously adjusted to maintain stable operation of the gasifier. This study demonstrated a simplification of complex reaction dynamics in the gasification process to differential temperature profiling of the gasifier. The monitoring and control system was tested for more than 70 h of continuous operation in a downdraft fixed-bed gasifier with refuse-derived fuel (RDF) prepared from municipal solid wastes (MSW). With the system, fuel feeding rate could be adjusted accurately to stabilize the operating temperature and ER in the gasifier and generate syngas with consistent properties. Significant reductions in the fluctuations of temperature profiles at oxidation and reduction zones (from higher than 100 °C to lower than 50 °C), differential temperatures (from ±200 to ±50 °C) in gasifier and the flow rate (from 16 ± 6.5 to 12 ± 1.8 L/min), composition of main gas components, LHV (from 6.2 ± 3.1 to 5.7 ± 1.6 MJ/Nm3) and tar content (from 8.0 ± 9.7 to 7.5 ± 4.2 g/Nm3) of syngas were demonstrated. The developed gasifier monitoring and control system is adaptable to various types (updraft, downdraft, and fluidized-bed) and scales (lab, pilot, large scale) of gasifiers with different types of fuel.
Energy is widely used in industry for heating and cooling, with natural gas (NG) being the largest primary energy source in Malaysia, closely followed by coal. Renewable energy, such as biogas upgrading to biomethane, could cut the use of fossil fuels by supplementing NG usage due to their similar physicochemical and thermochemical characteristics. Biogas production plants in Malaysia are more commonly seen in waste-to-energy scenarios, with the technology anaerobic digestion, and their deployment is supported via feed-in tariffs (FiT) for power generation. Other potential applications such as the conversion of biogas into biomethane, injection into the natural gas grid or transportation through a virtual pipeline may still need further technical development. This paper presents spatial techno economic optimisation modelling using BeWhere to determine decentralised biomethane production plants using feedstock from multiple sources of biogas, including palm oil mill effluent (POME), food waste, cattle manure and chicken manure. This model considered potential configurations and sizes of the biomethane plants, the transportation of biomethane using a virtual pipeline (at 250 psig) and demand in one of the states in Malaysia, namely Johor. It was found that two to four biomethane plants with capacities ranging between 125 and 700 m3/h were located in densely populated areas or heavier industrial consumers when the carbon tax was implemented at 167.71 EUR/tCO2 (800 MYR/tCO2). Sensitivity analysis suggested that biomethane production increases with the increasing country renewable energy share target to beyond 2080 MW. It is recommended that specific policy regulations and Feed-in Tariff (FiT) mechanisms are used to expand the biomethane market share in the country.