Volume 1, Issue 1 (December 2023) – 7 articles


15 June 2022


29 January 2023

Carbon Neutrality and Life Cycle Thinking

Climate change is one of the most critical sustainability challenges facing the humanity. International communities have joined forces to mitigate climate change impact and aim to achieve carbon neutrality in the coming decades. To achieve this ambitious goal, life cycle thinking can play critical roles. Specifically, life cycle thinking helps evaluate the true climate impacts to avoid shifting emissions across processes in a product life cycle. It can also help inform consumers with carbon footprint information to make climate-conscious choices. Finally, it can help identify key processes dominating the carbon footprint of a product so that future improvement can set priorities. High quality data is required for accurate and timely carbon footprint accounting and critical challenges exist to obtain and share such data.


13 March 2023

Reduced Climate Impacts of Dairy Sludge Management by Introducing Hydrothermal Carbonization

Dairies which produce cheese and milk products can, however, produce large volumes of wastewater that require treatment, usually via activated sludge treatment. Disposal of the resulting activated sludge to land is viewed favorably as the sludge is rich in phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) and enables nutrient recycling. Nonetheless, sludge management can significantly influence the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the atmosphere. This manuscript has modelled the GHG emissions arising from two sludge management strategies currently adopted by Danish dairies whereby: (i) sludge is stored and later applied to fields; or (ii) sludge is treated by anaerobic digestion (AD), stored, and the digestate will later be applied to fields. This is compared to (iii) an alternative sludge management strategy with treatment by Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC). HTC is a technologically simple sludge treatment that could lower the cost for dewatering dairy sludge, forming a biochar-like material known as hydrochar. The produced hydrochar can be applied to the land for the purpose of carbon sequestration, P and N recycling. Our calculations indicate that GHG balances of HTC sludge management can result in a net carbon sequestration of 63 kg CO2eq per ton sludge, as opposed to net emissions of 420 and 156 kg CO2eq per ton sludge for strategies (i) and (ii), therefore offering significant reductions GHG emissions for the dairy sector.


15 August 2023

Thermal and Economic Evaluations of a Drain Water Heat Recovery Device under Transient Conditions

This study explores the transient characteristics of a drain water heat recovery (DWHR) device employed for heat recovery from warm grey water in buildings. Experimental measurements were conducted to investigate the response time of the DWHR device under various flow conditions. The thermal performance of the system was assessed using both transient and steady-state effectiveness analyses. The findings reveal that the response time is influenced by the water volume within the system, with an increase observed, and by the water flow rate, which leads to a decrease in response time. Additionally, a decrease in effectiveness is noted when hot water is used in short and frequent intervals. Furthermore, an economic analysis demonstrates that considering the transient behavior of the device results in a significant overall decrease of 37% in annual savings. Specifically, the usage of sinks exhibits a reduction in annual savings by 56%, while showers show a decrease of 13% in annual savings.


13 September 2023

Estimate of Economic Impact of EVs Li-ion Batteries Recovery

Nowadays, increasing attention is directed towards the sustainable use of raw materials. For a circular economy, recovery from spent devices represents a fundamental practice. With the transition to electric mobility, an increasing number of devices powered by lithium batteries are produced. Indeed, this is the fastest growing sector producing spent batteries, which are an important secondary source of critical raw materials, such as lithium, cobalt, graphite, and nickel. Therefore, this work aims to quantify the economic impact of recovering raw materials from lithium batteries used in the electric vehicles sector. Based on the chemical composition of the various lithium batteries and their market diffusion, the intrinsic economic value of this waste has been estimated to be around 6500 €/ton. Starting from the literature data on the global energy demand from lithium batteries and deriving the trend of their specific energy over time, the mass of material introduced into the market annually is estimated to reach 60 Mton/year by 2040. The annual amount of end-of-life lithium batteries was calculated by applying the Weibull distribution to describe the probability of failure, yielding 10 Mton/year by 2040. Finally, based on these results, the economic impact of the recovery market was assessed for two different scenarios.


19 September 2023

Advancing Green Hydrogen Production in Saudi Arabia: Harnessing Solar Energy and Seawater Electrolysis

The transition to clean and sustainable energy sources is crucial for combating the challenges posed by climate change. Green hydrogen, produced through renewable energy-driven electrolysis, holds significant promise as a viable clean energy carrier. The study introduces a system that leverages abundant solar energy and utilizes seawater as the feedstock for electrolysis, potentially offering a cost-effective solution. A comprehensive mathematical model, implemented in MATLAB, is employed to simulate the design and operational efficiency of the proposed green hydrogen production system. The system’s core components include solar panels as a clean energy source, an advanced MPPT charge controller ensuring optimal power delivery to the electrolyzer, and a seawater tank serving as the electrolyte source. The model combines these elements, allowing for continuous operation and efficient hydrogen production, addressing concerns about energy losses and cost-effectiveness. Results demonstrate the influence of solar irradiance on the system’s performance, revealing the need to account for seasonal variations when designing green hydrogen production facilities. Theoretical experiments are conducted to evaluate the behavior of a lithium battery, essential for stabilizing the system’s output and ensuring continuous operation during periods of low solar radiation. 


07 October 2023

Comprehensive Evaluation of Sustainable Treatment Technology of Oily Sludge Based on AHP-FCE

Oil is an unsustainable energy since it is non-renewable. However, oil may not be completely replaced in a short time, so the environmental problems caused by the oil development still require our attention. The oily sludge is a kind of hazardous waste produced during the oil development. To reduce the environmental impact caused by oily sludge, low-carbon and sustainable treatment technologies need to be selected. The incineration, chemical extraction and thermal desorption are common technologies for treatment of oily sludge. We calculated the carbon emissions of these technologies. Then the index evaluation system of oily sludge treatment technology was established with the environmental, economic, social, and technical factors. And the weight of evaluation index was determined by the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Through the investigation of industry experts, we evaluated the treatment technologies by the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method (FCE). The results showed that the carbon emissions of incineration are 42.70 t CO2-eq/t which is the highest. Meanwhile, it is 4.80 t CO2-eq/t and 0.10 t CO2-eq/t for chemical extraction and thermal desorption, respectively. The comprehensive scores of incineration, chemical extraction and thermal desorption were 4.59, 5.16 and 4.95, respectively. Therefore, the chemical extraction technology is an optimal treatment technology for oily sludge with the relatively low carbon emission and the highest comprehensive technical score. At the same time, the thermal desorption technology has strong application potential with the lowest carbon emissions. This result provides a reference for achieving clean and sustainable energy development processes.