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2022 | Book

Role of Circular Economy in Resource Sustainability


About this book

This book aims to provide academic and industrial applications advancing the critical role of circular economy principles in the sustainability of various resources. The latest research and practice in resource sustainability are shared, discussed, and promoted. The core competency of this book revolves around providing recent advances in sustainable consumption and production implementations, developed tools for environmental and sustainability assessment, technological advancements in resource and waste management/treatment, and advances in waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and recovery. Resources are defined broadly to include (1) physical resources: metals, non-metallic minerals, energy, and water (2) biological resources: food, forestry, land, ecological systems, etc., and (3) “misplaced” resources: air emissions, water pollutants, and solid waste. Finally, legislation, and policy implications and recommendations for resources sustainability are concluded.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Role of Circular Resources and the Importance of Developing Circular Models in Product Design, Manufacturing and Supply Chains
The most recent research findings that were presented at the 2021 International Conference on Resource Sustainability (icRS 2021), held virtually at University College Dublin, Ireland, are introduced briefly in this preface. The wide range of topics were thematically focussed on four distinctly different areas, all of which are of critical importance in addressing the demands posed by the societal need for sustainability of increasingly scarce resources, i.e. (1) the role of circular economy in manufacturing, supply chain, and waste management (2) environmental and sustainability assessment frameworks and tools, (3) innovative case studies and (4) legislation and policy. Furthermore, the role of circular resources and the importance of developing circular models in product design, manufacturing and supply chain are discussed. Finally, related future research gaps and opportunities are presented. It is hoped that this collection of articles will reflect the scientific state-of-the-art and be a useful point of reference for researchers, policymakers and funding agencies alike.
Pezhman Ghadimi, Michael D. Gilchrist, Ming Xu
Chapter 2. Circular Data Framework Throughout the Whole Value Chain from Mining to Manufacturing, from Refurbishing to Recycling
The paper attempts to develop a framework for circular data throughout the whole value chain from raw material mining to finished product manufacturing, from end-of-life products collection via refurbishing to recycled product manufacturing. In order to cover by metrics all enterprises belonging to different economy sectors, we propose to use the specific approach to measure circularity based on the segmentation of the whole resource cycle as a set of transformations of a substance or group of substances at all stages of its use by human. The findings contribute to development an industry standard for circular data by enterprises belonging to different economy sectors.
T. Shevchenko, Y. Danko
Chapter 3. Website Communication Capabilities and Content Related to Environmental Management—An Empirical Study of European Production Companies
Environmental management concerns are being made available at corporate websites. The websites disclose the organization's communication capabilities and content related to environmental management. The increasing momentum of the climate change debate, the rising interest of stakeholders in environmental issues, growing openness of corporations, the innovations in information and communication technology, and web presence being increasingly important are all factors likely to advance the environmental properties of company websites. This work contributes to the exposure of the current state of environmental disclosure through an empirical study of 154 websites of companies within the European production sector. The sample of companies include a group of very large companies with more than 10,000 employees and a group of medium-sized companies with 126 to 250 employees. The study revealed a surprisingly low general level of website display of communication capabilities and content related to environmental issues. Many companies are not yet taking part in environmental disclosure and openness. Furthermore, data confirmed that medium-sized companies are lagging behind large companies. Surprisingly, environmental certificates were observed at the websites of medium-sized companies almost to the same degree as at websites of large companies.
H. H. Thimm, K. B. Rasmussen
Chapter 4. Proposal for Integration of Circular Economy Within Product Portfolio Management
Although current studies are pointing to the circular economy (CE) as one of the main trends for sustainable production and consumption systems, little is known about its applicability within new product development (NPD). In particular, there is a lack of studies connecting CE to product portfolio decision in early stages of the NPD process. Through a systematic literature review, this study aims to propose a framework that integrates CE practices and methods into product portfolio management (PPM). In combination with the well-known and traditional methods of PPM literature, the framework presented introduces the use of CE-based practices and methods to analyse the potential of product design concerning aspects such as durability, reuse, upgrading, remanufacturing, recyclability, recovery, and product service system. The proposed framework presents theoretical and managerial implications by sharing management methods and practices towards a product portfolio aligned with the principles of circularity.
Daniel Jugend, Paula de Camargo Fiorini, Débora Amarante Teles, Fabiano Armellini, Marco Antonio Paula Pinheiro
Chapter 5. Barriers to Closed-Loop Supply Chains Implementation in Irish Medical Device Manufacturers: Bayesian Best–Worst Method Analysis
The medical device manufacturing industry is important to the Irish economy, but it is an industry that produces a lot of waste. Therefore, the introduction of a closed-loop supply chain could be very beneficial. This empirical study was conducted to identify what barriers prevent the successful implementation of a closed-loop supply chain to the industry. Industry experts’ pairwise comparisons of the barriers were used as inputs for the Bayesian Best–Worst Method to rank the barriers based on their relative importance to remove. This method contains an error with how weight is distributed to barriers in categories of different sizes and a novel adjusted global weight approach is presented. Product design was found to be the most important barrier to remove, and customer perception was found to be least important barrier to remove. Managerial actions and government policy recommendations are made to address the most severe barriers.
Robert Kelly, Pezhman Ghadimi, Chao Wang
Chapter 6. The Emergence of Circular Economy SMEs in Hong Kong: What is Needed to Invigorate the Dynamic
Later than other municipalities in the region, Hong Kong has embarked on the Circular Economy to address its sustainability challenges. While the government’s Circular Economy (CE) policy focus and support is exclusively centered on the waste recycling industry, a small but vibrant CE business segment has emerged over recent years. The present article deals with the question of how the young dynamic and the growth of this business field can be sustained into the future. By using an institutional evolutionary framework, the following paragraphs firstly analyze the divergence between official regulatory measures and CE business practices derived from a sample of 45 company cases. The resulting findings show that there is substantial room for formal institutional improvements, some of which are offered in form of a comprehensive set of general as well as tailormade recommendations.
B. Steuer
Chapter 7. A Quantitative Approach for Product Disassemblability Assessment
A majority of the products get discarded at end-of-life (EoL) causing environmental pollution and resulting in a complete loss of all materials and embodied energy. Adopting a closed-loop material flow approach can aid prevention of such losses and enable EoL value recovery from these products. Design and engineering decision choices and how products are used impact the capability to implement EoL strategies such as disassembly. Some underlying factors affecting the capability to implement product disassembly have been discussed in previous studies. However, relevant metrics and attributes are not well defined and comprehensive methods to quantitatively evaluate disassemblability is lacking. This study will first identify key lifecycle-oriented metrics affecting disassemblability. Then a methodology is proposed for the quantitative evaluation of disassemblability considering the quality of returns, product-design characteristics and process technology requirements. Finally, an industrial case study is presented to demonstrate the application of the proposed method.
Ammar Ali, Christian Enyoghasi, Fazleena Badurdeen
Chapter 8. A Review on the Life Cycle Assessment Phases of Cement and Concrete Manufacturing
Concrete is the most used construction material around the globe. The prime constituent of concrete is cement and its production accounts for 5% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Ingredients involved in cement and concrete manufacturing are derived from natural resources and their processing involves high energy demand and further emits lots of emissions. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool that can be used to assess the environmental impacts associated with the construction industry. This paper is a brief review of the methods followed in existing investigations on LCA of cement and concrete. The majority of LCA studies are following the ‘Cradle-to-Gate’ approach and primarily consists of global warming potential and greenhouse emissions while neglecting various other impacts like water consumption, wastewater, and solid waste generation along with harmful toxic emissions. These emissions along with the modern-day practice of utilizing various industrial waste in cement and concrete manufacturing must be included in inventory analysis to determine the best available technology for the construction industry.
Nitin Ankur, Navdeep Singh
Chapter 9. Use of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement and Recycled Waste Glass as Partial Aggregate Replacements in Concrete Pavements
This paper investigates the optimal ratio of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and recycled waste glass (RWG) in concrete pavements ensuring the standard structural strength and reducing the environmental costs. The absorption, compressive, flexural and splitting tensile strength tests were carried out on three groups of concrete specimens comprised of varying proportions of RAP and RWG. The laboratory experiments showed that concrete specimens containing recycled materials had better structural quality than that of controlled specimens with virgin aggregates. The specimens with 15% RAP and 15% RWG increased the compressive, splitting tensile and flexural strength by 9.36, 1 and 3.88%, respectively. The concrete blocks with 10% RAP and 20% RWG increased the compressive, splitting tensile and flexural strength by 18.77, 48.9 and 3.09%, respectively. The mixture of RAP and RWG in the concrete pavement would offset the environment impact of road construction by reducing the demand for virgin aggregates and pavement thickness.
Nisha Patel, Shohel Amin, Rahat Iqbal
Chapter 10. Recycling of Chrome-Copper-Arsenic Timber Through Cement Particleboard Manufacture
The use of chrome-copper-arsenic (CCA) treated timber for the manufacture of cement particleboards was studied to determine the mix design that provides the best mechanical strength. The cement particleboards showed a maximum in strength for a composition of cement-wood ratio of 1.5 which corroborates existing results in the literature. The thermal conductivity of the cement particleboard was lower than most building material but slightly higher than that of insulating materials. The thermal conductivity showed a variation with the water content indicating its suitability for use as a thermal regulator. Leaching studies revealed that the CCA leached from non-decontaminated CCA treated chips is high and decontamination will be required. The results showed that recycling of decontaminated CCA treated timber into cement particle board can constitute an economical solution for its disposal.
J. L. Liow, A. Khennane, M. Muley, H. Sorial, E. Katoozi
Chapter 11. Circular Economy in the Textile Industry: Evidence from the Prato District
The transition towards a Circular Economy is a topic of great concern for the textile and fashion industry, since such industry is one of the main polluting in the world. Although Circular Economy is now on the rise in the academia and on the policy agendas, this model is still underdeveloped in practice. Unlike polyester, wool has long been compatible with recycling processes, thus reducing environmental impact and contributing to closing the loop in a Circular Economy. In this context, the industrial district of Prato (Italy) has successfully established a woollen industry based on recycled wool since centuries. Thus, this paper presents three case studies of companies operating in the Prato district, to explore challenges and opportunities of Circular Economy in the textile industry. Design, legislation and competences emerged as the main challenges preventing the uptake, on a larger scale, of this model.
Gianmarco Bressanelli, Caterina Nesi, Nicola Saccani, Filippo Visintin
Chapter 12. Environmentally Friendly Disposal of End-Of-Life Plastics for Asphalt Production
Polymers and plastics are main constituents of a variety of daily life products. Nevertheless, there is great public concern on these materials mainly due to waste and end-of-life management. This work reports an alternative for the recycle and reuse of End-of-Life Plastics (EOLP), as performance-enhancing additives of asphalt for road pavement. Physical–mechanical characteristics of Bitumen 50/70 mixtures containing different percentages of EOLP and other polyolefin waste (Secondary primary polymeric materials, SPPM) are compared to standard Bitumen. All mixtures where characterised to determine tensile strength, resistance by Marshall tests and Marshal quotation, density, air voids, indirect tensile strength (ITS), indirect traction coefficient (ITC). Data highlight that use of EOLP as bitumen modifier allows to improve Marshall Stability and ITS of road asphalts. Moreover, benign features of this process clearly appear due to the increase in plastic reuse and recycling, reduced plastic incineration, bitumen and additives consumption, waste management costs, CO2 production.
Valentina Beghetto, Noemi Bardella, Vanessa Gatto, Silvia Conca, Roberto Sole, Nicola Ongaro, Giacomo Molin
Chapter 13. LCA of Reusing Carbon Fibers Recycled Through Solvolysis Process of Thermoset Composites
The life cycle assessment method was applied for the evaluation of the impacts related to the recycling process of carbon-fiber/thermoset composite through solvolysis and the reuse of the recovered carbon fibers in the production of new composite laminates. The avoided impacts were calculated for the case of replacing virgin carbon fibers and virgin glass fibers with recycled carbon fibers in the production of laminates for skis. Avoided impacts on the main impact categories were accounted by the CML mid-point impact assessment method. Damage on human health, resources and ecosystems were calculated with the Recipe end-point method. Reduced damages were found when replacing virgin fibers (both carbon and glass) with recycled carbon fibers. In our study we assumed that the recycled carbon fibers were ready to use and no other treatment was required. The life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to assist the eco-design of a new possible ski structure.
A. D. La Rosa, V. Leistad, Z. Gavric
Chapter 14. The Governance of Circular Plastics Supply Chain Collaboration
Scholarship discusses how to use the benefits of plastics by simultaneously eliminating the adverse effects. Research reveals innovation as an opportunity to oppose environmental degradation. In the specific case of plastics, there is a discussion of a transition from conventional towards circular business models and value chains by closing, slowing or narrowing loops. However, innovation of business models and the subsequent transition of value chains are not trivial issues and face various challenges. Particularly, a collaborative approach is crucial and the prerequisite for successful circular value chain development within value networks. Hence, we conduct qualitative research and run a multiple case study of value chain members in the petrochemical and plastic industries. Our article shows empirical evidence regarding circular business model innovation and associated circular value chain development in these industries. We acknowledge that an adequate governance is crucial for the promotion of sustainable value co-creation in value networks.
Felix Carl Schultz, Sebastian Everding
Role of Circular Economy in Resource Sustainability
Dr. Pezhman Ghadimi
Michael D. Gilchrist
Dr. Ming Xu
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