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  • 10 Reads
Geopolymers as a Sustainable Binder of 21st Century: A Review
Published: 12 November 2014 by MDPI AG in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Engineering and Science
Geopolymer is a new sustainable building material, developed to reduce CO2 foot print of existing cementing material. The material offers mechanical properties comparable to Ordinary Portland cements. Advantages associated with this material include thermal stability, acid resistance, compact structure, low density and ability to encapsulate hazardous wastes.Mainly composed of waste ashes and land fill material, this material shows multiple level of sustainability. Although, most of the research is focused in the field of construction industry, there is other utilization of this material. Catalysis, coating, encapsulation of hazardous waste and separation are some of the other applications. This review discusses a brief introduction geopolymer, its history and utilization in various fields. Goals for future research are also included as part of this review.
  • Open access
  • 8 Reads
Recovery of Sewer Waste Heat vs. Heat Pumps Using Borehole Geothermal Energy Storage for a Small Community Water Heating System: Comparison and Feasibility Analysis
The consumption of hot water represents a significant portion of national energy consumption and contributes to concerns associated with global climate change. Utilizing heat recovered from the sewer, or the stored heat by utilizing heat pumps with a borehole geothermal energy storage system, are simple and effective ways of heating water for domestic purposes. Reclaiming heat from the waste warm water that is discharged to the sewer or stored heat in a borehole geothermal energy storage system can help reduce natural gas energy consumption as well as the associated energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, sewer waste heat recovery is compared with heat pumps using geothermal energy storage systems for a small community shared water heating system including commercial and institutional buildings. It is found that the sewer heat exchanger method is relatively economical as it has the smallest rate of return on investment for the selected community size. The findings also demonstrate a reduction occurs in natural gas consumption and fewer CO2 gas emissions are emitted to the atmosphere. The results are intended to allow energy technology suppliers to work with communities while accounting appropriately for economic issues and CO2 emissions associated with these energy technologies.
  • Open access
  • 10 Reads
Universal Sustainability Code of Country Development as an Intelligent Stochastic Net
The paper analyses the following problem: how to create a stochastic net of intelligent solutions for compliancy of existing interests, possibilities and disposable resources' allocations while developing the strategy for nurturing universal sustainability of a middle-size country that does not possess abundant natural resources and, as a result, can use mainly intellectual resources while nurturing its own development.Why the universal sustainability category is used? Firstly, the UN, EU and a number of other global organizations and forums began to actively use the concept of universal sustainability in the analysis and projection of perspective. Secondly, the scientists and practitioners also resolutely search for adequate categories to distinguish the modern development processes, as well for valid theoretical solutions based on advanced development experience and scientifically-based development possibilities, as well as on adequate objectives and development models.Globalization has revealed a set of indispensable features of perspective and at the same time has emphasized the fact that orientation of the past and future towards certain development values and models could be inadequate to the well-being of civilization quality and longevity. The system of scientific knowledge, innovation and technologies as a tool of intelligence and means of showing where and how the civilization should develop vaguely undertakes the solutions for many recent political, social, humanitarian, ecological and other problems influencing the quality of civilization. Moreover, the optimization of value structure of training the powers of integral cluster of knowledge, innovation and technologies demands greater attention. Otherwise inexhaustible guarantee of civilization nurturing will become economically inaccessible with regard to many aspects of civilization preservation. The paper aims at thorough analysis of theoretical viewpoint towards small countries' universal sustainability development, inventorying the best practice of the separate development subsystems' universal sustainability. On this basis a stochastic network model of country development universal sustainability code should be formed, matching development interests, possibilities and disposable resources' allocation, and it should possess all the characteristics of complex adaptive systems.
  • Open access
  • 6 Reads
Environmental Assessment Design Tool Specially Developed for Mechanical Engineering Students
Published: 17 November 2014 by MDPI AG in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Sustainability Education and Approaches
Over the last two decades, the environmental conscience has been steadily growing. Nowadays a wide range of companies have started to measure the environmental impact of their products performing Life Cycle Assessment in order to reduce it and contribute to sustainable growing. This environmental awareness has also influenced legislation, for example, the European Union has devoted several laws to introduce ecodesign measures in energy-using and energy-related products. However, although most industrial products (TVs, computers, cars...) are designed and developed by engineers, most of them have not received environmental training in their university studies. In order to teach environmental design concepts to mechanical engineering undergraduates, an environmental impact assessment tool has been created. In this paper the ECOCAD software is shown, as commercially LCA software is not prepared to be used by untrained users. ECOCAD allows students to easily analyze the influence of design decisions on the environmental impact of a component, allowing them to compare different materials (steel, aluminum, plastics... each one with different Young Modules and elastic admissible strains), calculating how the safety coefficient changes depending on the loading conditions. Also the environmental impact of manufacturing processes (stamping, plastic injection, thermoforming, die cast, extrusion....), transportation from suppliers, and to the final customers (truck, train, freight ship...), and end-of-life treatments (recycling, incineration, land-filling...) can be taken into account, allowing the students to fully understand how design decisions influence the environmental impact of a product and compare design alternatives.