Management Prospects of Winery By-Products Based on Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Grape Skins: The Case of Greek Ionian Islands

The aim of this work was to recover phenolic compounds from grape skins produced in Greek varieties of the Ionian Islands in order to form the basis of calculations for their further utilization in the context of the circular economy. Isolation and further utilization of phenolic compounds is an important issue in winery by-products. For this purpose, 37 samples were collected, extracted, and analyzed in an attempt to provide the appropriate basis for their sustainable exploitation. Extraction of the bioactive compounds was held using an eco-friendly, non-toxic, and highly effective water-glycerol solvent system. Then, extracts were analyzed using UV-Vis, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), FTIR, and Raman spectroscopy. Also, total phenolic content and antioxidant activity were measured. LC-MS chromatography showed qualitative differences between different varieties. Peaks were attributed to monomeric 3-flavanols as well as monomeric, dimeric, and trimeric proanthocyanidins. The FT-IR and Raman spectra agreed with the chromatographic data and contributed to identifying phenolic compounds. Grape skins exhibited high total phenolic content (TPC), and it was proved that during vinification, a large number of polyphenols remained in the pomace. This study confirmed that grape skins from Ionian Islands are a promising source of bioactive compounds, suggesting their utilization under a bio-economic and environmental strategic framework.

Territories' Challenges and Opportunities to Promote Circular Economy in the Building Sector

The rapid development of cities implies significant material inflows and outflows. The construction sector is one of the main consumers of raw materials and producers of waste. The waste from the building sector, for its quantity and potential for recovery, constitutes significant deposits requiring major efforts, by combining different actors, to achieve the circular economy's objectives. It is necessary to understand and know the current construction actors' knowledge of stocks, urban metabolism, deposits, and recovery practices in this context. This article aims to explore the role of local governments in planning strategies by facilitating a circular economy. In particular, the principal opportunities and challenges of communities for applying the principles of the circular economy in the building sector will be identified. The approach used for the study was to conduct semi-structured interviews with those responsible for circular economy projects within local administrations of some communities in France. The results show territories' involvement in the inclusion and application of the principles of the circular economy in the building sector. The main challenges encountered are numerous, hence the importance of having identified and described them so that the different actors can work to meet them.

Analyzing the Potential of Job Creation by Taking the First Step Towards Circular Economy: Case Study of Brazil

The Brazilian economic projections and social indicators show a future of crisis for the country. Solutions to avoid this crisis scenario are necessary. Several developed countries implement initiatives linked to sustainability, mainly related to the circular economy, to solve their crises quickly - green recovery. This article aims to assess social gains if Brazil followed the same recovery strategy. Furthermore, with the use of data presented and recognized in the international academic society, the number of jobs that can be created, if Brazil took the first steps towards a more circular economy, was found. Moreover, in addition to the gross value in the number of jobs created, this article also detailed the number of these jobs by type of activity (collection, processing, and manufacturing) and by type of material.

Eco-Design of Multifunctional System Based on a Shape Memory Polymer and ZnO Nanoparticles for Sportswear

Since the beginning of the 20th century, sportswear has a major contribution to the impact of fashion on our lives. Nowadays, the embracing of sportswear fashion/looks is undoubtedly noticeable, as the modern consumer searches for high comfort and linear aesthetics for its clothes. This compromise lead to the arise of the athleisure trend. Athleisure surges as a new style area that combines both wearability and fashion sense, differentiated from the archetypal sportswear, usually associated to “gym clothes”. Additionally, the possibility to functionalize and implement new technologies have shifted and progressively empowers the connection between the concepts of physical activities practice and well-being, allowing clothing to be more interactive and responsive with its surroundings. In this study, a design inspired in retro and urban lifestyle was envisioned, engineering textile structures that can respond to external stimuli. These structures are enhanced to be responsive to heat, water vapor and humidity, integrating shape memory polymers (SMP) to improve the breathability and heat-responsive behavior of the textiles and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) to heighten the surface hydrophobic properties. The best results for hydrophobic exhibited superhydrophobic behavior with water contact angle (WAC) of more than 150 degrees. For the breathability and heat-response properties, SMP-coated samples showed an increase in water vapour permeability values of about 50% when compared with non SMP-coated samples. These innovative technological approaches were endorsed to design innovative clothing, in line with circular economy and eco-design principles, by assigning a substantial degree of mutability and versatility to the clothing. The development of a coat and shirt, in which different parts can be purchased separately to create multiple products, aims to combine the technicality of both the fabrics used and the making of the garments. This concept translates itself into a real constructive mechanism through the symbiosis of high-tech functionalities and the timeless design that follows the athleisure aesthetics.

Incorporating Circular Economy into Passive Design Strategies in Tropical Nigeria

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.

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

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.

Perspectives on Sustainable Bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea Region

‘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.

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

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.

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

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.

Sustainability Assessment of a Deconstructed Residential House

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.

Procedure for Impact Testing of Fused Recycled Glass

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.

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

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.

Evaluation of a Remanufacturing for Lithium Ion Batteries from Electric Cars

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.

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

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.