Environmental Benefits (environmental + benefit)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The evaluation of small cogeneration for residential heating

Kris R. Voorspools
Abstract The decision whether or not to install small cogeneration for residential purposes mainly depends on individual economic considerations, combined with ecological awareness. Since in most cases, the economic balance is still unfavourable, government grants are considered in order to bridge this economic barrier. It is however still unclear how these grants are best spent to obtain an optimal environmental benefit. In the case of cogeneration, mainly static and simplified methods are used, completely neglecting the dynamic interaction between the cogeneration systems and the central power system and the dynamic response of the cogeneration units themselves. In this paper, these issues are discussed in two parts. The first part clarifies how an actual cogeneration unit, if necessary in combination with a back-up boiler and heat storage, will respond to a certain demand. For this purpose, experiments were performed to establish the transient and stationary behaviour of the system. It is shown that the transient heating of the cogeneration engine is rather slow (e.g. half an hour after cold start, the engine only produced 65% of the heat it would have in stationary regime) where the electric transient behaviour is negligible. In the second part of the paper, dynamic simulations are performed to quantify the impact (primary energy saving and reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions) of the massive installation of cogeneration for residential heating. Two important parameters are isolated. First, the interaction with the expansion of the central power system is very important. If the installation of cogeneration prevents the commissioning of new power plants, the potential energy saving and (especially) emission reduction are reduced. The second parameter is the annual use of the cogeneration units. Here, the potential energy saving and emission reduction increase with increasing annual use. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Identification, evaluation and development of new products for environmental benefit

AICHE JOURNAL, Issue 4 2000
Richard H. Schlosberg
No abstract is available for this article. [source]


Zeyuan Qiu
Abstract: This study evaluates the economic value of riparian buffers and open space in a suburban watershed through two nonmarket valuation methods. A contingent valuation survey was implemented in the Dardenne Creek watershed, a suburban watershed of the St. Louis metropolitan area in Missouri, to evaluate the residents' perceptions of and willingness to pay (WTP) for adopting riparian buffers and preserving farmland in a hypothetical real estate market. A hedonic pricing model based on actual sale prices of homes in the watershed was applied to estimate the market value of open space and other environmental conditions such as flood zone and stream proximity in the study area. The results showed that residents' WTP was consistent with the economic values of open space and proximity to streams embedded in existing home prices. Through a better understanding of residents' perceptions and values, riparian buffer and open space programs can be designed and promoted to achieve greater implementation success and environmental benefit. [source]

Achieving Integrative, Collaborative Ecosystem Management

beneficios sociales y ecológicos; gestión; participación pública; toma de decisiones cooperativa Abstract:,Although numerous principles have been identified as being important for successfully integrating social and ecological factors in collaborative management, few authors have illustrated how these principles are used and why they are effective. On the basis of a review of the ecosystem management and collaboration literature, we identified eight factors important for integrative, collaborative ecosystem management,integrated and balanced goals, inclusive public involvement, stakeholder influence, consensus group approach, collaborative stewardship, monitoring and adaptive management, multidisciplinary data, and economic incentives. We examined four cases of successful ecosystem management to illustrate how the factors were incorporated and discuss the role they played in each case's success. The cases illustrate that balancing social and ecosystem sustainability goals is possible. Collaborative efforts resulted in part from factors aimed at making plans economically feasible and from meaningful stakeholder participation in ongoing management. It also required participation in monitoring programs to ensure stakeholder interests were protected and management efforts were focused on agreed-upon goals. Data collection efforts were not all-inclusive and systematic; rather, they addressed the ecological, economic, and social aspects of key issues as they emerged over time. Economic considerations appear to be broader than simply providing economic incentives; stakeholders seem willing to trade some economic value for recreational or environmental benefits. The cases demonstrate that it is not idealistic to believe integrative, collaborative ecosystem management is possible in field applications. Resumen:,Aunque numerosos principios han sido identificados como importantes para la integración exitosa de factores sociales y ecológicos en la gestión cooperativa, pocos autores han ilustrado como son utilizados estos principios y porque son efectivos. Con base en una revisión de la literatura sobre gestión de ecosistemas y colaboración, identificamos cinco factores,metas integradas y balanceadas, inclusive participación pública, influencia de grupos de interés, estrategia de consenso en el grupo, gestión cooperativa, gestión adaptativa y monitoreo, datos multidisciplinarios e incentivos económicos,que son importantes para la gestión integradora y cooperativa de ecosistemas. Examinamos cuatro casos de gestión exitosa de ecosistemas para ilustrar como fueron incorporados los factores y discutimos el papel que jugaron en el éxito de cada caso. Los casos ilustran que el balance de metas de sustentabilidad social y ecológica es posible. En parte, los esfuerzos cooperativos resultaron de factores orientados a hacer que los planes fueran económicamente viables y de la participación significativa de grupos de interés en la gestión en curso. También se requirió la participación en programas de monitoreo para asegurar que los intereses de los grupos fueran protegidos y los esfuerzos de gestión se enfocaran en las metas acordadas. No todos los esfuerzos de recolecta de datos fueron incluyentes y sistemáticos, más bien, eran dirigidos a los aspectos ecológicos, económicos y sociales de temas clave a medida que emergían. Las consideraciones económicas parecen ser más amplias que simplemente proporcionar incentivos económicos, los grupos de interés parecen dispuestos a cambiar algo de valor económico por beneficios recreativos o ambientales. Los casos demuestran que no es idealista pensar que es posible aplicar la gestión integradora y cooperativa de ecosistemas en el campo. [source]

The importance of mangrove forest in tsunami disaster mitigation

DISASTERS, Issue 2 2009
Rabindra Osti
Tsunamis and storm surges have killed more than one million people and some three billion people currently live with a high risk of these disasters, which are becoming more frequent and devastating worldwide. Effective mitigation of such disasters is possible via healthy coastal forests, which can reduce the energy of tsunamis. In recent years, these natural barriers have declined due to adverse human and natural activities. In the past 20 years, the world has lost almost 50 per cent of its mangrove forests, making them one of the most endangered landscapes. It is essential to recover them and to use them as a shield against a tsunami and as a resource to secure optimal socio-economic, ecological and environmental benefits. This paper examines the emerging scenario facing mangrove forests, discusses protection from tsunamis, and proposes a way to improve the current situation. We hope that practical tips will help communities and agencies to work collectively to achieve a common goal. [source]

Destocking as a Drought,mitigation Strategy: Clarifying Rationales and Answering Critiques

DISASTERS, Issue 3 2002
John Morton
The idea of externally assisted emergency destocking of pastoralists has gained currency in recent years: increasing the incentives for pastoralists to sell animals, or removing the constraints to selling animals in the early stages of drought. We identify two separate rationales put forward by proponents of destocking: environmental benefits and purchasing power/welfare benefits. We consider whether specific recent critiques of ,new range ecology' and specifically of ,tracking policies' do in fact provide arguments against emergency destocking in pastoralist areas. We illustrate some of these themes with a case study of a successful destocking exercise in northern Kenya where a very specific form of support was requested and received by pastoralists themselves. The sorts of destocking that work are likely to have significant effects on pastoralist purchasing power at key points of the drought cycle, but minimal effects on the environment. Clarifying these points will make it easier to promote destocking as a drought,mitigation policy. [source]


L. Lynne Kiesling
Smart metering can bring significant benefits to electricity markets by allowing customers to reduce demand or increase supply when generation capacity is temporarily scarce. To reap the full efficiency and environmental benefits of this technology, regulators must allow price volatility and free entry into the market. The efficiency gains are enormous as both demand and supply will be affected by both temporary and longer-lasting price changes. Experiments have shown the value of this approach. [source]

The role of organizational capabilities in cleaner technology adoption: an analysis of the response of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Ireland to IPC licensing regulations

Rachel M. Hilliard
Abstract In introducing integrated pollution control licensing, regulators hope to achieve economic advantages as well as environmental benefits. The licensing is used as a vehicle for encouraging firms to adopt cleaner technology, potentially allowing firms to achieve economic advantages through process efficiencies and reduced environmental control costs. In Ireland, the regulatory approach has been to require firms to make managerial changes in the belief that this is a necessary precursor to the take-up of new technology. This paper examines how the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector has responded to environmental regulations that require cleaner technology adoption and managerial changes. Quantitative indicators are developed using data reported to the Irish Environmental Protection Agency. Analysis shows that firms were differentially able to implement both cleaner technology and the mandated managerial processes. The implications for policy are that regulatory instruments designed to stimulate cleaner technology may not be sufficient to promote change in firms, given that the influence of these instruments is mediated by the role of firm-specific, experience-based organizational capabilities. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Importance of implementation and residual risk analyses in sediment remediation

Richard J Wenning
Abstract Management strategies for addressing contaminated sediments can include a wide range of actions, ranging from no action, to the use of engineering controls, to the use of more aggressive, intrusive activities related to removing, containing, or treating sediments because of environmental or navigation considerations. Risk assessment provides a useful foundation for understanding the environmental benefits, residual hazards, and engineering limitations of different remedy alternatives and for identifying or ranking management options. This article, part of a series of panel discussion papers on sediment remediation presented at the Third International Conference on Remediation of Contaminated Sediments held 20,25 January 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, reviews 2 types of risk that deserve careful consideration when evaluating remedy alternatives. The evaluation of remedy implementation risks addresses predominantly short-term engineering issues, such as worker and community health and safety, equipment failures, and accident rates. The evaluation of residual risks addresses predominantly longer-term biological and environmental issues, such as ecological recovery, bioaccumulation, and relative changes in exposure and effects to humans, aquatic biota, and wildlife. Understanding the important pathways for contaminant exposure, the human and wildlife populations potentially at risk, and the possible hazards associated with the implementation of different engineering options will contribute to informed decision making with regard to short- and long-term effectiveness, implementability, and potential environmental hazards. [source]

YBaCuO and REBaCuO HTS for Applications

Herbert C. Freyhardt
The discovery of electrical conductors that carry loss-less currents at liquid nitrogen temperatures and above, high-temperature superconductors (HTS), inspired the imaginations of scientists and engineers in an unprecedented way. It culminated in a broad search for an understanding of their basic phenomena and properties, but also for new classes of the HTS. The availability of these materials created novel ideas of their use for effective and economical generation, transport, and use of electric energy. YBaCuO and related REBaCuO HTS compounds still belong to the most attractive workhorses. This contribution intends to illustrate the efforts to manufacture from these HTS bulk monoliths, wires, tapes, or conductors, which would be needed for novel components and devices for electrical and power engineering, devices that offer not only an effective use of energy but also broad environmental benefits and, furthermore, help to safe resources. The research and developments discussed are mainly focused on efforts in Europe. [source]

A review on energy, economical, and environmental benefits of the use of CHP systems for small commercial buildings for the North American climate

P. J. Mago
Abstract The use of combined heating and power (CHP) systems to produce both electricity and heat is increasing rapidly due to their high potential of reducing primary energy consumption (PEC), cost, and emissions in domestic, commercial, and industrial applications. In addition to producing both electricity and heat, CHP systems can be coupled with vapor compression systems to provide cooling. This paper analyzes a natural gas engine CHP system together with a vapor compression system for different American climate zones. Performance is measured in terms of operational costs, PEC, and carbon dioxide emissions as a percent of a reference building. The objective of this paper is to compare the performance of a CHP system operating 24,h a day with a system that only operates during typical office hours. Furthermore, the system is optimized based on reducing PEC, minimizing costs, and reducing emissions. In addition, the benefits of CHP systems based on the Energy Star program and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program are presented. Results show that, in general, it is more beneficial to operate the CHP system during typical office hours than to operate the system 24,h a day. Also, the CHP system performance strongly depends on the location where it is installed. In addition to reductions in cost, primary energy, and emissions, CHP systems can help achieve the Energy Star label for commercial office buildings and help obtain LEED points that go toward achieving LEED certification status. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Application of nano-modified surfaces for fouling mitigation

M. R. Malayeri
Abstract Energy lost due to fouling of heat exchangers accounts for at least 2% of the total world energy production per year. The overwhelming proportion of these losses is compensated by additional consumption of fossil energy carriers. Not surprisingly, this comes with an enormous energy price-tag as well as considerable green-house gas emissions, acidification of water resources and release of chemical fouling inhibitors. Any solution towards the mitigation of fouling will, therefore, provide significant economic and environmental benefits. In the present paper, the performance of innovative nano-modified surfaces is described when subjected to calcium sulphate scale deposition during convective heat transfer. Two types of non-structured and structured nano-modified surfaces are examined. The experimental results demonstrate that such coatings will significantly increase the induction time before fouling starts and also reduce the subsequent fouling rate, in comparison with untreated stainless steel surfaces. Considering these promising results and the potential application of nanotechnology to combat fouling, the paper continues by discussing the demands on thermal and mechanical stabilities that such coatings will have to satisfy. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

An economic and environmental assessment of biomass utilization in lignite-fired power plants of Greece

P. Grammelis
Abstract The environmental and socio-economic impacts of biomass utilization by co-firing with brown coal in an existing thermoelectric unit in Greece or through its pure combustion in a new plant were studied and evaluated in this work. The 125 MWe lignite-fired power plant in Ptolemais Power Station (Western Macedonia) was used as reference system. The environmental benefits of the alternative biomass exploitation options were quantified based on the life cycle assessment methodology, as established by SETAC, while the BIOSEM technique was used to carry out socio-economic calculations. The obtained results showed clear environmental benefits of both biomass utilization alternatives in comparison with the reference system. In addition, co-firing biomass with lignite in an existing unit outperforms the combustion of biomass exclusively in a new plant, since it exhibits a better environmental performance and it is a low risk investment with immediate benefits. A biomass combustion unit requires a considerably higher capital investment and its benefits are more evident in the long run. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Developing a new cost-efficient control strategy for an actual confectionery plant through the combined exploitation of experimental and numerical analysis

Piero Lunghi
Abstract Achieving energy absorption reductions while improving indoor air quality is a major task when designing new air conditioning systems. A cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency without compromising the thermal comfort consists of developing better control. In the present work, an extensive experimental campaign has been coupled with a theoretical analysis with an effective approach. A simulation tool has been implemented and, through its predictions, an efficient control strategy has been developed in a system that resulted in significant energy savings and environmental benefits. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Life cycle assessment of a PPV plant applied to an existing SUW management system

Francesco Di Maria
Abstract The huge amount of wastes produced by modern and developed countries involves important aspects of economical, social and technical fields and also of the environment. For this reason, different technologies have been proposed for trying to reduce the impact of waste management and disposal. Generally waste management system consists of different steps like selective collection, recycling and reuse operation, energy recovery from waste and landfilling. A new technology proposed for thermal waste treatment is the plasma pyrolysis vetrification (PPV). This system seems to have interesting perspective due to the possibility of thermal treatment of dangerous slag or waste producing inactivate vetrified substances that can be landfilled or used as building materials with no impact on the environment. In this study, the effect of the application of a PPV plant on an existing waste management system was evaluated with a life cycle assessment (LCA) analysis. All the activities connected to the existing system have been carefully analysed by collecting a large quantity of experimental data. Some assumptions have been made, in particular, on the PPV plant performance. LCA analysis results illustrate how the environmental benefits arising from the adoption of the new technology, concerns only few aspects of the whole system. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

The effect of introducing pipelines into irrigation water distribution systems on the farm economy: a case study in the Southern Governorates Rural Development Project, Republic of Yemen,

Rozgar Baban
le Yémen; eau souterraine; irrigation; tuyaux Abstract The Southern Governorates Rural Development Project (SGRDP) is a comprehensive participatory rural development project covering three of the five southern Governorates of the Republic of Yemen, namely Hadramaut, Abyan and Lahij. Its objective is to alleviate poverty in rural areas of these three Governorates. A major component of the project is to develop virgin lands for agriculture and allocate each 5 feddan (FD) plot to those farmers who do not own land (1 FD=4200 m2). As the annual rainfall in the project area is less than 100 mm and since landlords and other farmers already own lands suitable for agriculture in the major wadis, the only source of irrigation water in the newly developed land is the groundwater (GW). The SGRDP is aware of the scarcity of water resources in the country, particularly in the project area; it therefore makes every possible effort to optimize the use of GW for irrigation by practical means. One way of reducing GW used for irrigation is by replacing major canals in the farms by buried pipelines. This method has been tried in small-scale individual farms outside the project area and it proved that farmers could adapt to the system without difficulty. Sprinkler and drip irrigation systems have been tried in many previous agricultural development projects in the country but with no apparent success, as far as the farmers' adoption of the method is concerned. Thus, the project, as the first stage to reduce the use of GW for irrigation in the newly developed areas, planned to eliminate, initially, the conveyance losses by replacing the open canals by buried PVC pipes. In this paper, it is attempted to show that the use of buried pipes in small scale irrigation schemes is financially feasible, even if the indirect and non-tangible environmental benefits are not considered. This paper deals only with special GW schemes recommended for the project area; however, the outcome could be generalized and applied elsewhere in the country. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Le Projet de Développement Rural des Gouvernorats du Sud (SGRDP) est un ensemble de projet de développement rural participatif de trois des cinq Gouvernorats de la République de Yémen à savoir Hadramaut, Abyan et Lahij. Son objectif est d'atténuer la pauvreté dans les régions rurales de ces Gouvernorats. L'une des principales activités de ce projet concerne le développement des terres incultes pour l'agriculture. Ce développement passe par l'allocation de parcelles de 5 FD à chaque agriculteur sans terre. Comme la pluviosité annuelle dans cette région est inférieure à 100 mm et que les propriétaires et les autres fermiers disposent déjà des terres aptes à l'agriculture dans les WADIS importants, l'eau souterraine est la seule source d'eau pour l'irrigation des terres nouvellement développées. Compte tenu de la rareté des ressources en eau, particulièrement dans la région du projet, le SGRDP s'efforce d'optimiser l'utilisation de l'eau souterraine (ES) pour l'irrigation en adoptant des moyens pratiques. L'un des moyens de réduire l'ES utilisée en irrigation consiste à remplacer les principaux canaux des fleuves par des tuyaux enterrés. Cette méthode a été utilisée à titre d'essai dans des exploitations individuelles de petite taille en dehors de la région du projet, et il s'est avéré que les agriculteurs peuvent s'adapter à ce système sans difficultés. Les systèmes d'irrigation par aspersion et goutte à goutte ont été essayés dans de nombreux anciens projets de développement agricoles du pays, mais sans succès apparent quant à l'adoption de cette méthode par les fermiers. Ainsi, le projet, en tant que première stade de réduction de l'ES pour l'irrigation dans les régions nouvellement développées, a proposé d'éliminer au début les pertes par transport en remplaçant les canaux ouverts par des tuyaux PVC enterrés. Ce rapport essaie de montrer que l'utilisation des tuyaux enterrés dans les projets d'irrigation de petite taille, est faisable du point de vue économique même en faisant abstraction des avantages indirects et non tangibles provenant de l'environnement. Le rapport traite seulement des projets spéciaux de l'ES recommandés pour la région du projet. Cependant, les résultats peuvent être généralisés et appliqués aux autres régions du pays. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. [source]

The Governance of Rural Land in a Liberalised World

Ian Hodge
Abstract Liberalisation of agricultural policies reduces the influence of policy on land-use decisions, but environmental policy objectives remain. Governance provides an approach that recognises the role of institutions and collective action. The formulation of environmental policy objectives in terms of the provision of public goods raises questions as to the role of economic valuation and as to whether the definition of ,goods' may misdirect policy attention. An alternative approach relates to ecosystem services and sees management issues in terms of ecosystem resilience and the adaptive governance of socio-ecological systems. Governance involves a mix of regulation, markets, government incentives and collective action. Regulation sets the domain within which markets operate and social judgements as to property rights are required as a basis for exchanges. Depending on commodity prices, agri-environment schemes may be required either to reduce agricultural production intensity or to keep land under production. The diffuse nature of the environmental benefits and costs of land uses, the complexity of ecosystems and the need to co-ordinate land management decisions indicate a role for local adaptive co-management of land resources. Governments play a major role in supporting the institutional framework within which this can take place. [source]

Soil Conservation Tillage Effects on Yield and Water Use Efficiency on Irrigated Crops in Central Italy

R. Casa
Abstract Despite possible agronomic and environmental benefits, the diffusion of soil conservation tillage systems in Italy is currently rather low. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of different soil tillage techniques, in an effort to identify suitable soil management options for irrigated crops in Central Italy. An experiment was carried out on maize and soybean from April to October in two consecutive years (1993 and 1994) in Maccarese (a coastal location near Rome). The systems compared were: conventional mouldboard ploughing (CT), minimum tillage, ridge tillage and no-tillage (NT). In 1993, actual crop evapotranspiration was measured throughout the growing season on NT and CT soybean, using a micrometeorological technique. No significant differences due to soil tillage were found for grain yield and yield irrigation water use efficiency (IWUEy), except for soybean in 1994, in which yields and IWUEy were 59 % higher on conservation tillage treatments compared with CT. In 1994 soybean yield water use efficiency was 10.1 and 9.5 kg ha,1 mm,1 for NT and CT respectively. The results suggest that the adoption of soil conservation tillage is feasible, for the specific cropping system, with equivalent or better performances as conventional tillage. [source]

Habitat connectivity and matrix restoration: the wider implications of agri-environment schemes

Summary 1The spread and intensification of agriculture are recognized as two of the most important global threats to wildlife. There are clear links between agricultural change and declines in biodiversity across a wide range of agricultural systems, and convincing evidence that reversing these changes leads to a recovery in wildlife populations. 2Nearly 4 billion euros are now paid annually through agri-environment schemes (AES) to farmers in Europe and North America to make environmental improvements to their land. Where appropriately designed and targeted, these schemes have proved successful in reversing declines in farmland wildlife populations. 3We argue that insights gained from island biogeography and metapopulation theory, and from theoretical and empirical assessments of landscape connectivity suggest that AES may carry substantial wider benefits, which so far have not been considered in the design and deployment of such schemes. ,Softening' agricultural land could offset some of the negative impacts on biodiversity of the loss and fragmentation of non-agricultural habitats; could allow species to adapt to climate change; could slow the spread of alien and invasive species; and could contribute positively to the coherence of key biodiversity and protected area networks. Indeed, AES might represent the only viable way to counter these threats. 4We outline a number of ways in which these wider benefits could be taken account of in the design of AES and suggest a number of characteristics of the species most likely to benefit from them. 5Synthesis and applications. Agri-environment schemes might bring significant environmental benefits to habitats other than farmland by restoring the agricultural matrix that separates them. Theoretical and empirical research suggests that matrix restoration improves a number of ecosystem functions. Where they are available, AES might therefore represent a viable mechanism for addressing a range of pandemic environmental problems such as global climate change. Little consideration has so far been given to these wider conservation applications in the design, deployment and monitoring of AES. [source]

The Economic and Environmental Implications of Centralized Stock Keeping

H. Scott Matthews
Summary Recent changes to the management of inventory and warehousing methods have created significant changes in business processes. These changes have produced economic savings to firms from reduced handling of supplies. The system-wide impacts of this shift in methods on overall cost and the environment are still unclear, however. Reductions in inventories can provide significant environmental savings. In this article, we analyze the changes in inventory control methods and assess the environmental and cost tradeoffs between increased trucking and more efficient centralized warehouses. We consider the case of consolidating the spare-parts inventory at U.S. Department of Defense warehouses and discuss similarities to other existing businesses. The case suggests large economic and environmental benefits due to reductions in warehousing expenses, despite higher transportation costs. [source]


Ted L. Napier
ABSTRACT: Data were collected in the fall of 1998 and the winter of 1999 from 1,011 land owner-operators within three watersheds in the North Central Region of the United States to assess adoption of soil and water protection practices. Farm owner-operators were asked to indicate how frequently they used 18 different agricultural production practices. Many farmers within the three watersheds had adopted conservation protection practices. However, they also employed production practices that could negate many of the environmental benefits associated with conservation practices in use. Comparison of adoption behaviors used in the three watersheds revealed significant differences among the study groups. Respondents in the Iowa and Ohio watersheds reported greater use of conservation production systems than did farmers in Minnesota. However, there were no significant differences between Ohio and Iowa farmers in terms of use of conservation production practices. This was surprising, since farmers in the Ohio watershed had received massive amounts of public and private investments to motivate them to adopt and to continue using conservation production systems. These findings bring into serious question the use of traditional voluntary conservation programs such as those employed in the Ohio watershed. Study findings suggest that new policy approaches should be considered. It is argued that "whole farm planning" should be a significant component of new agricultural conservation policy. [source]

Preparation and application of a novel environmentally friendly organic seed coating for rice

Defang Zeng
Abstract BACKGROUND: Traditional rice seed coating techniques involve the use of chemical pesticides, which can damage the seed in the process and cause possible physical and environmental damage. Increasing knowledge and concern about the traditional applications have brought new attention to the industry and the search for a novel coating agent that is effective, safe and environmentally friendly. A new type of organic rice seed coating agent was developed using liquid-based polymeric adhesives. By using chitosan as the main raw material, modified with sodium hydroxide and polymerised with plant growth regulators and other additives, the novel seed coating agent is a safer, cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative. RESULTS: The novel seed coating agent significantly enhanced sprout growth over traditional agents. We found it has obvious biological advantages: it stimulates the seedling growth of rice, advances the growth of root, improves root activity and increases the crop yield in the germination test and field trial. Compared with the traditional rice seed coating agent, the crop yield of seeds coated by the novel seed coating agent was increased by 5%, and at 25% less cost. The fungal inhibition test of the novel seed coating agent and acute toxicity test on fish showed that it has an obvious fungal inhibitory effect and a higher safety index during usage and disposal. CONCLUSION: This result suggests that treating seeds with the novel seed coating agent has significant agricultural implications through the enhanced seed vigour as reflected in growth. It is efficient and effective, resulting in better seed and crop protection. The novel seed coating agent demonstrates unique characteristics with great economic and environmental benefits. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

Winter cover crops for local ecosystems: linking plant traits and ecosystem function

Brook J Wilke
Abstract Winter cover crops are capable of supplying multiple economic and environmental benefits in temperate environments of North America, but the lack of adapted populations for specific environmental and agricultural contexts has resulted in cover crops that are unreliable and perform ecosystem functions unevenly. To maximize the benefits provided by winter cover crops, we argue for trait selection by crop scientists that is cognizant of desired ecosystem functions, with the goal of providing commercially available populations that have variable functions. We illustrate this approach through a case study of a promising winter annual legume cover crop, hairy vetch (Vicia villosa). Six key traits and associated functions are considered within specific agroecological contexts. We discuss tradeoffs that may occur among desired plant traits and illustrate how over-selection for a particular trait could negatively affect performance and overall benefits from a cover crop. Intraspecific combinations of complementary cover crops are suggested as means to achieve multiple agroecosystem functions. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

The coming of age of agroforestry

PK Ramachandran Nair
The success of modern agricultural and forestry production can be largely attributed to monoculture systems using a few select species. In the drive for maximizing yield and profit, the age-old tradition of using combined farming systems was essentially avoided and in some cases this has resulted in environmental problems such as land and water degradation and increased land clearing. During the last 30 years, however, the positive benefits of agroforestry to the producer and the environment have been increasingly recognized. Combining trees and crops in spatial or temporal arrangements has been shown to improve food and nutritional security and mitigate environmental degradation, offering a sustainable alternative to monoculture production. By providing supportive and complimentary roles with a flexible approach, agroforestry can offer specific social and environmental benefits across a range of landscapes and economies. More research and effort is needed to explore the full potential of agroforestry applications and to fuel awareness. As the plethora of benefits of agroforestry are realized, modern land-use systems are evolving towards a more sustainable and holistic approach to land management. Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

Effects of Fungal Phytase on Utilization of Dietary Protein and Minerals, and Dephosphorylation of Phytic Acid in the Alimentary Tract of Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus Fed an All-Plant-Protein Diet

Weibing Yan
A feeding trial was conducted to quantify the effects of phytase at levels of 0, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, and 8,000 units (U) per kg diet on utilization of dietary protein and minerals by fingerling (12 g) channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus fed an all-plant-protein diet composed of soybean meal, corn, and wheat middlings. The effects of phytase on dephosphorylation of phytic acid (phytate) in the alimentary tract of catfish also were determined. After 14 wk, mean weight gains (30.2,43.9 g/fish), feed conversion ratios (2.27,2.40 g feed consumed/g weight gain), protein efficiency ratios (1.47,1.61 g weight gaid/g protein consumed), and dietary protein retentions (23.8,26.7%) did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) among treatment groups. A digestibility trial conducted after the feeding trial showed no difference (P > 0.05) in mean digestibility of diet dry matter (49.0,58.3%) or crude protein (85.4-88.5%) among treatment groups. Concentrations of ash (46.7,48.6%), calcium (Ca, 17.9,18.5%), phosphorus (P, 9.1,9.5%), and manganese (Mn, 65.5,74.1 mg/kg) were significantly higher (P , 0.05) in bone of fish fed , 500 U/kg than in bone of fish fed 0 U/kg (ash, 43.5%; Ca, 16.4%; P, 8.4%; and Mn, 49.0 ma/kg), but concentrations of these minerals did not differ (P > 0.05) in bone of fish fed , 500 Uk/g. The magnesium (Mg) content of bone did not differ (P > 0.05) between fish fed 0 U/kg (0.29%) or 500 U/kg (0.34%), but was significantly lower in fish fed 0 U/kg than in fish fed , 1,000 U/kg (0.35,37%). Bone Mg levels did not differ (P > 0.05) among fish fed , 500 U/kg. The amount of zinc (Zn) in bone of fish fed 8,000 U/kg (153.3 mg/kg) was significantly higher than that in fish fed 0 U/kg (115.7 mg/kg) or 500 U/kg (130.3 mg/ kg), but did not differ from Zn levels in bone of fish fed 1,000,4,000 U/kg (134.5,135.8 mg/ kg). Dephosphorylation of phytate occurred primarily in the stomach within 2,8 h after diet ingestion, depending on the level of phytase supplementation. Initial levels of total phytate in the diet decreased 32,94% in stomach contents of fish fed l,000,8,000 U/kg within 2 h after feeding. Eight hours after feeding, stomach contents of fish fed , 1,000 U/kg contained less than 6% of initial total dietary phytate. Stomach contents of fish fed 500 U/kg retained 92% of initial total dietary phytate 2 h after feeding and 15% of total dietary phytate 8 h after feeding. Results of this study indicate that phytase supplementation at levels up to 8,000 U/kg diet did not increase weight gain or improve dietary protein utilization of channel catfish fed an all-plant-protein diet. Addition of phytase at a level of 1,000 U/kg diet was sufficient to significantly increase the Ca, P, Mg, and Mn content of bone, relative to fish fed an unsupplemented diet, and significantly decrease the quantity of total phytate in feces. A phytase level of 8,000 U/kg diet significantly increased the bioavailability of naturally occurring Zn in feed ingredients and increased the rate of phytate dephosphorylation in the stomach, compared with a diet containing no added phytase. Increased utilization of naturally occurring minerals in feed ingredients reduces the need for mineral supplements in diets and results in decreased elimination of minerals in feces. Thus, use of phytase in catfish feeds can be expected to provide both economic and environmental benefits. [source]

Land degradation control and its global environmental benefits

G. Gisladottir
Abstract Acknowledged by world leaders as a global problem, land degradation has been taken seriously in three ways: its extent and the proportion of the global population affected; international environmental policy responses; and its inter-relation with other global environmental issues such as biodiversity. Messages about land degradation have, however, suffered from abuses, which have rendered appropriate policy responses ineffective. For control to be effective, the paper argues that the synergies between land degradation and the two other main global environmental change components (biodiversity and climate change) should be more fully exploited. A focus on the interlinkages, of which there are six possible permutations, is fully supported by empirical findings that suggest that land degradation control would not only technically be better served by addressing aspects of biodiversity and climate change but also that international financing mechanisms and the major donors would find this more acceptable. The DPSIR (Driving Force, Pressure, State, Impacts, Response) conceptual framework model is used to illustrate how land degradation control could be more effective, tackling not only the drivers of change but also major developmental issues such as poverty and food insecurity. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Mammals, agri-environment schemes and set-aside , what are the putative benefits?

MAMMAL REVIEW, Issue 4 2007
ABSTRACT 1The impacts of agricultural intensification on farmland wildlife have been the subject of increasing concern, particularly over the last two decades. Population declines have occurred for a number of mammalian species, sometimes drastically so, and changes in farming practice are believed to be significant contributory factors. 2The major policy instruments for delivering environmental benefits on farmland are agri-environment schemes. These encourage farmers to adopt more environmentally sensitive farming practices to promote farmland biodiversity. Additionally, compulsory set-aside, which reduces agricultural surplus, could also have positive impacts on wildlife. In this paper we consider some of the putative benefits of agri-environment schemes and set-aside for mammals. 3We review how establishment and management options within agri-environment schemes and set-aside might affect habitat resources for mammals. For example, conservation headlands increase plant and invertebrate resources within the crop edge for mammals such as wood mice. Grassy field margins can support communities of smaller mammals, and hedgerows may act as important commuting and hunting routes. Their potential will depend on factors such as seed mixtures used, timing and severity of cutting, and length of time they have been in place. 4At a farm level, habitat heterogeneity may be increased through organic agriculture, which is supported by some agri-environment schemes. Studies suggest significant benefits to mammals, including wood mice and bats. However, it is increasingly recognized that effective conservation of farmland mammals must seek solutions at the landscape scale, addressing such issues as habitat connectivity between farms. One approach may be the better targeting of scheme agreements. 5We suggest that agri-environment schemes and set-aside can contribute to the conservation of mammals on farmland. Recent policy changes are likely to have further positive impacts on farmland wildlife but appropriate mammal monitoring programmes must be developed rigorously to assess their effects. [source]

The Application of Microreactors in Combinatorial Chemistry

Paul Watts
Abstract The miniaturisation of chemical reactors offers many fundamental and practical advantages of relevance to the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industries, which are constantly searching for controllable, information-rich, high-throughput and environmentally friendly methods of producing products with a high degree of chemical selectivity. This review explores how miniaturisation may revolutionise chemical synthesis, highlighting in particular the commercial and environmental benefits of this new technology in combinatorial synthesis. [source]

The Future of Gaseous Fuels in Hong Kong

Larry Chuen-ho Chow
There are three types of gaseous fuel in Hong Kong. Natural gas, exclusively used for power generation and imported under a 20-year contract, accounted for 16 per cent of total primary energy requirements in 1998. Towngas, manufactured from naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas are the two other kinds, accounting for about 9.5 per cent of the final energy requirement in recent years. The first part of this paper analyses the competition between these two gaseous fuels since 1984, elucidating in detail how towngas came to dominate the gaseous fuel market. The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region would like to boost the use of natural gas in Hong Kong, on account of its environmental benefits and cost competitiveness. It is considering the possibility of using natural gas to replace the other two gaseous fuels and adopting the common carrier system, in order to spur competition in the gaseous fuel market. The second part of the study evaluates the feasibility of converting to natural gas and opening up the pipeline system, putting forth a rough schedule for the whole process. [source]

Social aspect of sustainable packaging

Norbisimi Nordin
Abstract Sustainability is one of the ,buzz' words that is highly discussed in the area of packaging nowadays. For many product manufacturing business, incorporation of sustainability principles into their business practice can only be visualized by others in the end product through packaging. Besides the criteria, underlying concepts and principles, most discussions towards achieving goals for sustainable packaging are focused on details of models and practices adopted by the industry, and the effectiveness and practicality of these practices in balancing the economic profits and environmental benefits. While the economic and environmental bases of packaging sustainability have been examined and discussed in great detail, the same is not true of social consideration. Although the success of sustainable packaging development actually relies on both technological development and social considerations, many of the social aspects of sustainable packaging are often overlooked. Although many companies have been putting the efforts and initiatives to elevate sustainability from an abstract goal into an immediate priority, relatively little is known about the consumers' insights of packaging sustainability. Recognizing the consumers as the final arbiter of the success of sustainable packaging, this paper will explore consumers' perceptions on the sustainable packaging concept, their perceptions of the impact to the environment and discuss factors that drive consumers' preferences and purchase decision. Discussion and information gathered in this paper is aimed to stimulate understanding on the importance of the social dimension of packaging sustainability and its role in supporting the efforts to improve sustainability practice. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]