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Now showing 1 - 10 of 66
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    Understanding Business Environments and Success Factors for Emerging Bioeconomy Enterprises through a Comprehensive Analytical Framework
    (Basel : MDPI, 2020) Adamseged, Muluken Elias; Grundmann, Philipp
    The development toward the bioeconomy requires, among others, generating and institutionalizing knowledge that contributes to technical and nontechnical inventions and innovations. Efforts to support innovation are often linked with the development of business models that facilitate the development in bioeconomy. However, the interdependences between the business models and their business environments are not sufficiently well understood in a way where misalignments that can obstruct the development can be dealt with adequately. Given this lacuna, this research aims to contribute to the development of a comprehensive analytical framework for better understanding the conditions of business environment as well as empirically apply the framework in an empirical study on cases of bioeconomy enterprises in Europe. In this paper, a comprehensive business environment framework is developed and applied for analyzing over 80 cases, thereby allowing for critical action arenas and crucial success factors to be identified. The findings are derived from a systematic application of the framework to relevant action arenas for business development: institutional development, technology and knowledge, consumers’ agency, market structure, funding, resource and infrastructure, and training and education. The results show that businesses in the bioeconomy, unlike other businesses, have to deal with more and very specific constraining legislative issues, infant and non-adapted technology and knowledge, as well as unclear values and perceptions of consumers. Due to this, businesses have to develop new forms of cooperation with different stakeholders. Successful businesses are characterized by the fact that they develop specific strategies, steering structures, and processes with a particular focus on learning and innovation to overcome misalignments between the business environment and their business models. Focusing efforts on learning and innovation in institutional development, technology and knowledge, consumers’ agency, and funding are especially promising as these turned out to be particularly critical and in particular need of institutional alignment for reducing different kinds of transaction costs in the development of bioeconomy.
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    Analysing Interlinked Frequency Dynamics of the Urban Acoustic Environment
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2022) Haselhoff, Timo; Braun, Tobias; Hornberg, Jonas; Lawrence, Bryce T.; Ahmed, Salman; Gruehn, Dietwald; Moebus, Susanne
    As sustainable metropolitan regions require more densely built-up areas, a comprehensive understanding of the urban acoustic environment (AE) is needed. However, comprehensive datasets of the urban AE and well-established research methods for the AE are scarce. Datasets of audio recordings tend to be large and require a lot of storage space as well as computationally expensive analyses. Thus, knowledge about the long-term urban AE is limited. In recent years, however, these limitations have been steadily overcome, allowing a more comprehensive analysis of the urban AE. In this respect, the objective of this work is to contribute to a better understanding of the time-frequency domain of the urban AE, analysing automatic audio recordings from nine urban settings over ten months. We compute median power spectra as well as normalised spectrograms for all settings. Additionally, we demonstrate the use of frequency correlation matrices (FCMs) as a novel approach to access large audio datasets. Our results show site-dependent patterns in frequency dynamics. Normalised spectrograms reveal that frequency bins with low power hold relevant information and that the AE changes considerably over a year. We demonstrate that this information can be captured by using FCMs, which also unravel communities of interlinked frequency dynamics for all settings.
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    Degradation of glyphosate in water by the application of surface corona discharges
    (Bristol : IWA Publishing, 2021) Zocher, Katja; Gros, Peter; Werneburg, Matthias; Brüser, Volker; Kolb, Juergen F.; Leinweber, Peter
    Glyphosate (GLP) is one of the most widely applied herbicides, and is found ubiquitously in the environment. The removal of glyphosate from waste water and soil is challenging and can be achieved with chemical or biological methods, which, nevertheless, suffer from different disadvantages. The application of a physical plasma for the removal of GLP in water was examined by the application of surface corona discharges in a wire-to-cylinder setup filled with argon. The plasma was ignited at the liquid surface without any additives. By applying a photometric method, GLP was detected after derivatisation with fluorenyl methoxycarbonyl chloride, whereas phosphate was determined with ammonium molybdate. A GLP degradation rate of 90.8% could be achieved within a treatment time of 30 minutes with an estimated energy efficiency of 0.32 g/kWh.
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    From Upstream to Purification : Production of Lactic Acid from the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste
    ([Dordrecht] : Springer Netherlands, 2020) López‑Gómez, José Pablo; Unger, Peter; Schneider, Roland; Venus, Joachim
    The implementation of an efficient and sustainable management of the organic fraction of municipal solid wastes (OFMSW) is a topic of intensive discussion in EU countries. Recently, the OFMSW has been investigated as a potential substrate for the production of lactic acid (LA) through fermentation. Nevertheless, none of the reports available in the literature covers all the stages of the conversion process. The present research article is a comprehensive study which includes the upstream, fermentation and downstream for the conversion of OFMSW into LA. Several batches of OFMSW were analysed for the evaluation of sugars released and LA content before the fermentation. Fermentations were performed to study the effect of hydrolysate quality on the LA production using Bacillus coagulans A166. Purification of LA, based on electrodialysis, was carried out after pilot scale fermentation of OFMSW hydrolysates. Results showed that variations in the concentrations of sugars and LA are observed from batch to batch of OFMSW. More specifically, LA can reach high concentrations even before the substrates are hydrolysed, limiting the potential applications of the final product due to low enantiomeric purities. In general, fermentations of the hydrolysate were efficient, with conversion yields of 0.65 g g−1 without the addition of extra nutrients. Downstream is still a challenging stage of the process. A LA recovery of 55% was obtained, with the most significant losses observed during the micro- and nanofiltrations. Overall, a conversion of 10% from OFMSW substrate (dry basis) to LA was achieved.
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    How Clusters Create Shared Value in Rural Areas: An Examination of Six Case Studies
    (Basel : MDPI, 2021) Martinidis, George; Adamseged, Muluken Elias; Dyjakon, Arkadiusz; Fallas, Yannis; Foutri, Angeliki; Grundmann, Philipp; Hamann, Karen; Minta, Stanislaw; Ntavos, Nikolaos; Råberg, Tora; Russo, Silvia; Viaggi, Davide
    The main aim of this paper is to demonstrate that clusters can support the sustainable development of rural areas through the creation of shared value. This is done via the close exam-ination of six different cases of rural clusters in Greece, Italy, Germany, Poland, Denmark, and Sweden. Qualitative as well as quantitative data were taken from the clusters, which demonstrated that their main business approaches naturally coincided with the creation of economic, social, and environmental benefits for the local communities in which they operated. The case clusters were created in a top-down manner, aimed at boosting regional R&D activities and making the local economy more competitive and more sustainable. However, private initiative took over and al-lowed these clusters to flourish because meeting the regions’ economic, social, and environmental needs successfully coincided with the target of the clusters’ own development and profitability. The results show that clusters, with their potential for shared value creation, can constitute a powerful engine for the revitalisation and development of rural areas, addressing the significant challenges which they are currently facing.
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    Knowledge Transfer with Citizen Science: Luft-Leipzig Case Study
    (Basel : MDPI, 2021) Tõnisson, Liina; Voigtländer, Jens; Weger, Michael; Assmann, Denise; Käthner, Ralf; Heinold, Bernd; Macke, Andreas
    Community-based participatory research initiatives such as “hackAir”, “”, “senseBox”, “CAPTOR”, “CurieuzeNeuzen Vlaanderen”, “communityAQ”, and “Healthy Air, Healthier Children” campaign among many others for mitigating short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and improving air quality have reported progressive knowledge transfer results. These research initiatives provide the research community with the practical four-element state-of-the-art method for citizen science. For the preparation-, measurements-, data analysis-, and scientific support-elements that collectively present the novel knowledge transfer method, the Luft-Leipzig project results are presented. This research contributes to science by formulating a novel method for SLCP mitigation projects that employ citizen scientists. The Luft-Leipzig project results are presented to validate the four-element state-of-the-art method. The method is recommended for knowledge transfer purposes beyond the scope of mitigating short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and improving air quality.
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    Thermal annealing to influence the vapor sensing behavior of co-continuous poly(lactic acid)/polystyrene/multiwalled carbon nanotube composites
    (Amsterdam [u.a.] : Elsevier Science, 2020) Li, Yilong; Pionteck, Jürgen; Pötschke, Petra; Voit, Brigitte
    With the main purpose of being used as vapor leakage detector, the volatile organic compound (VOC) vapor sensing properties of conductive polymer blend composites were studied. Poly(lactic acid)/polystyrene/multi-walled carbon nanotube (PLA/PS/MWCNT) based conductive polymer composites (CPCs) in which the polymer components exhibit different interactions with the vapors, were prepared by melt mixing. CPCs with a blend composition of 50/50 wt% resulted in the finest co-continuous structure and selective MWCNT localization in PLA. Therefore, these composites were selected for sensor tests. Thermal annealing was applied aiming to maintain the blend structure but improving the sensing reversibility of CPC sensors towards high vapor concentrations. Different sensing protocols were applied using acetone (good solvent for PS and PLA) and cyclohexane (good solvent for PS but poor solvent for PLA) vapors. Increasing acetone vapor concentration resulted in increased relative resistance change (Rrel) of CPCs. Saturated cyclohexane vapor resulted in lower response than nearly saturated acetone vapor. The thermal annealing at 150 °C did not change the blend morphology but increased the PLA crystallinity, making the CPC sensors more resistant to vapor stimulation, resulting in lower Rrel but better reversibility after vapor exposure.
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    Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Food Security and Agriculture in Iran: A Survey
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2021) Rad, Abdullah Kaviani; Shamshiri, Redmond R.; Azarm, Hassan; Balasundram, Siva K.; Sultan, Muhammad
    The consequences of COVID-19 on the economy and agriculture have raised many concerns about global food security, especially in developing countries. Given that food security is a critical component that is affected by global crises, beside the limited studies carried out on the macro-impacts of COVID-19 on food security in Iran, this paper is an attempt to address the dynamic impacts of COVID-19 on food security along with economic and environmental challenges in Iran. For this purpose, a survey was conducted with the hypothesis that COVID-19 has not affected food security in Iran. To address this fundamental hypothesis, we applied the systematic review method to obtain the evidence. Various evidences, including indices and statistics, were collected from national databases, scientific reports, field observations, and interviews. Preliminary results revealed that COVID-19 exerts its effects on the economy, agriculture, and food security of Iran through six major mechanisms, corresponding to a 30% decrease in the purchasing power parity in 2020 beside a significant increase in food prices compared to 2019. On the other hand, the expanding environmental constraints in Iran reduce the capacity of the agricultural sector to play a crucial role in the economy and ensure food security, and in this regard, COVID-19 forces the national programs and budget to combat rising ecological limitations. Accordingly, our study rejects the hypothesis that COVID-19 has not affected food security in Iran.
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    Development of Biorefineries in the Bioeconomy: A Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis among European Countries
    (Basel : MDPI, 2021) Ding, Zhengqiu; Grundmann, Philipp
    This study aims to identify the configurational conditions that characterize the establish-ment of biorefineries in 20 European countries. After determining the conditions which support a bioeconomy transition, secondary data from national sources are used to represent their existing conditions within respective countries. Then, a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis is em-ployed to compare and contrast the effect of varying combinations of the selected conditions on the development of biorefineries. The conditions chosen include coherent bioeconomy strategies, network intensity of regional bioclusters, intellectual capital, and natural resource availability. Our results reveal that the configuration of a coherent bioeconomy strategy, sizable public spending on R&D, abundant biomass supply, and a high level of network intensity is sufficient to explain the pro-nounced biorefineries development among some European countries. We recommend that countries with fragmented approaches review and redesign the policy and regulatory framework to create a holistic and consistent bioeconomy strategy, taking into account the configurations of conditions as an important prerequisite. In particular, factors such as the lack of best practice examples, the low level of public spending on research and development, the economic capacities for a skilled workforce in addition to the sustainable supply of raw materials should be addressed as focal points.
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    Effect of 1-Methyl Cyclopropane and Modified Atmosphere Packaging on the Storage of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) : Theory and Experiments
    (Basel : MDPI, 2020) Kanwal, Rabia; Ashraf, Hadeed; Sultan, Muhammad; Babu, Irrum; Yasmin, Zarina; Nadeem, Muhammad; Asghar, Muhammad; Shamshiri, Redmond R.; Ibrahim, Sobhy M.; Ahmad, Nisar; Imran, Muhammad A.; Zhou, Yuguang; Ahmad, Riaz
    Okra possesses a short shelf-life which limits its marketability, thereby, the present study investigates the individual and combined effect of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on the postharvest storage life of okra. The treated/ untreated okra samples were stored at ambient (i.e., 27 °C) and low (i.e., 7 °C) temperatures for eight and 20 days, respectively. Results revealed that the 1-MCP and/or MAP treatment successfully inhibited fruit softening, reduction in mucilage viscosity, and color degradation (hue angle, ∆E, and BI) in the product resulting in a longer period of shelf-life. However, MAP with or without 1-MCP was more effective to reduce weight loss in okra stored at both ambient and cold storage conditions. Additionally, ascorbic acid and total antioxidants were also retained in 1-MCP with MAP during cold storage. The 1-MCP in combination with MAP effectively suppressed respiration rate and ethylene production for four days and eight days at 27 °C and 7 °C temperature conditions, respectively. According to the results, relatively less chilling injury stress also resulted when 1-MCP combined with MAP. The combined treatment of okra pods with 1-MCP and MAP maintained the visual quality of the product in terms of overall acceptability for four days at 20 °C and 20 days at 7 °C.