Recently Published Documents
Artificial Intelligence Applications for Increasing Resource Efficiency in Manufacturing Companies—A Comprehensive Review
Sustainability improvements in industrial production are essential for tackling climate change and the resulting ecological crisis. In this context, resource efficiency can directly lead to significant advancements in the ecological performance of manufacturing companies. The application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) also plays an increasingly important role. However, the potential influence of AI applications on resource efficiency has not been investigated. Against this background, this article provides an overview of thecurrent AI applications and how they affect resource efficiency. In line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, this paper identifies, categorizes, and analyzes seventy papers with a focus on AI tasks, AI methods, business units, and their influence on resource efficiency. Only a minority of papers was found to address resource efficiency as an explicit objective. Subsequently, typical use cases of the identified AI applications are described with a focus on predictive maintenance, production planning, fault detection and predictive quality, as well as the increase in energy efficiency. In general, more research is needed that explicitly considers sustainability in the development and use phase of AI solutions, including Green AI. This paper contributes to research in this field by systematically examining papers and revealing research deficits. Additionally, practitioners are offered the first indications of AI applications increasing resource efficiency.
Transgene behavior in genetically modified teosinte hybrid plants: transcriptome expression, insecticidal protein production and bioactivity against a target insect pest
Abstract Background In 2009, Spanish farmers reported a novel weed, now identified as a relative of maize’s ancestor, teosinte, in their maize fields. Introgression of the insect resistance transgene cry1Ab from genetically modified (GM) maize into populations of this weedy Spanish teosinte could endow it with additional defense mechanisms. The aims of this study were: (1) to test if hybridization between GM maize and weedy plants from Spain is possible; (2) to understand the relationship between transgene transcription activity, concentrations of the expected transgene product (Cry1Ab protein) and the bioactivity of the latter on target insect pests following transgene flow from GM maize into Spanish teosinte plants. Results We demonstrated that hybridization between GM maize and the weedy Spanish teosinte is possible, with no observable barrier to the formation of crop/weed hybrids when teosinte served as pollen donor. When GM maize plants were used as pollen donors, significant crossing incompatibility was observed: hybrid plants produced only few “normal” seeds. Nevertheless, viable F1 seeds from GM pollen crossed onto teosinte were indeed obtained. The cry1Ab transgene was stably expressed as mRNA in all crossings and backgrounds. Similarly, toxicity on neonate Ostrinia nubilalis, presumably due to Cry1Ab protein, was consistently expressed in teosinte hybrids, with mortality rates 95% or higher after only 4 days exposure, similar to rates on parental GM maize plants. Nevertheless, no strong correlations were observed between transgene transcription levels and Cry1Ab concentrations, nor between Cry1Ab concentrations and insect mortality rates across all of the different genetic backgrounds. Conclusions Our results establish fundamental parameters for environmental risk assessments in the European context: first, we show that crop/weed hybridization in fields where maize and teosinte exist sympatrically can lead to potentially catastrophic transfer of resistance traits into an already noxious weed; second, our results question the viability of using gene dosage to model and predict ecological performance in either the intended crop plant or the undesired teosinte weed. Significant questions remain that should be addressed in order to provide a scientific, sound approach to the management of this novel weed.
Urban green infrastructure (UGI) can be used as a sustainable stormwater management approach. UGI can bring numerous ecological benefits to cities, including increased urban resilience, increased availability of water resources, and optimization of habitats. This paper used empirical research methods to describe an Internet of things (IoT)-based UGI monitoring and control system for stormwater management (MCSSWM). Using a Xuzhou-based practical project in China as a case study, we introduce the construction process, method, and monitoring results of the system. The results showed that the MCSSWM could be beneficial for UGI ecological performance evaluation and management.
Growing in Mixed Stands Increased Leaf Photosynthesis and Physiological Stress Resistance in Moso Bamboo and Mature Chinese Fir Plantations
Mixed-stand plantations are not always as beneficial for timber production and carbon sequestration as monoculture plantations. Systematic analyses of mixed-stand forests as potential ideal plantations must consider the physiological-ecological performance of these plantations. This study aimed to determine whether mixed moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens (Pradelle) Mazel ex J. Houz.) and Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) stands exhibited better physiological-ecological performance than monoculture plantations of these species. We analyzed leaf photosynthesis, chlorophyll fluorescence, antioxidant enzyme activities, chlorophyll content and leaf chemistry in a moso bamboo stand, a Chinese fir stand and a mixed stand with both species. The results showed that both species in the mixed stand exhibited significantly higher leaf net photosynthesis rate (Amax), instantaneous carboxylation efficiency (CUE), chlorophyll content, maximum quantum yield of photosynthesis (Fv/Fm), photochemical quenching coefficient (qP), PSII quantum yield [Y(II)], leaf nitrogen content, and antioxidant enzyme activities than those in the monoculture plantations. However, the non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) in Chinese fir and 2-year-old moso bamboo was significantly lower in the mixed stand than in the monocultures. In addition, the water use efficiency (WUE) of Chinese fir was significantly higher in the mixed stand. The results suggest that the increase in leaf net photosynthetic capacity and the improved growth in the mixed stand could be attributed primarily to the (i) more competitive strategies for soil water use, (ii) stronger antioxidant systems, and (iii) higher leaf total nitrogen and chlorophyll contents in the plants. These findings suggest that mixed growth has beneficial effects on the leaf photosynthesis capacity and physiological resistance of moso bamboo and Chinese fir.
Global Warming Potential of a New Waterjet-Based Recycling Process for Cathode Materials of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Due to the increasing demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the need for vehicle battery raw materials is increasing. The traction battery (TB) of an electric vehicle, usually a lithium-ion battery (LIB), represents the largest share of a BEV’s CO2 footprint. To reduce this carbon footprint sustainably and to keep the raw materials within a closed loop economy, suitable and efficient recycling processes are essential. In this life cycle assessment (LCA), the ecological performance of a waterjet-based direct recycling process with minimal use of resources and energy is evaluated; only the recycling process is considered, waste treatment and credits for by-products are not part of the analysis. Primary data from a performing recycling company were mainly used for the modelling. The study concludes that the recycling of 1 kg of TB is associated with a global warming potential (GWP) of 158 g CO2 equivalents (CO2e). Mechanical removal using a water jet was identified as the main driver of the recycling process, followed by an air purification system. Compared to conventional hydro- or pyrometallurgical processes, this waterjet-based recycling process could be attributed an 8 to 26 times lower GWP. With 10% and 20% reuse of recyclate in new cells, the GWP of TBs could be reduced by 4% and 8%, respectively. It has been shown that this recycling approach can be classified as environmentally friendly.
Diminished growth and vitality in juvenile Hydractinia echinata under anticipated future temperature and variable nutrient conditions
AbstractIn a warming climate, rising seawater temperatures and declining primary and secondary production will drastically affect growth and fitness of marine invertebrates in the northern Atlantic Ocean. To study the ecological performance of juvenile hydroids Hydractinia echinata we exposed them to current and predicted water temperatures which reflect the conditions in the inter- and subtidal in combination with changing food availability (high and low) in laboratory experiments. Here we show, that the interplay between temperature stress and diminished nutrition affected growth and vitality of juvenile hydroids more than either factor alone, while high food availability mitigated their stress responses. Our numerical growth model indicated that the growth of juvenile hydroids at temperatures beyond their optimum is a saturation function of energy availability. We demonstrated that the combined effects of environmental stressors should be taken into consideration when evaluating consequences of climate change. Interactive effects of ocean warming, decreasing resource availability and increasing organismal energy demand may have major impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function.
Ecophysiological responses of two closely related epigean and hypogean Niphargus species to hypoxia and increased temperature: Do they differ?
Ecological performance of animals depends on physiological and biochemical processes that are adjusted to the environment. The responses to hypoxia or anoxia have been frequently studied in subterranean aquatic organisms in order to find potential adaptations to restrict oxygen conditions occurring in the underground habitats. However, some previous studies have compared phylogenetic distant epigean and hypogean species or the epigean and hypogean populations of the same species due to little chance to compare closely related epigean and hypogean species. Therefore, in this study, we compared the effects of exposure to hypoxia, followed by reoxygenation, and increased temperature on oxygen consumption, potential metabolic activity, and antioxidant activities in closely related epigean and hypogean species: Niphargus zagrebensis and N. stygius. Oxygen consumption of N. stygius increased similarly during post-hypoxic recovery at 10 and 20°C (approx. 5-times), while N. zagrebensis increased its oxygen consumption for 9.7 and 4.4-times at 10 and 20°C, respectively. We observed higher exploitation of metabolic potential for current oxygen consumption during reoxygenation in N. zagrebensis than N. stygius. Exposure to hypoxia and subsequent reoxygenation at 20°C increased catalase (CAT) activity in N. stygius, but not in N. zagrebensis. We observed increased glutathione reductase activity in both Niphargus species. We concluded that respiratory and antioxidant responses to severe hypoxia and increased temperature differed between closely related epigean and hypogean Niphargus species. Hypogean Niphargus species possess physiological and biochemical characteristics that are advantageous in temperature stable subterranean environments which support inhabiting of species that have low energetic demands, while epigean Niphargus species can successfully inhabit specific surface habitats.
Research on the Ecological Performance Index System of Automobile Products Based on End-of-Life Vehicle
Assessment of the Performance of an Artificial Reef Made of Modular Elements through Small Scale Experiments
Artificial reefs have proven to be an optimal and effective solution in stabilizing coastlines around the world. They are submerged structures that imitate the protection service provided by natural reefs accomplishing the functions of dissipating wave energy and protecting beach morphology, but also being an ecological solution. In this paper, 2D small-scale experiments were performed to analyze the hydrodynamic, morphological, and ecological behavior of an artificial reef constructed of modular elements. Two typical beach-dune profiles were constructed in a wave flume over which two locations of an artificial reef were tested. From these tests, transmission coefficients were obtained as well as the beach profile response to the presence of the artificial reef. These results are used to discuss about the hydrodynamic, morphological, and ecological performance of the artificial reef. The proposed artificial reef showed good morphological performance while its hydrodynamic function had limited success. In turn, the ecologic performance was theoretically addressed.