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1.
The reusage of water and steam utilities by using the integrated fork technique and the complete circular economy
Anita Kovač Kralj, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The reusage of water and steam utilities plays a key role in the mitigation of decarbonising and climate change, including reduced fossil-fuel energy consumption and reducing the dependence on natural gas. The water condensates can be used for utility and heat-recovery systems by an integrated fork technique, achieving economic benefits and a complete circular economy, presented in two steps. The main novelty of this fork technique includes the determination of a regulated heat flow rate for the integration between the dryer and evaporator, which enables an evaporation of the same water mass flow as by the existing evaporating system, which is performed in the first step. The main significance of this technique presents the manner of a fork system as a superstructure for waste condensates’ collection separately and combinedly, and sustainable reusage's alternatives of the condensates, such as steam or electricity cogeneration, presented in the second step. This technique is carried out in two steps, including real-simulated results using an Aspen Plus® simulator. This approach is illustrated using an existing sugar production, which is selected as the waste mass and energy reusage from the evaporator and dryer for low-pressure steam production, generating a possible increase profit of 1.9 MEUR/a. The saving of the heat flow rate after the integrated dryer with evaporator should be 15,816 kW, or 73 %, presenting as a percentage.
Keywords: steam utility, water condensate, fork technique, circular economy, integrated units, food industry
Published in DKUM: 10.05.2024; Views: 72; Downloads: 2
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Review of bioplastics characterisation by terahertz techniques in the view of ensuring a circular economy
Andreja Abina, Tjaša Korošec, Uroš Puc, Aleksander Zidanšek, 2023, review article

Abstract: The increasing scarcity of natural resources, worsening global climate change, environmental degradation, and rising demand for food are forcing the biotechnology and plastics industries to seek and apply circular economy models that would lead to a sustainable transition in the production and use of bioplastics. Circular economy models can improve the economic productivity of bio-based plastics and have a positive impact on the environment by reducing conventional plastic waste and the consumption of petrochemical feedstocks for plastic production. In addition, some agricultural wastes that have the potential to be used as bioplastics can be reused. Terahertz (THz) systems are already used in the plastics and rubber industries for non-destructive testing, detection, imaging, and quality control. Several reports have highlighted the potential applications of THz spectroscopy and imaging in polymer analysis and plastics characterisation. This potential is even greater with chemometric methods and artificial intelligence algorithms. In this review, we focus on applications that support the transformation of the biotechnology sector to the circular economy, particularly via the transition from conventional plastics to bioplastics. In this review, we discuss the potential of THz systems for the characterisation and analysis of bioplastics and biopolymers. The results of previous studies on biopolymers in the THz frequency range are summarised. Furthermore, the potential of using artificial intelligence approaches such as machine learning as advanced analytical methods in THz spectroscopy and imaging, in addition to the conventionally used chemometric methods, is discussed. The results of this review highlight that THz technology can contribute to closed technological circles in important areas of biotechnology and the related plastics and rubber industries.
Keywords: terahertz spectroscopy, terahertz imaging, circular economy, biopolymer, biotechnology, bioplastics
Published in DKUM: 16.04.2024; Views: 213; Downloads: 177
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4.
The complexity and interconnectedness of circular cities and the circular economy for sustainability
Kristijan Brglez, Matjaž Perc, Rebeka Kovačič Lukman, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: In our study, we are evaluating the dynamic interplay between circular cities and the circular economy, revealing connections shaped by new research insights, using Web of Science database. We have in depth analysed 671 publications from 1990 to mid- 2023, employing Leximancer and VOSviewer tools. Our analysis uncovered key themes, including buildings, waste management, value chains, and sustainable development, linking the circular cities concept and circular economy framework. Emerging research trends, such as urban metabolism, urban mining, governance models, the built environment, sustainability benchmarks, and value chain management, signify deliberate shifts towards higher circular development and implementation. These trajectories harmonise with overarching sustainable development goals. Contemporary research emphasises urban mining, circular indicators, adaptive resource reuse, and urban structure regeneration. This focus facilitates transitioning from linear models to heightened circularity within urban contexts. Research inclination is shifting from traditional economic and environmental concerns towards holistic urban configurations that prioritise social integration, communal well-being, and the dynamics of the social economy. Through this analytical expedition, we offer novel insights that enhance our understanding of the intricate symbiosis between circular cities and the circular economy. Our findings provide a scientific foundation for formulating targeted strategies by decision-makers and guiding urban landscapes towards transformative trajectories aligned with sustainable development objectives and sustainable cities.
Keywords: bibliometric analysis, circular city, circular economy, content analysis, Leximancer, sustainability, sustainable development goals
Published in DKUM: 29.03.2024; Views: 86; Downloads: 6
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5.
43rd International Conference on Organizational Science Development: Green and Digital Transition – Challenge or Opportunity : Conference Proceedings
2024, proceedings of peer-reviewed scientific conference contributions (international and foreign conferences)

Abstract: The 43rd International Scientific Conference on the Development of Organisational Science was held in Portorož from the 20th to the 22nd of March 2024. The main aim of the conference was to promote the importance of knowledge in the context of green and digital transtition of organizations, through academic and scientific debates and professional developments from the economic and non-economic worlds. The conference, which was held under the umbrella title " Green and Digital Transition - Challenge or Opportunity", aimed to highlight the importance of the green and digital transition for the successful achievement of organisational objectives and the appropriate overcoming of societal challenges. The objectives pursued in this context are related to the natural dimensions on the one hand, and to stimulating the economy through green technology, sustainable development and pollution reduction on the other. The green and digital transition is also an opportunity for organisations to make changes towards overarching environmental challenges. It is undoubtedly more important than ever to take decisions that generate synergies between innovation, different sciences, and applied approaches, and to promote changes in business models that will lead to a sustainable and socially responsible development environment. In Portorož, we have reconnected opinions, views, and scientific and professional debates that will stimulate all of us to act in the future, both in organizations and in society at large.
Keywords: organization, knowledge, interdisciplinarity, science, economy
Published in DKUM: 22.03.2024; Views: 217; Downloads: 42
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6.
Drivers and barriers for the adoption of circular economy principles towards efficient resource utilisation
Vesna Alivojvodić, Filip Kokalj, 2024, original scientific article

Abstract: Contemporary societies, whether they have reached advanced levels of economic and social development or are still developing, need to prioritise the implementation of circular economy practices. This will facilitate the shift towards regenerative, sustainable, and closed-loop industrial systems. For now, there are some efforts to encourage patterns of production and consumption through changes in economic trends, development of institutional frameworks, harmonising regulations in the field of environmental protection, and raising the level of social awareness to achieve, above all, greater efficiency of resources. Extensive literature that deals with monitoring the implementation of the circular economy already indicates the existence of numerous barriers in this process but also notices some incentives for raising the degree of circularity of the observed systems. In this paper, the question of whether a single value can represent the level of circularity of the chosen material/product chain is researched. An overview of barriers and drivers for implementing circular economy strategies is given to structure a proper metric framework in correlation to the research question. The objective was to simplify the monitoring of circularity by developing a unique index for comparing material/product chains in similar systems. This was accomplished by using the circular material use (CMU) rate introduced in the European Union and modifying it for financial data calculation. As a result, the circular economy index, which covers all 9R strategies (CEIR), is obtained. The practical verification of model applicability was shown by determining the degree of circularity achieved for passenger cars in the four observed EU countries.
Keywords: barriers, 9R framework, circular material use rate, circular economy index, passenger cars
Published in DKUM: 19.03.2024; Views: 136; Downloads: 11
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7.
6th International Conference on Technologies & Business Models for Circular Economy : conference proceedings
2024, proceedings

Abstract: The 6th International Conference on Technologies & Business Models for Circular Economy (TBMCE) was organized by the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of the University of Maribor in cooperation with Strategic Research and Innovation Partnership – Networks for the transition into circular economy (SRIP – Circular economy), managed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Štajerska. The conference was held in Portorož, Slovenia, at the Grand Hotel Bernardin from September 6th to September 8th, 2023. TBMCE 2023 was devoted to presentations of circular economy concepts, technologies and methodologies that contribute to the shift of business entities and society as a whole to a more responsible, circular management of resources. The conference program included a round table Standardization for circular economy – more secure and less complicated closing of material loops, 6 panel discussions, 1 plenary and 3 keynote lectures, oral and poster presentations. The event was under the patronage of Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport and Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development. The Netherlands joined us as a partner country.
Keywords: sircular economy, sustainable development, processes and technologies, circular business models, research and development
Published in DKUM: 26.02.2024; Views: 493; Downloads: 557
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8.
Supply chain management mitigation to climate change in three selected industrial sectors
Maja Bašić, Špela Kovše, Andraž Opačić, Marijana Pećarević, Matevž Obrecht, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: As the world economy is growing and globalisation is on the rise, climate change and its effects on the planet Earth are also increasing. But climate changes do not disturb only nature; they also affect businesses and their supply chains. Many companies have recently recognised the positive impacts of green and circular supply chain management practices. Supply chains that deliver products from around the world are increasingly exposed to the impacts of a changing climate and scarce resources. In this research, it was determined how climate change impacts supply chains in the food, automobile, and energy industry sectors. Furthermore, we wanted to find out if and how the management of supply chains is altered to adapt to the business environment which is more and more affected by environmental changes.
Keywords: climate change adaptation and mittigation, circular economy, sustainable developement, supply chain management
Published in DKUM: 16.02.2024; Views: 215; Downloads: 10
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9.
Converting waste into products and energy using complete circular economy and the hydrogen effect technique to reduce dependence on natural gas
Anita Kovač Kralj, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Conversion of waste into products and energy has the potential to reduce CO2 emis-sion through implementation of a complete circular economy and utilisation of the hy-drogen effect technique. This study considers the novelties of the hydrogen effect tech-nique, which incorporates an upgraded input unit mathematical model. It includes real-simulated results obtained using an Aspen Plus & REG; simulator, and enlarged production. This technique is developed for optimal municipal solid waste (MSW) combustion, gas-ification, and reforming, presented as an upgraded input unit for syngas production, which can reduce CO2 emissions by 3 & BULL;106 kmol a-1. This approach is exemplified by utilizing existing methanol and dimethyl ether production processes from natural gas, as they can be achieved and exceeded using MSW with varying hydrogen amounts. The optimal upgraded methanol and dimethyl ether production processes can increase pro-duction by 47 % and 16 %, including only the upgraded input unit, as well as decrease the temperature in the product reactors by 30 & DEG;C.
Keywords: waste gasification, flue gas, syngas, hydrogen, circular economy, combustion
Published in DKUM: 13.02.2024; Views: 189; Downloads: 15
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10.
Regulatory Aspects of Servitisation : Study Materials for Global Law Course
Janja Hojnik, 2024

Abstract: This course material was prepared as a support for a lectures series under Global Law Programme organised by the Catholic University Leuven (Belgium), Faculty of Law and Criminology. The course dealt with EU regulatory challenges arising from the servitisation of manufacturing and the related sustainability and digitalisation process in the EU economy. Servitisation is a complex interdisciplinary concept that essentially stands for bringing together products and services. Servitization as an economic megatrend reflects consumers’ oriented business models, offering not just products to the buyers, but solutions to their problems. This solution offering is enhanced by digitalisation of the economy that makes the relationship between product-service providers and their customers easier to maintain due to various mechanisms of distant communication and monitoring. Moreover, servitisation is at the centre of the endeavours to establish a more sustainable circular economy. Adding services to products can prolong their consumption time, decrease the amount of materials needed for certain effect and improve waste management. Increasingly, however, it is clear that servitisation is not just related to environmental sustainability, but social as well. These services often require people to be performed and digital applications tend to decrease their rights as workers to the benefit of the owners of these applications.
Keywords: servitisation, digitalisation, circular economy, sharing economy, platforms, extended producer's responsibility, ecodesign, consumer protection, EU
Published in DKUM: 01.02.2024; Views: 243; Downloads: 11
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