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Diversity and content of carotenoids and other pigments in the transition from the green to the red stage of Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae identified by HPLC-DAD and LC-QTOF-MS
Jaša Veno Grujić, Biljana Todorović, Roman Kranvogl, Terezija Ciringer, Jana Ambrožič-Dolinšek, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: H. pluvialis is a unicellular freshwater alga containing many bioactive compounds, especially carotenoids, which are the strongest antioxidants among the pigments. This study evaluates the composition and content of carotenoids and other pigments in both stages of algae life cycle, especially in the green vegetative stage, less studied in comparison to the red stage. To determine the composition and content of carotenoids, a combination of HPLC-DAD and LC-QTOF-MS was used. The content of carotenoids in the green vegetative stage was significantly lower than in the red vegetative stage. In the green vegetative stage, 16 different carotenoids and other pigments were identified. Among the total 8.86 mg g−1 DW of pigments, 5.24 mg g−1 DW or 59% of them were chlorophyll a with its derivatives, and 3.62 mg g−1 DW or 41% of them were free carotenoids. After the transition from the green to the red stage, the carotenoid composition was replaced by secondary carotenoids, astaxanthin and its esters, which predominated in the whole carotenoid composition. In addition to free astaxanthin, 12 astaxanthin monoesters, 6 diesters and 13 other carotenoids were determined. The majority of 37.86 mg g−1 DW pigments were monoesters. They represented 82% of all pigments, and their content was about 5 times higher than both, diesters (5.91 mg g−1 DW or 12% of all) and free carotenoids (2.4 mg g−1 DW or 6% of all). The results of the study contribute to the data on the overall pigment composition and content of H. pluvialis algae and provide the basis for further improvement of cultivation of the H. pluvialis algae.
Keywords: antioxidants, astaxanthin, chlorophylls, bioactive compounds, algae, Haematococcus, life cycle, pigment composition, secondary carotenoids
Published in DKUM: 21.05.2024; Views: 97; Downloads: 2
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A game theoretic approach for plastic life cycle assessment
Chunyan Si, Yee Van Fan, Lidija Čuček, Monika Dokl, Petar Varbanov, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Plastic production and its end-of-life management pose a significant environmental footprint. The mitigation strategies of the plastic industry are comparatively attainable than the other hard-to-abate sector. However, the involvement of different stakeholders is needed. The life cycle analysis proposed in this study allocated the environmental footprint to stakeholders based on the game theory concept. It addresses the limitation of previous approaches that do not guarantee the stakeholders from different stages will participate in the initiatives with the lowest net environmental footprint due to the dissatisfaction or imbalance in the allocated unburdening footprint (benefit) and burdening footprint. The applicability of the proposed approach is demonstrated through a plastic recycling case study. An allocation of 82 % of environmental benefit to the producer, 14 % to the manufacturer, and 4 % to the user are suggested to achieve efficiency (lowest external interference) and stable cooperation (participation in recycling). This work serves as an initial assessment in demonstrating the integration of the game theory concept in environmental footprint allocation or Life Cycle Assessment.
Keywords: plastic production, environmental footprint, life cycle
Published in DKUM: 18.04.2024; Views: 105; Downloads: 3
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Organizational maturity and sustainability orientation influence on DMS life cycle : case analysis
Sandra Jordan, Simona Sternad Zabukovšek, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The topic of the article addresses the management of the document management system (DMS), which represents one of the important steps for organizations to speed up the implementation of business processes, achieve better control over documents, and ensure safer operations. When implementing and using DMS, the importance of the organization’s maturity shall not be forgotten, as it gives the organization a framework to evaluate and improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the organization’s DMS, which can contribute to better decision-making and increased productivity. On the other hand, sustainable-oriented organizations are likely to show interest in choosing, implementing, and using DMS. In the article, the impact of an organization’s maturity and the role of sustainability on the DMS lifecycle are researched. Results are presented based on a case analysis of Company X. Supporting the case analysis, structured interviews with the project leader on the clients’ and the project leader on the providers’ side have been performed, which shall give a deeper insight into DMS implementation and the importance of sustainability and organizational maturity, resulting in more successful DMS implementation and use.
Keywords: document management system (DMS), DMS life cycle, maturity model, sustainability, case analysis
Published in DKUM: 09.04.2024; Views: 108; Downloads: 7
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Life Cycle Assessment of Pilot-Scale Bio-Refining of Invasive Japanese Knotweed Alien Plant towards Bio-Based Bioactive Compounds
Robert Hren, Katerina Naumoska, Urška Jug, Lidija Čuček, Blaž Likozar, Uroš Novak, Annamaria Vujanović, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Japanese knotweed is an invasive alien plant species with characteristic rapid expansion in Europe and North America and resistance to extermination. It displaces autochthonous biodiversity and causes major damage to infrastructure, thus causing global ecological and economic damage. The Japanese knotweed plant is usually eradicated using various chemical, biological, or mechanical techniques, which at a large scale include heavy equipment, usually followed by incineration. Therefore, excavation is preferred to eradication techniques, and as a biomass waste recovery method due to the extraction of high-value biocompounds. This is supported by the fact that the Japanese knotweed possesses various bioactive compounds with beneficial effects on human health. Its rhizome bark extract produces strong and stable antioxidant activity over time, as well as apoptotic, antibacterial, and other beneficial activities. In this work, an environmental impact assessment, including greenhouse gas footprint, acidification, eutrophication, and ecotoxicity for extraction route of the Japanese knotweed rhizome bark, is performed. A comparative case study between the lab-based and proposed pilot-scale production of active added-value extract was evaluated. The results show the pilot-scale production exhibits lower environmental burdens, mainly due to greater electricity requirements for the lab-scale alternative.
Keywords: Japanese knotweed rhizome bark extract, invasive alien plant species, bioactive compounds, lab-scale, pilot-scale, life cycle assessment (LCA), environmental burden assessment
Published in DKUM: 19.03.2024; Views: 170; Downloads: 9
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Managing document management systems’ life cycle in relation to an organization’s maturity for digital transformation
Simona Sternad Zabukovšek, Sandra Jordan, Samo Bobek, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Document management systems (DMS) have become an important topic regarding digital transformation in organizations because they enable paperless business, speed up processes, lower business costs, and support sustainability activities in organizations. DMSs should be considered as green technology and also as technology crucial for green digital transformation. Sustainability is becoming increasingly crucial for organizations and society, and DMSs, along with paperless business, can contribute to the sustainable orientation of organizations. However, the problem with DMS implementations is that they often fail and that DMS users often use DMSs at a basic level, which means that, among other things, they still prefer to print documents rather than use electronic documents. A framework that can contribute to a better implementation and a higher level of use of DMSs, which both lead to a more green digital transformation of the organization, represents an organization's maturity. We used the Process and Enterprise Maturity Model (PEMM) to assess the organization's maturity level concerning the DMS' life cycle. Findings are presented from the research study. The research study was based on a questionnaire and collected data from DMS users. The research study showed that an organization's maturity impacts the DMS' life cycle. Organizations that manage the DMS' life cycle will better cope with digital transformation and sustainability issues related to paperless business.
Keywords: digitalization of processes, document management system (DMS), organization maturity, process maturity, life cycle, digital transformation
Published in DKUM: 16.02.2024; Views: 315; Downloads: 11
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Energy indicators and topics in food supply chains' life cycle assessment
Petra Vidergar, Rebeka Kovačič Lukman, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Food supply chains have a significant impact on the environment, using large amounts of fossil energy resources and other non-renewable resources. Energy is directly and indirectly needed in all the steps along the food supply chain. This paper explores energy-related indicators in food supply chains and life cycle assessment within sixty-six research papers, gathered from the Web of Science database. Furthermore, a quantitative content analysis was carried out to assess the research trends and future opportunities regarding energy-related topics. The results revealed that a holistic perspective is needed, as energy-related indicators should be included in the use and end-of-life stages, not only in the production processes, and that the inclusion should follow the life cycle assessment methodology. The current research topics are energy issues related to production processes and environmental impacts. Improvements are possible in extending research areas to renewable resources, whole lifecycle perspectives, and socio-economic consequences.
Keywords: energy, food supply chain, life cycle assessment, Leximancer
Published in DKUM: 05.12.2023; Views: 285; Downloads: 4
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Multi-purpose use and lifecycle analysis of solar panels
Dušan Strušnik, Urška Novosel, Jurij Avsec, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: The combined use of renewable energy technologies and alternative energy technologies is a promising approach to reduce global warming effects throughout the world. In this paper, the solar panel is used in combination with a heat pump or with biomass sources to obtain heat, electricity, and hydrogen. Based on the Rankine thermodynamic cycle, hydrogen could be obtained from water with electrolysis and the CuCl thermochemical cycle. Furthermore, this study contains a life cycle analysis of solar panels.
Keywords: heat pump, life cycle analysis, Rankine cycle, solar panel, thermochemical cycle
Published in DKUM: 01.12.2023; Views: 309; Downloads: 3
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Circular blue bioeconomy for shrimp shell waste valorization: environmental impact assessment : magistrsko delo
Rok Pučnik, 2023, master's thesis

Abstract: The seafood processing industry generates substantial amounts of waste, particularly from the shells of crustaceans. These shells currently hold limited to no value within the food sector, and the current methods of disposal can have negative impact on the natural bioecology. However, these shells still contain valuable compounds such as polymers, minerals, and polyphenols, which could be further utilized. Extracting these compounds using a biorefinery approach, which emphasizes sustainability, could be a viable solution. This master thesis aims to assess the environmental implications, using the Life Cycle Assessment methodology, of a shrimp shell biorefinery process, to produce valuable products, like proteins, chitin, astaxanthin and calcium carbonate. The laboratory-scale biorefinery process was initially upscaled to both pilot and industrial scales, based on equipment design. Also, a comparison between the calculated power demand of units and the power demand of units, derived from Aspen Capital Cost Estimator, was also done. For the laboratory, pilot and industrial sized process, the energy consumption was determined combined with the environmental impact assessment, such as global warming, eutrophication, acidification, ecotoxicity potentials and other. The functional unit was the production of 1 kg of chitin, where the capacity of the laboratory process was linearly scaled up. The evaluation of energy consumption revealed significant disparities among the different scales. Specifically, the upscaled laboratory process exhibited significantly higher energy consumption per kg of chitin (5,882.1 kWh) in comparison to the pilot (62.3 kWh) and industrial (21.1 kWh) scales. This outcome underscores the inadequacies of employing a linear scale-up in environmental analysis. Notably, centrifugation dominated electrical energy consumption at the laboratory-scale and industrial-scale, while refrigeration took over this role at the pilot-scale process. Related to impact assessment it was found that both pilot- and industrial-scale processes demonstrated lower overall environmental impacts, compared to the laboratory-scale process in all evaluated categories. Acidification, photochemical oxidation, eutrophication and global warming potential exhibited the most significant variations, with reductions ranging up to 97 %, while ozone layer depletion displayed only a 17 % decrease. Importantly, all three scales also exhibited some positive effects (unburdening the environment) due to the use of shrimp shell materials, with particularly noticeable improvements in the category of terrestrial ecotoxicity.
Keywords: Shrimp shells, Biorefinery, Process design, Life cycle assessment (LCA), Circular bioeconomy, Process Scale-up
Published in DKUM: 04.10.2023; Views: 416; Downloads: 0
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Sustainable development in transport and logistics
Vasja Omahne, 2021, master's thesis

Abstract: The support for an ongoing global pursuit of sustainable development, consumer awareness about sustainability, and regulations have affected the transport and logistics sector due to the fact that it presents ample environmental, social and economic challenges. The transport sector contributes globally to about 14% of greenhouse gas emissions, and around one third of the European Union's emissions, yet also represents an important economic sector, employing around 10 million individuals, thus requiring an in-depth discussion, especially regarding environmental impact. Due to increasing global concern for the environment, companies and policymakers are facing pressure to reduce the environmental impact related to transport and logistics activities and make them more sustainable. Before choosing a best practice for improvement, especially regarding the environmental perspective, a thorough analysis regarding the environmental impact has to be carried out based on reliable data and methodology. For such purposes, the life cycle assessment (LCA) defined by standards ISO 14040 and 14044 is commonly used. While the LCA focuses only on the environmental perspective, sustainability is represented by three dimensions, which are environmental, economic and social and those are interlinked, which presents a challenge, as each dimension has a major impact on every stage of the life cycle of a product, process or service. Thus there is a need to evaluate all three perspectives of sustainability in order to make transport and logistics processes more sustainable. Another option to make transport and logistics processes more sustainable and to achieve sustainable development is through education. Thus, it is important to integrate sustainability-oriented topics in logistics programs and courses, and consequently educate future logisticians about sustainability. Considering environmental burdens and sustainable development in transport and logistics, we explored LCA regarding its use in transport and logistics and studied the integration of sustainability into logistics education in EU, as it is important to educate future logistics managers and decision makers to gain sufficient knowledge on the importance of sustainability. Also, as logistics processes pose several environmental challenges and impacts, social and economic impacts are the ones that are frequently overlooked. Thus we additionally focused on performing an applicable comprehensive sustainability evaluation of a monkey toy and evaluated its environmental (through LCA), social (through SLCA) and economic (through LCC) impacts through the life cycle. At the same time, we explored options to enhance the present CE concept in the monkey toy company. Exploring the use of LCA in transport and logistics, we focused on the state-of-the-art of transport-related life cycle assessment studies, as they are important for the decision-making processes. Our research of LCA & transport studies was framed around the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization. A specific focus was given to the quality of life cycle assessment phases, comprehending goal and scope, inventory, life cycle impact assessment, and interpretation. Thirty-four research and review papers were studied, sourced from the Web of Science database. Studying the monkey toy, we firstly assessed the environmental impacts of the toy through LCA and additionally combined it with SLCA and LCC to evaluate the toy's sustainability comprehensively. Based on the results of the sustainability evaluation, we gained an insight into environmental, economic and social hotspots that the monkey represents. We then presented a possible enhancement of the CE concept. Lastly, focusing on logistics education, we analyzed and elaborated upon an integration of sustainability topics at higher education programs in logistics and their curricula for bachelor and master degrees at universities across Europe.
Keywords: logistics, transport, sustainability, life-cycle assessment, logistics education
Published in DKUM: 26.03.2021; Views: 1576; Downloads: 66
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