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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Lipiäinen, Satu;
    Publisher: Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT
    Country: Finland

    The forest industry has increased its energy efficiency substantially in the 21st century, but higher improvement rates could be expected regarding targets set by the European Union and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A variety of factors, i.e. technology development, structural changes and climate policies can drive energy efficiency improvement and decarbonization. This thesis looks how the Finnish and Swedish forest industries are developing towards energy efficient and low-carbon operation and evaluates the role of the sector in mitigating global change. These countries have long been forerunners in efficient operation and the decarbonization of the sector. The dependency on fossil fuels has decreased in the forest industry as energy efficiency has improved and fossil fuel use has been switching to biofuels. Potential opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions substantially exist: the Finnish and Swedish pulp mills have managed to operate lime kilns using a wide range of biofuels and their recovery boilers have been developed to produce significantly more renewable electricity and heat. New operating modes such as polysulphide cooking seem to provide a cost-effective way to produce pulp with higher material efficiency, but new solutions often cause changes in energy consumption and production. Structural changes, for example start-ups and closures of mills, have had a limited effect on energy efficiency improvement, which highlights the importance of maintaining efficient operation in existing mills. The forest industry can play a significant role in mitigating global change. The production of bioenergy and biofuels can be increased, notable energy savings can be expected and at least in comparison to other industrial sectors, the forest industry has good premises to achieve net zero industrial emissions before 2050. However, even though the forest industry has developed towards more sustainable operation and feasible technologies for improvement exist, the pace of evolution is slow in light of the urgent targets to mitigate global warming. The forest industry is the fourth largest industrial energy user and the fifth largest fossil CO2 emitter in the world. Investment cycles are long in the forest industry, and 2050 is only one cycle away. Thus, more research and political guidance are needed immediately to accelerate the evolution worldwide.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Araya Gómez, Natalia Andrea;
    Publisher: Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT
    Country: Finland

    The mining industry consumes water and energy to produce a metal or mineral product from mineral resources on the earth’s crust, leaving enormous waste. The main waste produced by the mining industry is mine tailings, which generally consist of a slurry containing water and reagents used in the processes and crushed ore. Tailings are usually stored in dams that can threaten the environment since they can pollute soil, water bodies and nearby communities. Water is used in most mining processes, as well as in the management of tailings. Since most mines are located in arid zones, reducing water consumption is crucial for the efficient use of water resources. The mining industry has improved water and energy efficiency and strengthened tailings disposal. Nevertheless, considerable effort is still needed to ensure the sustainable development of the mining sector. This dissertation aims to develop methods and tools to advance sustainable development in mining, focusing on water and tailings management. The strategies and tools proposed can be applied in mining processes to mitigate environmental impacts and enable the sustainable development of this industry. Methods used in this dissertation include mathematical optimisation, economic valuation methods and sensitivity and uncertainty analyses. To improve water management for mining companies, we proposed a method to supply water to several mine sites with the option of producing energy in the network. Another contribution was a framework to improve the water-energy nexus in mine sites, focusing on tailings disposal technologies. The methods used to accomplish this goal were a water reduction model, real options approach, and sensitivity and uncertainty analyses. Results show that an integrated system to supply water for mining companies, including energy production in the network, can be cheaper than an independent supply for each company. Moreover, dewatering technologies for tailings will reduce the water requirement to the mine site, reducing overall costs and reducing energy consumption in water transport and treatment. To improve mine tailings management, besides the use of dewatering technologies to recover water, the reprocessing of tailings is proposed to recover critical raw materials (CRMs) since some tailings contain quantities of them. A framework is applied, that includes quantifying CRMs in tailings, economic assessment using the discounted cash flow (DCF) method, and a real options approach with sensitivity and uncertainty analyses. Results show that tailings have quantities of CRMs. Tailings can be a secondary source of these materials in the future, under the right conditions of capital expenditure, operating expenditure and prices. This dissertation provides a collection of methods to improve tailings and water management in mining. This study’s novelty consists of considering both water and tailings to enhance the management of tailings and water supply to mine companies by considering the energy component of water treatment, transport and water used in tailings disposal. In addition, the possibility of obtaining CRMs from tailings is studied using an economic approach that introduces real options analysis to complement traditional valuation tools. The importance of this dissertation relies on proposing methods and tools to guide mining towards more sustainable water and tailings management that includes recovery of water and CRMs from tailings.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Ramírez Angel, Yendery;
    Publisher: Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT
    Country: Finland

    Water and energy use are intrinsically intertwined and are critical factors influencing mining sustainability. The rising demand for metals and the decrease of ore grade cause the increase of water volume required and the waste amount generated. Moreover, the reprocessing of mine tailings for the recovery of valuable materials trigger consumption of water and energy. All those factors are a threat to sustainability. The water-energy nexus in the mining industry has a significant impact on sustainability since decreasing waste by reusing, recycling, and reducing the water and energy consumption. Therefore, urge the need for suitable management of water and energy use that lead the way for sustainable mining industry in the context of the circular economy to attain the rising problems. The dissertation aims to provide an insight into the decision-making process to ensure the sustainable operation of mining processes and the related reprocessing of production waste. It is obtained through a comprehensive assessment of technological, environmental, and economic aspects of the operations concerned. The water-energy nexus analysis is applied through the development of frameworks to facilitate and support the decision-making process of stakeholders, to improve the water and waste management in the mining industry that leads to a sustainable circular economy. The main outputs of the dissertation are: The technology assessment provides an insight to decision-makers to aid them to improve technologies so that they can meet specific customers’ demands; The environmental assessment offers a straightforward and fast analysis of the energy consumption influence in water treatment and distribution systems and its effect onto the environment, considering water distribution systems, water quality, and how energy affects these variables; The economic assessment of the feasibility of reprocessing mining tailings to recover critical raw materials, considering the uncertainties involved; and the water-energy nexus assessment on tailings facilities to found and optimised the trade-offs between water and energy. Therefore, obtaining the guidance for proper mine tailings and water management in the mining industry.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Ram, Manish;
    Publisher: Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT
    Country: Finland

    There are undeniable signs from all over the world demonstrating that climate change is already upon us. Numerous scientific studies have warned of dire consequences should humankind fail to keep average global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5°C. Drastic measures to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from all economic activities across the world are essential. Major emphasis has been on the energy sector, which contributes the bulk of GHG emissions. Inevitably, energy scenarios describing future transition pathways towards low, and zero emissions energy systems are commonly proposed as mitigation strategies. However, there is growing awareness in the research community that energy transitions should be understood and analysed not only from technical and economical perspectives but also from a social perspective. This research explores the broader ramifications of a global energy transition from various dimensions: costs and externalities of energy production, democratisation of future energy systems and the role of prosumers, employment creation during energy transitions at the global, regional and national levels and the effects of air pollution during energy transitions across the world. This research builds on fundamental techno-economic principles of energy systems and relies firmly on a cost driven rationale for determining cost optimal energy system transition pathways. Techno-economic analyses of energy transitions around the world are executed with the LUT Energy System Transition Model, while the corresponding socioeconomic aspects are expressed in terms of levelised cost of electricity, cost effective development of prosumers, job creation, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions along with air pollution. Findings during the course of this original research involved novel assessments of the levelised cost of electricity encompassing externalities across G20 countries, cost optimal prosumer modelling across the world, estimates of job creation potential of various renewables, storage and power-to-X technologies including the production of green hydrogen and e-fuels during global, regional and national energy transitions. The novel research methods and insights are published in several articles and presented in this thesis, which highlight robust socioeconomic benefits of transitioning the current fossil fuels dominated global energy system towards renewables complemented by storage and flexible power-to-X solutions, resulting in near zero emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. These research findings and insights have significant relevance to stakeholders across the energy landscape and present a compelling case for the rapid transformation of energy systems across the world. However, the research does have limitations and is based on energy transition pathways that are inherent with uncertainties and some socioeconomic challenges. Nonetheless, actions to enhance and accelerate the ongoing energy transition across the world must be prioritised, if not for technical feasibility or economic viability, but for the social wellbeing of human society and future generations.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Qorri, Ardian;
    Publisher: Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT
    Country: Finland

    Supply chains are the backbone behind companies. Integrating sustainability in supply chains is difficult but essential to gain competitive advantages. While sustainability recognizes the interdependence of environmental, social, and economic aspects, measuring and managing performance across chain partners is challenging. The information generated from measurement process is used by management to control, communicate, and improve their efforts and relationships with partners. Hence, supply chain sustainability measurement and management are critical in achieving firm’s strategic objectives. However, existing performance measurement and management tools fail to consider all sustainability aspects across supply chain practices and partners. The goal of this dissertation is to explore and develop approaches for measuring and managing sustainability performance of supply chains. By applying a mixed methodology including a systematic literature review, conceptual design, content analysis, metaanalysis, fuzzy Entropy, fuzzy TOPSIS, and sensitivity analysis, I develop a novel and practical method to measure and manage sustainability performance in supply chains. The results of this dissertation have been published in four articles, for which the data was gathered through several sources. The results show (i) the state of the art of sustainability performance measurement approaches; (ii) the proposed conceptual framework explains new relationships between sustainability performance measurement components and stakeholders; (iii) the effect of social and environmental supply practices on firm performance; and (iv) sensitivity analysis confirm that the proposed measurement approach is practical and generates robust and usable outcomes. The dissertation contributes to the literature by providing new insights for scholars, managers, policymakers, and other stakeholders regarding environmental and social supply practices for achieving sustainable development.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Sarlos, Sinna;
    Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
    Country: Finland

    The question of state responsibility in climate change is becoming more and more relevant, as climate change continues to have detrimental effects on both the environment and the people. Sovereign states, however, cannot be forced to act. Sovereignty provides the states with a freedom to stay passive in the fight against climate change. With climate change causing sea level rise and increasing the frequency of natural disasters, the universal human rights stand threatened by the effects. International human rights law does not mention climate change, but if it can be proven that it truly violates human rights, states would have a responsibility to address climate change, at least in the sense that they ought to protect the victims of disasters and slow onset events. International environmental law provides with a responsibility to prevent environmental harm under the no-harm principle. The responsibility to prevent climate change would require that the connection between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change related environmental damage is sufficiently proven. The fact that climate change is partly natural and partly anthropological complicates this issue. The current climate change law does not appropriately address the sharing of responsibility to prevent climate change and compensate for damages caused by it. There are some principles, such as the polluter pays, beneficiary pays and ability to pay principles, which address the responsibility of those who pollute, those who benefit from the pollution, and the different levels of abilities to pay. From them, it follows that developed states ought to have a broader responsibility to pay than developing states, since they have polluted more, benefit more from the pollution, and have the means to pay more. The climate change regime is decades old, but it still fails to properly assign states with responsibilities to prevent climate change. Human rights law and environmental law compensate for some parts climate law lacks in, but the scientific uncertainties make the applicability controversial.

  • Open Access Finnish
    Authors: 
    Maskulin, Viivi;
    Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
    Country: Finland

    Tavoitteet. Ilmaston lämpeneminen on yksi suurimpia tulevaisuuden haasteita, jonka ehkäise-miseksi muutokset kulutuskäyttäytymisessä, yhteiskuntarakenteissa sekä yritystoiminnassa ovat tutkimustiedon mukaan välttämättömiä. Ruoka sekä ruoantuotanto ovat yksi merkittävim-mistä maapallon kantokykyä kuormittavista tekijöistä. Muutokset päästöjen vähentämisessä tai vaihtoehtoisesti seuraukset, joita ilmaston lämpeneminen aiheuttaa, tulevat koskettamaan erityi-sesti nuorten sukupolvia. Tässä tutkielmassa tavoitteena on pyrkiä ymmärtämään nuorten nä-kemyksiä ruoan valintaan vaikuttavista tekijöistä etenkin kestävyyden näkökulmasta. Samalla tavoitteena on tutkia, miten nuoret kokevat erilaiset keinot ja niiden vaikuttavuuden osana il-mastonmuutosta ehkäiseviä toimia. Tämän tutkimuksen tutkimuskysymykset ovat: millä tavoin ruoanvalintaan ja -käyttöön liittyvät tekijät jäsentyvät nuorten mielipiteissä sekä mitkä ovat ne tekijät, jotka nuoret kokevat edistävän tai estävän kestävyyttä ruoan tai syömisen näkökulmas-ta? Ruokavalintoja käsitellään yksilön valintojen, kuten poliittisen kulutuksen teorisointien sekä yhteiskunnallisten ohjauskeinojen ja -rakenteiden näkökulmasta. Menetelmät. Tutkimusasetelmassa hyödynnetään sekä laadullisia että määrällisiä menetelmiä. Kyselyllä kerättyä aineistoa analysoidaan pääosin laadullisin menetelmin, eli aineistolähtöisellä sisällönanalyysilla ja teemoittelulla. Analyysia täydennetään aineiston mahdollistaman määrälli-sen tarkastelun keinoin. Kyselyaineisto koostuu 44 nuoren aikuisen (15–29-vuotiaan) vastauk-sista. Tulokset ja johtopäätökset. Tämän tutkimuksen tuloksina ruoan valintaan vaikuttavina yksittäi-sinä tekijöinä määritti erityisesti elämäntilanne, ruoan hinta sekä kotimaisen ruoan suosiminen mahdollisuuksien mukaan. Ruokaan liittyvät ympäristöä kuormittavat tekijät nähtiin erityisesti rakenteellisena ongelmana, mutta omilla kulutusvalinnoilla koettiin olevan yhtä lailla merkitystä tulevaisuuden haasteita ratkottaessa. Ilmastonmuutoksen sekä ruokavalintojen yhteys koettiin olemassa olevana ongelmana, johon nuorten mielestä tulisi löytää ratkaisu. Nuoret kokevat ruo-kaan ja kulutukseen liittyvät tekijät moniulotteisena kokonaisuutena ja miettivät tulevaisuutta. Nuoret tiedostavat ruoan yhteyden ilmastokriisiin ja tahtoisivat oppia lisää ruokaan liittyvistä tekijöistä, jotta kestävämpien kulutusvalintojen tekeminen olisi helpompaa. Nuoret ovat valmiita muuttamaan omaa kulutustaan, mutta odottavat aktiivisia toimia myös vallanpitäjiltä.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Laine, Aki;
    Country: Finland

    This bachelor’s thesis examines the sustainability effects of utilizing cloud and edge computing in the manufacturing industry. Additionally, the concept of edge cloud computing and its benefits are presented. The topic is examined by analyzing the sustainability of cloud and edge computing solutions and their use cases in manufacturing. The research is conducted as a literature review and industry published material is also used to understand market needs for these technologies. The results indicate that utilizing cloud and edge computing in manufacturing for purposes such as data analysis, automation, and interorganizational collaboration can offer significant sustainability improvements. These include better resource and energy efficiency, improved productivity, safety, quality, flexibility, and scalability. Cost savings and reductions in waste and downtime can also be achieved. Research shows that cloud computing is more sustainable and energy efficient than its alternative, localized servers. Edge computing solutions offer lower latency compared to centralized data centers. Furthermore, edge computing enables savings in energy consumption and costs by reducing the amount of required data transportation. Decentralizing cloud resources into edge cloud data centers offers computing capabilities with low latency. This allows hosting latency critical applications that exceed the computing capacity of edge devices. Furthermore, edge cloud data centers can enable significant energy and cost savings for applications that are not compute-intensive. Latency tolerant compute-intensive applications should be hosted in larger centralized data centers with higher energy efficiency and processing capacity. Tässä kandidaatintyössä tutkitaan pilvi- ja reunalaskennan hyödyntämisen kestävyysvaikutuksia valmistavassa teollisuudessa. Lisäksi esitellään, mitä reunapilvilaskenta tarkoittaa ja millaisia hyötyjä sillä voidaan saavuttaa. Työssä tarkastellaan pilvi- ja reunalaskentaratkaisujen kestävyystekijöitä sekä valmistavan teollisuuden käyttötapauksia. Tutkimus on toteutettu kirjallisuuskatsauksena. Myös yritysten julkaisemaa materiaalia on hyödynnetty teknologioiden markkinatarpeiden ymmärtämiseksi. Tulokset osoittavat, että valmistavassa teollisuudessa voidaan saavuttaa merkittäviä kestävyyshyötyjä käyttämällä pilvi- ja reunalaskentaa data-analyysissa, automaatiossa ja organisaatioiden välisen yhteistyön edistämisessä. Näitä hyötyjä ovat parempi resurssi- ja energiatehokkuus, korkeampi tuottavuus, turvallisuus, laatu, joustavuus ja skaalautuvuus. Teknologioiden hyödyntäminen mahdollistaa myös hävikin ja häiriöiden vähentämisen sekä tuo kustannussäästöjä. Pilvilaskennan voidaan todeta olevan ympäristöystävällisempi ja kustannustehokkaampi vaihtoehto kuin paikallisten palvelimien käyttäminen. Reunalaskentaratkaisut tarjoavat lyhyemmän viiveen kuin keskitetyt datakeskukset. Lisäksi reunalaskenta vähentää datansiirron tarvetta, mikä mahdollistaa energiasäästöjä. Pilviresurssien hajauttaminen reunapilvidatakeskuksiin tarjoaa laskentakapasiteettia lyhyellä viiveellä. Tämä mahdollistaa reunalaitteiden laskentakapasiteetin ylittävien viivekriittisten sovellusten tarjoamisen. Reunapilvidatakeskuksilla voidaan myös saavuttaa huomattavia kustannus- ja energiasäästöjä sovelluksissa, jotka eivät vaadi suurta prosessointitehoa. Sovellukset, jotka vaativat suuren prosessointitehon ja kestävät viivettä, kannattaa pitää suuremmissa keskitetyissä datakeskuksissa.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Fan, Pengyu;
    Country: Finland

    At present, the dual problems caused by the shortage of non-renewable resources of fossil fuels and the negative impact of fossil fuels on the ecological environment are becoming increasingly serious, making the development and application of renewable energy an important part of the energy strategies of countries around the world. Biodiesel is a typical renewable and clean fuel, which is produced from some natural and renewable raw materials (vegetable oil, waste oil and microbial grease). Biodiesel is easy to burn, non-toxic and biodegradable. Compared with petroleum-based regular diesel, biodiesel has high cetane number, low aromatic content, better low-temperature startability and low greenhouse gas emissions. It has received considerable attention in controlling pollution caused by petroleum combustion. Among the methods for preparing biodiesel, transesterification is the most commonly used technique. The aim of this thesis work was to further investigate the application of transesterification technology in industrial production and its impact on the environment. Heterogeneous catalysts are more promising than homogeneous catalysts because they can be easily separated from the product and reused in several cycles, thus reducing the overall production cost. Immobilization of lipases on nanocatalysts increases their activity and surface area and has the advantage of easy catalyst recovery and multi-cycle reuse, at the same time enzyme stability can be improved by immobilization. Liquid lipase formulations for biodiesel production are growing rapidly because they have better miscibility with the reactants, reduce mass transfer limitations and increase reaction rates. Selection of the right catalyst is a key factor in biodiesel synthesis. Heterogeneous catalysts and lipase catalysts are excellent choices.

  • Open Access Finnish
    Authors: 
    Kukkola, Marko;
    Country: Finland

    Uusiutuvan energiatuotannon ja sähköenergian varastointiteknologioiden kehittyessä on mikroverkoille luotu toteuttamisympäristöjä yhä enemmän. Mikroverkkojen lisääntyessä on verkon turvallisuuden ja luotettavuuden täyttämiseksi pystyttävä toteuttamaan suojausjärjestelmä, joka täyttää viranomaisen sekä käyttäjän vaatimukset. Tässä työssä selvitetään mikroverkon suojauksen yleisperiaatteet sekä esimerkkiverkon mukainen kiinteistön mikroverkon suojausratkaisu. Työn teoriaosuudessa kirjallisuuden avulla luodaan yleiskäsitys mikroverkoista, toimintatavoista, kohteista sekä suojauksesta. Case-tutkimuksena tehdään mikroverkon suojauksen tarkastelu opetusympäristöön sijoittuvasta älysähköverkosta. Tutkimuksessa keskityttiin mikroverkkojen suojaukseen tapauksessa, jossa mikroverkkoratkaisu toteutetaan aiemmin rakennettuun älysähköverkkoon. Tutkimuksen avulla havaittiin mikroverkkojen suojauksen ongelmalliset kohteet ja suojauksen toiminnan tarpeellisuus. Turvallisuuslainsäädäntö asettaa keskeiset tavoitteet suojauksen toteutukselle ja suojauksen asetteluarvoille. Asetteluarvojen selvittämisen ja valmistajien ilmoittamien suojaustarpeiden avulla toteutettiin laskelmat, joiden perusteella tehtiin tulosraportointi. Tulosraportin avulla voitiin analysoida suojauksen tasoa verrattuna vaadittuihin turvallisuuslähtökohtiin ja esittää suojaustoimenpiteisiin muutoksia. More and more test and using environments have been implemented for microgrids due to the development of renewable energy production and electricity storage technologies. As the number of microgrids increases, they must fulfill protection and reliability requirements of the authority and the expectations of the users. The general principles of microgrid protection have been presented in the thesis, and the real estate microgrid protection solution has been reviewed. In the theoretical part of the thesis, the general overview of microgrids, operating methods, objects, and protection have been introduced. The research of microgrid protection has been done by case study. The thesis is focused on the microgrids protection in the case where the microgrid solution is implemented in a previously built smart grid. The research identified problematic targets for the microgrid protections and the need for protection functions. Legislation of electrical safety sets main goals for the implementation of protection and for its setting values. Determining of the setting values were made by the calculations and the results were reported in tables. The results of the report enabled to analyze of the level of protection compared to the protection requirements and finally to propose changes to the protection measures.

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