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Morales-Pinzon T.,Technological University of Pereira | Morales-Pinzon T.,Institute of Environmental Science and Technology ICTA | Luruena R.,University of Geneva | Rieradevall J.,Institute of Environmental Science and Technology ICTA | And 4 more authors.
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2012

Spain has one of the highest risks of water shortage due mainly to the growth of the urban population, the development of different economic activities, such as tourism, in regions with major hydrological constraints and under the effect of global climate change. Government authorities and public and private institutions have stressed the need to develop alternative water supplies to respond to the growing demand in cities, which are home to more than 70% of Spain's population. Rainwater constitutes an alternative water supply for uses that require lower quality than that provided by tap water. Although there are financial-feasibility studies and other studies on the potential environmental impacts of Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) systems, there is no integration between these studies that allows for rapid assessment tools for these systems that can be used by planners and decision makers. This study shows that it is possible to model both conventional financial indicators (Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return) and indicators of potential environmental impact (Global Warming Potential and Energy Use) using linear systems and an appropriate sizing scale for the majority of RWH systems. Some positive financial results of this study indicate negative environmental performance in some configurations of RWH systems. In addition, providing rainwater to meet domestic water demand for washing machines has a lower impact than using tap water. The determining factor in the design of RWH systems is the scale of the system, where the neighbourhood scale is the best alternative. The material used for storage tanks is not an outstanding factor. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Talens Peiro L.,Institute of Environmental Science and Technology ICTA | Lombardi L.,University of Florence | Villalba Mendez G.,Institute of Environmental Science and Technology ICTA | Villalba Mendez G.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 2 more authors.
Energy | Year: 2010

The paper assesses the life cycle of biodiesel from used cooking oil (UCO). Such life cycle involves 4 stages: 1) collection, 2) pre-treatment, 3) delivery and 4) transesterification of UCO. Generally, UCO is collected from restaurants, food industries and recycling centres by authorised companies. Then, UCO is pre-treated to remove solid particles and water to increase its quality. After that, it is charged in cistern trucks and delivered to the biodiesel facility to be then transesterified with methanol to biodiesel. The production of 1 ton of biodiesel is evaluated by a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to assess the environmental impact and by an Exergetic Life Cycle Assessment (ELCA) to account for the exergy input to the system. A detailed list of material and energy inputs is done using data from local companies and completed using Ecoinvent 1.2 database. The results show that the transesterification stage causes 68% of the total environmental impact. The major exergy inputs are uranium and natural gas. If targets set by the Spanish Renewable Energy Plan are achieved, the exergy input for producing biodiesel would be reduced by 8% in the present system and consequently environmental impacts and exergy input reduced up to 36% in 2010. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Teixido N.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Teixido N.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | Bensoussan N.,IPSO FACTO | Gori A.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | And 2 more authors.
Marine Ecology | Year: 2016

Understanding processes that contribute to a better comprehension of the population dynamics of long-lived species is critical for the maintenance and potential recovery of such species. Despite the abundance of soft corals in Mediterranean rocky reefs, little information exists on their life histories and reproductive patterns. In this study, we assessed the main reproductive characteristics and early life-history traits of the long-lived soft coral Alcyonium acaule. The sex ratio was 1:1; the smallest fertile colonies were one finger in size (2.1 ± 0.6 cm in height), and both colony and polyp fertility increased with colony size. Likewise, the number of eggs and spermary sacs per polyp increased significantly with colony size, whereas the diameter of the female and male sexual products did not. Over 6 years of observations (2007-2012), spawning occurred primarily in July, after the seawater reached 20 °C, in a single spawning episode per year. Approximately 80% of female colonies released eggs, which were retained on the surface of the mother colony by mucous strings for up to a few days. High fertilization rates were observed during spawning in 2008 and 2009 (94.9% and 87.0%, respectively). The timing of development was ~24 h for the blastulae, ~48-72 h for the planulae and 8-22 days for metamorphosis into primary polyps. Survivorship of planulae was relatively high (~50% at 45 days after release), but only 24% of larvae metamorphosed into primary polyps, and their survivorship was moderate after 2 months (65% in 2008 and 74% in 2009). Asexual reproduction was negligible, indicating that sexual reproduction is the main mechanism supporting the maintenance and recovery of populations. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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