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Frontiers of Engineering Management

, Volume 6 Issue 4

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EDITORIAL
RESEARCH ARTICLE
Approach for natural gas to be a primary energy source in China
Weihe HUANG, Jindian CHEN, Chuan FU, Yan HUANG
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 467-476.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0068-6
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This work reveals the positioning of natural gas in the evolution of world energy and the general law of its development. In the long-term adjustment of energy structure, natural gas has gradually become the primary energy source because of five factors: policy, resources, technology, facilities, and market. To expedite the revolution of energy production and consumption, China must urgently expand the use of natural gas toward a more positive role in complementing coal and renewable energy and prioritize its usage in three areas, namely, urban gas, power generation, and industrial fuel. Natural gas is expected to account for approximately 15% of China’s total energy consumption in the future. For natural gas to be the primary energy, the exploitation of gas resources must be expanded, resource access must be improved, a flexible trade system must be set up, infrastructure investment must be increased, and the security system must be enhanced.

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Analysis and countermeasures of natural gas development in China
Wenzhi ZHAO, Ailin JIA, Guosheng ZHANG
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 477-484.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0064-x
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Natural gas has become a transitional bridge from fossil to green and clean energy worldwide. The importance of natural gas utilization in energy structure optimization and green development is no exception for China. However, the supply of China’s natural gas limits the country’s demand with three factors. (1) China’s natural gas resource is relatively rich, but its quality is poor with deep burial depth. Therefore, the annual plateau yield of natural gas cannot be high, with an estimated value of approximately 260–270 ×109 m3. (2) The demand for natural gas in China’s economic development is growing rapidly. The peak demand is estimated to be approximately 550–650 ×109 m3 per year or even higher. The import volume of natural gas will soon exceed that of domestic self-produced gas. (3) Natural gas is a necessity closely related to livelihood. Particularly, a shortage in natural gas supply affects social stability. Therefore, its external dependency should be under 50% and not exceed 60%. In this study, the future situation of China’s natural gas is forecasted, and relevant countermeasures and suggestions are proposed in accordance with research on China’s natural gas resource potential, production trend, supply-demand link, and gas supply safety factors.

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The development trend and practical innovation of smart cities under the integration of new technologies
Xiaohong CHEN
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 485-502.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0057-9
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Smart cities have rapidly developed in the context of the integration of new digital technologies such as big data, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, blockchains, and virtual reality. These cities have conducted practical innovations and typical cases in many sectors, such as in government, transportation, environmental protection, energy, medical care, and logistics, and have produced many social, economic, and ecological benefits. However, there are still some problems that continue to hinder the construction of smart cities. This paper examines such problems in depth and proposes some relevant countermeasures and suggestions.

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Intelligent construction technology of railway engineering in China
Chunfang LU, Junfei LIU, Yanhong LIU, Yuming LIU
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 503-516.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0073-9
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Intelligent construction technology has been widely used in the field of railway engineering. This work first analyzes the connotation, function, and characteristics of intelligent construction of railway engineering (ICRE) and establishes its system structure from three dimensions, namely, life cycle, layers of management, and intelligent function, to deeply understand the development situation of intelligent railway construction in China. Second, seven key technical support systems of ICRE, which include building information modeling (BIM) standard system for China’s railway sector, technology management platform and life cycle management based on BIM+GIS (geography information system), ubiquitous intelligent perception system, intelligent Internet-of-Things (IoT) commu-nication system based on mobile interconnection, construction management platform based on cloud computing and big data, unmanned operation system based on artificial intelligence, intelligent machinery and robot, and intelligent operation and maintenance system based on BIM and PHM (prediction and health management), are established. Third, ICRE is divided into three development stages: primary (perception), intermediate (substitution), and advanced (intelligence). The evaluation index system of each stage is provided from the aspects of technology and function. Finally, this work summarizes and analyzes the application situation of ICRE in the entire railway sector of China, represented by Beijing–Zhangjiakou and Beijing–Xiong’an high-speed railways. Result shows that the technical support systems of the ICRE have emerged in China and are still in the process of deepening basic technology research and preliminary application. In the future, the ICRE of China’s railway sector will develop toward a higher stage.

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Practice and understanding of developing new technologies and equipment for green and low-carbon production of oilfields
He LIU, Jianwen YAN, Siwei MENG, Qinghai YANG, Zixiu YAO, Shijia ZHU
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 517-523.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0061-0
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The core of China’s low-carbon development includes optimization of industrial structure, clean energy technologies, emission reduction technologies, and innovation of relevant systems and institutions. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has always been a proactive participant in developing low-carbon economy, shouldering the responsibilities of safeguarding oil and gas supply, conserving energy, and reducing emission. Therefore, CNPC fulfills those responsibilities as a substantial part of its overall strategy. Guided by low carbon and driven by innovation, petroleum corporations have taken constant innovation of low-carbon technologies, especially the development of green and low-carbon petroleum engineering technologies and equipment, as major measures for energy conservation and emission reduction. Large-scale development mode of unconventional resource anhydrous fracturing should be innovated. And supercritical CO2 should be used to replace water for fracturing operation, in order to achieve multiple objectives of CO2 burying, conserve water resource, improve single well production and ultimate recovery, realizing reduced emission and efficient utilization of CO2 resources. Artificial lifting energy-saving and efficiency-increasing technologies and injection-production technology in the same well should also be innovated. Energy consumption of high water-cut wells is reduced to support the new low-carbon operation mode of high water-cut oilfields and realize energy saving and efficiency improvement during oil production by developing the operation efficiency of the lifting system and reducing the ineffective lifting of formation water. These technologies have been widely recognized by local and international experts and have greatly enhanced CNPC’s international influence. This study expounds the key technologies and equipment with regard to the development of green and low-carbon petroleum engineering and provide relevant suggestions.

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Cost-benefit analysis of China’s Action Plan for Air Pollution Prevention and Control
Jing ZHANG, Hongqiang JIANG, Wei ZHANG, Guoxia MA, Yanchao WANG, Yaling LU, Xi HU, Jia ZHOU, Fei PENG, Jun BI, Jinnan WANG
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 524-537.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0074-8
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China’s rapid economic growth has caused severe air pollution and public health problems. Therefore, the Chinese government launched the National Air Pollution Prevention and Control (hereinafter referred to as the “Air Plan”) in 2013–2017 to improve air quality and safeguard public health. In this study, an analytical framework for a cost-benefit analysis applicable to China was constructed, and the costs and benefits of the implementation of the “Air Plan” in 30 cities and provinces in China from 2013 to 2017 were evaluated. Results show that the total cost of implementation of the “Air Plan” is 1.6511 trillion RMB. The benefits of air quality improvement were determined to be 2.4691 trillion RMB through the willingness-to-pay method to calculate the economic loss of premature deaths. The net benefit related to the implementation of the “Air Plan” was 818 billion RMB. The public health benefit of air quality improvement was 1.5 times the cost of the nationwide implementation of the “Air Plan”. At the provincial level, net benefits that reach 279.3 billion RMB were the highest in Guangdong, whereas the benefit-cost ratio, where the benefit was 5.5 times the cost, was the highest in Fujian. Estimations in this study can serve as a reference for China in formulating similar environmental policies and implementing the “3-year Plan to Defend the Blue Sky”. In addition, these estimations have practical significance for advancing the long-term effective mechanisms of the cost-benefit analysis of China’s environmental policies.

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Techno-economic analysis of the adoption of electric vehicles
Donald KENNEDY, Simon P. PHILBIN
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 538-550.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0048-x
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Significant advances in battery technology are creating a viable marketspace for battery powered passenger vehicles. Climate change and concerns over reliable supplies of hydrocarbons are aiding in the focus on electric vehicles. Consumers can be influenced by marketing and emotion resulting in behaviors that may not be in line with their stated objectives. Although sales of electric vehicles are accelerating, it may not be clear that purchasing an electric vehicle is advantageous from an economic or environmental perspective. A techno- economic analysis of electric vehicles comparing them against hybrids, gasoline and diesel vehicles is presented. The results show that the complexity of electrical power supply, infrastructure requirements and full life cycle concerns show that electric vehicles have a place in the future but that ongoing improvements will be required for them to be clearly the best choice for a given situation.

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Distributed governance of Solar Radiation Management geoengineering: A possible solution to SRM’s “free driver” problem?
Andrew LOCKLEY
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 551-556.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0055-y
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Geoengineering (deliberate climate modification) is a possible way to limit Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) (Shepherd, 2009; National Research Council, 2015). Solar Radiation Management geoengineering (SRM) offers relatively inexpensive, rapid temperature control. However, this low cost leads to a risk of controversial unilateral intervention—the “free-driver” problem (Weitzman, 2015). Consequently, this creates a risk of counter-geoengineering (deliberate warming) (Parker et al., 2018), resulting in governance challenges (Svoboda, 2017) akin to an arms race. Free-driver deployment scenarios previously considered include the rogue state, Greenfinger (Bodansky, 2013), or power blocs (Ricke et al., 2013), implying disagreement and conflict. We propose a novel distributed governance model of consensually-constrained unilateralism: Countries’ authority is limited to each state’s fraction of the maximum realistic intervention (e.g., pre-industrial temperature). We suggest a division of authority based on historical emissions (Rocha et al., 2015)—noting alternatives (e.g., population). To aid understanding, we offer an analogue: An over-heated train carriage, with passenger-controlled windows. We subsequently discuss the likely complexities, notably Coasian side-payments. Finally, we suggest further research: Algebraic, bot and human modeling; and observational studies.

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Relationship between the development of energy and mineral resources and ecological conservation redline
Dawei ZHANG
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 557-563.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0077-5
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From a philosophical point of view, this study discusses the dialectical relationship between the development of energy and mineral resources and the ecological conservation redline. We propose that the ecological conservation redline and the development of energy and mineral resources should be guided by ecological civilization construction, that is, the energy and mineral resources should be rationally developed under the condition that the ecological environment is protected. This study analyzes the influence of the development of energy and mineral resources on the ecological environment. The handling of mining rights within the ecological conservation redline based on the law and the reduction of the influence of the development of energy mineral resources on the ecological environment by science and technology are presented. The environmental assessment system and technical standards for energy and mineral development are suggested to implement policies and measures for the disposal of mining rights within the redline and facilitate technological innovations of ecological conservation for energy and mineral development. Hence, a coordinated development between the ecological conservation redline and the development of energy and mineral resources can be promoted.

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Relationship between Chief Executive Officer characteristics and corporate environmental information disclosure in Thailand
Dayuan LI, Aiqi LIN, Lu ZHANG
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 564-574.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0067-7
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This study focuses on the influence of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) characteristics on environmental information disclosure (EID) in the annual reports of companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. A regression analysis method is used to explore the relationship between CEO characteristics and corporate environmental disclosure. Pollution-intensive companies are taken as the samples in this study. Results show that financial expertise, educational level, and tenure of CEOs are positively correlated with corporate EID. By contrast, age or gender of CEOs is insignificantly related to EID.

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Research on the ecological compensation standard of the basin pollution control project based on evolutionary game theory and by taking Xiangjiang River as a case
Dongbin HU, Huiwu LIU, Xiaohong CHEN, Yang CHEN
Front. Eng. 2019, 6 (4): 575-583.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0044-1
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Ecological compensation is a new resource and environment management model. As one of the main areas for implementing ecological compensation policies, basin ecological compensation has become an important measure for encouraging basin pollution control projects and improving the quality of regional economic development. By applying the basic game analysis of evolutionary game theory and building an evolutionary game model with a “reward–punishment” mechanism, this paper compares the interest-related decision-making behaviors of the upstream and downstream stakeholders of basin ecological compensation. By using data on the water quality of Xiangjiang River Basin, this paper calculates the rewards and penalties in different intervals by building a parametric regression mathematical model and employing the local linear regression method. Results show that a decline in water quality should be fined RMB 925500 yuan, an improvement in water quality should be awarded RMB 1227800 yuan, and a deteriorating water quality should be severely fined RMB 5087600 yuan.

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