Frontiers of Engineering Management

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Comprehensive analysis on China’s National Climate Change Assessment Reports: Action and emphasis
Bing WANG, Ge HONG, Chao-Qun CUI, Hao YU, Tad MURTY
Front. Eng
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Climate change assessment is central for low-carbon management practice. This paper investigates China’s National Climate Change Assessment Reports of 2007, 2011, and 2015. These three reports are compared with other climate change assessment reports by data mining. The necessity of national climate change assessment is analyzed with the requirements at home and abroad. The latest progress surrounding climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation is outlined with the increasing temperature rise in China and the urgency of climate change commitments. The achievements in climate change assessment indicate the increasing climate change vulnerability on sectors and regions in China and the strategies and priorities for low-carbon actions. Distinct gaps and differences are identified in the coverage of industry, regions, and vulnerability assessment between our assessments and other evaluation reports. These gaps and differences demonstrate the importance and future improvements of China’s national climate change assessment in international climate governance. The outlook for China’s fourth assessment report is proposed.

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Sufficient or insufficient: Assessment of the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) of the world’s major greenhouse gas emitters
Ge GAO, Mo CHEN, Jiayu WANG, Kexin YANG, Yujiao XIAN, Xunpeng SHI, Ke WANG
Front. Eng
Abstract   HTML   PDF (379KB)

The recent Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has resulted in the submission of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of 190 countries. This study aims to provide an analysis of the ambitiousness and fairness of the mitigation components of the INDCs submitted by various parties. We use a unified framework to assess 23 INDCs that cover 50 countries, including European Union (EU)-28 countries as parties to the Convention, which represent 87.45% of the global greenhouse gas emissions in 2012. First, we transform initial INDC files into reported reduction targets. Second, we create four schemes and six scenarios to determine the required reduction effort, which considers each nation’s reduction responsibility, capacity, and potential, thereby reflecting their historical and current development status. Finally, we combine the reported reduction target and the required reduction effort to assess INDCs. Evaluation results of the 23 emitters indicate that 2 emitters (i.e., EU and Brazil) are rated as “sufficient,” 7 emitters (e.g., China, the United States, and Canada) are rated as “moderate,” and 14 emitters (e.g., India, Russia, and Japan) are rated as “insufficient.” Most pledges exhibit a considerable distance from representing a fair contribution.

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Characteristics of flow and heat transfer of shell-and-tube heat exchangers with overlapped helical baffles
Tingting DU, Wenjing DU
Front. Eng
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The characteristics of flow and heat transfer of shell-and-tube heat exchangers with overlapped helical baffles (STHXsHB) were illustrated through a theoretical analysis and numerical simulation. The ideal helical flow model was constructed to demonstrate parts of the flow characteristics of the STHXsHB, providing theoretical evidence of short-circuit and back flows in a triangular zone. The numerical simulation was adopted to describe the characteristics of helical, leakage, and bypass streams. In a fully developed section, the distribution of velocity and wall heat transfer coefficient has a similar trend, which presents the effect of leakage and bypass streams. The short-circuit flow accelerates the axial velocity of the flow through the triangular zone. Moreover, the back flow enhances the local heat transfer and causes the ascent of flow resistance. This study shows the detailed features of helical flow in STHXsHB, which can inspire a reasonable optimization on the shell-side structure.

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An adaptive policy-based framework for China’s Carbon Capture and Storage development
Xiaoliang YANG, Wolfgang HEIDUG, Douglas COOKE
Front. Eng
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China’s political leadership has taken an increasingly public and proactive stance on climate change since 2014. This stance includes making a commitment that Chinese carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will peak around 2030 and enacting measures through the 13th Five-Year Plan to support energy efficiency, clean energy technology, and carbon management. Chinese policymakers consider carbon capture and storage (CCS) a critical bridging technology to help accelerate the decarbonization of its economy. This paper reviews and analyzes Chinese CCS support policies from the perspective of an adaptive policymaking framework, recognizing uncertainty as an inherent element of the policymaking process and drawing general lessons for responding to changing circumstances. Notably, the political support for CCS in China remains fragmented with uncoordinated government leadership, undecided industry players, and even with opposing voices from some leading scientists. There is scope for expanding the framework to provide more granularity, in particular relating to the development of a CCS infrastructure and the development of storage-focused CO2-EOR. Overall, given the role CCS can play to decarbonize China’s power and other industrial sectors, a commitment to CCS from top policymakers and major stakeholders is needed.

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A model for the evaluation of environmental impact indicators for a sustainable maritime transportation systems
Lizzette Pérez LESPIER, Suzanna LONG, Tom SHOBERG, Steven CORNS
Front. Eng
Abstract   HTML   PDF (254KB)

Maritime shipping is considered the most efficient, low-cost means for transporting large quantities of freight over significant distances. However, this process also causes negative environmental and societal impacts. Therefore, environmental sustainability is a pressing issue for maritime shipping management, given the interest in addressing important issues that affect the safety, security, and air and water quality as part of the efficient movement of freight throughout the coasts and waterways and associated port facilities worldwide. In-depth studies of maritime transportation systems (MTS) can be used to identify key environmental impact indicators within the transportation system. This paper develops a tool for decision making in complex environments; this tool will quantify and rank preferred environmental impact indicators within a MTS. Such a model will help decision-makers to achieve the goals of improved environmental sustainability. The model will also provide environmental policy-makers in the shipping industry with an analytical tool that can evaluate tradeoffs within the system and identify possible alternatives to mitigate detrimental effects on the environment.

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Solvability and thermal response of cellulose with different crystal configurations
Qian CHEN, Kai ZHENG, Qingtao FAN, Kun WANG, Haiyan YANG, Jianxin JIANG, Shijie LIU
Front. Eng
Abstract   HTML   PDF (306KB)

Cellulose is a biodegradable and renewable natural material that it is naturally resistant to breaking and modification. Moreover, the crystalline structure of cellulose is a major factor restricting its industrial utilization. In this study, cellulose polymorphs were prepared from natural cellulose, and their solvability and thermal response were investigated. Using liquid- and solid-state NMR signals, the distinct types and dissolving states of cellulose polymorphs were identified. The thermal behavior of the polymorphic forms of cellulose-d was also evaluated, and cellulose II exhibited the poorest thermal stability and a unique exothermic reaction.

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