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Research ESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen Events

ESRIG-EES colloquium: Enrique Campa Flores and Sumiran Rastogi, MSc EES students

When:Tu 20-08-2019 16:00 - 17:00
Where:5159.0110, Energy Academy, Nijenborgh 6.

Title: Environmental Footprint of Cocaine: An Energy Analysis.

By: Enrique Campa Flores, MSc EES student.

This research offers insight into the environmental impact of the largest illicit agribusiness in the world; “Cocaine” (Rincon-Ruiz & Kallis, 2013). This research aims to provide a starting point in order to reduce the environmental impact of this thriving product by offering insight into the production process of cocaine and the energy required in order to produce it. Moreover, this research takes current law enforcements within the production process of cocaine into account, in order to suggest possible improvements for decreasing cocaine’s ecological footprint.

In order to determine the energy requirements in the production of cocaine, this research aims to (1) select the most common method of extracting cocaine, (2) inquire into each process and sub-process involved, and on the basis of this data, be able to add up the inputs and outputs required to (3) provide an overview of its use of resources by using energy as metric. This research aims to inspect different scenarios to be able to put into perspective the magnitude of cocaine production and have more insights among its production stages.

This leads to the conclusion that law enforcement activities are increasing the environmental impact in the production process of cocaine. The implementation of seizures has the highest environmental impact in the category of energy requirements. Therefore, compromising the efficiency of the production of cocaine by 20% and jeopardizing the cultivation of the harvested coca bush as a monocrop.

Title: Mitigating the Waste Problem of Delhi – Implementing a Decentralized Waste Management Approach.

By: Sumiran Rastogi, MSc EES student.

The waste generation in the world is projected to increase by 70 percent by 2050 if things are carried out ‘business as usual’, and India is likely to become the largest contributor in this waste, producing around 125 million tonnes by 2048. This is attributed to the country’s attention towards achieving the status of an industrialized nation causing widespread migration and overwhelming expansion of its megacities, including Delhi.

As of 2019, the waste management infrastructure in Delhi comprises of 3 landfills, 2 composting plants and 3 waste to energy plants. This infrastructure is fraught with inefficiencies such as, all three landfills in Delhi have been operational for more than 25 years and had reached their maximum capacity back 2008. These sites have evolved into point sources of methane emission, emitting 4013 Gg/year (as 2011-2012) and leading to abrupt landfill fires. Furthermore, the waste in Delhi is of a low-calorific value and is unsuitable for power generation by incineration. Despite this, the Delhi government plans on expanding the existing by adding new landfills and waste to energy plants.

This is study proposes a decentralized system over a centralized one to handle the waste. It proposes the construction of smaller facilities closer to the source of the waste and including biomethanation as a mainstream method to tackle the organic waste of the city. The study proceeds with construction of scenarios – Business as Usual, Partial Decentralization and Complete Decentralization, followed by a comparison of them. Lastly, the relative performance of each of these scenarios is evaluated in terms of certain indicators like, emission reduction, material recovery, landuse and social and economic value.