Richard Murphy

Professor Richard Murphy FIMMM, FRSA

Professor of Life Cycle Assessment, Programme Director - CES Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability, University Sustainability Research Theme Champion
+44 (0)1483 686680
17 AA 02
For personal tutees: Thursdays 4:30pm to 5:30pm



Research interests

Research projects


J. Suckling, S. Morse, R. Murphy, Monique Maria Raats, S. Astley, J.C.G. Halford, J.A. Harrold, A. Le-Bail, E. Koukouna, H. Musinovic, Anne Raben, M. Roe, J. Scholten, C. Scott, C. Westbroek (2023)Environmental life cycle assessment of production of the non-nutritive sweeteners aspartame (E951) and neotame (E961) from chemical processes: The SWEET project, In: Journal of Cleaner Production424138854 Elsevier

Consumption of added sugar is a cause of concern due to links with non-communicable diseases. Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNSs) are increasingly seen as a viable alternative. Health and safety of NNSs are well studied, but not their environmental impact. In this study the environmental impact of NNSs aspartame and neotame are presented. This is the first such study attempting to quantify environmental impact of neotame. Life cycle data are derived from literature, alongside stoichiometric reaction equations and resulting heat changes. Global warming potential (GWP) of 1 kg aspartame is found to be 29.25 kgCO2-eq/kg, and 1 kg neotame to be 43.42 kgCO2-eq/kg. It is found that both NNSs have great potential to replace the sweetness of added sugar with reduced environmental impact, e.g., GWP of neotame is found to be 0.4–0.7%, and aspartame 10.5–18.4%, of an equivalent sweetness for sucrose. This study demonstrates that environmental impact of the additional resources required to make neotame from aspartame are more than offset by the increase in perceived sweetness, from 200 to 8000-times. It is shown that there are significant uncertainties related to life cycle inventory data and data derivation method. Therefore, this work further highlights the difficulties of conducting a life cycle assessment of highly refined industrial food additives and the need for good industrial collaboration in obtaining data. •First life cycle assessment of non-nutritive sweetener neotame.•Global warming potential (GWP) of 1 kg aspartame found to be 29.25 kgCO2-eq/kg.•GWP of 1 kg neotame found to be 43.42 kgCO2-eq/kg.•On iso-sweetness basis, GWP aspartame is 82–89% less than sugar, neotame 99% less.•Study highlights need for greater collaboration with producers of these sweeteners.

J. Suckling, S. Morse, R. Murphy, M. Raats, S. Astley, J.C.G. Halford, J.A. Harrold, A. Le-Bail, E. Koukouna, H. Musinovic, A. Raben, M. Roe, J. Scholten, C. Scott, C. Westbroek (2023)Environmental life cycle assessment of production of the non-nutritive sweeteners aspartame (E951) and neotame (E961) from chemical processes: The SWEET project, In: Journal of Cleaner Production424138854 Elsevier

Consumption of added sugar is a cause of concern due to links with non-communicable diseases. Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNSs) are increasingly seen as a viable alternative. Health and safety of NNSs are well studied, but not their environmental impact. In this study the environmental impact of NNSs aspartame and neotame are presented. This is the first such study attempting to quantify environmental impact of neotame. Life cycle data are derived from literature, alongside stoichiometric reaction equations and resulting heat changes. Global warming potential (GWP) of 1 kg aspartame is found to be 29.25 kgCO2-eq/kg, and 1 kg neotame to be 43.42 kgCO2-eq/kg. It is found that both NNSs have great potential to replace the sweetness of added sugar with reduced environmental impact, e.g., GWP of neotame is found to be 0.4–0.7%, and aspartame 10.5–18.4%, of an equivalent sweetness for sucrose. This study demonstrates that environmental impact of the additional resources required to make neotame from aspartame are more than offset by the increase in perceived sweetness, from 200 to 8000-times. It is shown that there are significant uncertainties related to life cycle inventory data and data derivation method. Therefore, this work further highlights the difficulties of conducting a life cycle assessment of highly refined industrial food additives and the need for good industrial collaboration in obtaining data. •First life cycle assessment of non-nutritive sweetener neotame.•Global warming potential (GWP) of 1 kg aspartame found to be 29.25 kgCO2-eq/kg.•GWP of 1 kg neotame found to be 43.42 kgCO2-eq/kg.•On iso-sweetness basis, GWP aspartame is 82–89% less than sugar, neotame 99% less.•Study highlights need for greater collaboration with producers of these sweeteners.

E. Blenkley, J. Suckling, S. Morse, R. Murphy, M. Raats, S. Astley, J. C. G. Halford, J.A. Harrold, A. Le-Bail, E. Koukouna, H. Musinovic, A. Raben, M. Roe, J. Scholten, C. Scott, C. Westbroek (2023)Environmental life cycle assessment of production of the non-nutritive sweetener sucralose (E955) derived from cane sugar produced in the United States of America: The SWEET project, In: International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment28pp. 1689-1704 Springer

Purpose There is increasing concern about the detrimental health effects of added sugar in food and drink products. Sweeteners are seen as a viable alternative. Much work has been done on health and safety of using sweeteners as a replacement for added sugar, but very little on their sustainability. This work aims to bridge that gap with a life cycle assessment (LCA) of sucralose derived from cane sugar grown in the United States of America (USA). Methods An attributional, cradle-to-gate LCA was conducted on sucralose production in the USA. Primary data were derived from literature for the chlorination process, and all other data from background sources. Results are reported via the ReCiPe 2016 (H) method, with focus given to land use, global warming potential (GWP), marine eutrophication, mineral resource scarcity, and water consumption. Because sucralose has a much greater perceived sweetness than sugar, impacts are expressed both in absolute terms of 1 kg mass and in relative sweetness equivalence terms to 1 kg sugar. Scenario modelling explores the sensitivity of the LCA results to change in key parameters. This research was conducted as part of the EU Horizon 2020 project SWEET (Sweeteners and sweetness enhancers: Impact on health, obesity, safety and sustainability). Results and discussion GWP for 1 kg sucralose was calculated to be 71.83 kgCO2-eq/kg (sugar from sugarcane is 0.77 kgCO2-eq/kg). However, on a sweetness equivalence basis, GWP of sucralose reduces to 0.12 kgCO2-eq/kgSE. Production of reagents was the main contributor to impact across most impact categories. Sugar (starting material for sucralose production) was not a majority contributor to any impact category, and changing the source of sugar has little effect upon net impact (average 2.0% variation). Instead, uncertainty in reference data is a greater source of variability: reagent use optimization reduces average impact of sucralose production by approximately 45.4%. In general, sucralose has reduced impact compared to sugar on an equivalent sweetness basis, however, due to data uncertainty, the reduction is not significant for all impact categories. Conclusion This LCA is the first for sucralose produced from cane sugar produced in the USA. Results indicate that sucralose has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of replacing the sweet taste of sugar. However, data were derived from literature and future collaboration with industry would help in reducing identified uncertainties. Accounting for functional use of sucralose in food and drink formulations is also necessary to fully understand the entire life cycle impact.

E. Blenkley, J. Suckling, S. Morse, R. Murphy, M. Raats, S. Astley, J. C. G. Halford, J. A. Harrold, A. Le-Bail, E. Koukouna, H. Musinovic, A. Raben, M. Roe, J. Scholten, C. Scott, C. Westbroek (2023)Environmental life cycle assessment of production of the non-nutritive sweetener sucralose (E955) derived from cane sugar produced in the United States of America: The SWEET project, In: International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment28pp. 1689-1704 Springer

Purpose There is increasing concern about the detrimental health effects of added sugar in food and drink products. Sweeteners are seen as a viable alternative. Much work has been done on health and safety of using sweeteners as a replacement for added sugar, but very little on their sustainability. This work aims to bridge that gap with a life cycle assessment (LCA) of sucralose derived from cane sugar grown in the United States of America (USA). Methods An attributional, cradle-to-gate LCA was conducted on sucralose production in the USA. Primary data were derived from literature for the chlorination process, and all other data from background sources. Results are reported via the ReCiPe 2016 (H) method, with focus given to land use, global warming potential (GWP), marine eutrophication, mineral resource scarcity, and water consumption. Because sucralose has a much greater perceived sweetness than sugar, impacts are expressed both in absolute terms of 1 kg mass and in relative sweetness equivalence terms to 1 kg sugar. Scenario modelling explores the sensitivity of the LCA results to change in key parameters. This research was conducted as part of the EU Horizon 2020 project SWEET (Sweeteners and sweetness enhancers: Impact on health, obesity, safety and sustainability). Results and discussion GWP for 1 kg sucralose was calculated to be 71.83 kgCO2-eq/kg (sugar from sugarcane is 0.77 kgCO2-eq/kg). However, on a sweetness equivalence basis, GWP of sucralose reduces to 0.12 kgCO2-eq/kgSE. Production of reagents was the main contributor to impact across most impact categories. Sugar (starting material for sucralose production) was not a majority contributor to any impact category, and changing the source of sugar has little effect upon net impact (average 2.0% variation). Instead, uncertainty in reference data is a greater source of variability: reagent use optimization reduces average impact of sucralose production by approximately 45.4%. In general, sucralose has reduced impact compared to sugar on an equivalent sweetness basis, however, due to data uncertainty, the reduction is not significant for all impact categories. Conclusion This LCA is the first for sucralose produced from cane sugar produced in the USA. Results indicate that sucralose has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of replacing the sweet taste of sugar. However, data were derived from literature and future collaboration with industry would help in reducing identified uncertainties. Accounting for functional use of sucralose in food and drink formulations is also necessary to fully understand the entire life cycle impact.

Elias Martinez-Hernandez, Arick Castillo-Landero, Diana Dominguillo-Ramirez, Myriam A. Amezcua-Allieri, Stephen Morse, Richard Murphy, Jorge Aburto, Jhuma Sadhukhan (2024)Priorities and relevance of bioenergy sustainability indicators: A participatory selection framework applied to community-based forestry in Mexico, In: Energy Research & Social Science109103425 Elsevier

Assessing how bioenergy projects translate into socioeconomic benefits is needed to demonstrate its value in industrial decarbonisation and sustainability strategies. This work presents a framework for bioenergy sustainability assessment wherein a set of indicators are selected, co-developed and weighted using a participatory approach. The framework integrates stakeholder identification, literature review and overlap analysis to derive an initial set of indicators used for participatory selection. The framework applied to bioenergy in communitybased forestry in Mexico with participation of community and local stakeholders revealed sustainability indicator priorities and relevance in regards to occupational injury, illness and fatalities, training and/or education, use of renewable energy and household income (economic pillar); access to household electricity service, to municipal water supply, to sewerage service and to fuel, and female participation (social pillar); the loss of natural resources and grazing land, waste reduction for energy and sewage water treatment (environmental pillar). Indicators related to streetlighting were downplayed by the participants while forest fires, soil erosion, reduction of waste burning, and reduction of water use were indicators derived from the concerns expressed by the participants. The framework was useful for capturing stakeholders' relevance and priorities to make indicator selection more realistic in measuring the bioenergy impacts and co-benefits for local community. The framework using a participatory approach allows for validation with stakeholders across the scales (local, regional, and national) which can be applied to other bioenergy case studies. The framework is also a step towards an approach integrating bottom-up and top-down perspectives.

Caroline Greenslade, Richard J. Murphy, Stephen Morse, Geoffrey H. Griffiths (2021)Breaking down the barriers: Exploring the role of collaboration in the forestry sector of south east England, In: Sustainability MDPI

The forestry supply chain in the southeast of England is characterized by a diverse set of independent businesses and a sector strongly driven by personal connections and trust. Yet, the opportunity exists to increase the amount of wood product through bringing currently unmanaged woodlands to the market, a result that should have environmental as well as economic benefits. Previous research has indicated that agents play a key linking role between woodland owners and contractors, offering services ranging from consultancy support, grant aid access, and the writing of management plans to the scheduling and delivery of thinning and felling activity, with a unique and important position in the sector in terms of facilitating change. This study, through interviews with 18 woodland agents, was designed to explore collaboration across the sector. The results suggest that current levels of collaboration are low and use predominantly horizontal mechanisms, focusing on information sharing rather than joint operation. This is despite a positive market opportunity and a growth aspiration, as well as an enthusiasm for increased collaboration that is particularly prevalent in smaller businesses. Four main features of the sector are limiting the amount of collaboration: a traditional handshake culture strongly embedded within rural life; the construct, mechanisms, and frameworks of the sector; the value set of those operating at this critical juncture of supply and demand; and the lack of positive examples of collaboration. Higher levels of collaboration were seen by woodland agents to be positive for increasing the sustainable and productive management of woodlands but achieving this will be challenging to established practice.

Amy M. Fitzgerald, Nathan Wong, Annabel V.L. Fitzgerald, David A Jesson, Ffion Martin, Richard J. Murphy, Tim Young, Ian Hamerton, Marco L Longana (2022)Life Cycle Assessment of the High Performance Discontinuous Fibre (HiPerDiF) Technology and Its Operation in Various Countries, In: Sustainability14(3)1922 MDPI

Composite waste is a growing issue due to the increased global demand for products manufactured from these advanced engineering materials. Current reclamation methods produce short length fibres that, if not realigned during remanufacture, result in low-value additives for non-structural applications. Consequently, to maximise the economic and functional potential, fibre realignment must occur. The High Performance Discontinuous Fibre (HiPerDiF) technology is a novel process that produces highly aligned discontinuous fibre-reinforced composites, which largely meet the structural performance of virgin fibres, but to date, the environmental performance of the machine is yet to be quantified. This study assessed the environmental impacts of the operation of the machine using life cycle assessment methodology. Electrical energy consumption accounts for the majority of the greenhouse gas emissions, with water consumption as the main contributor to ecosystem quality damage. Suggestions have been made to reduce energy demand and reuse the water in order to reduce the overall environmental impact. The hypothetical operation of the machine across different European countries was also examined to understand the impacts associated with bulk material transport and electricity from different energy sources. It was observed that the environmental impact showed an inverse correlation with the increased use of renewable sources for electricity generation due to a reduction in air pollutants from fossil fuel combustion. The analysis also revealed that significant reductions in environmental damage from material transport between the reclamation facility to the remanufacturing site should also be accounted for, and concluded that transportation routes predominantly via shipping have a lower environmental impact than road and rail haulage. This study is one of the first attempts to evaluate the environmental impact of this new technology at early conceptual development and to assess how it would operate in a European scenario.

Ana Andries, Stephen Morse, Richard J. Murphy, Jim Lynch, Emma R. Woolliams (2022)Using Data from Earth Observation to Support Sustainable Development Indicators: An Analysis of the Literature and Challenges for the Future, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)14(3) Mdpi

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework aims to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality, design sustainable cities, support economic growth, tackle climate change and leave no one behind. To monitor and report the progress on the 231 unique SDGs indicators in all signatory countries, data play a key role. Here, we reviewed the data challenges and costs associated with obtaining traditional data and satellite data (particularly for developing countries), emphasizing the benefits of using satellite data, alongside their portal and platforms in data access. We then assessed, under the maturity matrix framework (MMF 2.0), the current potential of satellite data applications on the SDG indicators that were classified into the sustainability pillars. Despite the SDG framework having more focus on socio-economic aspects of sustainability, there has been a rapidly growing literature in the last few years giving practical examples in using earth observation (EO) to monitor both environmental and socio-economic SDG indicators; there is a potential to populate 108 indicators by using EO data. EO also has a wider potential to support the SDGs beyond the existing indicators.

Mercio Cerbaro, Stephen Morse, Richard Murphy, Sarah Middlemiss, Dimitrios Michelakis (2022)Assessing Urban Vulnerability to Flooding: A Framework to Measure Resilience Using Remote Sensing Approaches, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)14(4) Mdpi

Assessing and measuring urban vulnerability resilience is a challenging task if the right type of information is not readily available. In this context, remote sensing and Earth Observation (EO) approaches can help to monitor damages and local conditions before and after extreme weather events, such as flooding. Recently, the increasing availability of Google Street View (GSV) coverage offers additional potential ways to assess the vulnerability and resilience to such events. GSV is available at no cost, is easy to use, and is available for an increasing number of locations. This exploratory research focuses on the use of GSV and EO data to assess exposure, sensitivity, and adaptation to flooding in urban areas in the cities of Belem and Rio Branco in the Amazon region of Brazil. We present a Visual Indicator Framework for Resilience (VIFOR) to measure 45 indicators for these characteristics in 1 km(2) sample areas in poor and richer districts in the two cities. The aim was to assess critically the extent to which GSV-derived information could be reliable in measuring the proposed indicators and how this new methodology could be used to measure vulnerability and resilience where official census data and statistics are not readily available. Our results show that variation in vulnerability and resilience between the rich and poor areas in both cities could be demonstrated through calibration of the chosen indicators using GSV-derived data, suggesting that this is a useful, complementary and cost-effective addition to census data and/or recent high resolution EO data. Furthermore, the GSV-linked approach used here may assist users who lack the technical skills to process raw EO data into usable information. The ready availability of insights on the vulnerability and resilience of diverse urban areas by straightforward remote sensing methods such as those developed here with GSV can provide valuable evidence for decisions on critical infrastructure investments in areas with low capacity to cope with flooding.

Mercio Cerbaro, Stephen Morse, Richard Murphy, Jim Lynch, Geoffrey Griffiths (2020)Challenges in using earth observation (EO) data to support environmental management in Brazil, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)12(24)10411 MDPI AG

This paper presents the results of research designed to explore the challenges involved in the use of Earth Observation (EO) data to support environmental management Brazil. While much has been written about the technology and applications of EO, the perspective of end-users of EO data and their needs has been under-explored in the literature. A total of 53 key informants in Brasilia and the cities of Rio Branco and Cuiaba were interviewed regarding their current use and experience of EO data and the expressed challenges that they face. The research builds upon a conceptual model which illustrates the main steps and limitations in the flow of EO data and information for use in the management of land use and land cover (LULC) in Brazil. The current paper analyzes and ranks, by relative importance, the factors that users identify as limiting their use of EO. The most important limiting factor for the end-user was the lack of personnel, followed by political and economic context, data management, innovation, infrastructure and IT, technical capacity to use and process EO data, bureaucracy, limitations associated with access to high-resolution data, and access to ready-to-use product. In general, users expect to access a ready-to-use product, transformed from the raw EO data into usable information. Related to this is the question of whether this processing is best done within an organization or sourced from outside. Our results suggest that, despite the potential of EO data for informing environmental management in Brazil, its use remains constrained by its lack of suitably trained personnel and financial resources, as well as the poor communication between institutions.

Kimball C. Chen, Matthew Leach, Mairi J. Black, Meron Tesfamichael, Francis Kemausuor, Patrick Littlewood, Terry Marker, Onesmus Mwabonje, Yacob Mulugetta, Richard J. Murphy, Rocio Diaz-Chavez, John Hauge, Derek Saleeby, Alex W. Evans, Elisa Puzzolo (2021)Biolpg for clean cooking in sub-saharan africa: Present and future feasibility of technologies, feedstocks, enabling conditions and financing, In: Energies (Basel)14(13) Mdpi

Energy supply for clean cooking is a priority for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG, i.e., propane or butane or a mixture of both) is an economically efficient, cooking energy solution used by over 2.5 billion people worldwide and scaled up in numerous low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Investigation of the technical, policy, economic and physical requirements of producing LPG from renewable feedstocks (bioLPG) finds feasibility at scale in Africa. Biogas and syngas from the circular economic repurposing of municipal solid waste and agricultural waste can be used in two groundbreaking new chemical processes (Cool LPG or Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion (IH2)) to selectively produce bioLPG. Evidence about the nature and scale potential of bioLPG presented in this study justifies further investment in the development of bioLPG as a fuel that can make a major contribution toward enabling an SSA green economy and universal energy access. Techno-economic assessments of five potential projects from Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda illustrate what might be possible. BioLPG technology is in the early days of development, so normal technology piloting and de-risking need to be undertaken. However, fully developed bioLPG production could greatly reduce the public and private sector investment required to significantly increase SSA clean cooking capacity.

Climate change-related impacts have hampered the productivity of agricultural lands in recent times, affecting food security globally. Novel technology-based agricultural production systems such as controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) are a way to reduce the impact of climatic variation and pests that harm current global crop production and ensure consistent crop development. These systems often use artificial lighting and soilless mediums to produce crops. This meta-analysis has investigated the key influencing factors on crop production within these systems, using previous studies on lettuce (the most cultivated crop in these systems) to understand what affects yield within CEA. This analysis has found that on average, CEA systems yield twice that of field-based agriculture (3.68 kg m −2 vs. 1.88 kg m −2), with the most influencing factors being the variety of cultivars grown, the season, the nutrient delivery method, and the lighting type. The cultivation time for this study was 40 days, with 94% of papers having trial periods of 70 days or less, much lower than field-based agriculture (60–120 days). Vertical farming (stacked vertical CEA cultivation) studies were found to especially drive up yield per area (6.88 kg m −2). The results of this meta-analysis are useful for starting to understand the key influencing factors on CEA growth and highlight the breadth of research ongoing in the CEA industry.

Caroline Greenslade, Richard Murphy, Stephen Morse, Geoffrey H. Griffiths (2020)Seeing the wood for the trees: Factors limiting woodland management and sustainable local wood product use in the south east of England, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)12(23)10071pp. 1-15 MDPI AG

The South East of England has an abundance of woodland, which offers a potential sustainable timber and fuel resource in parallel with being a much-loved part of rural life and rich ecological wildlife habitat. An ever-increasing quantity of mature broadleaved trees is available for harvest forms, with appropriate management and a sustainable yield potential, set against the backdrop of only 10% of UK timber demand currently supplied from UK-grown resource. There has been little systematic research into the factors that limit the sector and initiatives to address the challenge have not had a significant impact on the amount of woodland under management. Through semi-structured interviews across the wood supply chain, this research provides an integrated analysis of the factors limiting woodland management in the South East of England. The findings indicate the sector is complex, multifaceted, slow to respond to change and driven by a strong set of human, economic, environmental, and structural motivations away from use of local wood product. A novel insight from the research was that although there was a positive affinity for forestry and a strong culture of woodland management across the spectrum of stakeholders, there was little evidence of effective collaboration or sector integration. These factors have been summarised in a ‘rich picture’ providing a visual and intuitive way of engaging with stakeholders. This research fills a significant gap in understanding the dynamics of forestry in the South East of England and provides new underpinning evidence for policy makers to design interventions aimed at delivering better sustainable utilisation of woodland resources in parallel with offering support to rural communities and economies.

Oluwaseun Nubi, Stephen Morse, Richard J. Murphy (2022)Electricity Generation from Municipal Solid Waste in Nigeria: A Prospective LCA Study, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)14(15) Mdpi

Diverse opportunities and environmental impacts could occur from a potential move towards waste-to-energy (WtE) systems for electricity generation from municipal solid waste (MSW) in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria. Given this, the purpose of this study is to use life cycle assessment (LCA) as a primary analytical approach in order to undertake a comparative analysis from an environmental impact perspective of different WtE scenarios, along with diesel backup generators (DBGs) and grid electricity. A functional unit of 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity produced was used in assessing the following environmental impact categories: abiotic depletion (fossil fuels) potential (ADP), global warming potential (GWP 100a), human toxicity potential (HTP), photochemical oxidation potential (POCP), acidification potential (AP), and eutrophication potential (EP). The overall result indicated that anaerobic digestion (AD) had the highest energy generated per one tonne of MSW processed for both Lagos (683 kWh/t) and Abuja (667 kWh/t), while landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) had the lowest for both (Lagos 171 kWh/t, Abuja 135 kWh/t). AD also had the lowest environmental impacts amongst the four WtE systems for both cities based on all the impact categories except for POCP. In contrast, LFGTE had the highest impact in all the categories except ADP and HTP. Extending the analysis to include diesel-based generators (DBG) and grid electricity saw the DBGs having the highest impact overall in ADP (14.1 MJ), HTP (0.0732 Kg, 1.4 DB eq), AP (0.0129 Kg SO2 eq), and EP (0.00313 Kg PO4 eq) and grid electricity having the lowest impact in GWP (0.497 Kg CO2 eq), AP (0.000296 Kg SO2 eq), and EP (0.000061 Kg PO4 eq). It was concluded that additional electricity supply from AD to the grid, with its potential to reduce the reliance on DBGs (worst scenario overall), would be a positive action in environmental impact terms.

Chris Collins, Mike Depledge, Robert Fraser, Andrew Johnson, Gary Hutchison, Peter Matthiessen, Richard Murphy, Susan Owens, John Sumpter (2020)Key actions for a sustainable chemicals policy, In: Environment international137105463 Elsevier Ltd

Chemicals policies have spawned a wide range of regulations aimed at limiting damage to the environment and human health. Most instruments are reactive and fragmented. We propose a simple underpinning philosophy, “Do no harm”, to ensure a more sustainable, safe “chemical environment” for the future.

Oluwaseun Nubi, Stephen Morse, Richard J. Murphy (2021)A prospective social life cycle assessment (Slca) of electricity generation from municipal solid waste in nigeria, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)13(18) Mdpi

This research assesses the social impacts that could arise from the potential waste-to-energy (WtE) generation of electricity from municipal solid waste (MSW) in the cities of Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria. Social life cycle assessment (sLCA) was the main analytical approach used coupled with a participatory approach to identify relevant social issues to serve as the potential sLCA impact 'subcategories'. Focus group research in both cities led to the identification of 11 social issues that were transformed into social impact subcategories with appropriate indicators for the sLCA. These were populated with data from a questionnaire-based survey with approximately 140 stakeholders. The results indicated that the impact subcategories "Improved Electricity Supply" and "Income" were ranked respectively as having the most and the least significant social impacts associated with the potential adoption of WtE in these two cities in Nigeria. Overall, the research showed that the expected social impact was higher for WtE electricity generation in Lagos than in Abuja. This difference may be related to the higher population and greater amounts of waste in Lagos and its position as a hub for many of the country's commercial and industrial activities which have long been affected by inadequate electricity supply. This study also provides an example of the use of participatory processes as an important approach in sLCA for the elucidation of social issues that are directly pertinent to key local perspectives when considering such technology implementations.

James Rowland Suckling, Stephen Morse, Richard James Murphy, Sian Astley, Jason C G Halford, Jo Harrold, Alain Le Bail, Elena Koukouna, Hana Musinovic, Joel Perret, Anne Raben, Mark Roe, Jasper Scholten, Corey Scott, Christos Stamatis, Charlotte Westbroek (2023)Environmental life cycle assessment of production of the high intensity sweetener steviol glycosides from Stevia rebaudiana leaf grown in Europe: The SWEET project, In: International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment Springer

Purpose There is an increasing interest in the use of non-nutritive sweeteners to replace added sugar in food and beverage products for reasons of improving consumer health. Much work has been done to understand safety of sweeteners, but very little on sustainability. To address that gap, this study presents the results of a life cycle assessment (LCA) of production of rebaudioside A 60%, 95% pure (RA60) steviol glycoside mix from Stevia rebaudiana leaf grown in Europe. Methods An attributional cradle-to-factory-gate life cycle assessment was conducted on growing of stevia leaves and extraction of steviol glycosides in Europe. Primary data were used from a case study supply chain. Results are reported in impact categories from the ReCiPe 2016 (H) method, with focus given to global warming potential, freshwater eutrophication, water consumption, and land use. Impacts are expressed both in terms of production mass and sweetness equivalence, a common metric for understanding high intensity sweetener potency. Sweetness equivalence of RA60 is typically 200 to 300 times that of sugar. Comparison of environmental impact is made to sugar (sucrose) produced from both cane and beets. The research is part of the EU project SWEET (sweeteners and sweetness enhancers: impact on health, obesity, safety, and sustainability). Results and discussion Global warming potential for production of RA60 was found to be 20.25 kgCO2-eq/kgRA60 on a mass basis and 0.081 kgCO2-eq/kgSE on a sweetness equivalence basis. Field production of stevia leaves was found to be the main source of impact for most impact categories, and for all four focus categories. Extraction of the RA60 was the main source of impact for the others. Leaf processing and seedling propagation were minor contributors to life cycle impact. Removal of international transport from the supply chain reduced global warming potential by 18.8%. Compared with sugar on a sweetness equivalence basis, RA60 has approximately 5.7% to 10.2% the impact for global warming potential, 5.6% to 7.2% the impact for land use, and is lower across most other impact categories. Conclusion This is the first LCA of steviol glycoside mix RA60 produced from leaf in Europe. The results indicate that RA60 can be used to reduce environmental impact of providing a sweet taste by replacing sugar across all impact categories. However, it is important to note that specific formulations in which RA60 is used will have a bearing on the final environmental impact of any food or beverage products. For solid foods, this requires further research.

Timothy M. Chukwu, Stephen Morse, Richard J. Murphy (2022)Spatial Analysis of Air Quality Assessment in Two Cities in Nigeria: A Comparison of Perceptions with Instrument-Based Methods, In: Sustainability14(9)5403 MDPI

The air quality (AQ) in urban contexts is a major concern, especially in the developing world. The environmental and social challenges created by poor AQ have continued to increase despite improvements in monitoring AQ using earth observation (EO) satellites, static and mobile ground-based sensors and models. However, these types of equipment can be expensive to purchase, operate, and maintain, especially for cities of the developing world, and, as a result, there is growing interest in the elicitation of residents’ perceptions of AQ. However, there is a need to analyse how the results obtained from sensor measurements and models match the AQ as perceived by residents. This study explored AQ in multiple locations in two developing world cities (Abuja and Enugu) in Nigeria by analysing the perceptions of 262 residents and how these compared with findings obtained from ground-based instruments. The results suggest that the perceived AQ of the locations broadly matches those obtained using instruments, although there were statistically significant differences between respondent groups based on the demographic factors of income-education (Abuja) and age (Enugu). This research supports the contention that perceptual AQ assessment provides a valuable source of data for policy and decision-makers when addressing poor AQ and can support action in the absence of instrument-based measurements.

Oluwaseun Nubi, Stephen Morse, Richard J. Murphy (2022)Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Electricity Generation from Municipal Solid Waste in Nigeria: A Prospective Study, In: Energies (Basel)15(23)9173 Mdpi

Globally, rising population and rapid urbanisation have resulted in the dual issues of increased electricity demand and waste generation. These exacerbate diverse global problems, ranging from irregular electricity supply and inadequate waste management systems to water/air/soil pollution, climate change, etc. Waste-to-Energy (WtE) approaches have been proposed and developed to address simultaneously these two issues through energy recovery from waste. However, the variety of available waste materials and different WtE technologies make the choice of an appropriate technology challenging for decision-makers. The evaluation of the different WtE technologies in terms of their sustainability could provide a solid comparative base for strategic decision making in the power and waste management domains. This paper presents research conducted using a multidimensional Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) approach to estimate and compare the environmental, economic, and social impacts associated with the generation of electricity from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in two major cities, Lagos and Abuja, in Nigeria. These cities provide case studies in a developing world context to explore how their similarities and differences may influence the LCSA impacts for four WtE systems (Anaerobic Digestion, Incineration, Gasification, and Landfill Gas to Energy), and this is the first research of its kind. An LCSA ranking and scoring system and a muti-attribute value theory (MAVT) multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) were employed to evaluate the overall sustainability of the prospective use of WtE over a 20-year timeframe. The results from both approaches indicated that the adoption of WtE offered sustainability benefits for both cities, marginally more so for Lagos than Abuja. It was concluded that, for optimal benefits to be achieved, it is vital for decision-makers to think about the various trade-offs revealed by this type of analysis and the varying priorities of relevant stakeholders.

ANA MONICA ANDRIES, STEPHEN MORSE, RICHARD JAMES MURPHY, Jim Lynch, Emma Woolliams (2022)Assessing Education from Space: Using Satellite Earth Observation to Quantify Overcrowding in Primary Schools in Rural Areas of Nigeria, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)14(3)1408 MDPI AG

Nigeria is a country with a rapidly growing youthful population and the availability of good quality education for all is a key priority in the sustainable development of the country. An important element of this is the need to improve access to high-quality primary education in rural areas. A key indicator for progress on this is the provision of adequate classroom space for the more than 20 million learners in Nigerian public schools because overpopulated classrooms are known to have a strong negative impact on the performance of both pupils and their teachers. However, it can be challenging to rapidly monitor this indicator for the over 60 thousand primary schools, especially in rural areas. In this research, we used satellite Earth Observation (EO) and Nigerian government data to determine the size of available teaching spaces and evaluate the degree of overcrowding in a sample of 1900 randomly selected rural primary schools across 19 Nigerian states spanning all regions of the country. Our analysis shows that 81.4% of the schools examined were overcrowded according to the minimum standard threshold for school size of at least 1.2 m2 of classroom space per pupil defined by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Such overcrowding can be expected to have a negative impact on educational performance, on achieving universal basic education and UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 (Quality Education), and it can lead to poverty. While measuring floor area can be performed manually on site, collecting, and reporting such data for the number of rural primary schools in a large and populous country such as Nigeria is a serious, time-consuming administrative task with considerable potential for errors and data gaps. Satellite EO data are readily available including for remote areas, are reproducible and are easy to update over time. This paper provides a proof-of-concept example of how such EO data can contribute to addressing this socio-economic dimension of the SDGs framework.

Jiean Ling, Eve Germain, Richard Murphy, Devendra Saroj (2021)Designing a sustainability assessment tool for selecting sustainable wastewater treatment technologies in corporate asset decisions, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)13(7)3831 MDPI AG

There is a growing demand for an integrated assessment to identify and select asset management options based on sustainability in the wastewater industry. However, water companies are often not equipped with a rigorous methodology and sufficient resources to perform sustainability assessments. Although many frameworks and tools for sustainability assessment have been developed in academia, practical challenges such as feasibility and usability remain when implementing sustainability assessment methods to support corporate decision-making. This study developed a Multi-Criteria Analysis based framework to evaluate wastewater treatment processes from a sustainability perspective. This study firstly explored the decision and organizational context of a water company with preliminary interviews and then applied the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) with composite scores to evaluate wastewater technologies at a sewage treatment works. The preliminary interviews with stakeholders highlighted that the existing investment decisions were primarily driven by financial cost and compliance whilst calling for a wider consideration of other criteria. A selection of assessment criteria and indicators were then proposed to compare seven treatment technologies at a sewage treatment works. The results of composite scores indicated that the baseline activated sludge process (ASP) was the best option for this study. Experience from the development process highlighted usability, stakeholder engagement and the organizational context should all be considered as part of the design and implementation of the sustainability assessment. The insights from this study provide a valuable practical foundation for applying a multi-criteria approach to perform sustainability assessments and inform asset management decisions in the water company.

Amy Fitzgerald, Will Proud, Ali Kandemir, Richard J. Murphy, David A. Jesson, Richard S. Trask, Ian Hamerton, Marco L. Longana (2021)A life cycle engineering perspective on biocomposites as a solution for a sustainable recovery, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)13(3)pp. 1-25 Mdpi

Composite materials, such as carbon fibre reinforced epoxies, provide more efficient structures than conventional materials through light-weighting, but the associated high energy demand during production can be extremely detrimental to the environment. Biocomposites are an emerging material class with the potential to reduce a product's through-life environmental impact relative to wholly synthetic composites. As with most materials, there are challenges and opportunities with the adoption of biocomposites at the each stage of the life cycle. Life Cycle Engineering is a readily available tool enabling the qualification of a product's performance, and environmental and financial impact, which can be incorporated in the conceptual development phase. Designers and engineers are beginning to actively include the environment in their workflow, allowing them to play a significant role in future sustainability strategies. This review will introduce Life Cycle Engineering and outline how the concept can offer support in the Design for the Environment, followed by a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of biocomposites throughout their life cycle.

Ana Andries, Richard J. Murphy, Stephen Morse, Jim Lynch (2021)Earth observation for monitoring, reporting, and verification within environmental land management policy, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)13(16) Mdpi

The main aim of the new agricultural scheme, Environmental Land Management, in England is to reward landowners based on their provision of 'public goods' while achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emission by 2050. Earth Observation (EO) satellites appear to offer an unprecedented opportunity in the process of monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of this scheme. In this study, we worked with ecologists to determine the habitat-species relationships for five wildlife species in the Surrey Hills 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' (AONB), and this information was used to examine the extent to which EO satellite imagery, particularly very high resolution (VHR) imagery, could be used for habitat assessment, via visual interpretation and automated methods. We show that EO satellite products at 10 m resolution and other geospatial datasets enabled the identification and location of broadly suitable habitat for these species and the use of VHR imagery (at 1-4 m spatial resolution) allowed valuable insights for remote assessment of habitat qualities and quantity. Hence, at a fine scale, we obtained additional habitats such as scrub, hedges, field margins, woodland and tree characteristics, and agricultural practices that offer an effective source of information for sustainable land management. The opportunities and limitations of this study are discussed, and we conclude that there is considerable scope for it to offer valuable information for land management decision-making and as support and evidence for MRV for incentive schemes.

Ana Andries, Stephen Morse, Richard J. Murphy, Emma R. Woolliams (2023)Examining Adaptation and Resilience Frameworks: Data Quality’s Role in Supporting Climate Efforts, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)15(18)

The current landscape of climate change adaptation and resilience policies, frameworks, and indicators is rapidly changing as nations, organizations, and individuals acknowledge the urgent need to address its impacts. Various methods for adaptation and resilience are developed and monitored through formal indicators. However, there are gaps in indicator development and monitoring, including the need for more indicators to address monitoring gaps, lacks in the availability of fit-for-purpose (quality and quantity) data sets, and interpretation challenges. Especially at the local level, these gaps are pronounced. In this study, we assessed current policies, frameworks, and indicators, and conducted semi-structured interviews with stakeholders. A key concern raised was the difficulty in handling insufficient, quality data, particularly in developing nations, hindering adaptation implementation. Respondents also noted the lack of a standardised approach/tool for planning, monitoring, and evaluation. To address this, stakeholders advocated for local indicators and a unified approach/tool. Comparable and consistent data, collected by qualified personnel, were emphasised. Effective adaptation plans are vital in responding to climate change, yet challenges persist in planning, implementation, and monitoring, reporting, and verification phases. A recommended solution involves a common measurement approach for adaptation and resilience, alongside tailored local strategies to ensure success of these plans.

Mairi J. Black, Amitava Roy, Edson Twinomunuji, Francis Kemausuor, Richard Oduro, Matthew Leach, Jhuma Sadhukhan, Richard Murphy (2021)Bottled biogas—an opportunity for clean cooking in ghana and uganda, In: Energies (Basel)14(13) Mdpi

Anaerobic digestion (AD) can bring benefits in terms of effective management of organic waste, recovery of nutrients and energy recovery, and is consistent with circular economy principles. AD has been promoted and implemented worldwide, but at widely differing scales, influenced by the availability and location of feedstocks. In developing countries, feedstock arises from small- to medium-scale agriculture and agro-processing operations, as well as from household and municipal waste. Biogas produced from residues from agro-processing facilities may be used for on-site heat and power, but the lack of a gas and electricity grid infrastructure can limit opportunities to distribute gas or generated electricity to wider users. This paper presents the findings of the first study to consider novel technologies for small-scale and low-cost biogas clean-up into biomethane, and compression into small bottles, suitable as a clean cooking fuel. The paper reports on the initial evaluation of biomethane for cooking in Ghana and Uganda.

Sophie Jane Tudge, Zoe M. Harris, Richard J. Murphy, Andy Purvis, Adriana De Palma (2023)Global trends in biodiversity with tree plantation age, In: Global Ecology and Conservation48 Elsevier

Tree plantations are expanding globally to satisfy demands for wood, food, energy, oil and other ecosystem services, often replacing primary vegetation. Plantations are generally less biodiverse than primary vegetation, yet the effects of plantation age on biodiversity are not well understood. More accurate estimations of biodiversity within plantations over time could improve predictions of the ecological effects of tree planting, guiding more sustainable land use and management decisions. Here, we assess the effects of plantation age on the abundance and number of species of invertebrates, birds, plants, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and lichens, and on compositional similarity to minimally-used primary vegetation. We find that plantations usually support fewer species than both minimally-used primary vegetation and mature secondary vegetation, fewer individuals, and some novel species (i.e. species not also found in primary vegetation). We also find that, on a global scale, plantation age has positive effects on species richness, the abundance of individuals, and compositional similarity to primary vegetation. However, geographic realm, biome, management intensity and plantation type influence the biodiversity trends. We also include a case study for oil palm, showing that species richness increases with oil palm plantation age. Nevertheless, plantations typically remain less biodiverse than natural vegetation even thirty years after planting, especially in the tropics, where compositional similarity between plantations and minimally-used primary vegetation remains approximately 20% lower than the non-tropics. Our results highlight the negative ecological consequences of establishing new plantations in place of primary vegetation or restoration, yet we also reveal spatio-temporal differences in plantation biodiversity.

Oluwaseun Olukayode Nubi, Stephen Morse, Richard James Murphy (2022)Prospective Life Cycle Costing of Electricity Generation from Municipal Solid Waste in Nigeria, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)14(20)13293 MDPI

Waste management and electricity supply have always been among the main challenges faced by developing countries. So far, the use of waste to energy (WtE) is one strategy that could simultaneously address these two challenges. However, the use of such technologies requires detailed studies to ensure their sustainability. In this paper, the potential of WtE in two cities in Nigeria (Abuja and Lagos) using anaerobic digestion (AD), incineration, gasification and landfill gas to energy (LFGTE), is presented with the aim of evaluating their economic viability using life cycle costing (LCC) as an analytical tool. This economic feasibility analysis includes LCC, levelised cost of electricity (LCOE), net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR) and payback period. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to investigate the influence of several parameters on the economic viability of the selected technologies for the two cities. The economic assessment revealed that all the WtE systems were feasible and viable in both cities except for LFGTE in Abuja where the NPV was negative (-USD 105.42/t), and the IRR was 4.17%. Overall, incineration for both cities proved to be the most favourable economic option based on its positive LCC (Lagos USD 214.1/t Abuja USD 232.76/t), lowest LCOE (Lagos USD 0.046/t Abuja USD 0.062/t), lowest payback period (Lagos 1.6 years Abuja 2.2 years) and the highest IRR (Lagos 62.8% Abuja 45.3%). The results of the sensitivity analysis also indicated that variation in parameters such as the capital cost and discount rate have significant effects on the LCC. This paper provides information for potential investors and policy makers to enhance optimal investment in WtE technologies in Nigeria.

Timothy M. Chukwu, Stephen Morse, Richard Murphy (2022)Poor Air Quality in Urban Settings: A Comparison of Perceptual Indicators, Causes and Management in Two Cities, In: Sustainability14(3)1438 MDPI

Poor air quality (PAQ) is a global concern, especially in urban areas, and is often seen as an important element of social sustainability given its negative impact on health and quality of life. However, little research has been undertaken in cities of the developing world to explore how residents perceive poor air quality, its main causes, what control measures should be used to address PAQ and where the main responsibility rests for implementing control measures. The research described in this paper sought to address these points, using a questionnaire-based survey (n = 262) in Nigeria's federal capital city of Abuja (n = 137) and the state-capital city of Enugu (n = 125). The survey took place during the COVID-19 pandemic (October 2020 to March 2021), and was stratified to ensure representation across a number of demographic groups such as gender, age, education and income. The results were analysed using the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test and Hochberg's post hoc test available in SPSS version 28. The study found that the ranking of perceptual indicators and the main causes of PAQ had much agreement between respondents from both cities and between demographic groups. Smoke, odour and dust particles were perceived to be the most important indicators of PAQ, while the main sources of PAQ were waste and bush burning, vehicle use and power generators. The two most preferred control measures were proper waste management and the avoidance of bush burning. However, there was a significant difference between the two cities in terms of the main organisations responsible for addressing PAQ, with respondents from Abuja citing the federal government, while those from Enugu cited the state government. Interestingly, younger people in Enugu noted that the government should take more responsibility in controlling PAQ than did the older demographic in that city, but this difference was not seen in Abuja. Overall, this study reveals that residents in these two Nigerian cities clearly recognise their exposure to PAQ and it suggests that these perceptual indicators, and views on sources and interventions should be central to designing policies to control this important issue.

Ben Siggery, Helen Bennion, Stephen Morse, Richard Murphy, Mike Waite (2023)Practitioner perspectives on the application of palaeoecology in nature conservation, In: Frontiers in ecology and evolution11

It is widely recognised that palaeoecology holds great potential to inform and support nature conservation, but that there are difficulties in knowledge exchange between academia and practitioners that inhibit the operationalisation of research. To facilitate the integration of palaeoecology into the conservation toolkit, it is essential to understand perspectives of the practitioners themselves and the contexts in which they work. This paper reports the results of a survey of 153 UK-based conservation practitioners, concerning their perceptions of palaeoecology, the barriers to its use and potential solutions for making palaeoecological insights more accessible in conservation practice. The survey was conducted online over a period of 3 months; closed question responses were analysed for statistical trends and thematic analysis was done on open question responses. The majority of respondents were strongly positive about the role palaeoecological research could play, though they also exhibited a limited understanding of how and why one might implement it. They identified time constraints as the biggest barrier to using palaeoecology within their work, and also flagged concerns around financial resources and the accessibility of the research. Access to applied case studies and a centralised database were the most favoured solutions among respondents. Respondents with prior experience of working with palaeoecology were generally more optimistic about its incorporation. This paper makes several key recommendations to progress the integration of palaeoecology into conservation, including improving data accessibility, aligning research design with conservation and policy drivers, and increasing both respective groups’ understanding of the other.

Minghui Wu, Jhuma Sadhukhan, Richard Murphy, Ujjwal Bharadwaj, Xiaofei Cui (2023)A novel life cycle assessment and life cycle costing framework for carbon fibre-reinforced composite materials in the aviation industry, In: International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment28pp. 566-589 Springer

Purpose Carbon fibre-reinforced composite materials offer superior mechanical properties and lower weight than conventional metal products. However, relatively, little is known about the environmental impacts and economic costs associated with composite products displacing conventional metal products. The purpose of this study is to develop an integrated life cycle assessment and life cycle costing framework for composite materials in the aviation industry. Methods An integrated life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) framework has been developed. The displacement of a conventional aluminium door for an aircraft by a composite door is presented as an example of the use of this framework. A graphical visualisation tool is proposed to model the integrated environmental and economic performances of this displacement. LCA and LCC models for composite applications are developed accordingly. The environmental hotspots are identified, and the sensitivity of the environmental impact results to the different composite waste treatment routes is performed. Subsequently, the research suggests a learning curve to analyse the unit price for competitive mass production. Sensitivity analysis and Monte Carlo simulation have been applied to demonstrate the cost result changes caused by data uncertainty. Results Energy consumption was the hotspot, and the choice of composite waste treatment routes had a negligible effect on the LCA outcomes. Concerning the costs, the most significant cost contribution for the unit door production was labour. The future door production cost was decreased by about 29% based on the learning curve theory. The uncertainties associated with the variables could lead to variations in the production cost of up to about 16%. The comparison between the two doors shows that the composite door had higher potential environmental impacts and cost compared to the conventional aluminium door during the production stage. However, the composite door would have better environmental and financial performance if a weight reduction of 47% was achieved in future designs. Conclusions The proposed framework and relevant analysis models were applied through a case study in the aerospace industry, creating a site-specific database for the community to support material selection and product development. The graphical tool was proved to be useful in representing a graphical visualisation comparison based on the integration of the LCA and LCC results of potential modifications to the composite door against the reference door, providing understandable information to the decision-makers.

Elias Martinez-Hernandez, Jhuma Sadhukhan, Jorge Aburto, Myriam A. Amezcua-Allieri, Stephen Morse, Richard Murphy (2022)Modelling to analyse the process and sustainability performance of forestry-based bioenergy systems, In: Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy Springer

This study develops a novel mathematical modelling framework for biomass combined heat and power systems (CHP) that links biomass and process characteristics to sustainability assessment of the life cycle. A total of twenty-nine indicators for the process (four-indicators), economic (five-indicators), environmental (eight-indicators) and social global (five-indicators) and local (seven-indicators) aspects have been analysed for sustainability. These are technological: biomass throughput, electricity and steam generations and CHP efficiency; economic: internal rate of return, capital, operating and feedstock costs and cost of production; environmental: global warming, fossil, land and water use, acidification, urban smog, eutrophication and ecotoxicity potentials; social (global): labour rights and decent work, health & safety, human rights, governance and community infrastructure; social (local): total forest land, direct/indirect jobs, gender equality and energy-water-sanitation access for communities, from biomass characteristics (carbon and hydrogen contents), energy demands and economic parameters. This paper applies the developed methodology to a case study in Mexico. From 12.47 kt/year forestry residue, 1 MWe is generated with an associated low-pressure steam generation of 50 kt/year, at the cost of production of $0.023/kWh. This makes the energy provision “affordable and clean” for marginalised/poor communities (the UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDG7). Bioenergy can curb > 90% of the greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy use, 6 kt CO2 eq and 74 TJ annually. Bioenergy reduces other environmental impacts considerably, water consumption, acidification and eutrophication by 87–53%, and urban smog and ecotoxicity by 29–18%. Bioenergy can improve all five social themes in the Central American cluster countries. In addition to the SDG7, the forestry-based bioenergy system can also achieve the SDG6: "clean water and sanitation for all".

Minghui Wu, Jhuma Sadhukhan, Richard Murphy, Ujjwal Bharadwaj, Xiaofei Cui (2023)Assessing the Life Cycle Environmental Performance and Economic Costs of Composite Materials in Certain Aircraft Structure, In: International journal of engineering and technology15(2)pp. 37-40

The aviation sector is looking to replace conventional metals for aircraft doors with composite materials due to the latter’s potentially favorable combination of mechanical properties and low weight. However, little is known about the environmental impacts and economic costs associated with the production of such composite doors. This study conducts a Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing on an example composite aircraft door to quantify its environmental and economic impacts. In addition, uncertainty analysis has been performed to enhance the quality of the assessment.

O. Sulaiman, R. Hashim, R.N. Kumar, P. Tamyez, R.J. Murphy, Z. Ali (2008)Effect of Incorporation of Flame Retardants on Some of the Properties of Phenol Formaldehyde Medium Density Fiberboard, In: International Journal of Agricultural Research3(5)pp. 331-339
Mercio Cerbaro, Stephen Morse, Richard Murphy, Jim Lynch, Geoffrey Griffiths (2020)Information from Earth Observation for the Management of Sustainable Land Use and Land Cover in Brazil: An Analysis of User Needs, In: Information from Earth Observation for the Management of Sustainable Land Use and Land Cover in Brazil: An Analysis of User Needs MDPI

Brazil has some of the world’s most important forest and natural ecosystem resources and their sustainability is of global importance. The expansion of agriculture for livestock, the extractive industries, illegal logging, land conflicts, fire and deforestation are pressures on land use and drivers of land use change in many regions of Brazil. While different institutions in Brazil have sought to use Earth Observation (EO) data to support better land use management and conservation projects, several problems remain at the national and state level in the implementation of EO to support environmental policies and services provided to Brazilian society. This paper presents the results of a systematic analysis of the key challenges in using EO data in land management in Brazil and summarises them in a conceptual model of the factors influencing EO data use for assessing sustainable land use and land cover in Brazil. The research was based on a series of in‐depth, semistructured interviews (43) and structured interviews (53) with key stakeholders who make use of EO data across different locations in Brazil. The major challenges identified in the complex and multifaceted aspects of using this information were associated with access to, and with the processing of, raw data into usable information. The analysis also revealed novel insights on a lack of inter‐institutional communication, adequate office infrastructure and personnel, availability of the right type of EO data and funding restrictions, political instability and bureaucracy as factors that limit more effective use of EO data in Brazil at present. We close this analysis by considering how EO information for the sustainable management of land use and land cover can assist institutions as they respond to the varied political and economic instabilities affecting environmental governance and deforestation levels.

P Turner, RJ Murphy (1995)Treatment of timber products with gaseous borate esters - Part 1. Factors influencing the treatment process, In: Wood Science and Technology29(5)pp. 385-395

Several factors which influence the treatment of timber products with vapour phase preservatives such as borate esters are considered. Gas flow rate through the substrate was found to be a significant factor limiting both preservative penetration and its rate of deposition. A theoretical model of the treatment process was developed and tested experimentally to determine the influence of several factors on the retention and distribution of boric acid. Gas flow into the timber product was influenced by permeability, pressure gradient and substrate moisture content. The implications of the findings are considered with regard to the treatment of wood and wood products with gaseous reagents. © 1995 Springer-Verlag.

L Wang, J Littlewood, RJ Murphy (2014)An economic and environmental evaluation for bamboo-derived bioethanol, In: RSC Adv.4pp. 29604-29611 The Royal Society of Chemistry

The potential to obtain bioethanol from bamboo using three different pretreatment technologies (liquid hot water (LHW), dilute acid (DA) and soaking in aqueous ammonia (SAA)) is assessed via techno-economic and environmental analyses. The minimum ethanol selling price (MESP) is used to compare the economic potential of the pretreatment processes, and these are 0.554, 0.484 and 1.014 $ per litre for DA, LHW and SAA pretreatments, respectively. The bioethanol pump price under current and future policy scenarios in China is compared with petrol and reveals that bioethanol produced via DA and LHW pretreatments could be economically competitive even without government support. From an environmental perspective, a life cycle assessment approach is used to evaluate bamboo-derived bioethanol for full environmental impact categories, and this is compared with petrol on a ’well-to-wheel’ basis. It was found that all three bioethanol pathways would be environmentally better than petrol with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduced by 45-93%. A comparison of bamboo-based bioethanol with other cellulosic feedstocks not only suggests that bamboo could be a viable and competitive feedstock for bioethanol production, but also demonstrates that amongst the pretreatment technologies tested, LHW has the most potential for achieving favourable economic and environmental outcomes.

M Guo, J Littlewood, J Joyce, R Murphy (2014)The environmental profile of bioethanol produced from current and potential future poplar feedstocks in the EU, In: Green Chem. Royal Society of Chemistry

Although biofuels have the potential for mitigating climate change and enhancing energy security, controversy regarding their overall environmental sustainability is considered a significant bottleneck in their development at both global and EU levels. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was applied to model the current and prospective environmental profiles for poplar-derived bioethanol across various potential EU supply chains (different poplar plantation management, different pretreatment technologies for bioethanol production, five EU locations). LCA modelling indicated that E100 (100% bioethanol) and E85 (85% bioethanol, 15% petrol) fuels derived from Poplar from various locations in the EU had environmental impact scores some 10% to 90% lower than petrol in global warming potential, abiotic depletion potential, ozone depletion potential and photochemical oxidation potential depending upon the exact poplar supply chain and conversion technology modelled. Hybrid poplar clones with higher biomass yields, modified composition and improved cell wall accessibility had a clear potential to deliver a more environmentally sustainable lignocellulosic biorefining industry with environmental scores some 50% lower than with conventional poplar feedstocks. A particular aspect of the present study that warrants further research is the contribution that soil carbon accumulation can make to achieving low-GHG fuels in the future.

O Sulaiman, RJ Murphy, R Hashim, C Sanchis Gritsch (2005)The inhibition of microbial growth by bamboo vinegar, In: Journal of Bamboo and Rattan4(1)pp. 71-80

The ability of bamboo vinegar, produced from the pyrolysis of Gigantochloa scortechinii Gamble culms from Kedah, Malaysia, to inhibit the growth of micro-organisms was investigated using a laboratory-based assay. The inhibitory effects of cellulose discs treated with bamboo vinegar at 10%, 50% and 100% (no dilution) concentration on the growth of 7 fungal and 3 bacterial species was investigated. The two higher concentrations of bamboo vinegar showed growth-inhibiting effects against Aureobasidium pullulans (MBRB1-3), Chaetomium globosum (FPRL S70K), all three bacterial species and some effect with the other fungal species except Coriolus versicolor (FPRL 28A). The inhibition of growth followed a dose dependent response with the 100% concentration being the most effective. It is concluded that bamboo vinegar contains compounds that are inhibitory to microbial growth although specific evidence for activity at low concentrations, e.g., below 1% total organic compounds, was not obtained. © VSP 2005.

EC Fernandez, AM Palijon, W Liese, FL Esguerra, RJ Murphy (2003)Growth performance of two bamboo species in new plantations, In: Journal of Bamboo and Rattan2(3)pp. 225-239

The growth performance of new stands of Dendrocalamus asper and Gigantochloa levis on marginal lands and fertilized with three organic fertilizers was assessed over a period of 4 years. The experimental site was in the UP Laguna-Quezon Land Grant in Real, Quezon, Philippines. The results have shown a very high survival (100%) rate and comparatively good growth and development of both species. The influence of the organic fertilizers on average number of shoot emergents, number of culms per clump, average height and culm diameter was only significant during the first year of plantation establishment. It is concluded that no statistically significant and consistent improvement in establishment of the clumps or growth and quality of the culms could be assigned to the effects of the organic fertilizers studied over the first four years of plantation establishment at this site.

AJ Ragauskas, CK Williams, BH Davison, G Britovsek, J Cairney, CA Eckert, WJ Frederick, J Hallett, DJ Leak, CL Liotta, JR Mielenz, R Murphy, R Templer, T Tschaplinski (2006)The Path Forward for Biofuels and Biomaterials, In: Science311pp. 484-489

Biomass represents an abundant carbon-neutral renewable resource for the production of bioenergy and biomaterials, and its enhanced use would address several societal needs. Advances in genetics, biotechnology, process chemistry, and engineering are leading to a new manufacturing concept for converting renewable biomass to valuable fuels and products, generally referred to as the biorefinery. The integration of agroenergy crops and biorefinery manufacturing technologies offers the potential for the development of sustainable biopower and biomaterials that will lead to a new manufacturing paradigm.

S González-García, MT Moreira, G Feijoo, RJ Murphy (2012)Comparative life cycle assessment of ethanol production from fast-growing wood crops (black locust, eucalyptus and poplar), In: Biomass and Bioenergy39pp. 378-388

A life cycle assessment (LCA) study was carried out to evaluate the environmental implications of the production and use of ethanol from three fast-growing wood crops: eucalyptus, black locust and poplar in flexi-fuel vehicles. The production of a blend rich in ethanol: E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline by volume) was assessed and the results compared with those of conventional gasoline (CG) in an equivalent car. The following environmental categories were evaluated: fossil fuels use (FF), global warming potential over 100 years (GWP 100), photochemical oxidant creation potential (POCP), acidification potential (AP) and eutrophication potential (EP).The use of ethanol derived from black locust was found to be the option with the lowest impact in most categories with reductions of 97%, 42%, 41% and 76% for GWP 100, AP, EP and FF respectively in comparison with CG.Concerning the production stage of ethanol (excluding the stages of blending and use), black locust has the lowest environmental impacts due to the low levels of agricultural inputs during its cultivation. The poplar scenario has higher impacts in AP and EP due to the emission of diffuse substances from fertilizer application and the eucalyptus scenario in GWP 100, POCP and FF due to the use and requirements of heavy machinery during harvesting.The use of the LCA methodology has helped to identify the key areas in the life cycle of ethanol. Special attention should be paid to ethanol production related activities and forest activities oriented to the feedstock production. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

MJ Ray, DJ Leak, PD Spanu, RJ Murphy (2010)Brown rot fungal early stage decay mechanism as a biological pretreatment for softwood biomass in biofuel production, In: Biomass and Bioenergy34(8)pp. 1257-1262

A current barrier to the large-scale production of lignocellulosic biofuels is the cost associated with the energy and chemical inputs required for feedstock pretreatment and hydrolysis. The use of controlled partial biological degradation to replace elements of the current pretreatment technologies would offer tangible energy and cost benefits to the whole biofuel process. It has been known for some time from studies of wood decay that, in the early stages of growth in wood, brown rot fungi utilise a mechanism that causes rapid and extensive depolymerisation of the carbohydrate polymers of the wood cell wall. The brown rot hyphae act as delivery vectors to the plant cell wall for what is thought to be a combination of a localised acid pretreatment and a hydroxyl radical based depolymerisation of the cell wall carbohydrate polymers. It is this quality that we have exploited in the present work to enhance the saccharification potential of softwood forest residues for biofuel production. Here we show that after restricted exposure of pine sapwood to brown rot fungi, glucose yields following enzymatic saccharification are significantly increased. Our results demonstrate the potential of using brown rot fungi as a biological pretreatment for biofuel production. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Ana Andries, Stephen Morse, Richard J. Murphy, Jim Lynch, Emma R. Woolliams (2019)Seeing Sustainability from Space: Using Earth Observation Data to Populate the UN Sustainable Development Goal Indicators, In: Sustainability11(18) MDPI

In 2015, member countries of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York. These global goals have 169 targets and 232 indicators based on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. However, substantial challenges remain in obtaining data of the required quality and quantity to populate these indicators efficiently. One promising and innovative way of addressing this issue is to use Earth observation (EO). The research reported here updates our original work to develop a Maturity Matrix Framework (MMF) for assessing the suitability of EO-derived data for populating the SDG indicators, with a special focus on those indicators covering the more social and economic dimensions of sustainable development, as these have been under-explored in terms of the contribution that can be made by EO. The advanced MMF 2.0 framework set out in this paper is based on a wide consultation with EO and indicator experts (semi-structured interviews with 38 respondents). This paper provides detail of the evolved structure of MMF 2.0 and illustrates its use for one of the SDG indicators (Indicator 11.1.1). The revised MMF is then applied to published work covering the full suite of SDG indicators and demonstrates that EO can make an important contribution to providing data relevant to a substantial number of the SDG indicators.

Sophie A. Archer, Richard J. Murphy, Robert Steinberger-Wilckens (2018)Methodological analysis of palm oil biodiesel life cycle studies, In: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews94pp. 694-704 Elsevier

Biodiesel is a renewable vehicle fuel based on biomass. Although environmental benefits can be assumed, both positive and negative impacts have been stated in the past, raising some doubts on the effective environmental performance of biofuels. They therefore need to be carefully examined through the established methods of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). Such studies, though, have been known to give conflicting results and, for non-specialist users of environmental performance information, such variations in literature between studies will be a cause of concern. Following the principles of the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards for LCA, we have explored the variations in LCA methodology and parameter choices in a comparative analysis of 11 published studies of the production of biodiesel from palm oil. This study highlights inconsistencies between individual studies in aspects such as data coverage and completeness, system boundaries, and input and output streams. The importance of including factors such as plantation carbon sequestration and land use change demonstrates a need for consistent and appropriate methodologies. These factors are some of the most important drivers for variation in the results of LCA studies of palm oil systems, as well as being necessary for a comprehensive perspective. The results of this study also highlight the importance of geographical location and the fact that studies are often based on very limited data sources. A variance analysis identified the greatest source of variation across the chosen data sets, highlighting key methodology steps and pointed at pitfalls in employing supposedly environmentally benign technologies. The paper offers suggestions to i) assist inter-study comparisons, ii) offer non-LCA specialist users insight into the causes of variable results between LCA studies, and iii) guide further in-depth research.

M Guo, RJ Murphy (2012)Is There a Generic Environmental Advantage for Starch-PVOH Biopolymers Over Petrochemical Polymers?, In: JOURNAL OF POLYMERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT20(4)pp. 976-990 SPRINGER/PLENUM PUBLISHERS
MJ Black, C Whittaker, SA Hosseini, R Diaz-Chavez, J Woods, RJ Murphy (2011)Life Cycle Assessment and sustainability methodologies for assessing industrial crops, processes and end products, In: INDUSTRIAL CROPS AND PRODUCTS34(2)pp. 1332-1339 ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Wan M. F. B. W. Nawawi, Mitchell Jones, Richard J. Murphy, Koon-Yang Lee, Eero Kontturi, Alexander Bismarck (2019)Nanomaterials Derived from Fungal Sources - Is It the New Hype?, In: Biomacromolecules American Chemical Society

Greener alternatives to synthetic polymers are constantly being investigated and sought after. Chitin is a natural polysaccharide that gives structural support to crustacean shells, insect exoskeletons, and fungal cell walls. Like cellulose, chitin resides in nanosized structural elements that can be isolated as nanofibers and nanocrystals by various top-down approaches, targeted at disintegrating the native construct. Chitin has, however, been largely overshadowed by cellulose when discussing the materials aspects of the nanosized components. This Perspective presents a thorough overview of chitin-related materials research with an analytical focus on nanocomposites and nanopapers. The red line running through the text emphasizes the use of fungal chitin that represents several advantages over the more popular crustacean sources, particularly in terms of nanofiber isolation from the native matrix. In addition, many β-glucans are preserved in chitin upon its isolation from the fungal matrix, enabling new horizons for various engineering solutions.

M Guo, C Li, G Facciotto, S Bergante, R Bhatia, R Comolli, C Ferre, R Murphy (2015)Bioethanol from poplar clone Imola: an environmentally viable alternative to fossil fuel?, In: BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR BIOFUELS8ARTN 134 BIOMED CENTRAL LTD
C Whittaker, N Mortimer, R Murphy, R Matthews (2011)Energy and greenhouse gas balance of the use of forest residues for bioenergy production in the UK, In: Biomass and Bioenergy35(11)pp. 4581-4594

Life cycle analysis is used to assess the energy requirements and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with extracting UK forest harvesting residues for use as a biomass resource. Three forest harvesting residues were examined (whole tree thinnings, roundwood and brash bales), and each have their own energy and emission profile. The whole forest rotation was examined, including original site establishment, forest road construction, biomass harvesting during thinning and final clear-fell events, chipping and transportation. Generally, higher yielding sites give lower GHG emissions per 'oven dried tonne' (ODT) forest residues, but GHG emissions 'per hectare' are higher as more biomass is extracted. Greater quantities of biomass, however, ultimately mean greater displacement of conventional fuels and therefore greater potential for GHG emission mitigation. Although forest road construction and site establishment are " one off" events they are highly energy-intensive operations associated with high diesel fuel consumption, when placed in context with the full forest rotation, however, their relative contributions to the overall energy requirements and GHG emissions are small. The lower bulk density of wood chips means that transportation energy requirements and GHG emissions are higher compared with roundwood logs and brash bales, suggesting that chipping should occur near the end-user of application. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

P.Y. Yau, R.J. Murphy (2000)Biodegraded cocopeat as a horticultural substrate, In: Acta Horticulturae(517)pp. 275-278 International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS)

Cocopeat or coir dust is a by-product separated during processing of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) coir. As a by-product of coir manufacturing, cocopeat is often unutilized or burnt in the open. Of late, due to environmental concerns and also diminishing supplies of peat soils for horticultural substrates, cocopeat is being considered as a renewable peat substitute for use in horticulture. However, in its raw form, cocopeat has been reported to contain phytotoxic elements which inhibit plant growth. As such, cocopeat is often recommended for use only with a mixture of other organic or inert materials. The present study was conducted to determine the effect of biodegradation (composting) on improving the qualities of cocopeat as a horticultural substrate. Cocopeat was supplemented with 0.75% N and inoculated with selected mould and wood rotting micro-fungi viz. Aspergillus niger van Tieghem, Penicillium citrinum Thom, Trichoderma sp., Humicola sp. and Chaetomium globosum Kunze. The medium was maintained at about 80% moisture content (wet weight basis) and incubated at 27°C for 3 months. The results showed that the 3-month biodegraded cocopeat has lower C/N ratio, higher CEC and humic acid than the raw cocopeat. The lowering of C/N ratio was due to addition of N and the reduction of carbon, mainly the hemicellulose, cellulose and to a lesser extent the lignin components. In the greenhouse trial, tomato plants grew well in the 3-month 'composted' cocopeat. Though their plant heights and stem diameters were not significantly different from those grown in the untreated cocopeat, the plants on 'composted' cocopeat produced higher dry root weights (22%), fruit numbers (43%) and total yield (64%).

J Woods, A Williams, JK Hughes, M Black, R Murphy (2010)Energy and the food system., In: Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci365(1554)pp. 2991-3006

Modern agriculture is heavily dependent on fossil resources. Both direct energy use for crop management and indirect energy use for fertilizers, pesticides and machinery production have contributed to the major increases in food production seen since the 1960s. However, the relationship between energy inputs and yields is not linear. Low-energy inputs can lead to lower yields and perversely to higher energy demands per tonne of harvested product. At the other extreme, increasing energy inputs can lead to ever-smaller yield gains. Although fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy for agriculture, the mix of fuels used differs owing to the different fertilization and cultivation requirements of individual crops. Nitrogen fertilizer production uses large amounts of natural gas and some coal, and can account for more than 50 per cent of total energy use in commercial agriculture. Oil accounts for between 30 and 75 per cent of energy inputs of UK agriculture, depending on the cropping system. While agriculture remains dependent on fossil sources of energy, food prices will couple to fossil energy prices and food production will remain a significant contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Technological developments, changes in crop management, and renewable energy will all play important roles in increasing the energy efficiency of agriculture and reducing its reliance of fossil resources.

R Murphy, A Detzel, M Guo, M Krüger (2011)Comment on "Sustainability metrics: life cycle assessment and green design in polymers"., In: Environ Sci Technol45(11)pp. 5055-5056
S Gonzalez-Garcia, J Bacenetti, RJ Murphy, M Fiala (2012)Present and future environmental impact of poplar cultivation in the Po Valley (Italy) under different crop management systems, In: JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION26pp. 56-66 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
L Wang, R Templer, RJ Murphy (2012)High-solids loading enzymatic hydrolysis of waste papers for biofuel production, In: APPLIED ENERGY99pp. 23-31 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
MJ Ray, NJB Brereton, I Shield, A Karp, RJ Murphy (2012)Variation in Cell Wall Composition and Accessibility in Relation to Biofuel Potential of Short Rotation Coppice Willows, In: BIOENERGY RESEARCH5(3)pp. 685-698 SPRINGER
CS Gritsch, G Kleist, RJ Murphy (2004)Developmental changes in cell wall structure of phloem fibres of the Bamboo Dendrocalamus asper, In: ANNALS OF BOTANY94(4)pp. 497-505 OXFORD UNIV PRESS

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The anatomy of bamboo culms and the multilayered structure of fibre cell walls are known to be the main determinant factors for its physical and mechanical properties. Studies on the bamboo cell wall have focussed mainly on fully elongated and mature fibres. The main aim of this study was to describe the ultrastructure of primary and secondary cell walls in culm tissues of Dendrocalamus asper at different stages of development. METHODS: The development of fibre and parenchyma tissues was classified into four stages based on light microscopy observations made in tissues from juvenile plants. The stages were used as a basis for transmission electron microscopy study on the ultrastructure of the cell wall during the process of primary and early secondary cell wall formation. Macerations and phloroglucinol-HCl staining were employed to investigate fibre cell elongation and fibre cell wall lignification, respectively. KEY RESULTS: The observations indicated that the primary wall is formed by the deposition of two distinct layers during the elongation of the internode and that secondary wall synthesis may begin before the complete cessation of internode and fibre elongation. Elongation was followed by a maturation phase characterized by the deposition of multiple secondary wall layers, which varied in number according to the cell type, location in the culm tissue and stage of shoot development. Lignification of fibre cell walls started at the period prior to the cessation of internode elongation. CONCLUSIONS: The structure of the primary cell wall was comprised of two layers. The fibre secondary cell wall began to be laid down while the cells were still undergoing some elongation, suggesting that it may act to cause the slow-down and eventual cessation of cell elongation.

Wan Mohd Fazli Wan Nawawi, Koon-Yang Lee, Eero Kontturi, Richard J. Murphy, Alexander Bismarck (2019)Chitin Nanopaper from Mushroom Extract: Natural Composite of Nanofibers and Glucan from a Single Biobased Source, In: ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering7(7)pp. 6492-6496 American Chemical Society

An isolation method with mild mechanical agitation and no acidic extraction step from a mushroom substrate resulted in chitin nanofibers (ChNFs) with large shares of retained glucans (50–65%). The subsequent chitin nanopapers exhibited exceptionally high tensile strengths of >200 MPa and moduli of ca. 7 GPa, which were largely attributed to the preserved glucans in the mixture, imparting a composite nature to the nanopapers. The isolation method for ChNFs is notably different from the conventional process with crustacean chitin sources that do not incorporate glucans and where an acidic extraction step for the removal of minerals must always be included

A Hughes, RJ Murphy, J GIibson, J Cornfield (1994)Electron-paramagnetic-resonance (EPR) spectroscopic analysis of copper-based preservatives in Pinus-sylvestris, In: Holzforschung48(2)pp. 91-98 WALTER DE GRUYTER & CO
JA Hingston, J Moore, A Bacon, JN Lester, RJ Murphy, CD Collins (2002)The importance of the short-term leaching dynamics of wood preservatives, In: CHEMOSPHERE47(5)PII S0045-pp. 517-523 PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD

Abstract Background: Variation in the reaction wood (RW) response has been shown to be a principle component driving differences in lignocellulosic sugar yield from the bioenergy crop willow. The phenotypic cause(s) behind these differences in sugar yield, beyond their common elicitor, however, remain unclear. Here we use X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT) to investigate RW-associated alterations in secondary xylem tissue patterning in three dimensions (3D). Results: Major architectural alterations were successfully quantified in 3D and attributed to RW induction. Whilst the frequency of vessels was reduced in tension wood tissue (TW), the total vessel volume was significantly increased. Interestingly, a delay in programmed-cell-death (PCD) associated with TW was also clearly observed and readily quantified by μCT. Conclusions: The surprising degree to which the volume of vessels was increased illustrates the substantial xylem tissue remodelling involved in reaction wood formation. The remodelling suggests an important physiological compromise between structural and hydraulic architecture necessary for extensive alteration of biomass and helps to demonstrate the power of improving our perspective of cell and tissue architecture. The precise observation of xylem tissue development and quantification

S Gonzalez-Garcia, B Mola-Yudego, RJ Murphy (2013)Life cycle assessment of potential energy uses for short rotation willow biomass in Sweden, In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT18(4)pp. 783-795 SPRINGER HEIDELBERG
M Guo, AP Trzcinski, DC Stuckey, RJ Murphy (2011)Anaerobic digestion of starch-polyvinyl alcohol biopolymer packaging: Biodegradability and environmental impact assessment, In: BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY102(24)pp. 11137-11146 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
JA Hingston, RJ Murphy, JN Lester (2006)Monitoring losses of copper based wood preservatives in the Thames estuary, In: ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION143(2)pp. 367-375 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
M Guo, DC Stuckey, RJ Murphy (2013)End-of-life of starch-polyvinyl alcohol biopolymers, In: BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY127pp. 256-266 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Martin K. Patel, Aude Bechu, Juan David Villegas, Manon Bergez-Lacoste, Kenny Yeung, Richard Murphy, Jeremy Woods, Onesmus N. Mwabonje, Yuanzhi Ni, Akshay D. Patel, Joe Gallagher, David Bryant (2018)Second-generation bio-based plastics are becoming a reality - Non-renewable energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of succinic acid-based plastic end products made from lignocellulosic biomass, In: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining12(3)pp. 426-441 Wiley

Bio-based and bio-degradable plastics such as polybutylene succinate (PBS) have the potential to become sustainable alternatives to petrochemical-based plastics. Polybutylene succinate can be produced from bio-based succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol using first-generation (1G) or second-generation (2G) sugars. A cradle-to-grave environmental assessment was performed for PBS products in Europe to investigate the non-renewable energy use (NREU) and greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts. The products investigated are single-use trays and agricultural film, with incineration, industrial composting and degradation on agricultural land as end-of-life scenarios. Both end products manufactured from fully bio-based PBS and from partly bio-based PBS (made from bio-based succinic acid and fossil fuel-based 1,4 butanediol) were analysed. We examine corn (1G) as well as corn stover, wheat straw, miscanthus and hardwood as 2G feedstocks. For the cradle-to-grave system, 1G fully bio-based PBS plastic products were found to have environmental impacts comparable with their petrochemical incumbents, while 2G fully bio-based PBS plastic products allow to reduce NREU and GHG by around one third under the condition of avoidance of concentration of sugars and energy integration of the pretreatment process with monomer production. Without energy integration and with concentration of sugars (i.e., separate production), the impacts of 2G fully bio-based PBS products are approximately 15–20% lower than those of 1G fully bio-based PBS products. The environmental analysis of PBS products supports the value proposition related to PBS products while also pointing out areas requiring further research and development.

Ana Andries, Stephen Morse, Richard Murphy, James Lynch, Emma Woolliams, John Fonweban (2019)Translation of Earth Observation data into Sustainable Development Indicators: an analytical framework., In: Sustainable Development27(3)pp. 366-376 Wiley

In 2015, member countries of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York. These global goals have 169 targets and 232 indicators which are based on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Substantial challenges remain in obtaining data of the required quality, especially in developing countries, given the often limited resources available. One promising and innovative way of addressing this issue of data availability is to use Earth Observation (EO). This paper presents the results of research to develop a novel analytical framework for assessing the potential of EO approaches to populate the SDG indicators. We present a Maturity Matrix Framework (MMF) and apply it to all of the 232 SDG indicators. The results demonstrate that while the applicability of EO-derived data does vary between the SDG indicators, overall, EO has an important contribution to make towards populating a wide diversity of the SDG indicators.

BB Hallac, P Sannigrahi, Y Pu, M Ray, RJ Murphy, AJ Ragauskas (2009)Biomass Characterization of Buddleja davidii: A Potential Feedstock for Biofuel Production, In: JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY57(4)pp. 1275-1281 AMER CHEMICAL SOC
J Littlewood, M Guo, W Boerjan, RJ Murphy (2014)Bioethanol from poplar: a commercially viable alternative to fossil fuel in the European Union, In: BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR BIOFUELS7ARTN 113 BIOMED CENTRAL LTD
A Brandt, JK Erickson, JP Hallett, RJ Murphy, A Potthast, MJ Ray, T Rosenau, M Schrems, T Welton (2012)Soaking of pine wood chips with ionic liquids for reduced energy input during grinding, In: GREEN CHEMISTRY14(4)pp. 1079-1085 ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
R Hashim, O Sulaiman, RN Kumar, PF Tamyez, RJ Murphy, Z Ali (2009)Physical and mechanical properties of flame retardant urea formaldehyde medium density fiberboard, In: JOURNAL OF MATERIALS PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY209(2)pp. 635-640 ELSEVIER SCIENCE SA
S Gonzalez-Garcia, D Iribarren, A Susmozas, J Dufour, RJ Murphy (2012)Life cycle assessment of two alternative bioenergy systems involving Salix spp. biomass: Bioethanol production and power generation, In: APPLIED ENERGY95pp. 111-122 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
NJB Brereton, FE Pitre, SJ Hanley, MJ Ray, A Karp, RJ Murphy (2010)QTL Mapping of Enzymatic Saccharification in Short Rotation Coppice Willow and Its Independence from Biomass Yield, In: BIOENERGY RESEARCH3(3)pp. 251-261 SPRINGER
Raya A. Al-Masri, Jonathan Chenoweth, Richard J. Murphy (2019)Exploring the Status Quo of Water-Energy Nexus Policies and Governance in Jordan, In: Environmental Science & Policy Elsevier

The Water-Energy Nexus (WEN) is broadly defined as an integrated paradigm for efficiently managing water and energy resources. While several studies have investigated WEN from a resource efficiency perspective, little research has focused on governance and policy integration aspects. In this study, the level of understanding of WEN in Jordan is examined for the first time from the perspective of governance and public policy development. We explored institutional and policy integration gaps between the two sectors by mapping the water and energy policies in Jordan, and holding semi-structured interviews with the key policymakers and stakeholders. While the awareness of the nexus paradigm by officials is increasing, the level of knowledge about WEN varies across the sectors. As water and energy policies are formulated independently, there are no formal mechanisms for collaboration in the policy formulation and implementation processes, nor formal mechanisms for collaboration to guarantee policy effectiveness. Factors such as acknowledging shared understandings between different actors, setting flexible policy boundaries, and introducing specific capacity building plans at the institutional level are identified as critical to enable better WEN governance. Proposals from this study recommend adopting collaboration arrangements tailored to each sector’s needs and existing structures, and supported by effective enforcements to ensure an incremental and steady change toward inter-institutional coordination. A ‘multi-layer approach’ involving appropriate legal and policy frameworks, and adequate human and financial resources; essentially from private sector is suggested. Proposals from this study can help policymakers to effectively plan for joint water-energy investments for a more sustainable future.

A Brandt, JP Hallett, DJ Leak, RJ Murphy, T Welton (2010)The effect of the ionic liquid anion in the pretreatment of pine wood chips, In: GREEN CHEMISTRY12(4)pp. 672-679 ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
HM Barnes, RJ Murphy (2006)Effect of vapor boron treatment on some properties of wood strand and fiber composites, In: Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing37(9)pp. 1402-1405

This paper discusses the results of water absorption, thickness swelling, and internal bond tests of commercial North American wood strand and fiber composites treated using a vapor boron treatment process. For oriented strandboard (OSB), high boron loadings led to lower internal bond strength and lower thickness swelling. Water absorption results were variable but no deleterious effect of treatment was noted. For medium density fiberboard (MDF), the highest loadings led to reduced internal bond strength. Thickness swelling decreased with increasing boron level, but not significantly. As with OSB, water absorption results varied. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

S Gonzalez-Garcia, R Garcia Lozano, M Teresa Moreira, X Gabarrell, J Rieradevall i Pons, G Feijoo, RJ Murphy (2012)Eco-innovation of a wooden childhood furniture set: An example of environmental solutions in the wood sector, In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT426pp. 318-326 ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
I Jaye, Jhuma Sadhukhan, Richard Murphy (2018)Integrated Assessment of Palm Oil Mill Residues to Sustainable Electricity System (POMR-SES): A Case Study from Peninsular Malaysia, In: IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering358012002 Institute of Physics

Generating electricity from biomass are undeniably gives huge advantages to the energy security, environmental protection and the social development. Nevertheless, it always been negatively claimed as not economically competitive as compared to the conventional electricity generation system using fossil fuel. Due to the unfair subsidies given to renewable energy based fuel and the maturity of conventional electricity generation system, the commercialization of this system is rather discouraging. The uniqueness of the chemical and physical properties of the biomass and the functionality of the system are fully depending on the availability of the biomass resources, the capital expenditure of the system is relatively expensive. To remain competitive, biomass based system must be developed in their most economical form. Therefore the justification of the economies of scale of such system is become essential. This study will provide a comprehensive review of process to select an appropriate size for electricity generation plant from palm oil mill (POM) residues through the combustion of an empty fruit bunch (EFB) and biogas from the anaerobic digestion of palm oil mill effluent (POME) in Peninsular Malaysia using a mathematical model and simulation using ASPEN Plus software package. The system operated at 4 MW capacity is expected to provide a return on investment (ROI) of 20% with a payback period of 6.5 years. It is notably agreed that the correct selection of generation plant size will have a significant impact on overall economic and environmental feasibility of the system.

JH Song, RJ Murphy, R Narayan, GB Davies (2009)Biodegradable and compostable alternatives to conventional plastics., In: Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci364(1526)pp. 2127-2139

Packaging waste forms a significant part of municipal solid waste and has caused increasing environmental concerns, resulting in a strengthening of various regulations aimed at reducing the amounts generated. Among other materials, a wide range of oil-based polymers is currently used in packaging applications. These are virtually all non-biodegradable, and some are difficult to recycle or reuse due to being complex composites having varying levels of contamination. Recently, significant progress has been made in the development of biodegradable plastics, largely from renewable natural resources, to produce biodegradable materials with similar functionality to that of oil-based polymers. The expansion in these bio-based materials has several potential benefits for greenhouse gas balances and other environmental impacts over whole life cycles and in the use of renewable, rather than finite resources. It is intended that use of biodegradable materials will contribute to sustainability and reduction in the environmental impact associated with disposal of oil-based polymers. The diversity of biodegradable materials and their varying properties makes it difficult to make simple, generic assessments such as biodegradable products are all 'good' or petrochemical-based products are all 'bad'. This paper discusses the potential impacts of biodegradable packaging materials and their waste management, particularly via composting. It presents the key issues that inform judgements of the benefits these materials have in relation to conventional, petrochemical-based counterparts. Specific examples are given from new research on biodegradability in simulated 'home' composting systems. It is the view of the authors that biodegradable packaging materials are most suitable for single-use disposable applications where the post-consumer waste can be locally composted.

M Guo, C Li, JN Bell, RJ Murphy (2012)Influence of agro-ecosystem modeling approach on the greenhouse gas profiles of wheat-derived biopolymer products., In: Environ Sci Technol46(1)pp. 320-330

An approach is presented to include a wider range of factors involved in the nitrogen and carbon cycles in agro-ecosystems than is typical of many Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) of agriculture-based products. This use results from the process-oriented Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC, modified version) model. Here we evaluate the effects of using site-specific N(2)O emissions derived from the DNDC model rather than the values derived from the commonly used Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Tier 1 empirical model on the results of whole life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) profiles for wheat-based biopolymer products. Statistical methods were also used to analyze the quality of the DNDC and IPCC outputs and to characterize the uncertainty in the GHG results. The results confirm that the GHG profiles of the wheat-derived biopolymer products are sensitive to how the agricultural system is modeled and uncertainty analyses indicate that DNDC is preferred over the IPCC Tier 1 approach for site-specific LCAs. The former allows inclusion of a wider range of important site-specific agricultural parameters in the LCA, provides for improved quality in the LCA data, and permits better calibration of uncertainty in the LCA inventory.

Jhuma Sadhukhan, E Martinez-Hernandez, Richard J Murphy, DKS Ng, MH Hassim, Kok Siew Ng, WY Kim, IFMd Jaye, MY Leung, P Hang, V Andiappan (2017)Role of Bioenergy, Biorefinery and Bioeconomy in Sustainable Development: Strategic Pathways for Malaysia, In: Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews81(Part 2)pp. 1966-1987 Elsevier

Malaysia has a plethora of biomass that can be utilized in a sustainable manner to produce bio-products for circular green economy. At the 15th Conference of Parties in Copenhagen, Malaysia stated to voluntarily reduce its emissions intensity of gross domestic product by upto 40% by 2020 from 2005 level. Natural resources e.g. forestry and agricultural resources will attribute in achieving these goals. This paper investigates optimum bio-based systems, such as bioenergy and biorefinery, and their prospects in sustainable development in Malaysia, while analyzing comparable cases globally. Palm oil industry will continue to play a major role in deriving products and contributing to gross national income in Malaysia. Based on the current processing capacity, one tonne of crude palm oil (CPO) production is associated with nine tonnes of biomass generation. Local businesses tend to focus on products with low-risk that enjoy subsidies, e.g. Feed-in-Tariff, such as bioenergy, biogas, etc. CPO biomass is utilized to produce biogas, pellets, dried long fibre and bio-fertilizer and recycle water. It is envisaged that co-production of bio-based products, food and pharmaceutical ingredients, fine, specialty and platform chemicals, polymers, alongside biofuel and bioenergy from biomass is possible to achieve overall sustainability by the replacement of fossil resources. Inception of process integration gives prominent innovative biorefinery configurations, an example demonstrated recently, via extraction of recyclable, metal, high value chemical (levulinic acid), fuel, electricity and bio-fertilizer from municipal solid waste or urban waste. Levulinic acid yield by only 5 weight% of waste feedstock gives 1.5 fold increase in profitability and eliminates the need for subsidies such as gate fees paid by local authority to waste processor. Unsustainable practices include consumable food wastage, end-of-pipe cleaning and linear economy that must be replaced by sustainable production and consumption, source segregation and process integration, and product longevity and circular economy.

S Parsons, RJ Murphy, J Lee, G Sims (2015)Uncertainty communication in the environmental life cycle assessment of carbon nanotubes, In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NANOTECHNOLOGY12(8-9)pp. 620-630 INDERSCIENCE ENTERPRISES LTD

Amidst the great technological progress being made in the field of nanotechnology, we are confronted by both conventional and novel environmental challenges and opportunities. Several gaps exist in the present state of knowledge or experience with nanomaterials. Understanding and managing the uncertainties that these gaps cause in LCAs is essential. Traditionally used for more established technology systems, environmental LCA is now being applied to nanomaterials by policy-makers, researchers and industry. However, the aleatory (variability) and epistemic (system process) uncertainties in LCAs of nanomaterials need to be handled correctly and communicated in the analysis. Otherwise, the results risk being misinterpreted, misguiding decision-making processes and could lead to significant detrimental effects for industry, research and policy-making. Here, we review current life cycle assessment literature for carbon nanotubes, and identify the key sources of uncertainty that need to be taken into consideration. These include: the potential for non-equivalency between mass and toxicity (potentially requiring inventory and impact models to be adjusted); the use of proxy data to bridge gaps in inventory data; and the often very wide ranges in material performance, process energy and product lifetimes quoted.

L Wang, M Sharifzadeh, R Templer, RJ Murphy (2012)Technology performance and economic feasibility of bioethanol production from various waste papers, In: Energy and Environmental Science5(2)pp. 5717-5730

Producing bioethanol from various wastes is a promising strategy to meet part of the transport energy demand and also to contribute to waste management. Waste papers (newspaper, office paper, magazines and cardboard in this work) with their 50% to 70% carbohydrate content are potential raw materials for bioethanol production. From both technical and economic aspects, bioethanol production processes for various waste papers were evaluated in this study. High-solids loading (15% w/w) enzymatic hydrolyses using two enzyme alternatives (Celluclast 1.5 L supplemented with Novozyme 188 and Cellic Ctec 1) achieved glucan conversion efficiencies from waste papers of 50% to 76%. Base case process models developed using these experimental data were then applied to an economic analysis to determine the minimum ethanol selling price (MESP) for bioethanol derived from the waste papers using a discounted cash flow method. The effects of several processing parameters: alternative product recovery processes, enzyme loading, enzymatic hydrolysis residence time and two enzyme alternatives on the MESP are explored. Bioethanol produced from cardboard (using Cellic Ctec 1) resulted in the lowest MESP. Two state-of-the-art technologies, dilute acid pre-treatment on office paper and oxidative lime pre-treatment on newspaper, were also investigated. This study suggests that bioethanol production from waste papers is feasible and profitable from both technical and economic points of view. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012.

This study considers variations in hyphal load in decaying wood in the presence of the fungicides CuSO4 and cyproconazole. Variations in the chitin content of hyphae following exposure to both fungicides have been detected. Increasing concentrations of CuSO4 and cyproconazole in wood caused an increase in the amount of N-acetyl glucosamine in the mycelia of Coriolus versicolor and Gloeophyllum trabeum, which may be associated with increased deposition of chitin. This may in turn be an expression of the formation of a thicker cell wall at increased fungicide concentrations. Low concentrations of both fungicides also caused an increase in the amount of mycelium produced by G. trabeum. However, the same concentrations were effective at preventing mass loss, indicating that the fungal mycelium was less effective at decaying wood, despite being present in relatively large amounts. In the case of C. versicolor, this effect was not observed, as increasing concentrations of both fungicides caused an initial decrease in the amount of mycelium, followed by a recovery phase at intermediate chemical concentrations. Again, mass loss was greatly inhibited by the presence of low concentrations of both fungicides. © 2006 by Walter de Gruyter 2006.

Marcela M. Mendes, Andrea L. Darling, Kathryn H. Hart, Stephen Morse, Richard Murphy, Susan A. Lanham-New (2019)Impact of high latitude, urban living and ethnicity on 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: A need for multidisciplinary action?, In: The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology188pp. pp 95-102 Elsevier

The effects of urban living on health are becoming increasingly important, due to an increasing global population residing in urban areas. Concomitantly, due to immigration, there is a growing number of ethnic minority individuals (African, Asian or Middle Eastern descent) living in westernised Higher Latitude Countries (HLC) (e.g. Europe, Canada, New Zealand). Of concern is the fact that there is already a clear vitamin D deficiency epidemic in HLC, a problem which is likely to grow as the ethnic minority population in these countries increases. This is because 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) status of ethnic groups is significantly lower compared to native populations. Environmental factors contribute to a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in HLC, particularly during the winter months when there is no sunlight of appropriate wavelength for vitamin D synthesis via the skin. Also, climatic factors such as cloud cover may reduce vitamin D status even in the summer. This may be further worsened by factors related to urban living, including air pollution, which reduces UVB exposure to the skin, and less occupational sun exposure (may vary by individual HLC). Tall building height may reduce sun exposure by making areas more shaded. In addition, there are ethnicity-specific factors which further worsen vitamin D status in HLC urban dwellers, such as low dietary intake of vitamin D from foods, lower production of vitamin D in the skin due to increased melanin and reduced skin exposure to UVB due to cultural dress style and sun avoidance. A multidisciplinary approach applying knowledge from engineering, skin photobiology, nutrition, town planning and social science is required to prevent vitamin D deficiency in urban areas. Such an approach could include reduction of air pollution, modification of sun exposure advice to emphasise spending time each day in non-shaded urban areas (e.g. parks, away from tall buildings), and advice to ethnic minority groups to increase sun exposure, take vitamin D supplements and/or increase consumption of vitamin D rich foods in a way that is safe and culturally acceptable. This review hopes to stimulate further research to assess the impact of high latitude, urban environment and ethnicity on the risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Roland Clift, S Sim, H King, Jonathan Chenoweth, Ian Christie, J Clavreul, C Mueller, L Posthuma, A-M Boulay, R Chaplin-Kramer, J Chatterton, F DeClerck, Angela Druckman, Christopher France, A Franco, D Gerten, M Goedkoop, MZ Hauschild, MAJ Huijbregts, T Koellner, EF Lambin, Jacquetta Lee, Simon Mair, S Marshall, MS McLachlan, L Milà i Canals, C Mitchell, E Price, J Rockström, James Suckling, Richard Murphy (2017)The Challenges of Applying Planetary Boundaries as a Basis for Strategic Decision-Making in Companies with Global Supply Chains, In: Sustainability9(2) MDPI

The Planetary Boundaries (PB) framework represents a significant advance in specifying the ecological constraints on human development. However, to enable decision-makers in business and public policy to respect these constraints in strategic planning, the PB framework needs to be developed to generate practical tools. With this objective in mind, we analyse the recent literature and highlight three major scientific and technical challenges in operationalizing the PB approach in decision-making: first, identification of thresholds or boundaries with associated metrics for different geographical scales; second, the need to frame approaches to allocate fair shares in the ‘safe operating space’ bounded by the PBs across the value chain and; third, the need for international bodies to co-ordinate the implementation of the measures needed to respect the Planetary Boundaries. For the first two of these challenges, we consider how they might be addressed for four PBs: climate change, freshwater use, biosphere integrity and chemical pollution and other novel entities. Four key opportunities are identified: (1) development of a common system of metrics that can be applied consistently at and across different scales; (2) setting ‘distance from boundary’ measures that can be applied at different scales; (3) development of global, preferably open-source, databases and models; and (4) advancing understanding of the interactions between the different PBs. Addressing the scientific and technical challenges in operationalizing the planetary boundaries needs be complemented with progress in addressing the equity and ethical issues in allocating the safe operating space between companies and sectors.

D Vesentini, DJ Dickinson, RJ Murphy (2007)The protective role of the extracellular mucilaginous material (ECMM) from two wood-rotting basidiomycetes against copper toxicity, In: International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation60(1)pp. 1-7

The extracellular mucilaginous material (ECMM) layer surrounding the hyphae of the white-rot fungus Coriolus versicolor (CTB 863 A) and of the brown-rot fungus Gloeophyllum trabeum (FPRL 108 N) were tested for their ability to protect against the diffusion of Cu2+ ions. Colonies of C. versicolor originating from ECMM-free inocula were affected to a greater extent than those retaining ECMM layers by the presence of up to 2 mM CuSO4 in the growth medium. The growth of G. trabeum seemed to be unaffected by the presence of ECMM surrounding the mycelium. Diffusion studies revealed that raw ECMM of C. versicolor had a greater ability to reduce Cu2+ diffusion than treated ECMM, which were subjected to dialysis to remove low-molecular-weight compounds. For both species, a water-soluble and a water-insoluble fraction of ECMM were isolated. The latter was the most effective at reducing the diffusion of Cu2+ ions. In C. versicolor, insoluble ECMM maintained its ability to limit Cu2+ diffusion even after dialysis. The different effect of ECMM on growth, as observed between the two species may be due to variation in the ECMM composition and arrangement around the hypha. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

M Guo, RJ Murphy (2012)LCA data quality: Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis, In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT435pp. 230-243 ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
J Littlewood, RJ Murphy, L Wang (2013)Importance of policy support and feedstock prices on economic feasibility of bioethanol production from wheat straw in the UK, In: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews17pp. 291-300

The economic feasibility of producing bioethanol from wheat straw in the UK using various state-of-the-art pretreatment technologies (steam explosion with and without acid catalyst, liquid hot water, dilute acid and wet oxidation) is assessed in this study. Under the current-technology base-case modeled using high enzyme loadings demonstrated at the laboratory-scale, wet oxidation pretreatment had the lowest minimum ethanol selling price (MESP) of £0.347/L ($2.032/gal). A contribution analysis showed feedstock price and enzyme cost were the two greatest contributors to the MESP, which led to a prospective case study and sensitivity analysis for assessing the effects of these two factors on the potential for economically competitive wheat straw-to-bioethanol UK supply chains. Prospective case studies modeled with a reduced enzyme loading and cost, demonstrated that although pretreatment scenarios with liquid hot water and steam explosion without acid catalyst were the closest to petrol pump prices, policy support in the form of tax exemptions could significantly enhance competitiveness of bioethanol with conventional fuel. A sensitivity analysis of feedstock prices also demonstrated that access to wheat straw prices of £35/t or lower would allow bioethanol production to be competitive with petrol under the best case scenario. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

L Wang, R Templer, RJ Murphy (2012)Environmental sustainability of bioethanol production from waste papers: Sensitivity to the system boundary, In: Energy and Environmental Science5(8)pp. 8281-8293

The production of bioethanol from various waste papers (newspaper, office paper, magazine and cardboard) was evaluated from an environmental standpoint. 'Cradle-to-grave' (or 'well-to-wheel') analyses were performed using a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach with the aims of identifying the key drivers of environmental impact in the bioethanol supply chains and of comparing the environmental footprints of various bioethanol supply chains with those of conventional petrol. Base cases (bioethanol production from various waste papers) and two state-of-the-art cases including pre-treatment of office paper by dilute acid (DA) and of newspaper by an oxidative lime (OL) process were constructed using laboratory data, expert consultations, literature values, and simulation in AspenPlus™ software. Contribution analysis showed enzyme production needed for hydrolysis of the papers to be the main contributor to the environmental profiles for bioethanol in the base cases. The production of process heat and hydrochloric acid respectively were the main contributors to the bioethanol environmental profiles for office paper-to-bioethanol with DA pre-treatment and newspaper-to-bioethanol with OL pre-treatment. Overall, bioethanol produced from newspaper, magazine paper and cardboard was found to have a lower environmental impact than the conventional transport fuel petrol. However, this conclusion is significantly affected by the system boundaries used for the analysis. When an expanded system boundary is applied to consider virgin and recycled paper production as the potential consequential effects within the bioethanol and petrol systems respectively, office paper-derived bioethanol systems emerge as the most environmentally favourable over petrol. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012.

NJB Brereton, MJ Ray, I Shield, P Martin, A Karp, RJ Murphy (2012)Reaction wood - a key cause of variation in cell wall recalcitrance in willow, In: BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR BIOFUELS5ARTN 83 BIOMED CENTRAL LTD
Rupert Zierler, Walter Wehrmeyer, Richard Murphy (2017)The energy efficiency behaviour of individuals in large organisations: A case study of a major UK infrastructure operator, In: Energy Policy104pp. 38-49 Elsevier

Energy consumption behaviours are gradually becoming better-understood. However, there is still a deficit in terms of knowledge of individuals’ energy-use behaviours in organisations, despite a variety of available theories. This paper addresses this need in three main stages, based on a survey among mid-level managers at a major infrastructure operator in Great Britain. Firstly, a principal components analysis is performed to identify key determinant constructs driving energy-efficient behaviours in organisations, revealing the importance of perceived benefit to the organisation and flexibility of existing performance goals and targets. Secondly, cluster analysis is undertaken, in an effort to identify differences in behavioural influences between demographic groups. These clusters highlight the heterogeneity of employee populations’ energy behaviours, demonstrating that assumptions cannot be made about these based on single responses to cross-industry surveys. Finally, a structural equation model of individuals’ energy use intentions and behaviours using the newly-identified constructs is developed, revealing some similarities with existing behavioural frameworks such as the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1991). Implications for policymakers are then discussed, in terms of encouraging individual employees’ curtailment of energy consumption in organisations through tailored engagement programmes.

N Vlasopoulos, FA Memon, D Butler, R Murphy (2006)Life cycle assessment of wastewater treatment technologies treating petroleum process waters, In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT367(1)pp. 58-70 ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
CD Collins, M Baddeley, R Murphy, S Owens, S Rocks (2016)Considering evidence: The approach taken by the Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee in the UK, In: Environment International Elsevier

The Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee (HSAC) provides expert advice to UK officials, Ministers and other relevant bodies on the protection of the environment, and human health via the environment, from potentially hazardous substances and articles. Hazardous substances are often the subject of controversy, on which individuals, and different groups in society, hold divergent views. This paper details the approach taken by HSAC when considering the evidence to provide advice on hazardous substances. Firstly HSAC reviews the range of evidence and determines its quality considering: transparency of aims, the methodology and results, completeness, independent review and accessibility. HSAC does not follow one explicit methodology as the wide range of hazardous substances we consider means they need to be addressed on a case by case basis. Most notably HSAC considers the evidence in the wider context, being aware of factors that influence individuals in their decision making when receiving a HSAC opinion e.g. trust in the source of the evidence, defensibility, conformity to a ‘world view’ and framing. HSACs also reflect on its own perspectives with the aim of addressing bias by the diversity of its membership. The Committee's intention, in adopting this rounded approach, is to reach opinions that are robust, relevant and defensible.

L Wang, M Sharifzadeh, R Templer, RJ Murphy (2013)Bioethanol production from various waste papers: Economic feasibility and sensitivity analysis, In: APPLIED ENERGY111pp. 1172-1182 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
S Gonzalez-Garcia, B Mola-Yudego, I Dimitriou, P Aronsson, R Murphy (2012)Environmental assessment of energy production based on long term commercial willow plantations in Sweden, In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT421pp. 210-219 ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
J Littlewood, L Wang, C Turnbull, RJ Murphy (2013)Techno-economic potential of bioethanol from bamboo in China., In: Biotechnol Biofuels6(1)pp. 173-?

Bamboo is potentially an interesting feedstock for advanced bioethanol production in China due to its natural abundance, rapid growth, perennial nature and low management requirements. Liquid hot water (LHW) pretreatment was selected as a promising technology to enhance sugar release from bamboo lignocellulose whilst keeping economic and environmental costs to a minimum. The present research was conducted to assess: 1) by how much LHW pretreatment can enhance sugar yields in bamboo, and 2) whether this process has the potential to be economically feasible for biofuel use at the commercial scale. Pretreatments were performed at temperatures of 170-190°C for 10-30 minutes, followed by enzymatic saccharification with a commercial enzyme cocktail at various loadings. These data were then used as inputs to a techno-economic model using AspenPlus™ to determine the production cost of bioethanol from bamboo in China.

A Brandt, MJ Ray, TQ To, DJ Leak, RJ Murphy, T Welton (2011)Ionic liquid pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass with ionic liquid-water mixtures, In: GREEN CHEMISTRY13(9)pp. 2489-2499 ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
JA Hingston, J Moore, RJ Murphy, JN Lester, CD Collins (2003)Speciation of Cr and As leachates from CCA treated wood by differential pulse polarography, In: HOLZFORSCHUNG57(6)pp. 597-601 WALTER DE GRUYTER & CO
M Black, Jhuma Sadhukhan, K Day, G Drage, Richard Murphy (2016)Developing database criteria for the assessment of biomass supply chains for biorefinery development, In: Chemical Engineering Research and Designpp. 253-262 Elsevier

The sustainable biorefinery will only be realised with a focus on optimal combinations of feedstock-process technologies-products. For many years, industry has been looking to add value to the by-products of commercial agriculture, forestry and processing. More recently, as concerns about climate change have increased around the globe, the use of biomass as a carbon saving feedstock (compared to fossil feedstock) has led to the implementation of policies to encourage its use for bioenergy, biofuels and bio-based products. As biomass conversion technologies become reality at the commercial scale for a range of diverse end products, the need to establish bespoke biomass supply chains also becomes a reality and industrial developers will face many business-critical decisions on the sourcing of biomass and location of conversion plants (biorefineries). The research presented here, aims to address these issues through the development of a comprehensive database to aid biomass sourcing and conversion decision-making. The database covers origin, logistics, technical suitability (in this case for a proprietary organosolv pre-treatment process) and policy and other risk attributes of the system. The development of key criteria required by the business community to develop biomass supply chains for specific requirements is discussed.

A Zamboni, RJ Murphy, J Woods, F Bezzo, N Shah (2011)Biofuels carbon footprints: Whole-systems optimisation for GHG emissions reduction, In: BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY102(16)pp. 7457-7465 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
L Wang, J Littlewood, RJ Murphy (2013)Environmental sustainability of bioethanol production from wheat straw in the UK, In: RENEWABLE & SUSTAINABLE ENERGY REVIEWS28pp. 715-725 PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
R Murphy, J Woods, M Black, M McManus (2011)Global developments in the competition for land from biofuels, In: FOOD POLICY36pp. S52-S61 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Y Wang, Y-X Gao, J Song, M Bonin, M Guo, R Murphy (2010)Assessment of Technical and Environmental Performances of Wheat-Based Foams in Thermal Packaging Applications, In: PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE23(7)pp. 363-382 JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD
NJB Brereton, FE Pitre, I Shield, SJ Hanley, MJ Ray, RJ Murphy, A Karp (2013)Insights into nitrogen allocation and recycling from nitrogen elemental analysis and 15N isotope labelling in 14 genotypes of willow, In: Tree Physiology

Minimizing nitrogen (N) fertilization inputs during cultivation is essential for sustainable production of bioenergy and biofuels. The biomass crop willow (Salix spp.) is considered to have low N fertilizer requirements due to efficient recycling of nutrients during the perennial cycle. To investigate how successfully different willow genotypes assimilate and allocate N during growth, and remobilize and consequently recycle N before the onset of winter dormancy, N allocation and N remobilization (to and between different organs) were examined in 14 genotypes of a genetic family using elemental analysis and 15N as a label. Cuttings were established in pots in April and sampled in June, August and at onset of senescence in October. Biomass yield of the trees correlated well with yields recorded in the field. Genotype-specific variation was observed for all traits measured and general trends spanning these sampling points were identified when trees were grouped by biomass yield. Nitrogen reserves in the cutting fuelled the entirety of the canopy establishment, yet earlier cessation of this dependency was linked to higher biomass yields. The stem was found to be the major N reserve by autumn, which constitutes a major source of N loss at harvest, typically every 2–3 years. These data contribute to understanding N remobilization in short rotation coppice willow and to the identification of traits that could potentially be selected for in breeding programmes to further improve the sustainability of biomass production.

JA Hingston, CD Collins, RJ Murphy, JN Lester (2001)Leaching of chromated copper arsenate wood preservatives: a review, In: ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION111(1)pp. 53-66 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Rocio Martinez-Cillero, Ben Siggery, Richard Murphy, Alvaro Perez-Diaz, Ian Christie, Sarah Jane Chimbwandira (2023)Functional connectivity modelling and biodiversity Net Gain in England: Recommendations for practitioners, In: Journal of environmental management328pp. 116857-116857 Elsevier Ltd

•Biodiversity Net Gain policy will be a mandatory requirement for urban development.•Its benefits for biodiversity can be maximized by considering functional connectivity.•The potential of electric circuit theory to fill this policy gap is explored.•The challenges that practitioners may face are addressed.•Omniscape was found to be a promising tool in the policy context.

R.J. Murphy, K.L. Alvin (1997)Fibre Maturation in the Bamboo Gigantochloa Scortechinii, In: IAWA journal18(2)pp. 147-156 BRILL

Fibre maturation, which has been shown in a number of bamboos to be a process extending over a long period after the culm has reached its full height, has been investigated in comparable internodes (6th above ground level) in culms up to three years old, with special reference to the fibres constituting the free fibre strands immersed in the ground tissue, The possession of such strands is characteristic of this pachymorph species. The fibres of the free strands are notably more heterogeneous in terms of their diameter than those of the fibre caps adjacent to the vascular tissues. It is in some of the larger fibres of the free strands that wall thickening is longest delayed, so that, even after three years, many still remain comparatively thin-walled, especially in the inner region of the culm wall. Fibres retain a living protoplast and appear to undergo progressive septation.

Bassem B. Hallac, Michael Ray, Richard J. Murphy, Arthur J. Ragauskas (2010)Correlation Between Anatomical Characteristics of Ethanol Organosolv Pretreated Buddleja davidii and Its Enzymatic Conversion to Glucose, In: Biotechnology and bioengineering107(5)pp. 795-801 Wiley

Buddleja davidn is a unique biomass that has many attractive agroenergy features, especially its wide range of growth habitat The anatomical characteristics of B davidu were investigated before and after ethanol organosolv pretreatment (one of the leading pretreatment technologies) in order to further understand the alterations that occur to the cellular structure of the biomass which can then be correlated with its enzymatic digestibility Results showed that the ethanol organosolv pretreatment of B davidu selectively removes lignin from the middle lamella (ML), which does not significantly disrupt the crystalline structure of cellulose The removal of ML lignin is a major factor in enhancing enzymatic cellulose to glucose hydrolysis The pretreatment also causes cell deformation, resulting in cracks and breaks in the cell wall These observations, together with characterization analysis of the cell wall poly mer material, lend support to the hypothesis that the physical ditribution of lignin in the biomass matrix is an important structural feature affecting biomass enzymatic digestibility Biotechnol Bioeng 2010 107 795-801 (C) 2010 Wiley Periodicals Inc

J. A Hingston, A Bacon, J Moore, C. D Collins, R. J Murphy, J. N Lester (2002)Influence of leaching protocol regimes on losses of wood preservative biocides, In: Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology68(1)pp. 118-125 Springer-Verlag
R J Murphy, J F Levy (1983)PRODUCTION OF COPPER OXALATE BY SOME COPPER TOLERANT FUNGI, In: Transactions of the British Mycological Society81(AUG)pp. 165-168 Cambridge Univ Press
E. Crow, R.J. Murphy (2000)Microfibril orientation in differentiating and maturing fibre and parenchyma cell walls in culms of bamboo ( Phyllostachys viridi-glaucescens (Carr.) Riv. & Riv.), In: Botanical journal of the Linnean Society134(1)pp. 339-359 Elsevier Science Ltd

Results of trials using chemical and enzymatic wall extractants for the removal of matrix materials for in situ observations of newly deposited microfibrils are described. Observations were then made of the orientation of microfibrils on the inner walls of differentiating and maturing fibres and parenchyma cells under the FESEM. Orientation changes were similar in both cell types. During very early primary wall development, deposition of microfibrils was in more or less axial alignment, which was later superseded by microfibrils in transverse orientation (90° to the long axis). A transverse orientation of microfibrils remained throughout much of primary wall synthesis, until an abrupt shift occurred to a sloped orientation during late primary wall synthesis. Microfibrils of the first secondary wall layer were in axial alignment or steeply sloped. In subsequent secondary wall deposition there was an alternation between a transverse and a sloped or axial alignment in maturing fibres and parenchyma cells.

ROLA ABU Ali, RICHARD J. Murphy, DAVID J. Dickinson (1999)Investigation of the extracellular mucilaginous materials produced by some wood decay fungi, In: Mycological research103(11)pp. 1453-1461 Cambridge University Press

The morphology of the extracellular mucilaginous material (ECM) produced by Coniophora puteana and Coriolus versicolor during colonization of Scots pine and beech was studied using SEM. Wood specimens were examined in the frozen hydrated (FH) condition using low-temperature SEM, and in the freeze-dried (FD) and critical point dried (CPD) state, using conventional SEM. All techniques produced artifacts but the ECM was best preserved when examined in the FH state. Very little difference was observed between FH and FD preparations, but critical point drying damaged the ECM extensively. Copious amounts of ECM were produced by both fungi. It was found to line much of the lumen surface, establishing contact between the mycelium and the wood substratum. Most aerial hyphae were coated with ECM, appearing glued together in a bundle-like fashion. The ECM thickness varied within the same wood cell and from one cell to another. A peculiar granular pattern, in which the ECM was definitely involved, was seen on occasion to encircle the infecting hyphae where they contacted the wood surface. Other morphological patterns of ECM distribution were also observed. Calcium oxalate crystals of varying shapes and sizes were often seen associated with the mycelia and mucilage of the two fungi in beech but not in Scots pine. The probable roles played by the ECM in wood decay mechanisms are discussed.

Nini Fatahna Muhamad Sopian, Jonathan Chenoweth, Richard Murphy (2019)Assessing the Impact of Industrial Wastewater Reuse as a Demand-Side Management Strategy for Potable Water Deficit in Selangor, Malaysia ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Policy makers are now re-aligning their thinking towards demand-side management (DSM), where for the industrial sector specifically, strategies have been emphasising water consumption reduction through conservation, increased efficiency, and wastewater recycling. Although DSM-based strategies have been seen as a viable option to delay the need for large capital investment and to avoid irreversible environmental impact, their implementation at a large scale have been largely unknown as is implementation has generally been reported at a small-scale. As such, this research attempts to assess the effectiveness of implementation of decentralised wastewater reuse facilities in industrial parks as a DSM-based strategy targeted at the manufacturing sector. The research first assessed the vulnerability of three reservoirs in Selangor-namely Semenyih, Klang Gates, and Langat dam-against water deficiency events using a modelling approach to analyse their: i) reliability, via the use of an inflow-demand reliability index, and ii) resilience, through a water supply resilience index. Total potential potable water savings were then estimated for all industrial parks in the area served by each reservoir and subsequent potable water treatment plant. The impact of the potential water savings through reuse of wastewater in industrial parks within an overall water supply system was then evaluated. The feasibility of this DSM-based strategy was assessed in terms of its technical, economics, and environmental impact. Four treatment trains corresponding to the two cases of i) potable and ii) non-potable reuse were assessed in terms of their removal efficiencies necessary to comply with the current potable and non-potable water quality standards. The financial cost of each treatment train was determined for both capital and operational costs, while the environmental assessment was assessed using a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach based on several environmental impact categories. Findings for the three dams indicated varying level of vulnerability, with Klang Gates dam being the most vulnerable, while Semenyih the least. For Klang Gates and Langat dams, the resultant IDR and WSR indexes achieved similar conclusions; both indices resulted in almost constant negative values for both dams, suggesting that an effective DSM-based strategy could possibly delay the need for implementation of an SSM strategy. For Semenyih dam, it was observed that the system is approaching system vulnerability, where lower IDR and WSR values were observed in the later years as compared to historical scenarios. Here, it can be hypothesised that a well-planned DSM-based strategy might eliminate the need for a SSM strategy. It was found that there was minimal number of industrial parks within the Klang Gates water supply area, further reducing the feasibility of wastewater reuse to reduce the vulnerability of this WSS. Conversely, it was estimated that, for Langat and Semenyih WSS, approximately 308,903 and 430,281 m3/month of water consumed by the premises within the identified IPs. This translates to approximately 266,430 and 374,009 m3/month of water savings if 90% of the total demand was discarded as effluent, and treated at 95% recovery rate. The savings calculated for this reuse option could contribute to a savings of 5.5% (8.8 MLD) and 12.2% (12.47 MLD) for the Langat and Semenyih dam respectively. These accumulated savings had a different impact on each dam's vulnerability. For the Langat dam, recalculation of the IDR and WSR values with the savings indicated little change to the system's overall vulnerability. In contrast, recalculations for the Semenyih dam resulted in positive changes for the WSR specifically, indicating reduced vulnerability of the system. The feasibility of four treatment trains corresponding to both reuse options for their technical, financial, and environmental dimensions were considered. The general findings in all three dimensions reinforced the option of non-potable reuse, specifically the NP-1 treatment train, which resulted in the lowest cost while providing the highest technical capability to remove contaminants from the industrial wastewater to meet both non-potable and potable water reuse standards. Additionally, from the environmental perspective, the resultant water for reuse had a lower human toxicity impact without an additional blending requirement, though this produced a higher terrestrial eco-toxicity impact due to the contaminants removal to landfill. On the other hand, it was also illustrated via this research that the additional financial resources, institutional reconfiguration of existing water service industry, as well as current awareness of the industrial players itself will limit the effective implementation of the identified strategy. As such, it was concluded that, although the use of industrial wastewater for manufacturing sector is technical, financial, and environmental feasible, its deployment however, is improbable against the current organizational structure and current awareness of the users. Includes bibliographical references

S. F Curling, R. J Murphy (2002)The use of the Decay Susceptibility Index (DSI) in the evaluation of biological durability tests of wood based board materials, In: European journal of wood and wood products60(3)pp. 224-226 Springer
Bassem B. Hallac, Poulomi Sannigrahi, Yunqiao Pu, Michael Ray, Richard J. Murphy, Arthur J. Ragauskas (2010)Effect of Ethanol Organosolv Pretreatment on Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Buddleja davidii Stem Biomass, In: Industrial & engineering chemistry research49(4)pp. 1467-1472 Amer Chemical Soc

Ethanol organosolv pretreatment was performed on Buddleja davidii to evaluate this bioresource as a potential feedstock for bioethanol production. B. davidii was pretreated and delignified, while 85% of the glucose content of the untreated material was retained in the pretreated solid fraction. The enzymatic hydrolysis showed that organosolv pretreatment produced solid substrates that were readily digestible by cellulases. Gel-permeation chromatography was used to determine the degree of polymerization (DP) of cellulose, and solid-state cross polarization/magic angle spinning C-13 NMR experiments were conducted to study the changes in crystallinity and ultrastructure of cellulose. The results showed a decrease in DP along with an increase in the relative proportions of para-crystalline and amorphous cellulose and a decrease in cellulose I-alpha and I-beta. Removal of lignin and hemicellulose, reduction in DP, and decrease in the crystalline allomorphs (I-alpha and I-beta) increased the amenability of the biomass to enzymatic degradation.

Arthur J. Ragauskas, Charlotte K. Williams, Brian H. Davison, George Britovsek, John Cairney, Charles A. Eckert, William J. Frederick, Jason P. Hallett, David J. Leak, Charles L. Liotta, Jonathan R. Mielenz, Richard Murphy, Richard Templer, Timothy Tschaplinski (2006)The Path Forward for Biofuels and Biomaterials, In: Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science)311(5760)pp. 484-489

Biomass represents an abundant carbon-neutral renewable resource for the production of bioenergy and biomaterials, and its enhanced use would address several societal needs. Advances in genetics, biotechnology, process chemistry, and engineering are leading to a new manufacturing concept for converting renewable biomass to valuable fuels and products, generally referred to as the biorefinery. The integration of agroenergy crops and biorefinery manufacturing technologies offers the potential for the development of sustainable biopower and biomaterials that will lead to a new manufacturing paradigm.

Ana Andries, Stephen Morse, Richard J. Murphy, Jhuma Sadhukhan, Elias Martinez-Hernandez, Myriam A. Amezcua-Allieri, Jorge Aburto (2023)Potential of Using Night-Time Light to Proxy Social Indicators for Sustainable Development, In: Remote sensing (Basel, Switzerland)15(5) Mdpi

Satellite-observed night-time light (NTL) data provide a measure of the lighting brightness seen from space at different times and spatial and temporal resolutions, thus offering opportunities to explore them in many applications at different spatial locations (global, regional, local). However, most applications to date have been at relatively large spatial scales, despite the need to measure indicators at a local level. This paper sets out an analysis of the potential of NTL data for populating indicators at more local (neighbourhood, street) scales. We first reviewed the overall potential of NTL data for social indicators at different spatial scales by using a systematic search of the literature and applying the Maturity Matrix Framework (MMF). We also explored a case study (Durango State, Mexico) using Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) imageries, other geospatial data, and the social gap index (SGI) to identify social gaps at the local scale. The literature review showed that NTL can play a role in supporting 49 out of 192 sustainable development goal (SDG) indicators having a focus on social issues, but most of these have been explored at the global or country scales. In the case study, we found that low radiance is indeed associated with higher SGI levels (i.e., more social deprivation) and vice versa. However, more research is needed from other contexts to support a link between NTL radiance levels and social indicators at local scales.

R. J Murphy, P Turner (1989)A vapour phase preservative treatment of manufactured wood based board materials, In: Wood science and technology23(3)pp. 273-279 Springer
ANA MONICA ANDRIES, STEPHEN MORSE, RICHARD JAMES MURPHY, Jim Lynch, Bernardo Mota, Emma Woolliams (2021)Can Current Earth Observation Technologies Provide Useful Information on Soil Organic Carbon Stocks for Environmental Land Management Policy?, In: Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland)13(21)12074 MDPI

Earth Observation (EO) techniques could offer a more cost-effective and rapid approach for reliable monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of soil organic carbon (SOC). Here, we analyse the available published literature to assess whether it may be possible to estimate SOC using data from sensors mounted on satellites and airborne systems. This is complemented with research using a series of semi-structured interviews with experts in soil health and policy areas to understand the level of accuracy that is acceptable for MRV approaches for SOC. We also perform a cost-accuracy analysis of the approaches, including the use of EO techniques, for SOC assessment in the context of the new UK Environmental Land Management scheme. We summarise the state-of-the-art EO techniques for SOC assessment and identify 3 themes and 25 key suggestions and concerns for the MRV of SOC from the expert interviews. Notably, over three-quarters of the respondents considered that a ‘validation accuracy’ of 90% or better would be required from EO-based techniques to be acceptable as an effective system for the monitoring and reporting of SOC stocks. The cost-accuracy analysis revealed that a combination of EO technology and in situ sampling has the potential to offer a reliable, cost-effective approach to estimating SOC at a local scale (4 ha), although several challenges remain. We conclude by proposing an MRV framework for SOC that collates and integrates seven criteria for multiple data sources at the appropriate scales.

Sophie A Archer, Richard J Murphy, Robert Steinberger-Wilckens (2018)Methodological analysis of palm oil biodiesel life cycle studies, In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews94pp. 694-704 Elsevier Ltd

Biodiesel is a renewable vehicle fuel based on biomass. Although environmental benefits can be assumed, both positive and negative impacts have been stated in the past, raising some doubts on the effective environmental performance of biofuels. They therefore need to be carefully examined through the established methods of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). Such studies, though, have been known to give conflicting results and, for non-specialist users of environmental performance information, such variations in literature between studies will be a cause of concern.

P. Y. Yau, R. J. Murphy (2001)A light microscopy study on the cell walls decay of biodegraded coir waste, In: Journal of tropical agriculture and food science29(1)pp. 61-67 Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI)

A light microscopy study on the cell walls decay of biodegraded coir waste by a group of micro-fungi (Chaetomium globosum, Humicola grisea, Trichoderma reesii, Penicillium citrinum and Aspergillus niger) was conducted. This study gave conclusive evidence of hyphal penetration, colonisation, cell wall decay and destruction by the soft rot fungi (C. globosum and H. grisea). The hyphae of these soft rot fungi penetrated through pits into adjacent cells and severely degraded the cell walls by formation of cavities. However, the moulds (T. reesii, P. citrinum and A. niger) only penetrated the cell walls and did not cause any severe cell walls destruction.

R. Clift, H. Baumann, R. J. Murphy, W. R. Stahel (2019)Managing plastics: uses, losses and disposal, In: Law, Environment and Development Journal15 Law, Environment and Development Centre of SOAS University of London

It has long been recognised that plastic objects released into the environment have harmful impacts on wildlife. Public realisation that plastic pollution is a major global environmental problem is more recent and has been sudden, sparked by publication of an analysis of the flows of polluting plastics into the environment and the accumulated stocks of polluting waste, particularly in the oceans.1 This contribution aims first to provide an introduction to the history and uses of plastics in the economy and, secondly, to set out the routes by which plastics leak from the economy into the environment in order to inform development of possible strategies to alleviate the problem of plastic pollution.

RJ Murphy, J Levy (1983)Production of copper oxalate by some copper tolerate fungi, In: Transactions of the British Mycological Society81(AUG)pp. 165-168 CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS
P Turner, RJ Murphy (1998)Treatment of timber products with gaseous borate esters: Part 2. Process improvement, In: Wood Science and Technology32(1)pp. 25-31

This paper forms a continuation of the work on treatment of timber products with gaseous borate esters. Turner and Murphy (1995) in an earlier paper indicated that gas flow rate into the wood substrate was the principle factor limiting the rate of boric acid retention and the depth of penetration into wood products. The current paper considers the impact of this factor on treatment efficacy and considers experimental work designed to evaluate qualitatively, the impact of proposed modifications to the process. Significant improvements in treatment performance were observed.

SF Curling, RJ Murphy (1999)The effect of artificial ageing on the durability of wood-based board materials against basidiomycete decay fungi, In: Wood Science and Technology33(4)pp. 245-257
F Abood, RJ Murphy (2006)World distribution of minthea rugicollis (coleoptera: Lyctidae), In: Journal of Tropical Forest Science18(4)pp. 250-254

The distribution of Minthea rugicollis worldwide is presented based on a compilation of literature records of population establishments and also from the world collection of M. rugicollis at the Natural History Museum, London. The distribution map derived indicates the limits of distribution for M. rugicollis to be 40° north and south of the Equator, with maximum distribution within 20° north and south. The present compiled records of occurrence of established populations as well as reports on repeated accidental introductions strongly suggest. M. rugicollis is not capable of establishing populations under outdoor temperate conditions.

RJ Murphy, DJ Dickinson (1997)Wood preservation research - What have we learnt and where are we going?, In: Journal of the Institute of Wood Science14(3)pp. 147-153

The role of research in the development of wood preservation over the last 150 years is reviewed with particular emphasis on the last two decades. The authors present a personal view of historical developments which have been particularly influential and highlight current trends such as fixed waterborne preservatives, vapour phase treatments, definition of decay hazard classes and environmental impact assessments. These are considered with reference to the structure of the International Research Group on Wood Preservation (IRG) which was founded in 1969 and has now grown into an international research community of over 300 members from 52 countries. The authors highlight three factors, 'environmental' influences, harmonisation of standards (particularly in the EU) and economic factors, which have exerted an intense pressure on both research and on product development in recent years.

Ana Andries, Stephen Morse, James Lynch, E Woolliams, J Fonweban, Richard Murphy (2018)Translation of Remote Sensing data into Sustainable Development Indicators, In: Proceedings of ISDRS24 ISDR

In 2015, member countries of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York. These global goals have 169 targets and 232 indicators which are based on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Substantial challenges remain in obtaining data of the required quality, especially in developing countries, given the limited resources involved. One promising and innovative way of addressing this issue of data availability is to use Earth Observation (EO). This paper presents the results of research to analyse and optimise the potential of EO approaches to populate the SDG indicators and targets. We present a matrix of EO technologies with respect to the full set of current SDG indicators which shows the potential for direct or proxy calibrations across the span of the social, economic and environmental SDG indicators. We have focussed particularly on those SDG indicators covering the social and economic dimensions of sustainable development as these are relatively unexplored from an EO context. Results suggest that EO can make an important contribution towards populating the SDG indicators, but there is a spectrum from at one end the sole use of EO to the other end where the EO derived data have to be used in concert with data collected via non-EO means (surveys etc.). Complicating factors also include the lack of driving force and pressure indicators in the SDG framework and the use of ‘proxy’ indicators not part of the SDG framework but more amenable to EO-derived assessment. The next phase of the research will involve the presenting of these ideas to experts in the EO and indicator arenas for their assessment.

HM Barnes, RJ Murphy (2005)Bending and tensile properties of vapor boron-treated composites, In: Wood and Fiber Science37(3)pp. 379-383

North American composites, including laminated veneer lumber, oriented strandboard, and medium density fiberboard, were treated by vapor boron technology and subsequently tested in static bending. Tensile properties were also determined for the two composite board products. The study was designed as a 2 × 3 factorial with two mill locations and three treatment levels for each composite type. In general, mill location significantly affected most property values, while treatment level caused only significant reductions at the highest treatment level. The significance of mill location was attributed mainly to species differences since species varied between locations for each composite type. © 2005 by the Society of Wood Science and Technology.

M Ray, G Kleist, R Murphy (2005)Decay assessment in a hardwood handrail at the South Bank, London, In: Journal of the Institute of Wood Science17(1)pp. 51-58

A timber handrail made from the hardwood Keruing (Dipterocarpus spp.) and exposed in European Hazard Class 3 on railings at the Southbank, London was investigated to (i) determine the visual damage on the hardwood railing cappings quantitatively and to (ii) identify the causal organisms, and (in) to characterise their decay patterns in the wood. The service life of this handrail of at least 25 years so far shows impressively that Keruing of this quality has exhibited a reasonable resistance to decay for the period. However, the selection of this timber for the construction may not have been ideal due to its large dimensional movement and the effect of this on the aesthetic appearance, in the form of extensive surface cracking, of several of the timber sections, including those rated as free from decay. The two principal decay organisms were identified as the white rot fungus Phellinus contiguus (Fr.) Pat. and the brown rot fungus Dacrymyces stillatus Nees:Fr. Decay patterns observed in the samples of the handrail and in invitro tests demonstrated the ability of P. contiguus and D. stillatus to cause a soft rot -like decay pattern in addition to their typical modes of action, i.e. white and brown rot. These results indicate that "classical" criteria in linking decay features to certain decay types and fungi can be much more complex than expected. Depending on the fungal species, a transition or switch mechanism between brown + soft rot and white + soft rot respectively is probable.

R Abu Ali, RJ Murphy, DJ Dickinson (1999)Investigation of the extracellular mucilaginous materials produced by some wood decay fungi, In: MYCOLOGICAL RESEARCH103pp. 1453-1461 CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS