Xiaoyu Yan

Xiaoyu Yan
University of Exeter | UoE · Environment and Sustainability Institute

PhD

About

96
Publications
26,839
Reads
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2,506
Citations
Introduction
Xiaoyu is a Professor in Sustainable Energy Systems at the University of Exeter and was previously a Research Associate at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and London. Xiaoyu has a interdisciplinary interest in Water, Energy, Food and the Environment and the overarching aim of his research is to develop quantitative analytical models and tools to help governments, industry and the public make more informed decisions with respect to environmental sustainability.
Additional affiliations
June 2017 - October 2021
University of Exeter
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2013 - June 2017
University of Exeter
Position
  • Lecturer
June 2011 - January 2013
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (96)
Article
China has the highest level of plastic production and consumption in the world. The plastic waste ban has resulted in a lack of raw materials for plastic reprocessing, while household appliance-related plastic (HAP), as a high-value and high-quality plastic waste source, receives great attention to fill such a gap. As HAP is scattered and has been...
Article
Rocket emissions and debris from spacecraft falling out of orbit are having increasingly detrimental effects on global atmospheric chemistry. Improved monitoring and regulation are urgently needed to create an environmentally sustainable space industry. https://rdcu.be/cTVAJ
Article
Full-text available
We explore six small-medium enterprises (SMEs) across multiple sectors and their approach towards circular economy (CE) adoption. Our study explores the ‘how and why’ of CE adoption for SMEs, comparing opportunities and challenges around chosen tools and methods. A multi-methodological approach uses interviews, facilitated workshops and tool demons...
Article
A double waste stream problem arises from the increasing use of electrical and electronic equipment and their energy consumption: potentially toxic wastes from the equipment itself and potential acid mine drainage from the waste of the coal mines that provide the fuel to cover the energy demand. CEReS (Co-processing of Coal Mine & Electronic Wastes...
Article
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In order to investigate the control mechanism of composite phase change materials (PCM), a series of composite nano-phase change emulsion (NPCE) were prepared in this paper with high thermal conductivity, high heat storage and low supercooling using hexadecane, octadecane, hexadecanol, octadecanol and various metal nano-particles. Through the contr...
Article
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Increasing food demand has led to significant agricultural expansion globally with negative impacts on resources and the environment, a perfect manifestation of the Water-Energy-Food-Environment nexus. Whilst many tools have been developed to understand the complexity of the Water-Energy-Food-Environment nexus most have failed to explicitly conside...
Article
ZnO, nano ZnO and nano Al2O3 were mixed with microencapsulated phase change material slurry (MPCS) for improving the heat transfer performance of slurries in this paper. The thermal and rheological properties of MPCS were measured using DSC, thermal conductivity meter and rheometer. The results show that the thermal conductivity of 5 wt% MPCS with...
Article
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The food system is a major source of both environmental and health challenges. Yet, the extent to which policy-induced changes in the patterns of food demand address these challenges remains poorly understood. Using a survey-based, randomized controlled experiment with 5,912 respondents from the United Kingdom, we evaluate the potential effect of c...
Preprint
Circular strategies, including recycling and reuse of food packaging, are critical responses to the plastic pollution crisis and could provide co-benefits and trade-offs for human health. Our meta-analysis of life cycle assessment (LCA) data quantifies possible health effects using Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) mediated by climate change,...
Article
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Rainwater harvesting systems (RWHS) and greywater reuse systems (GWRS) are prominent alternatives for urban water management, which contribute to improving water use efficiency and conservation. The evaluation of these systems has been based mainly on technical, social and financial aspects. Recently, some studies have analyzed the environmental pe...
Article
The 3D concentrating photovoltaic is innovated integrated into the building as the window, which can improve the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) cell and maintain the daylighting performance for the building. The lab test results showed that 3D concentrator photovoltaic daylighting (3D CPVD) modules could increase the maximum power by 2.89 times co...
Article
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Shifting towards more meat-intensive diets may have indirect health consequences through environmental degradation. Here we examine how trends in dietary patterns in China over 1980–2010 have worsened fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution, thereby inducing indirect health impacts. We show that changes in dietary composition alone, mainly by dri...
Conference Paper
Calculating and reducing buildings' carbon emissions is an essential response to the global target for climate-change mitigation and carbon reduction. The life cycle analysis (LCA) of building carbon emissions can better achieve the goal of net-zero carbon emissions in the building industry, although relevant research needs to be more in-depth. To...
Article
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In this paper, a composite structure double layer phase change walls with expanded graphite (EG) was investigated. By adding the EG, the time needed for the phase change process and the wall to work was both accelerated. The effect of composite phase change walls on the indoor thermal comfort and building energy consumption were investigated experi...
Article
As one of the largest energy consumers and greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters, the mining industry is switching to renewable energy to help reduce its energy and environmental impacts. There are already renewable energy systems (RES) in operation at large-scale mines. However, for off-grid small-scale mining operations, conventional diesel generators ar...
Article
The transition to a low-carbon economy will be material-intensive. Production of these materials (from mining to manufacturing) incurs environmental costs that vary widely, depending on the geology, mineralogy, extraction routes, type of product, purity of product, background system or manufacturing infrastructure. Understanding the impacts of the...
Article
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Composites composed of paraffin wax and copper foam with porosity of 95 % and pore density of 15 ppi, 30 ppi, and 50 ppi were prepared by the melt impregnation method. Two building models of the same size were made using gypsum board. The roof of the experimental model was covered with 50ppi copper foam /paraffin composite phase change board, and t...
Article
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Increased emphasis on the natural capital approach in the UK has led to greater demand for methods that link economic sectors with elements of natural capital, and that can provide evidence for sustainable management of the environment. However, factors describing the supply of benefits, and their links with economic sectors, are not well defined....
Article
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The new energy industry (NEI) is key to achieving a clean and low-carbon economy. Improving its technical efficiency, a factor reflecting the ability of an enterprise or industry to produce maximum economic outputs from a given set of inputs and production technologies, is vital for the healthy development of the NEI. Nevertheless, due to the fragm...
Article
A switch on-switch off (SOSO) approach to mining relies on an integrated modular and mobile plant. It is appropriate for rapid start-up and cessation of production from ore deposits that have economic viability dependent on fluctuating commodity prices. This study aims at assessing the environmental performance of the SOSO approach in a life cycle...
Article
The transition towards a sustainable energy mix is required to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 for affordable and clean energy. Remote islands not connected to grid which depend on diesel generators may appear ideal because they can benefit from a variety of renewable energy sources. However, renewable energy deployment requires a lifetime p...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The report details the development of a conceptual framework, based upon the doughnut economics model of Kate Raworth (2012), that employs multiple indicators in order to establish an integrated assessment method for monitoring social and ecological conditions in Cornwall towards agreed strategic priorities.
Article
The rapid development of offshore wind farms (OWFs) has stimulated debate about its overall socioeconomic impacts. Expanding the scale of OWFs increases the availability and affordability of electricity but could displace existing fishing activities and reduce food supply. To evaluate these impacts from a macroeconomic perspective, a computable gen...
Conference Paper
Occupant behaviour (OB) has significant impacts on building energy performance and promoting sustainability. Imprecision in evaluating the impacts of the occupant's behaviour brings about excess energy waste. On the other hand, the increased quantity and quality of the various building energy data collected promotes the use of data-driven approache...
Article
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The marine and coastal environment is an important economic asset in the UK, and there is a need for greater information about marine economic activities for the purposes of marine management and policy. However, due to the difficulties of quantifying some marine sectors and separating them from terrestrial activities, the current size and structur...
Conference Paper
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Plastics play a vital role in modern society. But just how much plastic do we, as consumers, accumulate at home over time and dispose of as household waste annually? Based on the best information available, we put some numbers on the direct plastic footprint of UK households in various forms and applications such as packaging, dwellings, vehicles,...
Article
The aim of this study is to investigate whether eliminating plastics entirely under existing waste infrastructure and management practices could have an adverse effect on climate change, using a case study on the hypothetical substitution of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) with glass as the material for bottling liquids in the domestic sector in C...
Article
The aim of this study was to conduct the first comprehensive life cycle assessment and economic analysis on ethanol produced from agave. Compositional and field data from a field experiment in Queensland, Australia was used. Our study shows that ethanol yields from agave (7414 L/ha/year) are comparable to Brazilian sugarcane (9900/L/ha/year) and hi...
Article
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Accurate estimation of the spatiotemporal variations of solar radiation is crucial for assessing and utilizing solar energy, one of the fastest‐growing and most important clean and renewable resources. Based on observations from 2,379 meteorological stations along with scare solar radiation observations, the Random Forest (RF) model is employed to...
Article
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China’s electric power industry contributes a significant amount of carbon emissions as well as air pollutants such as SO2, NOx, and fine particles. In order to detect co-benefits of carbon reduction and air pollution control, this study analyzed the emission reduction, emission reduction factors, and synergistic effect factors of technical and str...
Article
Wind energy is one of the most popular renewable energy technologies that is considered indispensable in any low carbon energy mix. Small scale wind technologies that occupy less space and can supply electricity directly to their owners are thought to be more environmental friendly than the large turbines and therefore attract less criticism. Based...
Article
Natural gas has been promoted rapidly recent years to substitute traditional vehicle fuels. However, methane leakages in the natural gas supply chains make it difficult to ascertain whether it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions when used as a transport fuel. This paper characterizes the natural gas supply chains and their segments involved, estima...
Article
A novel nano phase change material emulsion (NPCE) with low supercooling and high thermal conductivity was prepared by sonication method. N-octadecane was employed as phase change material, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were utilised as high thermal conductivity material, and octadecanol was utilised as nucleating agent. The characterizati...
Article
In this study, we conducted life cycle assessments (LCAs) for fuels based on different types of agricultural residues and determined the characteristics common to all LCAs. Each fuel type required specific conversion technology during the feedstock stage, particularly during the production and collection processes. We divided the field-to-fuel life...
Article
Full-text available
Rare earth elements (REE), including neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium are used in a range of low-carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles and wind turbines, and demand for these REE is forecast to grow. This study demonstrates that a process simulation-based life cycle assessment (LCA) carried out at the early stages of a REE project,...
Article
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Building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) is a promising solar energy technology that looks set to grow in popularity in the pursuit of a sustainable future. It has the potential to mitigate some of the main concerns over ground-mounted solar energy systems such as land use. However, there is an apparent gap in our understanding of its life cycle env...
Conference Paper
The rapid development in offshore wind energy industry over the last decade has raised concerns on its environmental and socioeconomic impacts on the fishery industry and the wider economy. Offshore wind and fish are two important types of natural capital provided by the marine environment. CGE models can be used to assess the impacts of one indust...
Preprint
Full-text available
The study shows that a detailed LCA can be carried out for a proposed mining project as soon as Prefeasibility (PFS) data are available. The prefeasibility study is one of the key early steps in bringing a deposit towards production and results are often publically available. This study applies the technique to a rare earth deposit because rare ear...
Article
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Infrastructure-integrated photovoltaic (IIPV) has potential to improve the green credentials of solar energy at a time when environmental impacts of energy systems are under increasing scrutiny. However, little attention has been given to the environmental sustainability of IIPV in comparison with standalone PV systems and other energy technologies...
Article
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China is the largest producer of aluminium globally. The energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by primary aluminium and recycled aluminium production in China have aroused widespread concern. In this paper, the energy consumption and GHG emissions caused by primary aluminium and recycled aluminium production from a life-cycle...
Article
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Life cycle assessments (LCA) are useful to quantify the environmental costs of mining projects, however the application of LCA is often a retrospective environmental measurement of operating mines. This paper presents a novel methodology of carrying out a LCA to generate life cycle impact assessment data that can form an environmental block model o...
Article
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A number of studies have identified rare earth elements (REE) as critical metals due to their high economic importance combined with a high risk of supply disruption (Du and Graedel, 2011; Nassar et al., 2015; Schneider et al., 2014). The current methods used to calculate resource depletion in life cycle assessments (LCA) neglect socio-economic, re...
Article
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Because of concerns about global climate change, possible global oil depletion, and because of potential benefits for both urban air pollution and rural employment and industry, many countries both in and out of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), are promoting liquid biofuels as a replacement for oil-based transport f...
Article
Energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of China’s road transport sector have been increasing rapidly in recent years. Previous studies on the future trends trend to focus on the national picture and cannot offer regional insights. We build a novel bottom-up model to estimate the future energy demand and GHG emissions of China’s road...
Article
Mobile air conditioning (MAC) is potentially a huge source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in China from a life cycle (LC) perspective as the vehicle population increases in the future. The MAC-GHG-LCA model is developed to calculate LC GHG emissions from MAC systems, covering life-span refrigerant leakage (direct emissions) and emissions caused...
Conference Paper
Rapid development of offshore wind energy industry in recent years has raised increasing concerns about its socioeconomic impacts on the overall economy. On one side, the expanding scale of offshore wind farms would cause conflicts and tradeoffs with existing fishing industries in the marine environment, resulting in higher fishing effort and thus...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus has resulted in changes to the way we perceive our natural resources. Stressors such as climate change and population growth have highlighted the fragility of our WEF systems, necessitating integrated solutions across multiple scales. While a number of frameworks and analytical tools have been deve...
Article
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Sustainable utilization of resources is playing the vital role in realizing the sustainable development and ecological civilization in China. However, rapidly increasing economy in recent three decades has caused severe resource shortage and serious environmental pollution. To uncover the relationship between resource utilization and economic devel...
Article
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Evaluations of food, energy and water (FEW) linkages are rapidly emerging in contemporary nexus studies. This paper demonstrates, from a food consumption perspective, the potential of life cycle thinking in understanding the complex and often "hidden" linkages between FEW systems. Our study evaluates the upstream virtual water and embodied energy i...
Article
An expandable electric vehicle (EV) life-cycle analysis (LCA) model (EV-LCA) is developed to analyze the life cycle (LC) energy consumption (EC) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of EVs considering variations in electricity grid mix and vehicle energy efficiency performance. Employing EV-LCA as a common model platform, a case study is conducted to...
Article
Full-text available
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is "primarily a steady-state-tool" and few studies to date have included dynamic temporal and spatial information in matrix-based LCA. Because of this many environmental impacts cannot be determined accurately in conventional LCA. We have integrated both temporal and spatial information in a novel dynamical life cycle in...
Article
Full-text available
Decentralized rainwater harvesting (RWH) from roof runoff can complement the centralized supply of mains (drinking) water for a range of contexts, to assist in alleviating issues of water security. However, treatment to potable standard of harvested rainwater is not widespread. Consequently a comparative life cycle analysis (LCA) of decentralized a...
Article
Globally, crop straw is a rich resource and further establishment of its use as an energy source is an important aspect in developing the circular economy. Projects in this vein can bring benefits such as improving energy access and living conditions as well as boosting the local economy and employment opportunities in rural communities. This paper...
Article
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In this letter, we respond to the article in this journal by Weng et al. (2016) which performs a cradle to gate scale life cycle impact assessment for 26 operating and potential rare earth element (REE) mining projects. The work focuses on gross energy requirement and the global warming impacts of the primary REE production stage. The results sugge...
Presentation
Continued economic development and population growth result in increasing pressures on natural resources, from local to international levels, for meeting societal demands on water, energy and food. To date there are a few tools that link models to identify the relationships and to account for flows of water, energy and food. However, these tools in...
Article
The use of agricultural residues to produce biomass briquette fuel (BBF) can reduce waste of resources and consumption of fossil fuels. We report the first detailed environmental impact assessment of cornstalk-based BBF in China using a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA). The LCA study was cond