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Challenges of Legal and Regulatory Framework for Blockchain Technology in the EU
Urška Fric, Jurij Urbančič, 2022, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: While blockchain is one of the crucial emerging technologies shaping Europe’s digital future, blockchain protection in the domain of IPR is not clearly defined. This status quo, therefore, necessitates an examination of this field – to arrive at a clear legal basis which would regulate blockchain technology protection it is necessary to define and address the crucial points. The following paper presents the challenges of blockchain protection in the EU. It starts by introducing blockchain technology from theory to practice, followed by the existing conditions of the current legal and regulatory framework and the most common challenges for blockchain technology protection, and concludes with proposals for further research in this field.
Keywords: Blockchain Technology, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Protection, Challenges, EU
Published in RUNG: 17.11.2022; Views: 595; Downloads: 0
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Novel composite films from regenerated cellulose-glycerol-polyvinyl alcohol: Mechanical and barrier properties
Patricia Cazón, Gonzalo Velazquez, Manuel Vazquez, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Cellulose is considered as an alternative for the demand of biocompatible and environmentally friendly food packaging. The aim of this study was to evaluate a composite film from regenerated cellulose combined with polyvinyl alcohol. Glycerol was used as a plasticizer. Mathematical models were used to describe the effect of the film structure on the mechanical (tensile strength, percentage of elongation at break) and barrier properties (water vapour permeability, light-barrier properties and transparency). The morphology, structural and thermal properties were evaluated by spectral analysis (FT-IR and UV-VIS-NIR), scanning electron microscopy and dif- ferential scanning calorimetry. Models predict cellulose-glycerol-polyvinyl alcohol films with tensile strength values from 25.9 to 369 MPa, similar to that of synthetic polymer films. The elongation at break of the developed films (0.89–18.7%) was lower than that of synthetic polymer films. The water vapour permeability obtained (2.32·10−11 - 3.01·10−11 g/s·m·Pa) was higher than that of petrochemical-based plastics. Cellulose films re- inforced with polyvinyl alcohol showed a smooth surface. Results showed that it is viable to accomplish com- posite films from cellulose-polyvinyl alcohol-glycerol with enhanced mechanical properties. The obtained films showed top values of transparency. The addition of glycerol resulted in films with a UV protective effect which could be important in food packaging to prevent lipid oxidative deterioration.
Keywords: Regenerated cellulose, Tensile strength, Water vapor permeability, Anti-plasticizer, DSC, UV protection
Published in RUNG: 14.12.2020; Views: 1857; Downloads: 0
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Characterization of bacterial cellulose films combined with chitosan and polyvinyl alcohol: Evaluation of mechanical and barrier properties
Patricia Cazón, Gonzalo Velazquez, Manuel Vazquez, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Bacterial cellulose (BC) produced by Komagataeibacter xylinus is a biomaterial with a unique three-dimensional structure. To improve the mechanical properties and reinforce the BC films, they were immersed in polyvinyl alcohol (0–4%) and chitosan (0–1%) baths. Moisture content, mechanical properties and water vapour perme- ability were measured to assess the effect of polyvinyl alcohol and chitosan. The morphology, optical, structural and thermal properties were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy, spectral analysis, thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry. Results showed that moisture content was significantly affected by the chitosan presence. Tensile strength values in the 20.76–41.65 MPa range were similar to those of synthetic polymer films. Percentage of elongation ranged from 2.28 to 21.82% and Young's modulus ranged from 1043.88 to 2247.82 MPa. The water vapour permeability (1.47×10−11–3.40×10−11 g/m s Pa) decreased with the addition of polyvinyl alcohol. The developed films own UV light barrier properties and optimal visual appearance.
Keywords: Films, Bacterial cellulose, Water vapor permeability, Chitosan, Polyvinyl alcohol, UV protection
Published in RUNG: 14.12.2020; Views: 1824; Downloads: 0
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Composite films with UV-barrier properties of bacterial cellulose with glycerol and polyvinyl alcohol: puncture properties, solubility and swelling degree
Patricia Cazón, Manuel Vazquez, Gonzalo Velazquez, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: The aim of this study was to develop composite films based on bacterial cellulose, glycerol, and poly(vinyl alcohol) with improved optical and mechanical properties and good UV-barrier property. The interaction among the compounds was analyzed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, ther- mogravimetry, and differential scanning calorimetry. The mechanical properties (toughness, burst strength, and distance to burst), solubility, water adsorption, and light barrier properties of the composite films were evaluated. Polynomial models obtained allowed us to predict the behavior of these properties. Poly(vinyl alcohol) showed a reinforcing effect on the bacterial cellulose matrix, while glycerol showed a noticeable plasticizing behavior. The bacterial cellulose-based composites showed toughness values ranging from 0.22 to 2.60 MJ/m3. The burst strength values obtained ranged between 43.74 and 2105.52 g. The distance to burst ranged from 0.39 to 4.94 mm. The film solubility on water ranged from 9.37 to 31.65%, and the water retention ranged from 78.26 to 364.78%. Glycerol decreased the transmittance in the UV region, improving the UV- barrier properties of the films, while poly(vinyl alcohol) improved the transparency and opacity values of the samples. The transmittance in the UV regions (A, B, and C) ranged from 1 to 48.51%, increasing with the poly(vinyl alcohol) concentration.
Keywords: DSC, FT-IR, SEM, UV protection
Published in RUNG: 14.12.2020; Views: 1696; Downloads: 0
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Managing karst in Coastal British Columbia, Canada : systems and implementation results
Paul Andre Griffiths, 2020, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: This thesis provides a detailed description and analysis of the system used for managing karst in the forests of coastal British Columbia (BC), where the major land- use activity is industrial forestry. In 2004, BC shifted from a more prescriptive forest management model (the Forest Practices Code) to a less regulated, results-based approach based primarily on the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). The dissertation examines how this results-based management approach for forest resources has worked – or not worked – with respect to karst. The research focused on the five key realms of an environmental management system as defined by the International Standards Organization (ISO 14001 standard): 1) Legislation and Policy, 2) Planning, 3) Implementation, 4) Checking/Corrective Action, and 5) Management Review. The research also examined the roles of professional reliance (another major foundational element of the FRPA model), karst research, and organizational capacity as external factors which influence on the functioning of the karst management system. A combination of interviews, surveys, document reviews and field observations were used to collect qualitative information relevant to all aspects of the karst management system. This research reveals inadequacies in all five realms of BC’s current karst management framework, including gaps in legislation, a lack of implementation of existing standards and guidelines, and non-existent effectiveness and compliance monitoring. The results suggest that BC’s shift to ‘self-regulation’ has yielded unsatisfactory results so far for karst resources and has hindered progress toward implementing a fully integrated science-based ecosystem approach to karst management in the study area. Professional reliance failures are identified as one of the key factors contributing to a breakdown of the management system for karst. This is the first comprehensive study that examines the systems and processes used for managing karst in coastal BC, and consolidates knowledge for government, industry, and others that wish to study or better understand BC’s approach and methods for managing karst. The findings will be useful for private and public forest sector organizations endeavoring to implement fully-functional and effective systems for managing karst in a forestry context. This information may also have more specific applications for managing karst.
Keywords: karst ecosystems, protection and management, legislation, policies, standards and guidelines, environmental degradation, forestry impacts, professional reliance, British Columbia, Canada
Published in RUNG: 02.03.2020; Views: 3055; Downloads: 58
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Morphous aluminium oxide : a promising candidate for a photoanode protection layer
Andraž Mavrič, Chunhua Cui, Matjaž Valant, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Keywords: aluminium oxide, metal oxides, protection layers
Published in RUNG: 10.02.2020; Views: 2844; Downloads: 0
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Evaluation of policy and technical factors for the protection of karst aquifers
Katarina Kosič Ficco, 2019, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: Karst aquifer protection remains inchoate. National and international legally-binding mechanisms rarely consider implementation of karst-specific measures for their evaluation and protection. Although developing suitable protection measures for karst aquifers is challenging because their variable character hampers implementation of generalized methods, it is not impossible. As presented in this dissertation, consideration of scientific aspects and inclusion of karst-specific evaluation methods is of great importance. However, the additional inclusion of socio-political aspects is also crucial for advances in karst aquifer protection. Analyses of current European Union and United States of America policies performed in this study have shown that they can provide valuable input regarding the topic. It is also clear that accounting for the interests of affected entities, such as policy-makers, stakeholders and the public, is critical. Satisfying their needs, and assuring their understanding of karst aquifers, can ease and improve implementations of adopted measures. By recognizing these aspects, an interdisciplinary framework for karst aquifer protection was developed, and is presented in this study. The so-called K-framework, developed as a checklist, assures implementation of necessary steps for comprehensive karst aquifer evaluation and management. It further defines how each entity can contribute to the process by providing their knowledge, and allocates responsibilities of each sphere. An important attribute of the proposed framework is that it can be used on varying karst terrains and for various impacts that might threaten karst aquifers. Additionally, it is cost- and time-efficient, while still considering important aspects of karst and insuring the inclusion of important affected parties.
Keywords: aquifer, groundwater, karst, protection, environmental legislation, confined animal feeding operation, vulnerability mapping
Published in RUNG: 17.06.2019; Views: 3352; Downloads: 140
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Aleksandar Šobot, 2017, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: The Europeanisation of Southeastern Europe led to the pre-accession and accession process of joining countries of the former Yugoslavia to the European Union. Slovenia's accession to the formal process of accession to the European Union started in 1999. This process lasted until 2003. Then, in 2004, Slovenia joined the European Union. Croatia's access to the formal process of accession to the European Union started in 2003. This process lasted until 2012. Then, in 2013, Croatia joined the European Union. Bosnia and Herzegovina entered the pre-accession process with the process of stabilization and association with the European Union, which lasted from 1999 to 2015. Then, in 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina officially submitted its application for European Union membership. This paper examines the impact of the Europeanisation during this period on the nature protection system in the case of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina while establishing multi-level governance system of protected areas within NATURA 2000 network. The analysis of the establishment of multi-level governance system is performed according to the morphogenetic model in three cycles as a case study. The case study is organized with the help of interviews and desk analysis of the relevant documents. In the first cycle were explained the projects/process of implementation of NATURA 2000 in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and its changing impacts on national legislation in the area of nature protection (environmental policy). The second cycle explains the role of the main actors in the establishment of multi-level governance system of NATURA 2000 such as the European Union institutions, competent ministries, national parks and non-governmental organisations (environmental polity). The third cycle outlines the contribution to the establishment of multi-level governance system of NATURA 2000 on the nature protection systems of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and their future challenges (environmental politics). The main conclusions point to the major changes in the nature protection systems of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the process of implementation/establishing multi-level governance system of NATURA 2000. Main legal and institutional points of implementation of NATURA 2000 with all positive and negative sides are presented here. In the end, implementation of the European ecological network NATURA 2000 in Slovenia is marked as an excellent example with significant changes in legal (laws on nature protection) and institutional (transformation of governmental institutions, establishment of new institutions and inclusion of NGOs in decision making) framework. This process in Croatia was marked as good with significant changes in legal (laws on nature protection, adopting new strategy of sustainable development) and institutional (transformation of governmental organisation, establishment of new institutions and inclusion of NGOs in decision making) framework. This process in Bosnia and Herzegovina was marked as satisfactory with significant changes in legal (adopting new entity laws on nature protection) and institutional (adopting coordination mechanism for inter-entity and inter-institutional cooperation as well as inclusion of NGOs in decision making) framework. There are also significant weak points during the process of N2000 in all three countries (such as the late change of national legislative, not following the national legislative from governmental institution and not including NGOs into decision making), which during the proces of implementation of N2000 (for Croatia and Slovenia) or the process of preparation of implementation (for Bosnia and Herzegovina) cause significant problems, that call for action in the future in order to improve governance of natural resources /NATURA 2000. On the other hand, these points could serve as an example for all countries that underwent/or should undergo ...
Keywords: The Europeanisation of Southeastern Europe, the pre-accession process, the accession process, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the nature protection system, NATURA 2000 protected areas
Published in RUNG: 06.11.2017; Views: 4548; Downloads: 310
.pdf Full text (2,77 MB)

Proposals for integrating karst aquifer evaluation methodologies into national environmental legislations
Katarina Kosič Ficco, 2015

Abstract: Characterization of karst aquifers in order to reduce the impacts of human activities on these vital groundwater resources poses a significant challenge for scientists, land managers and policy makers. Methods and criteria for improvement of karst management have been suggested by the scientific community in order to assure the preservation of karst groundwater resources. However, these methods are rarely integrated into national groundwater protection policies. A case-based study of a swine confined animal feeding operation sited on mantled karst terrain in the southern Ozark Highlands in the State of Arkansas, United States of America helped illustrate why karst-specific evaluation methods should be implemented in national legislation. Through the review of the area’s geomorphology and hydrogeology, dye tracer test results, and existing state and federal legislation and permitting processes for confined animal feeding operations, proposed improvements to existing legislation for confined animal feeding operations were developed. The study provides an example of how integrating science into policy-making can enhance protection of valuable groundwater resources. The original publication is published in Sustainable Water Resources Management, Springer, ISSN 2363-5037 Volume 1 Number 4, in 2015. The final publication is available at
Keywords: Karst aquifers, Vulnerability, Groundwater protection, Legislation, CAFO
Published in RUNG: 05.07.2017; Views: 3746; Downloads: 0
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