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Dr Xiaocheng (Sam) Hu

Dr Xiaocheng (Sam) Hu

Met4Tech PDRF and GFS Impact Fellow

 Environment and Sustainability Institute 


Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


Dr Xiaocheng (Sam) Hu joined the unversity in 2019. He has collaborated with a local SME to evaluate the contribution of volatile anaesthetics to global warming. In 2020, he had also involved in a 3-month project looking at the economic and environmental impacts of COVID-19 on plastic use in NHS hospitals. His current work focuses on consumption behaviour of UK households and the related environmental impacts by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods. 


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Research interests

LCA, circular economy, and empirical economics. 

Research projects

COVID and Waste

Single-use personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical to protect healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this may neutralise the previous effort made by the NHS Trusts to reduce their plastic footprint. In collaboration with the local Trust - Royal Cornwall Hospitals, Dr Sam Hu, Prof Lora Fleming, Prof Karyn Morrissey, Prof Richard Smith, and Prof Peter Hopkinson investigated the effect of COVID-19 on the effort of reducing single-use plastic at the hospital.

Sustainable Inhalational Anaesthetic Gases

The NHS spends about 50 to 60 million pounds on inhalational anaesthetic gases per year. However, approximately 98% of these gases are vented to the atmosphere. The global warming potential, for example desflurane is 2,540 times more likely to cause global warming than carbon dioxide. In collaboration with a leading tech start-up SageTech Medical, as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) project, Dr Sam Hu, Dr Tim Taylor, and Prof Karyn Morrissey estimated the economic and environmental impacts of a new vapour capture technology.

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Journal articles

Yang H, Hu X, Zhang G, Dou B, Cui G, Yang Q, Yan X (2024). Life cycle assessment of secondary use and physical recycling of lithium-ion batteries retired from electric vehicles in China. Waste Manag, 178, 168-175. Abstract.  Author URL.
Hu X, Davies R, Morrissey K, Smith R, Fleming LE, Sharmina M, Clair R, Hopkinson P (2022). Single-use Plastic and COVID-19 in the NHS: Barriers and Opportunities. Journal of Public Health Research, 11(1), jphr.2021.2483-jphr.2021.2483. Abstract.
Hu X (2022). The role of manager's gender in mentoring: Evidence in the United Kingdom. Labour, 36(3), 389-407.
Hu X, Pierce JT, Taylor T, Morrissey K (2021). The carbon footprint of general anaesthetics: a case study in the UK. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 167 Abstract.
Gall T, Hu X, Vlassopoulos M (2019). Dynamic incentive effects of assignment mechanisms: Experimental evidence. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 28(4), 687-712.

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