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Industrial Ecology


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Title: Industrial Ecology

Industrial Ecology
  • Lecture 13

  • Terminology
  • Design for the Environment
  • Natural Systems as Models
  • Directions in Industrial Ecology
  • Examples

  • Ecology the study of the earths life support
    systems, of the interdependence of all beings on
    Earth (Odum, E.)
  • Metabolism sum of the processes sustaining the
    organism production of new cellular materials
    (anabolism) and degradation of other materials to
    produce energy (catabolism) (Ray)
  • Industrial Ecology application of ecological
    theory to industrial systems (Rejeski) views the
    industrial world as a natural system, embedded in
    local ecosystems and the local biosphere (Lowe)
  • Industrial Metabolism flow of materials energy
    through the industrial system and the interaction
    of these flows with global biogeochemical cycles
  • Industrial Symbiosis an industrial system where
    waste from processes is a resources for other

More Terminology
  • Eco-Efficiency Integration of economic
    efficiency (financial return, profit,
    productivity, customer perception) and
    environmental efficiency (energy, emissions,
    environmental impacts.
  • Ecofactory integrated design of production
    systems technology- including DFE at product and
    process levels with disassembling, reuse and
    materials recycling technology (Agency for
    Industrial Science and Technology, Japan)

More Terminology
  • Design for the Environment considers all
    potential environmental implications of a
    product energy and materials used in the
    product its manufacture and packaging
    transportation consumer use, reuse, and
    recycling and disposal.
  • DfX
  • Design for Recycling
  • Design for Disassembly
  • Design for Remanufacturing

Resource energy flowsLinear model
unlimited resources
unlimited waste
Resource energy flowsSemi-cyclical model
limited resources and energy
limited waste
Resource energy flowsCyclical model
Source Graedel, T.E., On the concept of
industrial ecology, Annual Review of Energy and
Environment, no. 21, 1996, p. 77.
Natural Systems
  • Function as an integrated whole
  • Minimize waste dead or alive all plants and
    animals and their wastes are food for something
  • Decomposers (microbes and other organisms)
    consume waste and are eaten by other creatures in
    the food chain
  • Toxins are not stored or transported in bulk but
    are synthesized and used as need by species
  • Materials are continually circulated and
    transformed in elegant ways.
  • Nature runs largely off solar energy
  • Nature is dynamic and information driven,
    identity of ecosystem players is defined in
    process terms

The Industrial Ecology Paradigm
  • Earth is a closed ecological system the scale
    and design of development is inconsistent with
    long-term ecological survival
  • Human society and natural systems have co-evolved
  • Nature has intrinsic value, revealed thru
    economic activity
  • The ethical/moral underpinnings of economic
    actions omit concerns for the world
  • Sustainability (strong) means independently
    maintaining stocks of natural and human capital
  • Ecologize Economy, an economy based on service,
    not goods, or quantity, of life
  • Moral/ethical transformation to instill
    environmental concerns
  • Technological realism, precautionary principle
    for uncertainty

More about Industrial Ecology
  • Industry mimics nature
  • Waste from one organism is food for another
  • Everything is connected by cyclic processes
  • Living off natures interest
  • Shift in thinking
  • Past Remediation
  • Present Treatment, storage, and disposal
  • Future Industrial metabolism and the industrial
  • Management of the nature-industry interface
  • Ultimate goal bringing the industrial system as
    close as possible to being a closed-loop system
    with near complete recycling of materials.
  • Is zero waste achievable, considering
    thermodynamics, or is zero environmental impact a
    more feasible target?

Framework for Industrial Ecology
  1. Improve metabolic pathways of industrial
    processes and systems
  2. Create loop-closing industrial systems
  3. Dematerialize industrial output
  4. Systematize patterns of energy use
  5. Balance industrial system input and output to
    ecosystem activity
  6. Align policy to conform with long-term industrial
    system evolution
  7. Create new action-coordinating structures,
    communicative linkages, and information

Industrial Metabolism
  • A Big Picture analytic tool developed by Robert
  • Examination of the total pattern of material and
    energy flows form initial extraction of resources
    to final disposal of wastes
  • Factors in the real value of nonrenewable
    resources and environmental pollution, gives
    value to externalities
  • Can be used for regions (the Rhine basin),
    specific industries (aluminum) or specific
    materials (heavy metals)
  • Suggests some measures of sustainability ratios
    of potential to actual recycled materials, virgin
    to recycled materials, materials productivity

  • On average, only 6 of resources taken from the
    environment end as products.
  • Other 94 is waste.

Source Lowe, Warren, Moran, 1999.
Is it really waste? Or is it a by-product that
can be used elsewhere?
Industrial Symbiosis
  • Most commonly understood meaning of industrial
  • Waste materials and energy serving as inputs or
    resources for other industrial processes
  • Also referred to as By-product synergy, green
    twinning, zero-waste/zero-emissions,
    cradle-to-cradle eco-efficient manufacturing
  • Evolving into the concept of an Eco-Industrial
    Park where co-locating

Conventional Waste Managment in Fiji
Brewery waste dumped into oceans to destroy coral
Muck dumped on fields
Waste piles up
Methane vented
Muck cleaned out
Industrial Ecology in Fiji
Brewery waste fertilizes mushrooms
Mushroom residue feeds chickens
Chicken waste is composted
Solids become fish food
Nutrients used in gardens
Industrial Ecosystem Kalundborg
Back to Industrial Ecology
  • The name industrial ecology- why?
  • Models of non-human biological systems and their
    interactions with nature are instructive for
    industrial systems that we design and operate
  • The biological model is clever, a closed-loop
    materials system
  • Recent better understanding of the materials and
    energy flows of biological systems
  • Questions
  • How do you apply the biological principles of
    resilience, limiting factors, other rules?
  • What about the low efficiency of natural systems
  • Bottom Line
  • Lessen (dramatically the impacts of our
    industrial system)
  • Management of the industry-natural systems
    interface, match input-output of the manmade
    world to the constraints of the biosphere

Implementing Industrial Ecology
  • Technical Basis
  • Choose material
  • Design the product
  • Recover the material
  • Monitor the Situation
  • Institutional Barriers and Incentives
  • Market and informational barriers
  • Business and Financial barriers
  • Regulatory barriers
  • Legal Barriers
  • Regional Strategies
  • Ecoparks, Eco-Factories

Candidates for Lessening Impacts
  • Zero Emissions Systems
  • Orderly progression from Type I (high throughput
    mass and energy, no resource recovery) to Type
    III (closed loop)
  • Eliminate leaks
  • Material Substitution
  • More durable, less waste, more recyclable
  • Dematerialization
  • Theory of Dematerialization the more affluent a
    society becomes, the mass of materials required
    diminishes over time
  • Must result in less waste to be effective
  • Functionality Economy
  • What is the function? Do we need automobiles?
    Waste from telephone disposal (old phones were
    leased and returned!)

Design for the Environment (DFE)
  • Considers all potential implications of a product
  • Energy materials
  • Manufacture packaging
  • Transportation
  • Consumer use, reuse or recycling, and disposal
  • A holistic design process
  • Example automobile bodies (Iron, plastics,
  • Tradeoffs virgin vs. recycled, energy at each
    stage, materials recyclability,
    manufacturability, costs
  • Challenges
  • Adequate database about materials and their
  • Concurrent engineering to work across RD,
    marketing, quality..
  • Public sector involvement for defining values for

DFE Example - Xerox
New Components
Raw Materials
Certified Reprocessing
Certified Reprocessing
Closed Loop Recycling
Return to Suppliers
Customer Use
Third Party Recycling
Materials for Recycling
Alternative Uses
Disposal Goal Zero to Landfill
The Eco-Industrial Park (EIP)
  • A community of manufacturing and service
    businesses seeking enhanced environmental and
    economic performance through collaborating in the
    management of environmental and resource issues.
  • The interactions among companies resemble the
    dynamics of a natural ecosystem where all
    materials are continually recycled.
  • Industrial Park restricted meaning in terms of
    geography and ownership.
  • An EIP is a relate estate property that must be
    managed to bring a competitive advantage to its
  • An EIP is a community of companies that must
    manage itself to provide benefits for its
  • Decisions are based on maximizing the
    profitability of the EIP as a whole
  • Transfer prices negotiated so each member will be
    as profitable as without the EIP

Green Buildings and Ecology
  • A highly successful international Green Building
    movement exists and is rapidly progressing
  • Buy-in is occurring by the public and private
    sectors and market demand is increasing
  • New products and services supporting this
    movement are appearing daily
  • BUT..the design, construction, operation, and
    disposition of Green Buildings is not based in
    science and its connection to ecology is at best
  • The proponents of Green Building are architects,
    engineers, planners, and others with little or no
    education, training, or experience in ecology

Typical U.S. Green Building
  • Based on the application of the LEED (points)
  • Energy efficient (first law) renewable energy
  • Water efficient reuse or rainwater harvesting
  • Recycled content or used building materials with
    low embodied energy certified wood local
  • Healthy interior air quality
  • Proximity to mass transit
  • Reduction in construction waste
  • Rationale Protect the environment and the
    functioning of ecosystems

Second LEED Platinum Building, 2002
Barksdale AFB Fitness Center
USPS 8th Avenue Post Office, Ft. Worth, Texas
The Lewis Center, Oberlin College
Straw Bale Construction
Straw Bale House
Earth Block Cupola Construction
Earth Ship Construction
Raw Materials for an Earthship
Earth - Ship n. 1. a passive solar home made out
of natural and recycled materials. 2. a home
combining passive solar architecture with thermal
mass construction. 3. renewable energy and
integrated water systems make the Earthship an
off-grid home with no utility bills. www.earthship
Problem-Ecological Insights
  • Rationale Knowledge of ecology is a prerequisite
    to creating green buildings, otherwise we are
    guessing and using pure intuition
  • Problem How do we use ecology to inform our
    design, construction, operation, and disposition
    of the built environment?
  • Spinoff Questions
  • Should the built environment behave like a
    natural system?
  • Energy Use
  • Materials Flows
  • Should we merely use the metaphor of a natural
  • How do we interface natural and human systems?
  • How do we redesign our industrial system to
    behave like an ecosystem?

Adaptive Management
Pulsing Behavior of Systems
Construction Ecology and Metabolism
  • Ecology and Industrial Ecology as the basis for
    sustainable construction or green building
  • Industrial Ecology has made significant progress
    in the past decade Industrial Symbiosis
  • Lessons from nature
  • Closed loop cycling of materials zero waste
  • Maximize 2nd Law efficiency (effectiveness) and
    then maximize 1st Law efficiency
  • Nature is adaptable, diverse, and resilient
  • Emergent systems functioning on the edge of chaos
  • A subset of construction ecology and metabolism
  • Radical sustainability for construction

Initial Conversations with Ecologists
  • Interface buildings with nature and model based
    on nature
  • Make buildings part of the geological landscape
  • Design buildings that are deconstructable with
    components that are reusable and ultimately
  • Make buildings adaptable, flexible for multiple
  • Integrate industrial and construction activities
    with ecosystem functions to sustain or increase
    the resilience of society and nature
  • Keep materials in productive use, implies keeping
    buildings in productive use
  • Use only renewable, biodegradable materials or
    their industrial equivalents such as recyclable
    industrial material

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Summer House _at_ KBG sustainable construction
Rinker Hall
Green Innovations Rinker Hall
  • Advanced Passive Design light, energy shedding
    façade, active façade
  • Advanced daylighting and integrated lighting
    controls occupancy sensors, light throttling,
    task lighting, high efficiency light fixtures
  • Fuel cell power, waste heat absorption chiller
  • Dematerialized, Deenergized, Decarbonized
  • Deconstructable
  • Adaptable
  • Modern Classic Architecture, variant of
    Collegiate Georgian Architecture, bioclimatically

  • Natural systems hold the key, both as metaphors
    and actual examples, for truly green buildings
  • Ecologists must be integrated into this movement
    to gain their expertise on how natural systems
  • Construction Ecology is based on the integration
    of Ecology and Industrial Ecology
  • Construction Ecology is in fact a subset of
    Industrial Ecology