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Pollution Prevention and Industrial Ecology

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Pollution Prevention and Industrial Ecology

Introduction • 1 November 1995 NATIONAL POLLUTION PREVENTION CENTER FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

    Pollution Prevention

    and Industrial Ecology

    Industrial Ecology:

    An Introduction

    By Andy Garner, NPPC Research Assistant; and

    Gregory A. Keoleian, Ph.D., Assistant Research Scientist, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, and NPPC Research Manager National Pollution Prevention Center for Higher Education • University of Michigan May be reproduced Dana Building, 430 East University, Ann Arbor MI 48109-1115 freely for non-commercial 734.764.1412 • fax 734.647.5841 • nppc@umich.edu • www.umich.edu/~nppcpub educational purposes.

    Background ................................................................. 2

    Industrial Ecology: Toward a Definition ................... 3

    Historical Development ......................................... 3 Defining Industrial Ecology ................................... 4 Teaching Industrial Ecology .................................. 4 Industrial Ecology as a Field of Ecology .............. 5 Goals of Industrial Ecology ........................................ 5

    Sustainable Use of Resources ............................. 6 Ecological and Human Health .............................. 6 Environmental Equity............................................ 6 Key Concepts of Industrial Ecology ......................... 6

    Systems Analysis .................................................. 6 Material & Energy Flows & Transformations ........ 6 Multidisciplinary Approach .................................. 10 Analogies to Natural Systems ............................ 10 Open- vs. Closed-Loop Systems ........................ 11 Strategies for Environmental Impact Reduction:

    Industrial Ecology as a Potential Umbrella

    for Sustainable Development Strategies ................. 12

    System Tools to Support Industrial Ecology.......... 12

    Life Cycle Assessment ....................................... 12 Components ........................................................ 13 Methodology ........................................................ 13 Applications ......................................................... 20 Difficulties ............................................................ 20 Life Cycle Design & Design for Environment ....... 21 Needs Analysis ....................................................21 Design Requirements ......................................... 21 Design Strategies ............................................... 24 Design Evaluation ............................................... 25 Future Needs ............................................................. 26

    Further Information .................................................. 26

    Endnotes .................................................................... 27

    Appendix A: Industrial Symbiosis at Kalundborg .. 28

    Appendix B: Selected Definitions ........................... 31

    List of Tables

    Table 1: Organizational Hierarchies ................................. 2 Table 2: Worldwide Atmospheric Emissions of

    Trace Metals (Thousand Tons/Year) ................... 9

    Table 3: Global Flows of Selected Materials .................... 9 Table 4: Resources Used in Automaking........................ 10

Table 5: General Difficulties and Limitations of

    the LCA Methodology ....................................... 20 Table 7: Issues to Consider When Developing

    Environmental Requirements ........................... 23 Table 8: Strategies for Meeting Environmental

    Requirements ................................................... 24 Table 9: Definitions of Accounting and Capital

    Budgeting Terms Relevant to LCD ................... 25 List of Figures

    Figure 1: The Kalundborg Park ....................................... 3 Figure 2: World Extraction, Use, and Disposal

    of Lead, 1990 (thousand tons) ......................... 7 Figure 3: Flow of Platinum Through Various Product

    Systems ........................................................... 8 Figure 4: Arsenic Pathways in U.S., 1975. ...................... 8 Figure 5: System Types ................................................ 11 Figure 6: Technical Framework for LCA........................ 13 Figure 7: The Product Life Cycle System...................... 14 Figure 9: Flow Diagram Template ................................. 15 Figure 8: Process Flow Diagram ................................... 15 Figure 10: Checklist of Criteria With Worksheet ............. 16 Figure 11: Detailed System Flow Diagram for Bar Soap .. 18 Figure 12: Impact Assessment Conceptual Framework .. 19 Figure 13: Life Cycle Design ........................................... 22 Figure 14: Requirements Matrices .................................. 23 2 • Introduction November 1995

    Environmental problems are systemic and thus require a systems approach so that the connections between industrial practices/human activities and environmental/

    ecological processes can be more readily recognized. A systems approach provides a holistic view of environmental problems, making them easier to identify

    and solve; it can highlight the need for and advantages of achieving sustainability. Table 1 depicts hierarchies

    of political, social, industrial, and ecological systems. Industrial ecology studies the interaction between different industrial systems as well as between industrial

    systems and ecological systems. The focus of study can be at different system levels.

    One goal of industrial ecology is to change the linear nature of our industrial system, where raw materials are used and products, by-products, and wastes are produced, to a cyclical system where the wastes are reused as energy or raw materials for another product or process. The Kalundborg, Denmark, eco-industrial park represents an attempt to create a highly integrated industrial system that optimizes the use of byproducts and minimizes the waste that that leaves the system. Figure 1 shows the symbiotic nature of the Kalundborg

    park (see Appendix A for a more complete description).

    Fundamental to industrial ecology is identifying and tracing flows of energy and materials through various systems. This concept, sometimes referred to as industrial

    metabolism, can be utilized to follow material and

    energy flows, transformations, and dissipation in the industrial system as well as into natural systems.2

    The mass balancing of these flows and transformations can help to identify their negative impacts on natural ecosystems. By quantifying resource inputs and the

    generation of residuals and their fate, industry and other stakeholders can attempt to minimize the environmental burdens and optimize the resource efficiency of material and energy use within the industrial system. This portion of the industrial ecology compendium provides an overview of the subject and offers guidance on how one may teach it. Other educational resources are also emerging. Industrial Ecology (Thomas Graedel

    and Braden Allenby; New York: Prentice Hall, 1994), the first university textbook on the topic, provides a well-organized introduction and overview to industrial ecology as a field of study. Another good textbook is Pollution Prevention: Homework and Design Problems for Engineering Curricula (David T. Allen, N. Bakshani, and

    Kirsten Sinclair Rosselot; Los Angeles: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Insttute for Pollution Prevention, and the Center for Waste Reduction

    Technologies, 1993). Both serve as excellent sources of both qualitative and quantitative problems that could be used to enhance the teaching of industrial ecology concepts. Other sources of information are noted elsewhere in this introduction and in the accompanying

    ―Industrial Ecology Resource List.‖

    Background

    The development of industrial ecology is an attempt to provide a new conceptual framework for understanding

    the impacts of industrial systems on the environment (see the ―Overview of Environmental Problems‖ section

    of this compendium). This new framework serves to identify and then implement strategies to reduce the environmental impacts of products and processes associated with industrial systems, with an ultimate goal of sustainable development.

    Industrial ecology is the study of the physical, chemical, and biological interactions and interrelationships both within and between industrial and ecological systems. Additionally, some researchers feel that industrial ecology involves identifying and implementing strategies for industrial systems to more closely emulate harmonious, sustainable, ecological ecosystems.1

    TABLE 1: ORGANIZATIONAL HIERARCHIES

    Political Social Industrial Industrial Ecological Entities Organizations Organizations Systems Systems UNEP World population ISO Global human material Ecosphere U.S. (EPA, DOE) Cultures Trade associations and energy flows Biosphere State of Michigan Communities Corporations Sectors (e.g., transpor- Biogeographical

    (Michigan DEQ) Product systems Divisions tation or health care) region Washtenaw County Households Product develop- Corporations/institutions Biome landscape

    City of Ann Arbor Individuals/ ment teams Product systems Ecosystem Individual Voter Consumbers Individuals Life cycle stages/unit steps Organism Source: Keoleian et al., Life Cycle Design Framework and Demonstration Projects (Cincinnati: U.S. EPA Risk Reduction Engineering Lab, 1995), 17. Introduction • 3 November 1995

    Industrial ecology is an emerging field. There is much discussion and debate over its definition as well as its practicality. Questions remain concerning how it overlaps with and differs from other more established fields of study. It is still uncertain whether industrial ecology warrants being considered its own field or should be

    incorporated into other disciplines. This mirrors the challenge in teaching it. Industrial ecology can be taught as a separate, semester-long course or incorporated into existing courses. It is foreseeable that more colleges and universities will begin to initiate educational and research programs in industrial ecology.

    Industrial Ecology: Toward a Definition Historical Development

    Industrial ecology is rooted in systems analysis and is a higher level systems approach to framing the interaction between industrial systems and natural systems. This systems approach methodology can be traced to the work of Jay Forrester at MIT in the early 1960s and 70s; he was one of the first to look at the world as a series of interwoven systems (Principles of Systems,

    1968, and World Dynamics, 1971; Cambridge, Wright-

    Allen Press). Donella and Dennis Meadows and others furthered this work in their seminal book Limits to

    Growth (New York: Signet, 1972). Using systems

    analysis, they simulated the trends of environmental degradation in the world, highlighting the unsustainable course of the then-current industrial system. In 1989, Robert Ayres developed the concept of industrial metabolism: the use of materials and energy

    by industry and the way these materials flow through industrial systems and are transformed and then dissipated as wastes.3 By tracing material and energy

    flows and performing mass balances, one could identify inefficient products and processes that result in industrial waste and pollution, as well as determine steps to reduce them. Robert Frosch and Nicholas Gallopoulos, in their important article ―Strategies for Manufacturing‖

    (Scientific American 261; September 1989, 144152),

    developed the concept of industrial ecosystems, which led to the term industrial ecology. Their ideal industrial

    ecosystem would function as ―an analogue‖ of its biological

    counterparts. This metaphor between industrial and natural ecosystems is fundamental to industrial ecology. In an industrial ecosystem, the waste produced by one company would be used as resources by another. No waste would leave the industrial system or negatively impact natural systems.

    FIGURE 1: THE KALUNDBORG PARK 4 • Introduction November 1995

    There is substantial activity directed at the product level using such tools as life cycle assessment and life

    cycle design and utilizing strategies such as pollution prevention. Activities at other levels include tracing the flow of heavy metals through the ecosphere. A cross-section of definitions of industrial ecology is provided in Appendix B. Further work needs to be

    done in developing a unified definition. Issues to address include the following.

    • Is an industrial system a natural system?

    Some argue that everything is ultimately natural. • Is industrial ecology focusing on integrating industrial

    systems into natural systems, or is it primarily attempting to emulate ecological systems? Or both?

• Current definitions rely heavily on technical, engineered

    solutions to environmental problems. Some

    authors believe that changing industrial systems will also require changes in human behavior and social patterns. What balance between behavioral changes and technological changes is appropriate?

    • Is systems analysis and material and energy

    accounting the core of industrial ecology?

    Teaching Industrial Ecology

    Industrial ecology can be taught as a separate course or incorporated into existing courses in schools of engineering, business, public health and natural resources. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of environmental problems, the course can also be a multidisciplinary offering; the sample syllabi offered in this compendium illustrate this idea. Degrees in industrial ecology might be awarded by universities in the future.4

    Chauncey Starr has written of the need for schools of engineering to lead the way in integrating an interdisciplinary approach to environmental problems in the

    future. This would entail educating engineers so that they could incorporate social, political, environmental and economic factors into their decisions about the uses of technology.5 Current research in environmental

    education attempts to integrate pollution prevention, sustainable development, and other concepts and strategies into the curriculum. Examples include environmental accounting, strategic environmental management, and environmental law.

    In 1991, the National Academy of Science‘s Colloqium

    on Industrial Ecology constituted a watershed in the development of industrial ecology as a field of study. Since the Colloqium, members of industry, academia and government have sought to further characterize and apply it. In early 1994, The National Academy of Engineering published The Greening of Industrial Ecosystems (Braden Allenby and Deanna Richards, eds.). The book brings together many earlier initiatives and efforts to use systems analysis to solve environmental problems. It identifies tools of industrial ecology, such as design for the environment, life cycle design, and environmental accounting. It also discusses the interactions between industrial ecology and other disciplines such as law, economics, and public policy.

    Industrial ecology is being researched in the U.S. EPA‘s

    Futures Division and has been embraced by the AT&T Corporation. The National Pollution Prevention Center for Higher Education (NPPC) promotes the systems approach in developing pollution prevention (P2) educational materials. The NPPC‘s research on industrial

    ecology is a natural outgrowth of our work in P2. Defining Industrial Ecology

    There is still no single definition of industrial ecology that is generally accepted. However, most definitions comprise similar attributes with different emphases. These attributes include the following:

    • a systems view of the interactions between

    industrial and ecological systems

• the study of material and energy flows and

    transformations

    • a multidisciplinary approach

    • an orientation toward the future

    • a change from linear (open) processes to

    cyclical (closed) processes, so the waste from one industry is used as an input for another • an effort to reduce the industrial systems‘

    environmental impacts on ecological systems • an emphasis on harmoniously integrating

    industrial activity into ecological systems • the idea of making industrial systems emulate

    more efficient and sustainable natural systems • the identification and comparison of industrial and

    natural systems hierarchies, which indicate areas of potential study and action (see Table 1). Introduction • 5 November 1995

    Industrial Ecology as a Field of Ecology The term ―Industrial Ecology‖ implies a relationship to

    the field(s) of ecology. A basic understanding of ecology is useful in understanding and promoting industrial ecology, which draws on many ecological concepts. Ecology has been defined by the Ecological Society of America (1993) as:

    The scientific discipline that is concerned with the relationships between organisms and their past, present, and future environments. These relationships include physiological responses of individuals, structure and dynamics

    of populations, interactions among species, organization of biological communities, and processing of energy and matter in ecosystems. Further, Eugene Odum has written that:

    ... the word ecology is derived from the

    Greek oikos, meaning ―household,‖ combined

    with the root logy, meaning ―the study of.‖

    Thus, ecology is, literally the study of households including the plants, animals, microbes,

    and people that live together as interdependent beings on Spaceship Earth. As already, the environmental house within which we place our human-made structures and operate our machines provides most of our vital biological necessities; hence we can think of ecology as the study of the earth‘s life-support systems.6

    In industrial ecology, one focus (or object) of study is the interrelationships among firms, as well as among their products and processes, at the local, regional, national, and global system levels (see Table 1). These

    layers of overlapping connections resemble the food web that characterizes the interrelatedness of organisms in natural ecological systems.

    Industrial ecology perhaps has the closest relationship with applied ecology and social ecology. According to the Journal of Applied Ecology, applied ecology is:

    . . . application of ecological ideas, theories and methods to the use of biological resources in the widest sense. It is concerned with the

    ecological principles underlying the management, control, and development of biological

    resources for agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, nature conservation, wildlife and game management, leisure activities, and the ecological effects of biotechnology.

    The Institute of Social Ecology‘s definition of social

    ecology states that:

    Social ecology integrates the study of human and natural ecosystems through understanding the interrelationships of culture and nature. It advances a critical, holistic world view and suggests that creative human enterprise can construct an alternative future, reharmonizing people‘s relationship

    to the natural world by reharmonizing

    their relationship with each other.7

    Ecology can be broadly defined as the study of the interactions between the abiotic and the biotic components of a system. Industrial ecology is the study of the

    interactions between industrial and ecological systems; consequently, it addresses the environmental effects on both the abiotic and biotic components of the ecosphere. Additional work needs to be done to designate industrial ecology‘s place in the field of ecology. This will

    occur concurrently with efforts to better define the discipline and its terminology.

    There are many textbooks that introduce ecological concepts and principles. Examples include Robert Ricklefs‘ Fundamentals of Ecology (3rd edition; New York:

    W. H. Freeman and Company, 1990), Eugene Odum‘s

    Ecology and Our Endangered Life-Support Systems, and

    Ecology: Individuals, Populations and Communities by

    Michael Begens, John Harper, and Colin Townsend (London: Blackwell Press, 1991).

    Goals of Industrial Ecology

    The primary goal of industrial ecology is to promote sustainable development at the global, regional, and local levels.8 Sustainable development has been

    defined by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development as ―meeting the needs

    of the present generation without sacrificing the needs of future generations.9 Key principles inherent to

    sustainable development include: the sustainable use of resources, preserving ecological and human health (e.g. the maintenance of the structure and function of ecosystems), and the promotion of environmental equity (both intergenerational and intersocietal).10 6 • Introduction November 1995

    Sustainable Use of Resources

    Industrial ecology should promote the sustainable use of renewable resources and minimal use of nonrenewable ones. Industrial activity is dependent on a steady supply of resources and thus should operate as efficiently as possible. Although in the past mankind has found alternatives to diminished raw materials, it can not be assumed that substitutes will continue to be found as supplies of certain raw materials decrease or are degraded.11 Besides solar energy, the supply of

    resources is finite. Thus, depletion of nonrenewables and degradation of renewables must be minimized in order for industrial activity to be sustainable in the long term.

    Ecological and Human Health

    Human beings are only one component in a complex web of ecological interactions: their activities cannot be separated from the functioning of the entire system. Because human health is dependent on the health of the other components of the ecosystem, ecosystem structure and function should be a focus of industrial ecology. It is important that industrial activities do not cause catastrophic disruptions to ecosystems or slowly degrade their structure and function, jeopardizing the planet‘s life support system.

    Environmental Equity

    A primary challenge of sustainable development is achieving intergenerational as well as intersocietal equity. Depleting natural resources and degrading ecological health in order to meet short-term objectives can endanger the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Intersocietal inequities also exist, as evidenced by the large imbalance of resource use between developing and developed countries. Developed countries currently use a disproportionate amount of resources in comparison with developing countries. Inequities also exist between social and economic groups within the U.S.A. Several studies have shown that low income and ethnic communities in the U.S., for instance, are often subject to much higher levels of human health risk associated with certain toxic pollutants.12

    Key Concepts of Industrial Ecology Systems Analysis

    Critical to industrial ecology is the systems view of the relationship between human activities and environmental problems. As stated earlier, industrial ecology is a higher order systems approach to framing the interaction between industrial and ecological systems. There are various system levels that may be chosen as the focus of study (see Table 1). For example, when

    focusing at the product system level, it is important to examine relationships to higher-level corporate or institutional systems as well as at lower levels, such as the individual product life cycle stages. One could also look at how the product system affects various ecological systems ranging from entire ecosystems to individual organisms. A systems view enables manufacturers to develop products in a sustainable fashion. Central to the systems approach is an inherent recognition of the interrelationships between industrial and natural systems. In using systems analysis, one must be careful to avoid the pitfall that Kenneth Boulding has described: seeking to establish a single, self-contained ‗general theory of practically everything‘ which

    will replace all the special theories of particular disciplines. Such a theory would be almost

    without content, for we always pay for generality

by sacrificing content, and all we can say

    about practically everything is almost nothing.13

    The same is true for industrial ecology. If the scope of a study is too broad the results become less meaningful; when too narrow they may be less useful. Refer to Boulding‘s World as a Complete System (London: Sage,

    1985) for more about systems theory; see Meadows et al.‘s Limits to Growth (New York: Signet, 1972) and

    Beyond the Limits (Post Mills, VT: Chelsea Green, 1992)

    for good examples of how systems theory can be used to analyze environmental problems on a global scale. Material and Energy Flows

    and Transformations

    A primary concept of industrial ecology is the study of material and energy flows and their transformation into products, byproducts, and wastes throughout industrial systems. The consumption of resources is inventoried along with environmental releases to air, water, land, and biota. Figures 2, 3, and 4 are examples

    of such material flow diagrams. Introduction • 7 November 1995 One strategy of industrial ecology is to lessen the amount of waste material and waste energy that is produced and that leaves the industrial system, subsequently impacting ecological systems adversely. For

    instance, in Figure 3, which shows the flow of platinum

    through various products, 88% of the material in automotive catalytic converters leaves this product system as scrap. Recycling efforts could be intensified or other uses found for the scrap to decrease this waste. Efforts to utilize waste as a material input or energy source for some other entity within the industrial system can potentially improve the overall efficiency of the industrial system and reduce negative environmental impacts. The challenge of industrial ecology is to reduce the overall environmental burden of an industrial system that provides some service to society.

    FIGURE 2: WORLD EXTRACTION, USE, AND DISPOSAL OF LEAD, 1990 (THOUSAND TONS) R. Socolow, C. Andews, F. Berkhout, and V. Thomas, eds., Industrial Ecology and Global Change (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994). Reprinted with permission from the publisher. Data from International Lead and Zinc Study Group, 1992.

    RECYCLED

    2600

    BATTERIES

    3700

    TOTAL

    ANNUAL

    CONSUMPTION

    5800

    REFINED

    LEAD

    3300

    WASTE and

    DISCARDED BATTERIES

    1300 ? 200

    Solder and Miscellaneous 400

    Cable Sheathing 300 Rolled and Extruded Products 500 Shot and Ammo 150

    PIGMENTS 750 Lead in Gasoline ~ 100 Refining Waste ~ 50 Mining Waste ? 8 • Introduction November 1995 FIGURE 3: FLOW OF PLATINUM THROUGH VARIOUS PRODUCT SYSTEMS Source: R. A. Frosch and N. E. Gallopoulos, ―Strategies for Manufacturing‖ Scientific American 261 (September 1989), p. 150.

    FIGURE 4: SIMPLIFIED REPRESENTATION OF ARSENIC PATHWAYS IN THE U.S. (METRIC

    TONS), 1975. Source: Ayres et al. (1988). ATMOSPHERE Copper Mining Copper Smelting Fossil Fuel Combustion Pesticides Herbicides Fertilizers etc. Leach Liquor 9,700 Flue Dust 10,600 Slag 3,700 Fly Ash 2,000 Pesticides 11,600 Other 5,400 9,300 100 Pesticides Other 2,500 1,200 Airborne INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY Ores LAND 43,000 In Soil Coal and Oil Extraction Weathering of Rock 2,000 BIOSHPERE Land Vegetation Land Animals Marine Vegatation Marine Animals SEDIMENTS From Air Vulcanism 9,750 OCEAN Waterborne Wastes 100 Detergents 120 Other 40 Metal

    Products Mining and Refining Automotive Catalytic Converters Ore,

    20 Billion Tons

    Platinum Group

    Metals,

    143 tons Automotive Catalyst

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