Industrial Ecology Assignment Help
Industrial ecology (IE) is the study of energy flows and material through industrial system. It seeks to quantify the document and the industrial processes and material flows that make modern society function. Industrial ecologists are often concerned with the use of the planet's supply of natural resources, the impacts that industrial activities have on the environment, and with problems of waste disposal. Industrial ecology is a young but growing multidisciplinary field of research that combines aspects of economic
, engineering, toxicology, sociology
and the natural sciences. Industrial ecology seeks to understand the emergent behavior of complex integrated human/natural systems.
Industrial ecology is generally concerned with the shifting of industrial process from linear systems, in which capital investments and resource move through the system to become waste, to a closed loop system where wastes can become inputs for new processes.
The research focuses on the following areas:
- Eco- efficiency
- Product- oriented environmental policy
- Eco- industrial parks
- Extended producer responsibility
- Design for the environment
- Life-cycle planning, design and assessment
- Technological change and the environment
- Dematerialization and decarbonization
- Material and energy flow studies
Industrial ecology tries to understand the way in which industrial system interact with the biosphere
Along with material conservation goals and more general energy conservation, and redefining product stewardship and commodity markets relations strictly as a service economy, industrial ecology is one of the four objectives of Natural Capitalism
. In 1989, Robert Frosch and Nicholas E. Gallopoulos, in a Scientific American article popularized Industrial ecology. The scientific field of Industrial Ecology has grown quickly in recent years. The central principles of Industrial Ecology is the view that technological systems and societal systems are bounded within the biosphere, and do not exist outside of it. The Industrial Ecology approaches problems that by using similar principles as industrial system, natural systems can be improved to reduce their impact on the natural environment as well. The table below shows the general metaphor.
Environment - Market
Natural Product - Industrial Product
Organism - Company
Natural Selection - Competition
Ecosystem - Eco-Industrial Park
Anaboloism/Catabolism - Manufacturing/Waste Management
Succession - Economic Growth
Ecological Niche - Market Niche
Mutation and Selection - Design for Environment
Adaptation - Innovation
Food Web - Product Life Cycle
The Kalundborg industrial park is situated in Denmark. This park is special because companies reuse each other's waste.
Moreover, in Industrial ecology, life cycle thinking is also a very important principle. It implies that all environmental impacts caused by a system, product, or project during its life cycle are taken into account. In this context it includes the following:
- Material Processing
- Raw material extraction