Quantifying the Total Environmental Impacts of an Industrial Symbiosis - a Comparison of Process-, Hybrid and Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment

Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Helsinki, Finland.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 06/2010; 44(11):4309-14. DOI: 10.1021/es902673m
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Industrial symbiosis, representing resource sharing and byproduct use among colocated firms, is a key concept of industrial ecology. Local co-operation in industrial symbioses can reduce raw material use and waste disposal, but material and energy flows extending outside symbiosis boundaries can cause considerable environmental impacts. These external impacts are often ignored in industrial symbiosis studies. In this study, we compared process, hybrid and input-output life cycle assessment (LCA) approaches in quantifying the overall environmental impacts of a forest industrial symbiosis, situated in Kymenlaakso, Finland. Conclusions from an earlier process-LCA were strengthened by the use of hybrid-LCA as local emissions were found to cause less than half of the global impacts. In some impact categories, the whole impact was caused by supply chain emissions (land use, metal depletion and ozone depletion). The cutoff in process-LCA was found to be less than 25%, except in metal depletion and terrestrial ecotoxicity. Input-output LCA approximated hybrid-LCA results well in most impact categories, but seriously underestimated land use and overestimated terrestrial ecotoxicity. Based on the results we conclude, that input-output based LCA can be used to analyze the global impacts of an industrial symbiosis, but a careful interpretation of the results is necessary in order to understand the influence of aggregation and allocation.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A comprehensive mathematical model is developed for the operational optimization and retrofit of industrial steam systems. The problem of maximizing the cost reduction given by the difference in annual operating costs minus the annualized investment cost of the retrofit is formulated as a mixed integer nonlinear program (MINLP) based on a collection of unit models. The steam power plant of a traditional petroleum refinery is analyzed and retrofitted based on the proposed MINLP formulation. The operating conditions are firstly optimized to investigate whether there is room for improvement without modifying existent units or layout. Thereafter, retrofit possibilities on internal steam turbine or layout are taken into account to enhance steam utilization efficiency. Feasible method for inspiring the total site steam integration among adjacent companies is finally deliberated, where the steam ejector is adopted to upgrade the lower pressure import steam for being directed into the existent steam headers. The results of various degrees of retrofit on the steam system of a practical refinery verify the applicability of the proposed approach.
    Applied Thermal Engineering 10/2013; 61(1-1):7-16. DOI:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2013.04.001 · 2.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In pursuit of more sustainable development of industry, China has been actively developing eco-industrial parks (EIPs) for more than a decade. However, the environmental value of these EIPs remains largely unverified. This study aimed to evaluate the environmental performance of national EIPs in China using data envelopment analysis. Eco-efficiency and environmental performance indices were used to represent the static and dynamic environmental performance of EIPs, respectively. An environmental performance index was formed by combining measures of eco-efficiency in a dynamic setting with the sequential Malmquist index approach. We obtained three main empirical findings. First, 34 national EIPs exhibited a cumulative environmental performance improvement of 89.4% from 2007 to 2010, which is primarily the result of eco-efficiency change rather than environmental technical change. Second, compared with the trial EIPs, the demonstration EIPs had a higher average eco-efficiency (0.611 vs. 0.446 in 2010) and experienced greater average environmental performance improvement (129% vs. 60%). Third, the EIPs retrofitted from high-tech industrial development zones exhibited much higher average eco-efficiency (0.798 vs. 0.440 in 2010) than those retrofitted from economic and technical development zones. The key measures supporting the performance improvement and policy implications for the development of EIPs are also discussed.
    Journal of Industrial Ecology 02/2015; DOI:10.1111/jiec.12233 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The number of energy–water nexus studies has been increasing recently due to the significant linkages between energy generation and water consumption, but no study has looked at water quantity and quality impacts as well as carbon emissions associated with electricity production. Using integrated hybrid life cycle analysis, this study examines the life cycle impacts of pulverized coal, wind power and solar power on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, water consumption and water quality in Inner Mongolia, China. Our research findings show that pulverized coal emits 1213.5 g of CO2 per kilowatt-hour (g/kW h) of electricity output, compared with 34.4 g/kW h for wind power and 67.4 g/kW h for solar photovoltaic. Water consumption for pulverized coal, wind power and solar photovoltaic are 3.3, 0.7 and 0.9 l/kW h, respectively. The water requirement to dilute the life cycle chemical oxygen demand (COD) discharge would increase water consumption during production processes of pulverized coal, wind power and solar photovoltaic systems by 0.11, 0.09 and 0.19 l/kW h, respectively. Given that the State Grid Corporation of China aims to increase the power generation capacity that provides power supply to regions outside Inner Mongolia to 120 GW by 2020, electricity outflows could contribute 520 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, which would be similar to the CO2 emissions of the UK in 2010, and 1460.8 million m3 of water. This study reveals that substantial reductions in CO2 emissions and water consumption can be attained if the existing coal-dominated power generation was substituted by wind power in Inner Mongolia.
    Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 05/2015; 45:419-430. DOI:10.1016/j.rser.2015.01.070 · 5.51 Impact Factor