Thursday, June 10, 2010
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Industrial Symbiosis Forum - Change of website link
Given heavy traffic and increasing number of authors on the industrial symbiosis forum, I have now arranged for a proper domain to access this forum.
Please use www.industrialsymbiosis.info to access the IS forum in the future.
Labels: Abhishek Agarwal, industrial ecology, industrial symbiosis, industrialsymbiosis.info, international group of industrial symbiosis researchers and practitioners, IS forum, www.abhishekagarwal.co.uk
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Free MFA articles in Journal of Industrial Ecology
For more than a decade, the Journal of Industrial Ecology has published scientific articles on theories, methods and tools to assess these flows of materials and their impacts, in order to contribute to the understanding of environmental and resource problems and to the development of useful solutions. These approaches include material flow analysis (MFA), substance flow analysis (SFA), life cycle assessment (LCA), environmental input-output (I-O) analysis and various combinations, at various scales from micro to global. The Journal of Industrial Ecology (JIE) is a peer-reviewed international scientific journal owned by Yale University and published by Wiley-Blackwell.
The October 2009 issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology and much of the December 2009 issue are devoted to a very practical and timely topic: What is the power of tools such as MFA to support policy and management decision making and what are the real world examples of their use? With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U. S. National Science Foundation, the JIE has been able to solicit and compile a wide range of studies on this topic. (The research published here does not, of course, necessarily represent the views of the funders.)
How has MFA been applied and how useful is it? The answer, as illustrated by the peer-reviewed articles in these special issues, is encouraging. The 13 articles in these two issues - too many excellent articles were submitted to print in one issue - describe a variety of ways in which MFA and related approaches have improved system understanding in real world situations around the globe, particularly relating to problems of resource scarcity, pollution abatement and waste management.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Paul Anastas is EPA's new research chief
"Sustainable design like green chemistry, green engineering and industrial ecology are absolutely the future of environmental protection", he states.
I think that this might prove to be a very important development towards shifting Industrial Ecology (or at least one aspect of it) to the mainstream of environmental management and practice.
Read full article here
Friday, February 12, 2010
VIDEO: A.Bartlett on Arithmetic, Population, and Energy
For more information visit A.Bartlett's personal website
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Forest grow faster than ever due to climate change
McMahon S.M. et al., 2010, "Evidence for a recent increase in forest growth", Proceeding of the National academy of Sciences, published online before print
Read the article online
Bioengineered E.Coli produces biodiesel
Eric J.S. et al., 2010, "Microbial production of fatty-acid-derived fuels and chemicals from plant biomass", Nature 463, 559-56
Read the article at Nature.com
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Industrial Ecology at Walmart
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Emerald City: The sustainable eco-polis of the future
Read more: Welcome to Emerald City, sustainable eco-polis of the future! | CNNGo.com
Friday, December 11, 2009
IS/EID/EIN Track at the Sustainable Development Conference, Hong Kong 2010
The 16th Annual
International Sustainable Development Research Conference
Hong Kong, 30 May – 1 June, 2010
“A New Agenda for Global Governance”
Track: Sustainable communities with - not despite - industry: industrial symbiosis & eco-industrial development / networking
Abhishek Agarwal, Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, UK: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Tracy Casavant, President, Eco-Industrial Solutions, Canada: email@example.com
Professor Yong Un Ban, Chungbuk National University, Korea: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Geng Yong, Chair Professor on Circular Economy and Industrial Ecology, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China: email@example.com
The last two decades have seen an ever increasing interest in Industrial Symbiosis (IS) / Eco-industrial Development (EID) / Eco-industrial Networking (EIN) by policy makers, industry leaders and academics alike. This has led to the implementation of IS programmes and development of eco-industrial parks / networks in many countries.
In attempting to encourage the adoption of industrial ecology (IE) principles such planned initiatives by Government have been supported by the use of a range of ‘new’ environmental policy instruments, with many reported corporate and environmental success stories to date. In addition to government policy and programmes, multi-stakeholder efforts have played a key role in the development of IS/EID/EIN initiatives. This provides a rich area of research, especially in examining the performance of such policy instruments, cross-sectoral partnerships and governance around IS/EID/EIN initiatives, and associated corporate strategies and programmes utilised by the international business community in contributing to broader Sustainable Development aspirations.
This Track seeks to attract high quality papers which aim to be both critical and reflective of recent IS/EID/EIN projects and policy initiatives around the globe. This is important for those of us who are keen to see IE/IS as a meaningful concept in the pursuit of sustainability rather than merely a public relations exercise for Government, Facilitators and Corporate Actors. Both theoretical and empirical papers are welcome, either in full or developmental form, in the following areas:
• Government Policy and Programmes to promote IS/EID/EIN:
- The Performance of New Environmental Policy Instruments e.g. Regulation, Market-based Instruments, and Voluntary Codes of Conduct
- Government involvement in promoting IS/EID/EIN initiatives
- Government-supported education and outreach
- Development of Performance Evaluation Indicators for Eco-industrial Parks/Networks
• Regional multi-stakeholder efforts to promote industrial sustainability
- Cross-sectoral partnerships and governance for IS/EID/EIN
- Regional government and other stakeholders’ role in the development of IS/EID/EIN initiatives
- Role of facilitators in IS/EID/EIN initiatives and success of the facilitation process
- Planning and development of eco-industrial parks / networks; land use planning
- Transformation of existing industrial parks into eco-industrial parks
- Transferability of IS/EID/EIN successful practices from one context (place) to another
• Cases from industry sectors / corporate actors
- IS/EID/EIN success/failure (case studies)
- The impact of IS/EID/EIN initiatives on Corporate / Environmental Performance and regional sustainability
- Reducing ecological / carbon / water footprint using IS/EID/EIN
• Tools and Techniques of IE/IS e.g. internet based resource / by-products matching system
• Evaluation tools and techniques for IS/EID/EIN projects, including environmental impact assessment and life cycle assessment
When submitting your abstract, please categorise it as TRACK “Sustainable communities with - not despite - industry: industrial symbiosis & eco-industrial development / networking” and THEME "Industrial symbiosis, eco-industrial parks and eco-industrial networking and regional sustainability"
Detailed information and link about how to submit an abstract is available at:
In addition to submitting abstract online, please send a copy of abstract by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for submitting abstracts: December 31, 2009
For further information please contact:
Abhishek Agarwal, Email: email@example.com
Papers (accommodating the discussion at the conference) will be considered for publication in a special issue of a reputed journal.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Interview: Google on Industrial Ecology
The program works in the following way: by entering three or four words, the system will search for this sentence at Google, find the next word and print that. Then it will remove the first word of the search string, add the found word and repeat.
By entering the words "Industrial Ecology" followed by a verb, Google continues the sentence letting us know what is the most popular understanding of IE in the web. In the following text, the verb used at each query is written in bold, and the sentence that Google Chat Bot generated is highlighted in red. The sentences are combined in a paragraph for easier reading. Keep in mind that Google is deep in wise and that many times in its answers it uses metaphors or riddles...
Google informs us that Industrial Ecology is inspired by biology but also draws on principles from different individual disciplines. Industrial ecology takes a systems view and enables industrial ecologists to tackle sustainability problems. In order to do that, industrial ecology uses the biological ecosystem as a model and a systems engineering approach for managing complexity.
Industrial Ecology was established on September ("Strategies for Manufacture" was published on September 1989) and has grown quickly in recent years. Google recognises IE's global importance by pointing out that it starts in the very centre of the world, while highlighting its additional role as a learning process.
Industrial Ecology is good for both the natural and the social environment since it gives us a way to save more animals while it lets consumers off the hook. It also benefits the economy since it can pay double dividends for business and it also looks for innovative solutions, thus boosting innovation
Google, referring to the history of Industrial Ecology stated that it had its roots in a religious response to environmental issues (the Gaia hypothesis triggered the emergence of some hippie religious movements). But it also highlighted the difficulties that IE faces in establishing its practices and ideas around the world by saying that IE takes place in a landscape called "a battlefield".
The discussion ended with Google revealing to us that IE is based on the true story of the three little pigs!!!
- For more discussions with Google visit the Google Chat Bot
Friday, November 27, 2009
Waste Exchange Initiatives (2)
This programme is interesting for a number of reasons. It is nation-wide (probably the only in the world of such scale), it is free, it aims at bridging the boundaries promoting synergies between companies from different sectors, it does nothing more than fostering cooperation (there are no incentives involved), it appears to be popular (I wouldn't risk saying successful because of lack of criteria for success) since it has over 8.000 companies as members.
You can find more information and case studies in the official website.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Utilizing agricultural residues for energy production
Inderscience article link (needs access to the journal)
Sources: sciencedaily.com, inderscience.com
Monday, November 02, 2009
Make sustainability fun!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Students make CO2 footprint calculator
LCA PhD position at Leiden University
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Regrowing a Tropical rainforest: a Dutch success
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Geo-engineering analysed by the Royal Society
Friday, August 28, 2009
Using Solar Power to Extract Oil...
"Chevron disclosed...plans to use...solar thermal technology to enhance oil recovery from an aging well in central California. The system will use 7,000 mirrors on Chevron-owned land to reflect light onto a tower to make steam...The steam will be pumped underground to heat up heavy oils and make them easier to extract. Right now, Chevron uses natural gas to make steam."
Sources: cnet, reuters
Mining the Technosphere: a Solution for the Industrial Ecosystem
Waste Exchange Initiatives
- WasteMatchers: Re-use website for householders & Businesses in Cork City & County. This free exchange website is a joint venture between Cork County Council, Cork City Council, South Cork Enterprise Board and Macroom E. It allows you to pass on unwanted goods to others.
- DublinWaste: Waste management website for householders in Dublin. It includes interactive features like Free Trade (pass on or pick up unwanted items for free) and Recycle Search (find local recycling facilities)
- Mid-West Regional Authority: The Mid-West Regional Authority has recently become part of a National Network focusing on the concept of Industrial Ecology, where 'One Company's Waste is another Company's Resource'. The Network comprises representatives from the Regional Authorities, EPA, Regional Waste Management Offices and Supply Network Shannon.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
GM reduces the amount of Pt per Fuel Cell car from 80 to 30 g
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Different results corn ethanol studies explained
The work of Plevin is very important, especially when the discussion on a topic is as hot as it is with bioethanol. It is of utmost importance to clearly understand the reasons for the discrepencies in the results of different studies.
Update: Liska responds to Plevin and the editors enter the discussion.
Ethanol from wood reduces global warming emissions by 46% to 68% per MJ gasoline avoided
Marian Chertow on Industrial Symbiosis
"You remember mutual symbiosis from middle school biology, where two animals – like the clown fish and the sea anemone – form a relationship that benefits both. The same life-cycle principles are now being applied to industrial systems."
Monday, August 03, 2009
My next car....
I've been telling my friends for years now that our next car would be an electric car (yes ...no car would even be better...). Until now the only options were a very limited Think or a the Tesla gadget car. It seems that there is light on the horizon with the unveiling of the Nissan Leaf that will be for sale late 2010 in Japan, the US and (yes) Europe. This looks like a normal car, has a range of 180 km and can be charged upto 80% in 30 minutes with a special charger. On 220 V a full charge will take 8 hours.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Video of the MSc Industrial Ecology
The story of stuff
Carbon Footprint of Nations
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Mediterranean diet reduces environmental impact of food consumption by 8%
E-reader has less impact than printed paper
Industrial Symbiosis Blog
French carbon tax
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Industrial Ecology is changing the world
"Using a young science called industrial ecology, businesses and green activists alike are beginning to compile the environmental and biological impact of our every decision — and delivering that information to consumers in a user-friendly way. That's thinking ecologically — understanding the global environmental consequences of our local choices."
Unfortunately the article describes Industrial Ecology as the "science of LCA", ignoring most of what makes Industrial Ecology different and revolutionary (techno/bio-sphere analogy, systems thinking, social aspects, etc.). Although articles like this one help in drawing attention to this "young science called Industrial Ecology", they also hurt the field by popularizing an outdated and oversimplified version of Industrial Ecology.
The article is based on the new book of D.Goleman: "Ecological Intelligence"
Watch a short clip of D.Goleman giving his opinion on the use of Industrial Ecology
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Visit the website of the Studium Generale
Monday, February 09, 2009
"Can Web 2.0 Outperform Duct Tape and WD-40?"
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Upcoming conference ISIE Lisbon
Thursday, February 05, 2009
5 DIY Green Building Techniques
Living Roof- New Academy of Sciences: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
The Farm- Summertown, TN.
Adobe/Cobb/Strawbale- The Farm, Alex's Green Dragon Tavern: Summertown TN
The pictures from The Green Dragon, at the Ecovillage Training Center, at The Farm in Tennessee, show the progress of the project, which is still in construction. it was constructed to be the largest cobb structure east of the Mississippi. The roof construction pictured above was particularly difficult, as it caved in once and had to be built again. The structure uses a combination of almost all known natural building techniques, the walls are strawbale covered by cobb and then adobe for extra insulation. There is also use of earth bags, such as in the construction of the fireplace face. Earth bags are large strong bags, that you fill with dirt, to create something similar to a sandbag. These are incredibly strong. The Dragon Sculpture and large face inside the structure I made myself and took pictures of the process, I sculpted it out of cobb, which is dirt, clay and straw then covered it with a mixture of adobe and lime to harden it. We then painted it with store bought natural colorings and painted around it as we did the whole building with that orange coloring. Other highlights of the natural building process included custom wood fences that we built with the help of a local construction agency.
The living roof at the New Academy of Sciences building in Golden Gate Park S.F. is the largest example of a living roof. A living roof provides very good natural insulation and the moisture from the grass actually cools the building in the summer and insulates it in the winter. Living roofs can also be executed on a much smaller scale. The pictures of the smaller huts above are again from the Farm. Anyone can create a living roof like this. First spread old or recycled carpet pieces over a wooden foundation. Then spread dirt and and grass seeds on top. water and sunlight create the roof. The Green Dragon shows pictures of a living roof with seeds that have not yet sprouted, another picture from later on shows the building when weeds took hold of the roof. This is not a big deal because the building is still in progress.
The Rammed Earth at the Eden Project in Cornwall, England also uses a variety of natural building techniques. The rammed earth wall above uses techniques possibly old as the Great Wall of China. Rammed earth is similar to adobe and cob techniques, in that the soil is mostly clay and sand. The difference is that the material is compressed or tamped into place, modern forms utiilize heavy mechinisms and even machinery to compress the material.
Steve Kornher is the builder who has made flying concrete a notable building material. "Flying Concrete" or, Lightweight concrete has been used in this country for more than 50 years. Its strength is roughly proportional to its weight and its resistance to weathering is about the same as that of ordinary concrete. As compared with the usual sand and gravel concrete it has certain advantages and disadvantages. Among the former are the savings in structural steel supports and decreased foundation sizes because of decreased loads, and better fire resistance and insulation against heat and sound. Its disadvantages include greater cost (30 to 50 percent), need for more care in placing, greater porosity, and more drying shrinkage.
The principal use of lightweight concrete in Bureau work is in construction of underbeds for floors and roof slabs, where substantial savings can be effected by decreasing dead load. It is also used in some insulated sections of floors and walls.
Lightweight concrete may be obtained through use of lightweight aggregates, as discussed in the following sections, or by special methods of production. These methods include the use of foaming agents, such as aluminum powder, which produces concrete of low unit weight through generation of gas while the concrete is still plastic. Lightweight concrete may weigh from 35 to 115 pounds per cubic foot, depending on the type of lightweight aggregate used or the method of production. In Bureau construction, lightweight concretes have been limited to those whose lightness depends on inorganic aggregates which are light in weight.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Overcoming the Hurtles of Solar Power
“An enormous explosion in installed solar capacity, over 3 gigawatts in one year, enough to displace up to five coal-fired power plants. This number was far higher than analysts had predicted, but it comes at a significant cost, and not just to people's electricity bills.”
Unintended consequences now that the subsidy is being rolled back, is that the artificially inflated market is now unsteady, with deadlines being fudged, cases of fraud turning up, and installers finding less and less work.
Some solutions to this problem could be to follow Germany’s lead and making the subsidies effective for ten years, by that time the initial investment would be paid off and the foundation more solid. Also because the installation costs are such a hurtle using increased incentives, discounts and tax breaks for implementation of solar and other clean energy technology may also improve the situation.
by Alex Borsody
These picture my friends sent me from Spain
solar panels in an orange field in Spain.
solar panels in olive fields in Barcelona
the bottom image is a giant solar panel in a Barcelona park
Labels: solar power
Friday, January 16, 2009
Coca-Cola Hybrid Delivery Fleet to Become Biggest in North America
Labels: electric car