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Industrial Ecology

Towards Closing the Materials Cycle Robert U. Ayres, Novartis Professor (Emeritus) of Management and the Environment, INSEAD, France and Institute Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria and Leslie W. Ayres, Research Associate, Centre for Management of Environmental Resources, INSEAD, France With contributions from Paolo Frankl, Howard Lee, Paul M. Weaver and Nichole Wolfgang
Industrial Ecology is perhaps the first serious attempt to go beyond general statements regarding the desirability of ‘clean technology’ and to assess realistically and quantitatively the range of practicable possibilities for reducing materials extraction, consumption and waste.
Extent: 416 pp
Hardback Price: $168.00 Web: $151.20
Publication Date: 1996
ISBN: 978 1 85898 397 4
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environment
  • Ecological Economics
  • Environmental Economics
Industrial Ecology is perhaps the first serious attempt to go beyond general statements regarding the desirability of ‘clean technology’ and to assess realistically and quantitatively the range of practicable possibilities for reducing materials extraction, consumption and waste.

This major new book examines strategic options for reducing wastes and pollution and increasing the productivity of materials. Using an industrial ecology perspective, the authors analyse thirteen generic cases of material, beginning with four families of metals (aluminium, chromium, copper and zinc), several families of chemicals (phosphates and fluorine; suphur-based, nitrogen-based and chlorine-based), silicon and several different types of waste. Opportunities for creating ‘industrial ecosystems’ by deliberate design are discussed as well as the use of low-value by-products as feed stocks for useful products.

In addition to surveying the technological possibilities, the authors also consider the public interest, institutional barriers and the range of possible alternatives that might be applicable. Environmental scientists, economists, practitioners and policy makers will welcome Industrial Ecology’s integrated approach and the emphasis which it places on resource productivity, materials cycle optimization and waste minimization.
‘True to form, Ayres and Ayre’s Industrial Ecology is a significant addition to the field, full of new and provocative ideas. While most works on industrial ecology can manage only a handful of case studies, the list of chapters in itself shows that this is a tour de force.’
– Valerie M. Thomas, Journal of Industrial Ecology

‘I like the book as appropriate for a reader in the transition phase. The writing is lively and generally convincing.’
– Robert A. Herendeen, Ecological Economics

‘. . . this unique, detailed, and thoughtful guide should remain valuable for many years.’
– Future Survey

‘This book, Industrial Ecology, makes a valuable contribution. . . . The authors use a new and integrated perspective to help us understand the cycling, use and reuse of non-renewable resources. This book will be valuable to readers from a variety of disciplines.’
– Jules Pretty, Natural Resources Forum
Contents: Acknowledgements 1. Introduction: Materials Perspective 2. Resource Perspective 3. Alumina, Aluminum and Gallium 4. Copper, Cobalt, Silver and Arsenic 5. Chromium Sources, Uses and Losses 6. Zinc and Cadmium 7. Sulfur and Sulfuric Acid 8. Phosphorus, Fluorine and Gypsum 9. Nitrogen-Based Chemicals 10. The Chlor-Alkali Sector 11. Electronic Grade Silicon (EGS) for Semiconductors 12. Post-Consumer Packaging Wastes 13. Scrap Tires 14. Coal Ash: Sources and Possible Uses 15. On Industrial Ecosystems 16. Summary and Conclusions References Indexes