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.