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A mathematical model and decision-support framework for material recovery, recycling and cascaded use

TitleA mathematical model and decision-support framework for material recovery, recycling and cascaded use
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsMellor W, Wright E, Clift R, Azapagic A, Stevens G
Journal TitleChemical Engineering Science
Volume57
Pages4697-4713
Keywordsenvironment, Integrated waste management, Life cycle assessment, Materials processing, Mathematical modelling, Polymers
AbstractTo achieve more than incremental reductions in resource consumption and waste, it will be necessary to develop new approaches to thesystematic use and re-use of materials in the kind of system termed an “industrial ecology”. This paper presents a new methodology—CHAin Management of Materials and Products (CHAMP)—developed for modelling the fow of materials through a succession of useswith different performance requirements. Although developed specifically for polymers, the CHAMP approach is also applicable to othermaterials and products. Materials are characterised by a set of technical performance parameters, termed utilities. Geographical locationis also treated as a utility to enable logistics—both distribution of products and collection of used products or waste—to be incorporatedwithin the same modelling framework. Processing, transport and use are treated as activities through which a material can pass. The costsand environmental impacts of activities are included in the modelling framework, and are assessed on a life cycle basis by consideringthe complete supply chain of materials and energy used by each activity. The methodology includes acceptance criteria which determinewhether a material is suitable for speci9c uses or activities. These criteria are applied within the model to guide selection of materials forspecifc applications and of successive uses for specifc materials. A simple example of the CHAMP approach is given, to illustrate thekinds of problem to which it has been applied.
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