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Quantitative industrial ecology

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2 Author(s)
H. E. Koenig ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI, USA ; J. E. Cantlon

The base of the engineering sciences must be expanded to the realm of industrial ecosystems, in which discrete technologies are characterized as design and innovation parameters in organized networks of economic production and consumption processes. The objective of industrial ecosystem design and innovation is to deploy resources with minimal risk to the integrity of natural processes of the biosphere. Industrial and natural ecosystems and their interactions can be characterized by hierarchies of bounded networks of biotic and abiotic resource acquisition, conversion and transfer processes. The ecology of each resource conversion process within a bounded network of processes is characterized in terms of the principles of material and energy balance. Design equations are developed that map the ecologies of bounded networks of ecological processes into the ecology of the network at its boundary, thereby providing operational procedures for mathematically defining hierarchical network structures. At the lowest level of ecological organization, all constituent network processes are observable first-order natural processes or engineered technologies. The economics of a given industrial enterprise are evaluated as an explicit mathematical function of its network of production technologies, its ecological organization and its ecological boundary prices, thereby providing procedures for the coordinated design, management and accounting of its technological, ecological and economic dimensions. Sustainable industrialization is achievable through online, risk-control pricing mechanisms

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C (Applications and Reviews)  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 1 )