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European emission trades from the vehicle industry

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European emission trades from the vehicle industry Mathieu Delpierre
Introduction:Industrial Ecology is a new field that has been developed from 1980s and adopts an interdisciplinary approach (with engineering, social and environmental sciences) to tackle sustainable problems. Many techniques can be linked to it, such as LCA (Life Cycle Analysis), MFA (Mass Flow Analysis) and EIOA (Environmental Input-Output Analysis). Each of them considers specific aspects of sustainable problems, with its advantages and limits. Concerning EIOA, courses offer the possibility to students to get a deeper understanding of this tool, firstly developed by Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief in 1970s. This technique, first developed for economic purposes, seeks – to put it simple – to understand the interactions between final demand and production. With time, this tool has also been used in environmental purposes or analysis and can nowadays answer important and interesting questions such as: “what are the emi…

CO2 and job impacts related to fish consumption by households in Portugal

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CO2 impacts from fish consumption in Portugal in 2011 using EIOA & Exiobase 3.0 Introduction The Environmental Input-Output Analysis (EIOA) course offers student the possibility for a deep-dive into this upcoming tool in the field of IE. Firstly introduced in the 70s by Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief, this technique has been widely used within the field of IE to pursue some interesting analysis on the environmental impacts of economic activity.

I am a big fan of this "complex"and sometimes "abstract" technique because I like to focus on macro interventions in terms of environmental policy analysis. EIOA has shaped my perspective of global CO2 emissions when reading for example Davis & Caldeira (2010) analysis on how global trade shapes CO2 emission pathways, Hertwich & Peters (2009) on the carbon footprint of nations, about the structural composition of CO2 emissions in China Minx et al (2011) or even on the analysis of the CO2 upstream impacts coming…

The Nuclear Energy Conundrum

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The Nuclear Energy Conundrum Ihave lost count of the times that a typical IE conversation among classmates ends with the sentence:
- "Indeed LCA results are so diverse and dependent on the scope of the analysis..."  "that it is almost impossible to know what to advocate". Or in other words, I have no idea if to use the paper cup or the ceramic cup :D

Well this is just an example of what I struggle many times when engaging into sustainability-related discussions with friends. Recently I was discussing sustainability over breakfast with friends and it sucks to give an answer that points to the variability in LCA results. Ending the sentence with "yeah it depends on what you account for and what you defined as boundary" is not really conclusive and it draws an idea upon sustainability that is not really the one that we should have. People want clear and concrete answers on where to start to make a difference everyday. I told him to buy less clothes and reduc…

Material Flow Analysis (MFA) of zinc: static and dynamic model

Material Flow Analysis (MFA) of zinc: static and dynamic model For the elective course on Material Flow Analysis (MFA) theory, we were asked to perform a study case that combined accounting with dynamic stock modelling. I chose to look at zinc because initially I wanted to do a study on global future availability of zinc for my thesis but in the meanwhile I changed my mind. In the end I will do something related to EIOA which I think it's more relevant for my future as an industrial ecologist.

For my study case I chose to do an accounting exercise for Europe in 2013 and a dynamic stock modelling until 2050. The chosen stocks were buildings and vehicles because they represent 84% of stock accumulation in society in Europe in 2013.

To do the accounting, a lot of data gathering is involved and it is a "pharaonic" amount of work. In the end it is rewarding since you can really see where the zinc is going. But it required weeks of going through databases and understanding …

System Earth - The Game

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System Earth - the game For the closing ceremony and science communication project of the course System Earth me and 3 classmates decided to make a website/quiz that gathers summaries of 6 topics relevant to IE and to the system earth course:
EnergyWaterClimate ChangeFoodNatural resourcesE-waste Since the 30 question quiz mostly aims at raising awareness and fostering curiosity, the goal is to tease high-school students to go home and read the supplementary information in the website and learn a bit more about each topic.

Myself I did topics 5 and 6 because those are the ones that I am mostly interested on. While doing the supplementary information for both of them, a recurring thought came to my mind related to the emancipation of developing nations.

Here's a transcript of the natural resource section. Bear in mind that wording has been adapted to fit the audience!

A plan for a circular campus (TU Delft) in 2030

A plan for a circular campus (TU Delft) in 2030 In our master program, we have a course called Interdisciplinary Project Group (IPG) where the aim is to prepare us as industrial ecologists to the "real world".

It is a common feeling in our master and in the student population of IE that we live in a bubble. We take for granted that every other human being in our society thinks like us and we are always surprised at how can we not for once just solve climate change and etc! I was listening to a podcast this morning called the Hidden Brain in NPR and for the 100th episode they invited the Nobel laureate and author of "Thinking, fast and slow" Daniel Kahneman. He said that our minds are not ready for tackling climate change and that the only to solve would be to send preachers everywhere that people would listen to. A bit like religion. Maybe that's the only way to solve the problem!

Coming back to the aim of this post, we were asked to provide a plan on how to …

Recycling of thin-film PV modules (Case of FirstSolar Inc.)

Recycling of thin-film PV modules (Case of FirstSolar Inc.) The first entry to the blog is about a report I wrote with a classmate of mine Carina back in January 2018.

It was in scope of the MS43315 Recycling Engineering Materials which dealt with the technicalities of the end-of-life (EoL) phase of metals, the challenges in product complexity, implementing a product-centric approach, etc.

As part of the evaluation a study case had to be done concerning the study of the recycling potential and barriers of a complex industrial product. We chose thin-film CdTe modules due to their promising expansion in the solar market.


Our conclusion were:
Dedicated recycling facilities with a product-centric approach lead to higher end-of-life recycling rates (EoL RR) for complex products.Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and all that such legislation entails (Design for Recycling, etc.) are good governance mechanisms to improve the RI of the products in our economy.When producers participate i…