Category Archives: Material Cycle

Direct air capture of CO2 – A potential building block but not a wildcard

By | 1st November 2021

As I am writing these lines, the supposed climate leaders of the world meet at the COP 26 in Glasgow to find ways to ramp up their national commitments towards the well below 2°C climate target. Since most of our energy consumption and industrial production still hinges on fossil fuels, the structural changes that lie… Read More »

New Guidelines for Data Modeling and Data Integration for Material Flow Analysis

By | 9th June 2021

Material flow analysis (MFA) is booming. A large number of datasets are being compiled and produced as part of MFA research, but many of them are not available or cumbersome to extract — either because of their format (e.g., pdf), or because they lack systems context. For this reason, researchers often have to spend too… Read More »

Short lifetime of metals in the anthroposphere illustrates the challenge of closing material cycles

By | 7th February 2021

“Metals can be recycled indefinitely.” That marketing phrase of the metal producers sounds plausible, as we simply need to heat up and melt a bunch of scrap metal and cast and then roll or forge it into its new shape. With low-carbon heat, such perfect recycling could even largely eliminate GHG emissions from metal production,… Read More »

Warum ist es so wichtig, Plastikverpackungen zu vermeiden?

By | 13th January 2021

Das frage ich mich allerdings auch! Eine Journalistikstudentin stellte mir diese Frage für ein Feature über plastikfreies Leben. Ich kann diese Frage weder konkret beantworten, weil sie eine vermeintlich richtige Antwort impliziert, die ich nicht kenne, noch unkommentiert stehen lassen, weil sie exemplarisch zeigt, dass sich Nachhaltigkeit (leider) nicht auf einfache Formeln wie ‚plastikfrei leben‘… Read More »

Ist weniger mehr? Wie wir den Klimawandel bremsen können, indem wir Materialien besser nutzen.

By | 18th November 2020

Klimafreundliche Technologien und Lebensstile? Na logo: Elektroautos, Passivhäuser, Solarzellen auf dem Dach, weniger Fleisch, mehr Rad fahren. Als Endverbraucher hat man eine große Auswahl an Möglichkeiten, den Klima-Fußabdruck zu senken. Anderswo ist es nicht so einfach. Teile der Wirtschaft haben große Probleme, auf klimafreundliche Technologien und Prozesse umzusteigen. Dies betrifft insbesondere die Hersteller von wichtigen… Read More »

Introducing ODYM-RECC – A community model for circular economy and material efficiency assessments

By | 11th December 2019

The UNEP International Resource Panel Report (IRP) report on “RESOURCE EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE – Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future” [1] released in December 2019 is the result of a major collaborative effort among industrial ecology researchers [2]. It features an assessment of the economy-wide impacts of material efficiency in passenger vehicles and… Read More »

Launching the prototype of an Industrial Ecology Data Inventory

By | 17th October 2018

Re-using data and results from other peoples’ research is crucial to consistent and cumulative research, yet it is also often a frustrating experience. Many raw data and results are not available, and those that are available are often hidden in pdfs or books and need to be manually extracted. The access to research data in… Read More »

Joint seminar with Vered Blass and Weiqian Chen

By | 30th September 2018

The August edition of the ‘Freiburg Talks on Environment and Society’ featured a combined talk & discussion on Measuring the Physical Well-Being in China by In-Use Product Stocks, by Dr. Weiqiang Chen from the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, China, and Using Market Data to Assess the Distribution of Environmental Impacts… Read More »

Seminar “Mining and Industrial Ecology” with Stephen Northey

By | 20th February 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 4-5 p.m. Herderbau, R200. The mining industry provides many of the raw materials that enable our modern society to function. The demand for mined products is expected to increase substantially. As a result, there is considerable concern that the detrimental impacts that are commonly associated with mining activities may grow into the… Read More »

The Circular Economy: Breakthrough or Distraction?

By | 15th December 2017

Our material footprint is expanding (Wiedmann et al., 2015), in-use stocks are growing (Müller et al., 2013), and so are greenhouse gas emissions from material production, like cement (Andrew, 2017). The rollout of renewable energy and efficient technology hinges on ample supply of a vast array of materials and chemical elements (Graedel et al., 2013),… Read More »