Byproducts and waste are utilized to replace other process inputs in industrial symbiosis with the intention of lowering the production’s environmental effect. Such symbiosis may be able to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The report What Contribution Could Industrial Symbiosis Make to Mitigating Industrial Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in Bulk Material Production? quantifies the potential contribution of industrial symbiosis to industrial GHG emission mitigation and helps to reprioritize emission mitigation strategies.  A quantitative worldwide assessment of the potential for climate mitigation via industrial symbiosis in the bulk material production of steel, cement, paper and aluminum has not yet been made, despite literature investigating this at specific industrial sites. To estimate global mass flows for the production of these materials with increasing levels of symbiosis, a model based on physical production recipes is constructed. 

Global production of materials is increasing, contributing to global greenhouse gas GHG emissions and climate change. With current trends, material demand and production is expected to double by 2060. Similarly, IEA (International Energy Agency) assumes increasing bulk material production is driven by increasing material demand in Asia. Some byproducts from bulk material production processes can be used to substitute other energy- and emission-intensive materials, hence reducing raw material consumption and GHG emissions. This concept can be described as the utilization of the output of one production process as an input stream for another production process. The economic benefits include the selling of waste, the valorization of byproduct flows, and the avoidance of costs, such as landfill taxes, while environmental benefits may include resource and emission savings.Read the publication here.