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Sustainability 2012, 4(8), 1867-1878; doi:10.3390/su4081867
Article

Sustainability Indicators for the Use of Resources—The Exergy Approach

1,* , 2
 and 3
1 Unit of Environmental Science and Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Heroon Polytechneiou Street, Zografou Campus, 15773 Athens, Greece 2 University of Western Macedonia, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bakola and Sialvera, 50100 Kozani, Greece 3 Technical University of Denmark, Department of Electrical Engineering, Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 49, Building 776, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 July 2012 / Revised: 25 July 2012 / Accepted: 2 August 2012 / Published: 20 August 2012
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Abstract

Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reached an all-time high in 2010, rising 45% in the past 20 years. The rise of peoples’ concerns regarding environmental problems such as global warming and waste management problem has led to a movement to convert the current mass-production, mass-consumption, and mass-disposal type economic society into a sustainable society. The Rio Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, and other similar environmental milestone activities and happenings, documented the need for better and more detailed knowledge and information about environmental conditions, trends, and impacts. New thinking and research with regard to indicator frameworks, methodologies, and actual indicators are also needed. The value of the overall indicators depends on the production procedure of each material, and indicates their environmental impact. The use of “exergy indicators” based on the exergy content of materials and the use of the second law of thermodynamics in this work presents the relationship between exergy content and environmental impact.
Keywords: sustainability; exergy indicators; environmental impact sustainability; exergy indicators; environmental impact
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Koroneos, C.J.; Nanaki, E.A.; Xydis, G.A. Sustainability Indicators for the Use of Resources—The Exergy Approach. Sustainability 2012, 4, 1867-1878.

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