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Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 579; doi:10.3390/su9040579

Long Distance Trade, Locational Dynamics and By-Product Development: Insights from the History of the American Cottonseed Industry

1
Institute for Management and Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6, Canada
2
Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre, University of Toronto Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marian Chertow, Frank Boons and Giuseppe Ioppolo
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 11 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diverse Dynamics of Industrial Symbiosis: Emergence and Development)
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Abstract

Using the historical development of the American cottonseed value chain as a case study, we show that the factors usually deemed significant in the spontaneous development of localized industrial symbiosis (e.g., high volumes of potentially valuable yet environmentally problematic residuals, an economically diverse industrial base, as well as personal interactions and short mental distances between economic actors) have long been observed at much larger geographical scales. Like cereal grains and livestock, but unlike unprocessed residuals (e.g., residual steam and gas), the development of by-products out of cottonseed further involved numerous intermediaries and steps through which a complex raw material was broken down into various components that were then often (re)combined with other materials in remote locations. Additionally, because of the insufficient size and/or demand by domestic consumers, distant markets proved crucial at an early stage. We suggest that self-organizing and market-driven long-distance recovery linkages warrant more attention on the part of industrial symbiosis theorists, especially in terms of the technical, economic, geospatial, social and institutional conditions required for their emergence. View Full-Text
Keywords: industrial symbiosis; cottonseed by-products; cotton industry; technological change; secondary materials; win-win innovations; long-distance trade industrial symbiosis; cottonseed by-products; cotton industry; technological change; secondary materials; win-win innovations; long-distance trade
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Desrochers, P.; Szurmak, J. Long Distance Trade, Locational Dynamics and By-Product Development: Insights from the History of the American Cottonseed Industry. Sustainability 2017, 9, 579.

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