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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010267

Calculation of Characterization Factors of Mineral Resources Considering Future Primary Resource Use Changes: A Comparison between Iron and Copper

Department of Urban Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
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Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract

The future availability of mineral resources has attracted much attention; therefore, a quantitative evaluation of the potential impacts of resource use on future availability is important. Although the surplus cost model is often recommended among the existing endpoint characterization models of mineral resources, it has a shortcoming as it does not consider the changes in future primary resource use. This paper introduces a new characterization model considering future primary resource use changes, due to future changes in total demand and secondary resource use. Using material flow analysis, this study estimated time-series primary resource use for iron and copper for five shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) and a constant total demand scenario. New characterization factors, i.e., demand change-based surplus costs (DCSC), are calculated for each resource. In all of the SSPs, the calculated DCSCs are larger than the conventional surplus costs (SC) for both iron and copper. The DCSC, relative to the SC of copper, is larger than that of iron for all of the SSPs, which suggests that the potential impacts of copper use, relative to iron, will be underestimated, unless future primary resource use changes are considered. In calculating DCSC for other resources, it is important to choose an appropriate approach for forecasting future total demands. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle impact assessment; material flow analysis; characterization factor; surplus cost; future demand; secondary resource; shared socioeconomic pathways life cycle impact assessment; material flow analysis; characterization factor; surplus cost; future demand; secondary resource; shared socioeconomic pathways
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Yokoi, R.; Nakatani, J.; Moriguchi, Y. Calculation of Characterization Factors of Mineral Resources Considering Future Primary Resource Use Changes: A Comparison between Iron and Copper. Sustainability 2018, 10, 267.

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