Next Article in Journal
Recycling of Commercial E-glass Reinforced Thermoset Composites via Two Temperature Step Pyrolysis to Improve Recovered Fiber Tensile Strength and Failure Strain
Previous Article in Journal
The Influence of Nanoclay on the Flame Retardancy and Mechanical Performance of Recycled Carpet Composites
Open AccessArticle

Setting the Common Ground: A Generic Framework for Material Flow Analysis of Complex Systems

1
Centre for Water Resource Systems, TU Wien, Karlsplatz 13/222, 1040 Vienna, Austria
2
Institute for Water Quality and Resource Management, TU Wien, Karlsplatz 13/226, 1040 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Recycling 2019, 4(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling4020023
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
Circular economy is currently characterized by various definitions, measurement approaches, and critical analyses thereof coexisting alongside each other. Whether the concept eventually prevails or collapses will depend to some extent on our success in harmonizing assessment methods among public, scientific, and private institutions, as well as across different materials and scales. Therefore, in this article, we present a generic material flow analysis framework that might serve as a common basis for circularity assessment, and test it by means of three case studies. It proved impossible to eliminate all subjective assumptions when transforming a real complex system into the generic framework, especially regarding the definition of by-products. However, by introducing subsystems it is at least possible to make such assumptions transparent. Therefore, adequate comparability across regions, materials, and scales is provided. Moreover, the generic system allows for coupled analysis of multiple materials simultaneously so that interactions between them can be studied, as well and a deeper insight into overall sustainability of the system can be gained. View Full-Text
Keywords: resource interaction; circularity indicators; socioeconomic cycles; material flow analysis; assessment framework; by-products; cyclical use rate; phosphorus; nitrogen resource interaction; circularity indicators; socioeconomic cycles; material flow analysis; assessment framework; by-products; cyclical use rate; phosphorus; nitrogen
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Tanzer, J.; Rechberger, H. Setting the Common Ground: A Generic Framework for Material Flow Analysis of Complex Systems. Recycling 2019, 4, 23.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop