An approach for analysing the potential for material efficiency improvement

E. Worrell, A. P.C. Faaij, G. J.M. Phylipsen, K. Blok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Material efficiency improvement saves energy and reduces the consumption of primary resources and reduces the volume of waste. In this article an approach for analysing the potential for material efficiency improvement is proposed and discussed. In this approach the product functions performed by the materials and various improvement measures are taken into account. The potential for material saving and associated energy saving is assessed and evaluated economically. In this paper the approach is tested in an analysis of the potential for material efficiency improvement with respect to plastic packaging in the Netherlands. The technical reduction potential is found to be 34 ± 7% (157 ± 30 ktonne virgin plastics). Realization of this potential would improve the energy efficiency of the lifecycle of plastic packaging by 31% (10 PJ in 1988). From our study we conclude that our approach can indeed be used to investigate the potential for material efficiency improvement. However, a reliable technical and particularly an economical assessment of reduction measures cannot be made until more detailed data become available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-232
Number of pages18
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume13
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Energy requirement
  • Life cycle efficiency
  • Material efficiency
  • Plastics

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