Eco-efficiency of Advanced Loop-closing Systems for Vehicles and Household Appliances in Hyogo Eco-town

Authors

  • Tohru Morioka,

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    • Professor of Environmental Management and Systems in the Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering, at the Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan. He is currently the Head of the Department. He also leads a risk management training program funded by the Ministry of Education of Japan.

  • Kiyotaka Tsunemi,

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    • Works at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan.

  • Yugo Yamamoto,

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    • Assistant professor in the Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering, at the Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan.

  • Helmut Yabar,

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    • Researcher in the Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering, at the Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan.

  • Noboru Yoshida

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    • Professor in the Department of Environmental Systems, Faculty of Systems Engineering, at Wakayama University in Wakayama, Japan.


Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering Graduate School of Engineering Osaka University 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita Osaka 565-0871, Japan <tmoriot@env.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp>

Summary

The closing of material loops is a critical challenge in industrial ecology. It relies mainly on the utilization of recovered materials/parts/products in the original and principal production system while their original function is retained at the highest level possible. In this study, advanced loop-closing systems for the recycling of end-of-life vehicles and electric household appliances are first designed in “Hyogo Eco-town.” Second, a methodology for evaluating the eco-efficiency of these systems is developed. Finally, the eco-efficiency of the designed advanced loop-closing strategies for the two products is evaluated, based on the results of materials flow analysis and life-cycle assessment.

The results show that, compared with conventional recycling systems, when an industrial complex and an advanced loop-closing system for end-of-life vehicles are established, the total economic value increases by 114% and the eco-efficiency in terms of the amount of direct material input is improved by 57%. This system permits the utilization of the by-products, wastes, and recovered materials that originate from other industrial sectors as input to production activities. In the case of end-of-life electric household appliances, an advanced loop-closing strategy to lengthen the product life with parts reuse improves the eco-efficiency in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 4% compared with the conventional replacement of the appliance with a new product along with the material recycling option.

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