A new tool finds hidden connections across industrial sectors and identifies opportunities to reduce waste and lower carbon emissions by mapping the physical economy for a region.
“The climate and the economy are too important for us to make mistakes,” said Shweta Singh, the interdisciplinary scientist at Purdue University who developed the tool. “This tool provides a big-picture view and allows policymakers and industry to plug in a potential change and see the results. Those involved can virtually test different options before making a decision.”
Past zero-waste and low-carbon efforts focused on one portion of industrial flow, for example, reducing energy use in a single production process. However, a view of the whole system is needed to make the best choices and most effective investments in emerging technology for overall improvement, she said.
“The approach is like the human genome project, but for the physical economy – mapping the relationship between industry and the environment,” said Singh, who holds appointments as an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering in the College of Agriculture and environmental and ecological engineering in the College of Engineering.
Continue reading at Purdue University
Image via Purdue University