Engineering Degree Program in China - Industrial Ecology

1. Introduction

Industrial ecology is a subject that studies the interaction and relationship between human industrial system and natural environment. It is a new cross subject, its theoretical research and practical activities have made considerable progress.

Industrial ecology is the study of social production activities in natural resources from the source and flow to sinks in the metabolic process, organization and management system of production and consumption, regulation of behavior dynamics, control theory and the interaction between systems science and life support. On the operation of the law of the open system by artificial process of change and intervention, in general open system resources and funds after a series of operation end result is turning waste into the garbage, and industrial ecology research is how to open system into circular closed system, waste turned into a new resource and add a new round of system operation process.

2. Characteristic Trends

(1) The field of industrial ecology has become socialization; there have been two major subgroups, namely, the Conaccount branch concentrating on the material flow analysis and the Eco-Industrial Development, which focuses on the development of ecological industry.

(2) Developed countries occupy the dominant position in the field of industrial ecology.

(3) The material metabolism of the society and the development of ecological industry become the main body of the subject.

(4) Applicability is strengthening. Eco industrial parks, urban metabolism, energy conservation and emission reduction and climate change have become the hot fields of industrial ecology.

3. Research Area

Industrial ecology is the theoretical basis of ecological industry. Industrial ecology takes the whole industrial system as an ecosystem to view, think industrial system of material, energy and information flow and storage is not isolated simple superposition relations, but can be as in natural ecosystems that cycle between them mutual dependence of Lai, interaction, mutual influence, forming complex, interconnected network system. Industrial ecology through the supply chain network analysis (similar to food chain network) and material balance calculation method analysis of change of the structure of the system and for functional simulation and analysis of industrial flow (input stream and the output stream) to study the metabolic mechanism and control method of industrial ecological system.

System analysis is the core method of industrial ecology, and the development of industrial metabolism analysis and life cycle assessment is an effective method in industrial ecology. Industrial ecology theory viewpoint to study industrial metabolism process, namely, from the environment to return of substances in the environment transformation of the whole process, the relationship between industrial research activities and the ecological environment, to adjust and improve the principles and methods of the industrial ecological chain structure, the establishment of new closed circulation of material, the eco industrial system compatible with the biosphere and lasting survive.

4. Research Status

Industrial ecology will not isolate industrialized system (such as a factory, a certain industry, a country even the global economy) from the biosphere separately, but treat them as a special case of the whole system, but the case is based on the environment of capital, rather than the natural environment.

With the same goal of more conventional energy-saving or saving resources, eco industrial requires strictly in accordance with the principle of economic needs to redefine the relationship between consumption and production, it is also one of the natural capitalism's four goals. 


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Anhui Medical University

Wenzhou Medical University

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