Inderscience Publishers

Environmental externalities and their effect on the cost of consumer products

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Economic activities generate pollution, which causes damages to the society and the environment. It is possible to estimate the quantities of emitted pollutants from energy conversion systems using thermodynamic principles combined with empirical techniques. The indices of direct emission are often not sufficient to show the entire environmental load because production processes are interconnected. The methodology of determination of cumulative exergy consumption was proposed by Szargut as the thermo-ecological cost (TEC). Recently, Szargut and Stanek published the methodology of cumulative CO2 emission determination called thermo-climatic cost (TCC). The main objective is to show that the TCC can be extended to evaluation of emission of any harmful substance. To achieve that, the new index of cumulative emission (CEm) is proposed. Two different methods of evaluating the cost of emission are presented; physical (exergy) used to investigate the influence of emission on the depletion of natural resources; and economic (monetary) used to show the influence of externalities on the market prices of consumer goods.

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