Inderscience Publishers

On industrial symbiosis networks and their classification

The objective of this paper is the classification and characterisation of regional/local industrial symbiosis networks/industrial ecosystems in order to create a framework for future research and to enhance the planning of these systems in practice. Because of inter-organisational cooperation, which is arranged based on spatial proximity between the actors, costs and emissions can be reduced in the vision of the industrial symbiosis. On the basis of five general criteria and six ecological criteria we divide the possible industrial symbiosis applications into two categories, industrial supplier parks, and resource recovery networks. Furthermore, resource recovery networks will be divided into networks with and without common investments. The authors argue that the classification and the characterisation is important, because practice shows that even if ecological and economic benefits could be achieved simultaneously the successful implementation of industrial symbiosis and industrial ecosystems is a challenging task. A clear differentiation will help future research to analyse the barriers of industrial symbiosis and contribute to the development of measures for overcoming the barriers.

Keywords: industrial ecosystems, industrial symbiosis, energy flows, material flows, industrial supplier parks, resource recovery networks, energy cascading

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