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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Finding common ground : using water and heat optimization to facilitate eco-industrial development Stano, Joseph

Abstract

The constant increase in green house gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels and the degradation of fresh water resources are two key characteristics of human activity that must be eliminated. These two problems result from the means by which humans utilize energy to transform materials in the manufacturing of goods and in the provision of services. Therefore, when considering how human activities could be reorganized to eliminate these GHG emissions and the degradation of fresh water resources, an analysis of how energy and water are utilized in human industrial activities is a logical first step. In the framework of systems analysis, industrial ecology has emerged as a means of restructuring the industrial system to enable global sustainability. Industrial ecology applies ecosystem principles in studying technological organisms within industrial systems, their use of resources, their potential environmental impacts, and the ways in which their interactions with the natural world could be restructured. One approach taken in implementing industrial ecology is the development of eco industrial parks or networks where a community of businesses seeks to enhance environmental and economic performance by cooperating with each other and with the local community to efficiently manage and exchange resources. This thesis work uses two fictional case studies to develop tools that can aid in the facilitation of eco industrial development. This methodology seeks to act as a decision support tool to provide municipal engineers, city planners, and participating companies with quantitative and qualitative information regarding the feasibility of water and heat energy cascading. The first case study combines geographical information systems (GIS) with linear programming to maximize water savings within electrical energy and capital cost constraints. The second case study demonstrates how the thermodynamic pinch analysis can be applied to chemical process simulation software and combined with GIS. This research suggests that while these tools have the potential to enhance resource use efficiency, their application is limited by the availability of data regarding water and heat energy use.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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