01.25.05 Tuesday@REI, 4PM-5:45PM; A Biofuels Primer

Submitted by Waiting for Carnot on Mon, 01/24/2005 - 10:02.
01/25/2005 - 15:00

"A Biofuels Primer"

A presentation on the history and potential of biofuels in the energy equation. Topics will trace timeline from the pre-WWII chemurgy movement to current developments such as algal biodiesel and biomass pyrolysis for hydrogen production. Incorporating concepts that include well-to-wheel efficiency, end-of-vehicle-life landfill mandates and integrated biorefineries, a path towards sustainable economic development will be explored within the framework of industrial ecology.

Industrial ecology provides a powerful prism through which to examine the impact of industry and technology and associated changes in society and the economy on the biophysical environment. It examines local, regional and global uses and flows of materials and energy in products, processes, industrial sectors and economies and focuses on the potential role of industry in reducing environmental burdens throughout the product life cycle.

Industrial ecology asks us to “understand how the industrial system works, how it is regulated, and its interaction with the biosphere; then, on the basis of what we know about ecosystems, to determine how it could be restructured to make it compatible with the way natural ecosystems function.â€? 2 

The field encompasses a variety of related areas of research and practice, including:

  • material and energy flow studies ("industrial metabolism")
  • dematerialization and decarbonization
  • technological change and the environment
  • life-cycle planning, design and assessment
  • design for the environment ("eco-design")
  • extended producer responsibility ("product stewardship")
  • eco-industrial parks ("industrial symbiosis")
  • product-oriented environmental policy
  • eco-efficiency

2.) Erkman, S. 1997. Industrial Ecology: An Historical View.

An opening discussion about alternate and new ideas toward building a sustainable region.

Moderator: Phil Lane, Industrial Ecologist and Biofuels advocate


Peter B. Lewis Building, Rm. 201