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Hacettepe University Computer Engineering Department, Ankara, Turkey selman@cs.hacettepe.edu.tr, ebru@hacettepe.edu.tr


EKODENGE Ltd. Hacettepe Techopark 1. R&D Building No: 18 06800 Beytepe, Ankara, Turkey emre.yontem@ekodenge.com, gulcin@ekodenge.com

ABSTRACT In recent years, with the increase of industrial production, assessment of the physical consequences of human and production activities became crucial in terms of efficient and environment friendly production. At this point, certain methods such as Energy Material Flow Analyses (EMFA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which contribute to optimization of energy and material consumption by sophisticated software tools, came to prominence. In this study, a web based EMFA software tool named EPESUS (Eco-Industrial Park Environmental Support System) is introduced by emphasizing its features and underlying methodological approaches. EPESUS, in contrast to other tools, presents unique features such as: (1) web based online material flow analysis (2) regional, country, eco industrial park or facility wide multi-dimensional EMFA analyzes for different types of users and (3) web based impact assessment. Since EPESUS presents an easy to use user interface and able to serve to different levels of organizations in various hierarchical levels it expands new horizons in EIP, region and country wide EMFA analysis that has never been achieved before. Thus, it is foreseen that EPESUS will prevent unfair competition in the industry and will encourage the industrialists to be more innovative to increase production efficiency and reduce costs so as to improve sustainable environmental management. KEYWORDS

Material flow analysis, Web based MFA, Eco-industrial park, Industrial ecology

All products and services have environmental impacts, from the supply of the required raw materials and energy, to their production, distribution, use and disposal. The traditional industrial production has led to serious environmental problems both on regional and global level. These problems mainly include energy consumption, resource use, soil, air and water pollution resulting in degradation of environmental values. With the increase of industrial production, assessment of the physical consequences of human and production activities became crucial for efficient and environment friendly production. As it is indicated by Wang in order to reach sustainable industrial management, industrial development patterns should be improved considering the environmental impacts (Wang, 2012). According to (Yntem et al, 2011) one producers waste has the potential to be the food for another living organism, forming a kind of symbiosis. In this context, as an integrated system method, industrial ecology is one of the developed approaches in order to improve the environmental performance of the industrial production patterns. It includes the study of interaction between the industrial system and the ecological system through physical, chemical and biological behaviors (Garner & Keoleian, 1995). This would allow companies to perform a more co-operative manner to achieve their environmental goals and also this situation can lead to more economic, environmentally efficient and technologically developed industrial systems (Yntem et al., 2011). At this point, Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs) are highlighted since they constitute the application practices of the industrial ecology principles. The main objective of EIPs shall be to achieve

sustainable production patterns for the material and energy flows of the defined processes, which shall lead to efficient production as well. For this reason, certain methodologies are developed and applied worldwide for successive application of the EIPs. Some of them are EMFA and LCA that have been developed to analyze, model and assess environmental impacts of industrial processes. By definition, EMFA involves a whole family of tools to optimize the consumption of energy, raw material, water and the discharge of effluents by pursuing systematically internal flows of energy and mass in production processes (Torres T.M. et al., 2008). On the other hand, LCA is a method for evaluating the environmental effects of a service, process or product holistically, over its entire life cycle (cradle to gate, gate to gate and cradle to grave) from raw materials extraction through consumer use (Yntem et al., 2011). Currently, a number of commercial software products take part in EMFA and LCA literature such as Umberto (Umberto Software, 2012), Gabi (Gabi Software, 2012), SimaPro (SimaPro, 2012) and OpenLCA (OpenLCA, 2012). All of these tools are designed and implemented for LCA and EMFA analysis by enabling users to model required process schemas via visualizing them in illustrative diagrams and optimizing costs, resource use and environmental impact. Although the available computer programs and similar studies are equipped with eye-catching features like mass and energy balancing, cost calculation, flexible process specification, scenario based comparison, sensitivity analysis and optimization etc., they have three main difficulties: first, these software packages are designed for only facility-wide usage to model and analyze the studied system processes within its boundary which results lack of detection and construction of co-operative symbiotic relations (e.g. waste reuse) among other systems which could be other facilities in the EIP. Second, they are highly complex software products implemented as desktop applications (web-based architectures are not preferred due to sophisticated UI requirements, complication of sufficient web capabilities in the previous decades and some other difficulties) and third, impact assessment features are limited to only facility wide usage and web based impact assessment on overall EIP, region or country is not available due to the reasons stated at first item. Furthermore, to suggest better ways of production, detecting similar problematic parts in processes of facilities (e.g. high energy or material consumption or waste production) located in the same EIP is completely out of scope in the tools listed above. To cope with these problems, Eco Industrial Park Environmental Support System called EPESUS which is subjected to this study is designed and implemented. In the following sections EPESUS is introduced by emphasizing its web oriented features and contributions. However, due to page limitations, web features are emphasized mainly.

2. EPESUS WITH ALL ASPECTS 2.1 Methodology

Every EMFA tool follows a methodology since EMFA incorporates terms, definitions and procedures for establishing energy and mass balances (Torres T.M. et al., 2008). In (Hendriks et al., 2000) these procedures are listed as (1) definition of the targets of the study, (2) system description, (3) data acquisition, (4) modeling and scenerio building and (5) results and discussion as a last one. During the research stage of the project, several leading EMFA and LCA tools (e.g. Umberto, Gabi and SimaPro etc.) are investigated and their methodologies are examined. In EMFA researches, it can be seen that different vendors follow or create their novel methodologies in flow analysis keeping ground truth facts strictly. Based on a deep research on literature, an easy to understand and non complex EPESUS EMFA methodology is formed. EPESUSs methodology is based on four items: (1) process, (2) unit process (UP), (3) flow and (4) unit. Units are the fundamental entities in EPESUS. They represent real world units. Various types of units (mass, energy, length and, etc.) and their equivalencies (conversions) are defined in EPESUS database. On the other hand, flows can be defined as the material, substance or product that is transferred from one unit process to another unit process with a certain amount. At this point, unit process is described as a single, standalone box which takes input flow(s) and outputs one main product flow and remaining by-product and waste flow(s) (if exist). In Fig. 1, it can be seen that a process consists of connected UPs. All UPs are connected by considering their demand and supply flow needs. Every unit process takes one or several input flows and outputs different kinds of flows.

Figure 1. Process, unit process and flow elements in EPESUS EMFA methodology

This discrimination further leads system to classify inputs and outputs in different analyzes. In principle, every unit process is connected to other unit processes. These connections can be done manually or automatically. However in EPD, an automatic flow connection system is developed for sake of simplicity. By this way, unit processes are organized on a graph and constitute a process by being calculated their scale factors. In EPESUS process methodology, scale factor (unit process multiplication factor) of a unit process is calculated by achieving two consecutive steps. First, although all unit processes forms a graph schema, it is converted to a tree and by considering loop conditions and process output unit process is located to root of tree. Secondly, all unit processes are navigated by backtracking approach and considering main product flow amounts. As a result, from root to leaf, all unit processes are balanced in mass or energy requirements.

2.2 System details, modules and usage

EPESUS project is developed with C# on Microsoft .NET platform. As the web framework, ASP.NET 3.5 (AspNET, 2012) is employed. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 is selected as the database management system as it full supports .NET platform by presenting high performance data connection providers. As can be seen on EPESUS system architecture depicted in Fig. 2, Internet Information Server (IIS) is located at the center of the system and handles operations coming from XML web services or direct stored procedure calls. The main purpose of EPESUS is to enable process designers whose are domain experts on their specific industrial fields to create and manage different kinds of processes on desktop tool (EPD) and let them to be later used by facility users to investigate and analyze their production processes to reveal good and bad parts on web browsers. In principle, process designers design processes with best available techniques (BAT) and values in flow amounts. Generally, well-known datasets such as EcoInvent presents many flows and unit processes on various industries. Powered by these flows and unit processes, new unit processes or processes can be defined in EPD with little effort. Note that, designed processes hold best values but actual values must be input by facility users of EPESUS. At this point, web modules come to prominence. Meanwhile, process graph structure is stored with all details when the process designers save a process. This structure is then be used in related web modules. The main idea of web modules is collecting process data from facilities and obtaining huge amount of data warehouse at county or region wide level. However, to achieve this, a hierarchy is required. As the facilities constitute the basis, facility users are positioned under the administration of single facility administrator. Furthermore, as EIPs are formed by grouping of facilities, facilities are assigned in an appropriate EIP. Actually, at first stage, a facility administrator is authorized to select the target EIP which they must be located in. At this point, EIP administrator who is the responsible for EIP, in enabled to process facility acceptance requests and all other EIP wide operations. Meanwhile, system administrators are at the top of hierarchy. For these reasons, EPESUS web modules are prepared in four types (roles) of users: system administrator, EIP administrator, facility administrator and facility user which are depicted at Fig. 2. As can be seen at Fig. 3, generated process graphs are saved in main process database and then employed several times by facility users via creating scenarios. Facility administrators arrange facility related issues, organize facility users and process scenarios. Furthermore, they gather process analysis reports. Similar to facility administrators, EIP administrators pick suitable sectors in EIP and manage member facilities. As one of the fundamental aim of EIPs to cluster similar or symbiotic related facilities, EIP administrators are equipped with talented analysis and reporting tools such as EIP/facility wide process summary generators and common flow investigators.

Figure 2. System chart of EPESUS

By the help of these enhancements, it is aimed to establish efficient waste transfer or re-use connections between facilities on same EIP. Moreover, an EIP administrator can compare common unit processes flow amounts in the EIP and make suggestions to facilities which need essential upgrades in production technology. On the other hand, system administrators have the ability to set every parameter of system. Region, EIP, enterprise, sector, library and general forum management is left to the control of system administrators. Further, country, region wide detailed reports are generated. By this way, decision makers can view and investigate material or energy flows on different categories or various perspectives and hierarchies. Likewise, pivot grid control enables to view and analyze aggregated data similar to OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) cubes.


In this study, a web supported and oriented EMFA tool named EPESUS is developed. Current tools in market are mostly developed as desktop applications and need expert knowledge to be operated. Furthermore, they are designed for only facility-wide usage. To overcome this problems and enable industrialists to input their production process data on a perspicuous, easy to use and effective environment and make various useful

Figure 3. Process scenario analysis at facility administrator panel

analyses, EPESUS is designed and implemented. In terms of industrial environmental aspects, EPESUS project achieve to be a guideline for the industrialists and the EIP managers in order to increase the environmental performance of the industrialists and the EIPs. Coordination in establishment of co-operative relations (i.e. waste or by-product reuse among facilities) constitutes the main idea of EPESUS project. As a further research, adapting data mining and optimization methods to EPESUS is aimed.

Eco-Industrial Park Environmental Support System (ECO/08/239001/S12.539401) is an eco-innovation project which is funded under the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) component of Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). The project is currently preceded by the contribution of the project partners under the coordination of Ekodenge Ltd.

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