27th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Industrial Ecosystems: Opportunities and Challenges

As the impact of linear models of manufacturing, use, and waste become more dire, circular frameworks are seen as a viable and necessary alternative to the status quo. Circularity models like the one proposed by Ellen MacArthur Foundation give us a valuable conceptual framework for how this can be done, but challenges remain in bringing circularity to scale. There are however many examples of industrial ecosystems, developed over decades and operating at commercial scale, that are currently realizing significant benefits for the environment and society. These systems can optimize biological and technical nutrients and provide numerous examples of how chemistry and engineering can be applied to utilize waste streams from one entity as feedstocks for another.

In this symposium we will explore the details of various industrial ecosystems highlighting the key elements to their success and future challenges to replicating and scaling impact. We will start with the concept of Industrial Symbiosis, a system of organizations in geographical proximity that use waste streams from one as a feedstock for another. We will discuss material reuse through the Materials Marketplace developed select regions around the U.S. And we will look at opportunities of start-ups looking to improve and potentially disrupt recycling systems.


Dr. Tom Burns, Novozymes North America
Arlan Peters, MBA, Novozymes North America

© American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.