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Title: Analyzing critical material demand: A revised approach

Abstract

Apparent consumption has been widely used as a metric to estimate material demand. However, with technology advancement and complexity of material use, this metric has become less useful in tracking material flows, estimating recycling feedstocks, and conducting life cycle analysis of critical materials. Here, we call for future research efforts to focus on building a multi-tiered consumption database for the global trade network of critical materials. This approach will help track how raw materials are processed into major components (e.g., motor assemblies) and eventually incorporated into complete pieces of equipment (e.g., wind turbines). Foreseeable challenges would involve: 1) difficulty in obtaining a comprehensive picture of trade partners due to business sensitive information, 2) complexity of materials going into components of a machine, and 3) maintaining such a database. We propose ways to address these challenges such as making use of digital design, learning from the experience of building other databases, and developing a strategy for financial sustainability. Additionally, we recommend that, with the advancement of information technology, small steps toward building such a database will contribute significantly to our understanding of material flows in our society and the associated human impacts on the environment.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States). Center for Industrial Ecology
  3. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Advanced Manufacturing Office (EE-5A)
OSTI Identifier:
1478465
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-17-43879-Rev000
Journal ID: ISSN 0048-9697
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science of the Total Environment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 630; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0048-9697
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Critical materials; Apparent consumption; Material flows; Life cycle assessment; Consumption database

Citation Formats

Nguyen, Ruby Thuy, Fishman, Tomer, Zhao, Fu, Imholte, Devin D., and Graedel, Thomas E. Analyzing critical material demand: A revised approach. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.283.
Nguyen, Ruby Thuy, Fishman, Tomer, Zhao, Fu, Imholte, Devin D., & Graedel, Thomas E. Analyzing critical material demand: A revised approach. United States. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.283.
Nguyen, Ruby Thuy, Fishman, Tomer, Zhao, Fu, Imholte, Devin D., and Graedel, Thomas E. Wed . "Analyzing critical material demand: A revised approach". United States. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.283.
@article{osti_1478465,
title = {Analyzing critical material demand: A revised approach},
author = {Nguyen, Ruby Thuy and Fishman, Tomer and Zhao, Fu and Imholte, Devin D. and Graedel, Thomas E.},
abstractNote = {Apparent consumption has been widely used as a metric to estimate material demand. However, with technology advancement and complexity of material use, this metric has become less useful in tracking material flows, estimating recycling feedstocks, and conducting life cycle analysis of critical materials. Here, we call for future research efforts to focus on building a multi-tiered consumption database for the global trade network of critical materials. This approach will help track how raw materials are processed into major components (e.g., motor assemblies) and eventually incorporated into complete pieces of equipment (e.g., wind turbines). Foreseeable challenges would involve: 1) difficulty in obtaining a comprehensive picture of trade partners due to business sensitive information, 2) complexity of materials going into components of a machine, and 3) maintaining such a database. We propose ways to address these challenges such as making use of digital design, learning from the experience of building other databases, and developing a strategy for financial sustainability. Additionally, we recommend that, with the advancement of information technology, small steps toward building such a database will contribute significantly to our understanding of material flows in our society and the associated human impacts on the environment.},
doi = {10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.283},
journal = {Science of the Total Environment},
number = C,
volume = 630,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 07 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Wed Mar 07 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on March 7, 2019
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