Emission Reduction Through Restructuring of the Non-Ferrous Metal Industry in the Ruhr Area. A Historical Record

Schucht, S. (1996). Emission Reduction Through Restructuring of the Non-Ferrous Metal Industry in the Ruhr Area. A Historical Record. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-96-036

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This working paper describes those determinants of intrasectoral change within the sector of non-ferrous metal production in the Ruhr Area, Northrhine-Westfalia, which contributed to the reduction of atmospheric heavy metal emissions since the mid-sixties, as well as the driving forces behind these intrasectoral changes. It constitutes part of the Rhine/Black Triangle Policy Comparison Study at IIASA.

Intrasectoral changes pertaining to the emission of atmospheric heavy metals are shown to have consisted, in the first place, of process changes whose main characteristic was increased processing of production residues, i.e. a closing of economic (material) cycles, thus increasing recycling and decreasing waste. The second most important development was the application of gradually improved off-gas collection and cleaning technologies (end-of-pipe technologies).

Closures of old plants also have contributed to the decrease in heavy metal emissions. Although capacities were increased during the period of the investigation (1955 to 1988), these capacity increases were brought about with modernized technologies, which are less emission intensive than those used in the older plants.

Three major factors were the driving forces behind the intrasectoral change: developments in legal requirements (air pollution control); economic motivations of the enterprises; and financial support from public institutions. An open question is whether various residues resulting from the more modern processing technologies are, from an environmental point of view, more hazardous than heavy metal emissions.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Industrial Metabolism (IND)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:08
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:15
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/4990

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