Exploring the Sustainability of Industrial Production and Energy Generation with a Model System

Prakash R. Kotecha
Center for Uncertain Systems: Tools for Optimization and Management, Vishwamitra Research Institute, Clarendon Hills, Illinois, USA

Urmila M. Diwekar
Center for Uncertain Systems: Tools for Optimization and Management, Vishwamitra Research Institute, Clarendon Hills, Illinois, USA

Heriberto Cabezas
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Sustainable Technology Division, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp110573121

Ingår i: World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden; 8-13 May; 2011; Linköping; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 57:16, s. 3121-3128

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Publicerad: 2011-11-03

ISBN: 978-91-7393-070-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


The importance and complexity of sustainability has been well recognized and a formal study of sustainability based on system theory approaches is imperative as many of the relationships between the various components of the system could be non-linear; intertwined; and non-intuitive. A mathematical model capable of yielding qualitative inferences can serve as an important tool for policy makers to: (1) explore various simulated important scenarios; and (2) evaluate different strategies and technologies. In this article; we consider a simplified ecological food web with an integrated macro-economic system; industrial production sector; an energy generation sector; and elements of a human society along with a rudimentary legal system. The energy sector is designed to supply energy to the other components of the system either by using a finite; non-renewable energy source or by a combination of a non-renewable source and biomass. Many of the components of the system depend directly or indirectly on the biomass used for energy production. Subsequently; this model is used to study the impact of using biomass for the production of energy on the sustainability of other components of the system under different scenarios such as population increases and per capita consumption increase.


Sustainability; Energy; Ecological Model; Scenario; Ecosystem


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