Universal Journal of Materials Science Vol. 4(3), pp. 54 - 59
DOI: 10.13189/ujms.2016.040302
Reprint (PDF) (237Kb)

Reduction of Natural Resource Use by Improving Resource Efficiency

Franz-Georg Simon *, Olaf Holm
Division Contaminant Transfer and Environmental Technologies, BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research, Germany


In 2011, the German Association of Engineers (VDI) started working on a set of guidelines dealing with the improvement of resource efficiency. These guidelines represent a framework that defines resource efficiency and outlines proposals for the producing industry. A special guideline for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is included as well as guidelines on methodologies for evaluating resource use indicators, such as the cumulative raw material demand of products and production systems. The work on resource use indicators is still in progress. The evaluation of raw materials expenditure will include water, soil and land use. The model will include the availability of raw materials (criticality). Improving resource efficiency at the end-of-life stage is illustrated in this paper by the example of materials recovery from waste, here from residues out of municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI). With mechanical treatment valuable materials like ferrous and non-ferrous metals and secondary construction material can be extracted from MSWI bottom ash. The potential contribution on the resource efficiency is discussed.

Resource Efficiency, Raw Material Equivalent, Mechanical Treatment, Bottom Ash, Waste Incineration, Secondary Raw Materials, Product Life Cycle

Cite this paper
Franz-Georg Simon , Olaf Holm . "Reduction of Natural Resource Use by Improving Resource Efficiency." Universal Journal of Materials Science 4.3 (2016) 54 - 59. doi: 10.13189/ujms.2016.040302.