Material Flows in the Industrial System
Model-based Analysis of Material Consumption in Germany and the Effects of Efficiency Measures
Over the past century, global material use has increased by a factor of eight and is now mainly fueled by non-renewable sources. This is accompanied by many environmental and social issues, including the declining availability of raw materials for future generations. In order to address these issues, it is necessary to know which activities in society are the main drivers of material use and what steps could be taken towards a dematerialization of the economy without hampering its performance. In this thesis, model-based analyses are conducted for the case of Germany to determine its overall material demand in the recent past and the underlying drivers of this demand. Subsequently, prospective simulations are run in order to assess the potential impacts of hypothetical material efficiency measures on Germany's material demand and its economy, as well as on the development of material fixated in anthropogenic stocks. The analyses show that while trade-offs within and between individual efficiency measures have to be taken into account, they can be a major contributor to making Germany's and other economies more sustainable.
Zugl.: Karlsruhe, Inst. für Technologie (KIT), Diss., 2019