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What is Industrial Symbiosis?

Industrial symbiosis is the process by which the waste or by-products of one industry or industrial process become the raw material of another industry. The application of this concept enables a more sustainable use of materials and contributes to the creation of a circular economy.

The transition to such an economy is necessary for our world where resources are increasingly depleted as it will result in increased economic competitiveness, sustainability, resource efficiency and resource security.

Industrial symbiosis creates an interconnected network that tries to mimic the functioning of ecological systems in which energy and materials are constantly converted without any waste products being produced. It aims to reduce the use of primary raw materials and increase the use of secondary raw materials.

Thus industrial symbiosis,

  • Contributes to zero waste generation.

  • It reduces the use of natural resources.

  • Provides efficient use of natural resources.

  • Reduces the needs such as landfill and disposal of wastes for wastes.

  • Allows value to be created from disposable materials, so the materials remain economically valuable for longer than traditional industrial systems

  • Contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Serves to reduce the environmental footprint of related industries.

Examples of industrial symbiosis are extensive. Examples of industrial symbiosis include the use of waste heat from an industry to hot greenhouses for food production, the recovery of car tire chips for use in construction materials, and the use of sludge from fish farms as agricultural fertilizers.