The future of Industrial Symbiosis in the context of Circular Economy

As discussed in the last post, in the rise of a Circular Economy (CE), the Industrial Symbiosis (IS) approach is likely to lose its usefulness as an “end of pipe” solution.

However, it does not mean that its principles shall become useless at all.

Considering the analogy with nature, the IS shall become an intrinsic principle of CE in itself, just as symbiotic relationships are intrinsic elements of our living environment.

I mean that without the approach of industrial symbiosis the Circular Economy is not possible, just like without symbiotic relationships between living organisms the nature as we know it would not exist.

So, what we shall see in the future (in fact we are already seeing it now), is a shift in the professions regarded as responsible for closing the industrial cycles. In the realm of process industries, for instance, closing cycles will rather apply to industrial and process designers (meaning chemical and industrial engineers that design process technologies) than  to the process and production engineers in the industrial units under operation. These are likely to have their role as process’ “optimizers” strengthened.




==> This issue of process optimization in a circular world is another important issue… what will be the relationship between circularity and efficiency? Is nature efficient?? Some words on the coordination effort later. 😉


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