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Technology Trends in Pollution-Intensive Industries: A Review of Sectoral Trends

Anthony Bartzokas () and Masaru Yarime ()

No 6, UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series from United Nations University - INTECH

Abstract: This paper provides some background information on the technological trends in seven pollution-intensive industrial sectors (i.e. pulp and paper, organic chemical, inorganic chemical, iron and steel, petroleum refining, fertilizer, and textile industries) with a particular emphasis on the introduction of cleaner technologies. In most of the industrial branches examined in this review, the introduction of end-of-pipe technologies is widely found. However, it seems that cleaner technologies have not yet been fully utilized in various industrial sectors. The extent to which cleaner technologies are adopted is limited mostly in cases where reuse and recycling of energy, water, and raw materials can contribute to a reduction of production costs. With some exceptions, process-integrated modifications involving chemical reactions have not yet been realized. In order to achieve drastic reduction in emissions, more fundamental changes will be necessary in the production process and/or the composition of final products. Furthermore, with the application of end-of-pipe technologies the benefits of raw material and energy savings will not occur, and technological spillovers to the main production process will be limited. That is, innovation offsets will be difficult to obtain. Eventually, firms would need to develop cleaner technologies by introducing an integrated assessment of their production processes and products.

Keywords: Pollution Sources; Industry; Environmental Policy; New Technology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1997
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