Resource Flows in a Circular Economy

Resource flows in a circular economya research area in focus at the Department of Environmental Science (a "Strategic Growth Area", SGA)

Resource flows in a circular economy 

Scarcity of resources is a challenge for future production. As resources get scarcer, circulating them within the economy is increasingly valuable. Parallel to increasing scarcity of resources, there is increasing focus on clean water, soil and air, healthy food and consumer products, which are demanded by citizens worldwide.

Recirculating the flow of resources provides opportunities and challenges. With system and technological innovation, society can retain a larger share of the resources in closed loops and thus reduce harmful environmental impacts. However, contaminants can also accumulate in the residual products, thus increasing risks along the bio economic value chain.

Using new types of raw materials derived from current production residues offers great potential for improving resource efficiency. For example residues from agricultural production can serve the energy sector (e.g. biogas) producing both energy and plant nutrients as fertilizer or by-products from the forestry sector can be used as soil amendments in agriculture.

Research needs

In order to establish a sustainable production based on the circulation of the resources flows, there is a need for interdisciplinary research efforts within the following areas:

  • Support the development of (bio) technological methods to transform by-products, waste materials and discarded products into new materials or products of better quality
  • Develop decision support systems that underpin the selection of investments in environmentally sustainable technologies.
  • Examine the potential to integrate policies on waste, water, nature, energy, including the potential for utilizing blue and green resource flows to bio refinery systems. 
  • Develop sustainable circular resource and ecosystem management models that ensure renewable (bio-based) production.

Examples of recent and on-going projects

Topics of the past projects include for example macro algae, removal of micro-pollutants from waste-water and circulation of biowaste. 

Publications

Resource Flows in a Circular Economy - publications within the research area.

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Journal article

Research providing report

Book chapter

Poster

Conference abstract for conference

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Resource flows in a circular economy - persons involved

Mikael Skou Andersen, Professor, Department of Environmental Science - Environmental social science, Silkeborg
Kai Bester, Professor, Department of Environmental Science - Environmental chemistry & toxicology
Jørgen Brandt, Professor - Head of Section, Department of Environmental Science - Atmospheric modeling
Dario Caro, Researcher, Department of Environmental Science - Emission modeling & environmental geography
Ronggang Cong, Scientist, Department of Environmental Science - Enviromental social science
Pia Frederiksen, Senior Researcher - Head of section, Department of Environmental Science - Emission modeling & environmental geography
Berit Hasler, Senior Researcher - Head of section, Department of Environmental Science - Enviromental social science
Janne Helin, Postdoc, Department of Environmental Science - Enviromental social science
Niels Bohse Hendriksen, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science - Environmental microbiology & biotechnology
Carsten Suhr Jacobsen, Head of Department, Professor, Department of Environmental Science
John Jacobsen, Fundraiser, Department of Environmental Science - Secretariat
Anders Johansen, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science - Environmental microbiology & biotechnology
Manfred Klinglmair, Postdoc, Department of Environmental Science - Emission modeling & environmental geography
Doan Nainggolan, Researcher, Department of Environmental Science - Enviromental social science
Helle Ørsted Nielsen, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science - Enviromental social science
Albert Kwame Osei-Owusu, PhD Student, Department of Environmental Science
Anders Branth Pedersen, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science - Enviromental social science
Lars Kjerulf Petersen, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science - Enviromental social science
Daina Romeo, PhD Student, Department of Environmental Science - Emission modeling & environmental geography
Marianne Thomsen, Professor, Department of Environmental Science - Emission modeling & environmental geography
Eldbjørg Blikra Vea, PhD Student, Department of Environmental Science - Emission modeling & environmental geography
Anne Winding, Deputy Head of Department, senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science
Marianne Zandersen, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science - Enviromental social science