Ecological valuation of products and process - no change for optimization

Vortrag im Rahmen der Ringvorlesung des Graduiertenkollegs

Prof. Dr. Günther Seliger


Standard of living in industrial countries and exponential growth of world population cause a steady increase of resource consumption. Use productivity of resources is a global chance for increasing the life standard within ecological limits. The objective is more use with fewer resources. Some alternatives are for example selling use instead of products, adaptations of products by disassembly and re-assembly, reuse of products and recycling of materials.

Optimization methods have been applied in order to evaluate specific requirements of systems and find optimal solutions for sub-systems e.g. identification and evaluation of reuse options, planning and design of recycling networks. However, the varieties of economical, ecological and social factors that must be considered in the reality increase the complexity of the system and make difficult to define a general objective function and constraints.

Heuristic approach as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been also developed for analyzing and assessing the environmental effects caused by a product (or service) throughout its life cycle or lifetime.

This lecture will present the challenges in ecological valuation of products and processes as well as practical examples for increasing the use productivity of resources.