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Chemical industry wastes: a materials balance analysis

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The paper is a symetric derivation of aggregate production wastes for the U.S. chemicals industries, SIC 28 (1975-1988). To facilitate this derivation we have classified chemicals within this sector by key element(s) from which they are derived. In principle, each is thought of as initiating a transformation process, converting material (and energy) inputs to outputs. Both inputs and outputs can be estimated, with reasonable accuracy, from well-established government statistics. Unlike most other sectors of the economy, however, knowledge of the transformation processes themselves is also needed. Combining both types of information, it is possible to account for most chemical uses and wastes by means of the materials-balance methodology. We compare the results of this "bottom up" approach with other estimates of waste residuals. In several cases, significant discrepancies have been identified. One major virtue of our approach is to clearly distinguish between dry and wet wastes

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