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Chemical industry wastes: a materials balance analysis

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The paper is a systematic 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 are published in well-established government statistics, with rare exceptions. This makes it possible to use the materials-balance methodology by comparing aggregate inputs and outputs. Unlike other sectors of the economy, knowledge of the transformation processes themselves is needed in evaluating the chemical industry. We compare the results of this "bottom up" approach with other estimates of waste residuals. In several cases, significant discrepencies have been identified. However, the major value of this approach is to clearly distinguish between dry and wet wastes

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