Global Patterns and Trends for Non‐Metallic Minerals Used for Construction

14 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2017

See all articles by Alessio Miatto

Alessio Miatto

Nagoya University

Heinz Schandl

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

Tomer Fishman

Nagoya University

Hiroki Tanikawa

Nagoya University - Graduate School of Economics

Date Written: August 2017

Abstract

Despite accounting for almost 50% of global material use, nonmetallic minerals—mostly used for construction of buildings and infrastructure—are the material flow analysis (MFA) category with the highest uncertainty. The main reason for this is incomplete reporting in official national statistics because of ease of availability and the low per‐unit cost of these materials. However, the environmental burden associated with nonmetallic minerals, which include energy use for extraction and transport, land‐use change, and disposal of large amounts of construction demolition waste, call for a thorough understanding of the magnitude of nonmetallic mineral flows. Previous estimates for nonmetallic minerals have used simplistic assumptions. This study aims to increase the precision of nonmetallic mineral accounts at national and global level using consumption of bitumen, bricks, cement, and railways in combination with technical coefficients from the engineering literature to infer the actual yearly consumption of nonmetallic minerals. We estimate the extraction of nonmetallic minerals and provide uncertainty estimates for the new accounts as well as information about consumption by different sectors. Analyzing the evolution of consumption for seven world regions, we find that, in North America and Europe, the consumption of nonmetallic minerals over the past 40 years has followed the growth patterns of population, whereas for all other regions consumption has been closely related to gross domestic product (GDP). A more accurate account of global and country‐by‐country extraction of nonmetallic minerals may provide insights into supply shortages and inform waste management strategies for construction and demolition waste.

Keywords: 3Rs, global material flows, industrial ecology, material flow analysis (MFA), nonmetallic minerals, sustainable materials management

Suggested Citation

Miatto, Alessio and Schandl, Heinz and Fishman, Tomer and Tanikawa, Hiroki, Global Patterns and Trends for Non‐Metallic Minerals Used for Construction (August 2017). Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 21, Issue 4, pp. 924-937, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3013913 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12471

Alessio Miatto (Contact Author)

Nagoya University ( email )

Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku
Nagoya-City, 4648601
Japan

Heinz Schandl

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

41 Boggo Rd
Dutton Park, Queensland
Australia

Tomer Fishman

Nagoya University ( email )

Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku
Nagoya-City, 4648601
Japan

Hiroki Tanikawa

Nagoya University - Graduate School of Economics ( email )

1 Furo-cho
Chikusa-ku
Nagoya, 464-8601
Japan

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