Materials and Sustainability: Building A Circular Future
Author: Paul Foulkes-Arellano (Queens 1982) & Julia L Freer Goldstein
This book examines sustainable manufacturing, from the extraction of materials to processing, use and disposal, and argues that significant changes in all of the above are needed for the world to progress toward a more circular economy.
Materials and processing methods are usually chosen with performance as the key metric. Why has our society embraced plastics? Because they work. In most cases, they are lighter, easier to manufacture, and less expensive than the metal, wood, glass, or stone they have replaced. Why do industrial manufacturers use toxic chemicals? Because they are effective, but the unintended consequences may be severe. By learning how various materials are made and what happens when they are recycled, readers will better understand the value of materials and the challenges that manufacturers face when trying to make their facilities and products less toxic and less wasteful.
The three chapters in Part I provide essential background about materials in the circular economy, chemicals, and waste. Part II delves into specific materials. It includes chapters on plastics, metals, wood and paper products, glass, and novel materials. Part III covers recycling and manufacturing processes, and Part IV delves into practical considerations, including the effect of regulations, concluding with a chapter that helps readers translate the information presented into action. Interviews with industry experts round out the chapters and offer valuable insights.
Materials and Sustainability is a must-read for business professionals who are serious about making their companies as environmentally responsible as possible and for business and engineering students who want to begin their careers with practical knowledge about materials and their impacts.