Hexbyte Glen Cove New tool finds the best opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle across industrial sectors thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove New tool finds the best opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle across industrial sectors

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new tool finds hidden connections across industrial sectors and identifies opportunities to reduce waste and lower carbon emissions by mapping the physical economy for a region.

“The climate and the economy are too important for us to make mistakes,” said Shweta Singh, the interdisciplinary scientist at Purdue University who developed the tool. “This tool provides a big-picture view and allows policymakers and industry to plug in a potential change and see the results. Those involved can virtually test different options before making a decision.”

Past zero-waste and low-carbon efforts focused on one portion of industrial flow, for example, reducing energy use in a single production process. However, a view of the whole system is needed to make the best choices and most effective investments in emerging technology for overall improvement, she said.

“The approach is like the human genome project, but for the physical economy—mapping the relationship between industry and the environment,” said Singh, who holds appointments as an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering in the College of Agriculture and environmental and ecological engineering in the College of Engineering. “It allows us to find and understand connections within the whole system. We needed the human genome project—the complete map—to begin to identify the genes key to disease or health, and we need a complete map of the physical economy to identify what changes are key to achieving sustainability.”

The theory behind the model is detailed in a paper in the journal Energy & Environmental Science of The Royal Society of Chemistry. A paper focused on the cloud platform tool will be published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.

The tool uses physical principles and mechanistic models from physics, engineering and biological sciences to automate mapping of the physical economy, and it is much faster than the standard methods, Singh said.

“With this modeling tool, we can do in one day what would have taken 100 days,” she said. “The existing mapping methods were tedious and time-consuming. By looking at each economic sector as a process—taking resources through physical changes to create a product—we can use existing mechanistic models to map a multiscale view of the physical economy. With that in place we can make changes and see the cascade of events from the process to sector to whole economy.”

Singh used the tool to map the physical economy of Illinois for 10 agro-based sectors from farming to downstream processing of products. The model found connections and highlighted opportunities for large-scale recycling to reduce waste. The results showed that the adoption of technologies for industrial wastewater and hog manure recycling would have the highest impact by reducing more than 62% of hog waste outputs, 96% of dry corn milling waste, and 99% of soybean hull waste.

Fast, automated modeling of the physical economy gives users a test-run of steps to sustainability

“We also found indirect connections, for example recycling hog farm waste led to reduced emissions down the line in manufacturing,” Singh said. “In the supply chain, experts talk about first, second- and third-order impacts. Third-order impacts may not be obvious, but they can really have an impact. Here it becomes transparent, and we can identify that third-order impact very quickly.”

Singh credits a diverse academic background in sparking the idea for the model.

“I always had an interest in various disciplines,” she said. “My friends joked I had taken a class in every building on campus. I actually began my studies in chemical engineering, which takes a very close look at the flow of a chemical reaction and the byproducts created. Then, while studying assessment for industrial systems, I broadened my scope to macroeconomic framework. It led me to wonder why there wasn’t more communication and crossover between the disciplines. In this model, I try to bring all of these things together, connecting process engineering with economic modeling.”

Singh also credits the interdisciplinary background of Venkata Sai Gargeya Vunnava, the graduate student who collaborated on the project.

“Thinking about the challenge without being mentally stuck in a single academic discipline led to this innovation,” Singh said. “We must be open to learning anything from anywhere.”

Singh disclosed the modeling tool to the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, which has applied for patent protection on the intellectual property.

More information:
Venkata Sai Gargeya Vunnava et al, Integrated mechanistic engineering models and macroeconomic input–output approach to model physical economy for evaluating the impact of transition to a circular economy, Energy & Environmental Science (2021). DOI: 10.1039/D1EE00544H

New tool finds the best opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle across industrial sectors (2021, September 27)
retrieved 28 September 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-tool-opportunities-reuse-recycle-industrial.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove New data show a number of opportunities exist for states to lift working families out of poverty with the earned income thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove New data show a number of opportunities exist for states to lift working families out of poverty with the earned income

Hexbyte Glen Cove

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), in place in over half of all US states, are estimated to help lift 5.6 million out of poverty, yet gaps remain, according to new data published today to LawAtlas.org.

As of August 1, 2020, 29 and the District of Columbia have an EITC that supplements the federal EITC and provides tax relief on for working families and individuals. Across states, eligibility requirements, refundability, and notification of the policy vary:

  • Geographically, a majority of northeastern states have adopted a state EITC law. Fewer such state EITC policies exist among the southeast and states.
  • Of the 30 jurisdictions that offer a state EITC, nine adopt the federal EITC eligibility requirements. The remaining 21 have implemented state-specific eligibility requirements.
  • If the state EITC exceeds a taxpayer’s liability, only four states provide a full refund; 21 states provide a partial refund, and six states offer a non-refundable credit to eligible taxpayers.
  • The federal EITC benefit is currently available to eligible taxpayers ages 25 to 65 years. Only four jurisdictions (three states and DC) have extended the EITC benefit beyond the required age to include taxpayers under the age of 25.
  • Fifteen jurisdictions require notification of the state EITC to tax filers. Of those, only 10 require the state to notify benefit recipients of the state EITC.

“These data offer a look into how the state Earned Income Tax Credit laws vary across the United States. They identify opportunities to expand state EITC laws to assist more working people and include younger workers currently not eligible for the Federal EITC,” said Adam Lustig, the manager of the Promoting Health & Cost Control in States initiative at Trust for America’s Health, which is the umbrella project for these data.

These data contribute to a growing body of research that has shown state EITCs may improve , most significantly among and children.

“Although studies have highlighted the positive health effects of state EITC, especially among mothers and children, there is still much to learn,” said Lindsay Cloud, JD, director of the Center for Public Health law Research Policy Surveillance Program, which created the data. “This dataset is a foundational resource for anyone interested in understanding the extent of these income security benefits on health, well-being, and equity across the US.”

The Promoting Health and Cost Control in States initiative’s legal data resources are a collaboration of the Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research with Trust for America’s Health, and support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Earned Income Tax Credit dataset is the fourth in a series of datasets on laws and policies that can support cost-savings for states and promote and well-being.

More information:
Center for Public Health Law Research Policy Surveillance Program. Earned Income Tax Credit Laws. October 28, 2020. lawatlas.org/datasets/earned-i … come-tax-credit-laws

New data show a number of opportunities exist for states to lift working families out of poverty with the earned income (2020, October 29)
retrieved 29 October 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-10-opportunities-states-families-poverty-income.html

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