Environmental risk management system design for hazardous waste materials
Thesis or dissertation
- © 2012 Rui Zhao. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Hazardous materials can be generally deemed as any material which, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics, may cause, or pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment. In the context of "sustainable development", most 'materials' could be deemed to be 'hazardous' at some stage of their lifecycle, i.e. from extraction to final disposal.
This PhD study develops a decision support system for engineers and policy makers to help limit environmental burden, by reducing the environmental risk and the associated carbon footprint, from the perspective of 'hazardous' materials in product design, through the application of 'game theory' and 'grey theory' etc, as well as various computational approaches, by helping the designer identify novel solutions or mitigation strategies.
The thesis starts by introducing the problem situation of the study and identify the research objectives, as well as previous studies have been reviewed in order to set this study in context.
Since it is evident that consumers drive the open market, and their preference may be influenced by the carbon footprint label of products, the decision support system proposes an improved carbon labelling scheme to demonstrate the significance of a product‘s carbon footprint in a more visual way. The prototype of the scheme is derived from the concept of 'tolerability of risk', providing a framework by which judgments can be made as to whether society will accept the risk from hazardous materials.
Application of game theory for decision support is a novel approach in this study, which aids decision-making by selecting appropriate strategies for both organisations and policy makers to reduce environmental impact. In this context, a game between manufacturers and government in the field of clean production is generated with various game scenarios to reflect the variation trend of strategic actions, and then developed to discuss the reduction of the inherent risk posed by 'hazardous' materials and carbon emissions on the supply chain network.
The 'hierarchy of waste' suggests that the most preferable state for sustainability is prevention or the elimination of waste. Although this is not wholly practicable in real terms, the framework gives the importance to waste minimisation and prevention, especially promotes the cleaner production. In addition to strategy selection for mitigating environmental impact, the decision support system also develops an evaluation methodology for application by engineers to aid decision-making on materials selection, thus to improve the materials performances, promote cleaner production and provide better and sustainable products for public consumption.
- Department of Engineering, The University of Hull
- Neighbour, Gareth B.; Deutz, Pauline
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- Qualification name
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