Month: May 2015

Japan Material Flow 2003

Another wild like-to-be Sankey diagram. Found this on a resources and links list related to ‘material flow’ hosted at Hiroshima University.

The diagram is from a white paper on a ‘Recycling Society’ published 2006 by the Japanese Environment Ministry (HTML version). Data is for the year Heisei 15 (=2003), the book was published in 2006.

The title 平成15年度における我が国の循環資源フロー can be translated as ‘The resource flow cycle in Japan in 2003’ (any other suggestion from a native Japanese speaker out there?).

Flows are in million tons (百万t) per year as indicated in the top right. Values in square brackets relate to the previous year (2002). Flows are not to scale and their width seems to be chosen almost deliberately.

The diagram itself is a very interesting depiction of national material flows. Starting out from the 582 million tons of material (green box lower left), a large portion (220 million tons) is recycled, either directly as rejects from production (96 million tons) or after product use (124 million tons). 3 million tons are reused.

Still trying to figure out some more translations… three more thoughts:
(1) Could this general diagram setup serve as a role model to visualize reuse and recycling in a country. What are the common standards in national MFA accounts for this?
(2) Can I do this more nicely with a modern Sankey diagram software? Would be a nice challenge (mostly for the Kanji characters!)
(3) What would be the picture for Japan in 2015 in comparison to 2003?

Wiesner Hager: Material and Energy Balance

Austrian office furniture manufacturer Wiesner Hager is looking to increase efficiency in their production system, and to make more sustainable products. To this end they have being doing Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) and have published Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

On their website they feature two Sankey diagrams.

The first is the corporate material balance. Flows are in tons (probably for one year, although not indicated). Raw materials and water constitute the largest inputs, while on the output side vapour and sewage dominate, next to the actual products.

The other is the energy balance. Flows are in MWh. The energy carriers (fuels) depcited also show up (as mass) in the above material inventory. Looking at the steam input, it is not clear what fuel is used to run the boiler.

Simple gone wrong

Something is wrong here ….

Not only does the arrow ‘light energy’ branch out behind the other arrow without causing a reduction in magnitude for the remainder ‘heat energy’. But also 1000 J is split into two arrows of 90 J and 10 J.

And while still in ‘mild rant’ mode, here is another one from an educational website…