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MATERIAL FLOW ANALYSIS Strategies for waste minimization What are materials? Goods/raw materials (e.g. wood, gravel, PVC) Elements (e.g. carbon, cadmium) Compounds (e.g. benzene, methane) What is a material flow analysis?

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Presentation Transcript
what are materials
What are materials?
  • Goods/raw materials (e.g. wood, gravel, PVC)
  • Elements (e.g. carbon, cadmium)
  • Compounds (e.g. benzene, methane)
what is a material flow analysis
What is a material flow analysis?

A material flow analysis is a systematic reconstruction of the way a chemical element, a compound or a material takes through the natural and/or economic cycle.

A material flow analysis is generally based on the principle of physical balance.

Definition of the Commission of inquiry "Protection of human life and the environment" of the German Bundestag

how does a balance work
How does a balance work?

Input mass =

Output mass

+ Storage




material flow analysis and eco balances
Material flow analysis and eco-balances


  • Analyse the whole life-cycle of a product
  • Analyse the ecological effects
  • Assess the material and energy consumptions emerging during a life cycle and the arising environmental effects.
objectives of a material flow analysis
Objectives of a material flow analysis
  • Trace the flow of raw materials through the company to establish connections within the process
  • Retrace waste and emissions to the point where they are generated
  • Identify weak points (inefficiencies)
  • Define the basis for evaluation
  • Edit data in a decision-oriented way
  • Set priorities for appropriate measures to minimize waste and emissions
criteria for the selection of a material
Criteria for the selection of a material
  • Quantity of the material flow
  • Costs of the material flow
  • Toxicity of the material flow
  • Legal aspects of the material flow
how to carry out a material flow analysis
How to carry out a material flow analysis?

1. Define the objectives and parameters to be monitored

2. Limit the balance scope

3. Limit the balance period

4. Identify and define the process steps

5. Draw the flowcharts: material flows – quality

6. Draw up the balances: material flows – quantity

7. Interpret the results and draw conclusions

step 1 parameters monitored
Step 1: Parameters monitored

Paints, solvents, (all process materials)

Step 2: Balance scope

Painting chamber and drying

Step 3: Balance period

1 year

step 4 process steps of machine painting
Step 4: Process steps of machine painting

Process steps:

  • Pre-treatment
  • Priming, painting
  • Drying

Additional equipment:

  • Steam generator
  • Exhaust air filter
  • Cleaning of spray gun and container
step 5 flowchart
Step 5: Flowchart
  • Representing process steps by rectangles
  • Representing material flows by arrows
step 5 flowchart16

Air filter





Steam generator


Balance limit

Step 5: Flowchart
step 5 flowchart17


Filter, paint

Air, thinner

Air and thinner

Air filter

Air, paint, thinner






parts l



Parts with paint


Steam generator



Balance limit




Step 5: Flowchart

Paint, thinner, filler, tape, film, air, container

step 6 balances
Step 6: Balances
  • Input = output for the whole system
  • Input = output for the single steps
step 5 flowchart19

E8, E9, E 10,


E3, E4, E5, E6, E7

A4, A7

Air filter







Steam generator



Balance limit


A4, A5, A8, A9


Step 5: Flowchart


step 7 interpretation
Step 7: Interpretation

By identifying parameters

Calculation of the so-called “application efficiency":

Dry surface film mass Efficiency = _______________________

Input solid state mass

In this case for small pieces < 10%

In this case on average < 20%

State of the art?

evaluation of a material flow analysis 2
Evaluation of a material flow analysis – 2

Possible parameters:

  • Efficiency factors (ratio of use to costs)
  • Quality factors (ratio of real efficiency factor to the theoretically possible efficiency factor)

Linkage with costs

data sources
Data sources
  • Accounting
  • Warehousing
  • Collection of process data
  • Operational accounting
  • Personal information (e.g. methods engineer)
  • Estimates
  • Measurements
  • Original documents
  • ...
measuring water volumes
Measuring water volumes
  • Water meter
  • Turbine wheel meter
  • Rotameter
  • Induction measuring instrument
  • Ultrasonic flowmeter
  • Weir
  • Measuring at water consumers

(stop watch, bucket)


0,31 h 2g


q =

tan o

recommendations 1 for a material flow analysis
Recommendations 1for a material flow analysis
  • Carry out the material flow analysis in steps
  • An estimate is better than doing nothing at all
  • Even with estimates it is possible to improve
  • 80 – 90% of accuracy is sufficient
  • Use simple measuring instruments
  • Use indicators
  • If necessary, contact the supplier or plant manufacturer
recommendations 2 for a material flow analysis
Recommendations – 2for a material flow analysis
  • It is not essential to follow the instructions or procedures in great detail, a creative approach is often helpful.
  • Even by simply working with the balances you can sometimes achieve improvements.
  • It is important to translate the results into the language of the respective target group (monetary units, kg, pictures, comparisons, etc.)