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Ecological network analysis of an industrial symbiosis system: A case study of the Shandong Lubei eco-industrial park


  • Zhang, Yan
  • Zheng, Hongmei
  • Fath, Brian D.


China's Shandong Lubei eco-industrial park was approved for construction in 2003, just after the first national eco-industrial demonstration parks were confirmed by China's State Environmental Protection Administration in 2002. It has therefore been recognized around the world as a successful example of an industrial symbiosis system. The park's success results from the harmonious and coordinated relationships among its members. Analyzing the ecological characteristics of these relationships and identifying the resulting advantages provide a basis for improving the park's efficiency and examining other parks. In this paper, we analyzed the flows of sulfur in the Lubei park (as an example of typical flows) using ecological network analysis to describe this industrial symbiosis system. The integrated analysis of the utility resulting from direct and indirect exchanges of byproducts and wastes can reflect the ecological relationships among members within the system. Based on these ecological relationships, members can be divided into producers, primary consumers, and secondary consumers; the integral flow weight for each level of the hierarchy can then be compared to reveal the system's overall ecological structure. By examining the exchanges of resources within the system, we can describe the ecological connotations of the symbiosis and how these ecological relationships influence the overall development and resource flows within the system.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Yan & Zheng, Hongmei & Fath, Brian D., 2015. "Ecological network analysis of an industrial symbiosis system: A case study of the Shandong Lubei eco-industrial park," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 306(C), pages 174-184.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecomod:v:306:y:2015:i:c:p:174-184
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.05.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kiss, Tibor & Hartung, Katalin & Hetesi, Zsolt, 2019. "Termelőüzem ökológiai szempontú tervezése
      [Ecologically oriented planning of production units]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 863-886.
    2. Anna Lütje & Volker Wohlgemuth, 2020. "Requirements Engineering for an Industrial Symbiosis Tool for Industrial Parks Covering System Analysis, Transformation Simulation and Goal Setting," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(1), pages 1-24, February.
    3. Hwangbo, Soonho & Lee, In-Beum & Han, Jeehoon, 2017. "Mathematical model to optimize design of integrated utility supply network and future global hydrogen supply network under demand uncertainty," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 195(C), pages 257-267.
    4. Jørgensen, Sven E. & Nielsen, Søren Nors & Fath, Brian D., 2016. "Recent progress in systems ecology," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 319(C), pages 112-118.
    5. Borrett, Stuart R. & Sheble, Laura & Moody, James & Anway, Evan C., 2018. "Bibliometric review of ecological network analysis: 2010–2016," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 382(C), pages 63-82.
    6. Fabiane Florencio de Souza & Mariane Bigarelli Ferreira & Adriana Valélia Saraceni & Leozenir Mendes Betim & Tafael Lucas Pereira & Rodolfo Reinaldo Hermes Petter & Regina Negri Pagani & Luis Mauricio, 2020. "Temporal Comparative Analysis of Industrial Symbiosis in a Business Network: Opportunities of Circular Economy," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(5), pages 1-18, February.
    7. Zhu, Xueting & Mu, Xianzhong & Hu, Guangwen, 2019. "Ecological network analysis of urban energy metabolic system—A case study of Beijing," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 404(C), pages 36-45.


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