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RE: level of effort for mass balance?



Title: Message
Burt --
 
about the same time as the NAE report was issued (early 1990's, as I recall), I did a "how to" manual for some clients at DoD on how to do material balances at manufacturing facilities.  The manual was written for non-engineers, and with an emphasis on basic estimation techniques including ad-hoc measurements that could provide a means for estimating flows.  I THINK I still have a hard copy version around here somewhere, though the electronic files have long since vanished.  If I can find it, I'll send you a copy via regular mail.
 
I think the estimates you provided are in the correct order of magnitude, but probably a bit on the low side.  I'd double or triple them depending on the complexity of the processes involved.  Backcalculating the material flows from various process logs and accounting records is not the hard part, compiling the data in the first place is where the effort typically is expended.
 
I agree with Bob's implication that sources like the API manuals should be taken as a last resort.  Often the "bucket and stopwatch" types of simple on-site measurement techniques are more accurate and just as easy to come up with.  Having some familiarity with your skills in on-site assessment, I think you'd probably have no problem coming up with a variety of creative ways to do these estimates.
 
SB
===============================
Scott Butner
Director, ChemAlliance
c/o Pacific NW National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA  99352
Voice: (509)-372-4946/Fax: (509) 375-2443
Website: http://www.chemalliance.org/
E-mail: scott.butner@pnl.gov
===============================
-----Original Message-----
From: Burt Hamner [mailto:bhamner@cleanerproduction.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 12:14 PM
To: Robert Pojasek; p2tech@great-lakes.net
Subject: RE: level of effort for mass balance?

Thanks all for these interesting comments.  I should clarify our goal (thanks TF for asking).
The national environmental health agency regulates wastewater dischargers and imposes a fee for discharges.  They are interested in an approach that will encourage P2.  We suggested that they provide discounts based on improvement in management that will lead to P2, without requiring extensive technical TA and while providing maximum flexibility to business.  We are suggesting that firms begin with a process analysis of inputs and outputs so they can learn what exactly they are losing to the wastewater.  I used the term mass balance in my email to P2Tech without appreciation of the engineering history behind it.  In fact, here  we have been using the term "eco-balance", which is popular in Europe and for which we have some guidance tools. 
 
Of course we dont expect a full scale mass balance analysis from anyone, and thanks for the comments about how hard that can be.  I think that materials accounting or materials balance is a lot closer to what we want to promote.  My web search shows a lot more info about materials accounting than about eco-balance, so I think we might move in that direction since it will help the national agency think about making some links to the EPA and other orgs (Hey New Jersey, how about a field trip to Peru!) so they can get some more help on this.
 
I have been searching for a good manual on materials accounting on the web and have not come up with anything yet that can be downloaded.  Any suggestions?
 
I also found a very interesting analysis of materials accounting developed for national policy in Australia, it includes a survey of materials accounting around the world, comparisons of various methods, and lots of food for thought.  Of course if you consume the food you must account for the results...
http://www.ci.lincoln.ne.us/city/health/environ/pollu/gen/wasteana.htm
 
Burt Hamner
-----Mensaje original-----
De: owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net]En nombre de Robert Pojasek
Enviado el: Miércoles, 08 de Enero de 2003 02:41 p.m.
Para: p2tech@great-lakes.net
Asunto: Re: level of effort for mass balance?

Maybe we have some engineers in government as well.  The RCRA reauthorization in the USA was going to require every facility with compliance issues in the USA to conduct a mass balance.  Fortunately, the National Academy of Engineers recommended against this (aren't they engineers?).  The Cleaner Production Centers UNIDO P2 protocol requires mass balance.  Burt talked about a government agency wanting to require mass balance in a program.  For the record, this is not "materials balance."  This was the point that I raised.  I think we are confusing these terms and the level of effort required to make the proper measurements. 

Bob Pojasek

Hi P2techies,

Thanks Melinda for the clarification of terms "mass" vs "materials" balance.  We have to help engineers we are training to relax a bit when they first hear about materials balance requirements in the Massachusetts program.  Burt's estimate is really pretty good, with more time needed to characterize the process for an external consultant new to the company or an EHS officer.  The three days certainly allows time to confirm the process diagram on the shop floor.  This is a key step in the planning requirement in this state because of discovery or materials, water, and energy lost -- and a loose but pretty good quantification of that loss.  It is highly motivating.

Janet Clark
Toxics Use Reduction Institute
University of Massachusetts
One University Ave
Lowell, MA 0`854-2866
Tel 978-934-3346, Fax 978-934-3050
http://www.turi.org
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