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借鏡國外 預見我石化業 發展契機 (2017-02-07 IEK產業情報網 )

In the face of the rapid deterioration of the global environment and limited resources, the World Economic Forum has accelerated the promotion of the circular economy by calling for the reuse of resources to improve added-value and encourage economic activity, and has been jointly promoting the circular economy oriented program, Towards a Circular Economy Project (TCE), with 30 EU countries since 2014. Thanks to the World Economic Forum’s long-term promotion, TCE has become a global initiative, and the scope of research includes international cooperation, financial and technical solutions, promotion strategies, resource reduction technologies and material recycling technologies, aimed at finding comprehensive solutions.
Internationally, the United States, Japan, Germany and China have moved towards the development of a circular economy to ease environmental change and enhance industrial competitiveness. President Tsai Ing-wen also pointed out in her 5/20 inaugural speech that since Taiwan lacks energy and resources, a circular economy which “converts waste into renewable resources” will become Taiwan’s new solution, which is expected to lead the country into an era of circular economy. The “Five Plus Two Flagship Program” later proposed by Primier Chuan Lin also made it clear that the development of a circular economy is the focus of the administrative plan.
In fact, although the chemical industry has been an important part of the driving force for economic growth in Taiwan, accounting for 31.1% of the industrial output of the manufacturing sector last year, it has long been criticized as an industry with problems such as the consumption of raw materials, pollution, energy-intensive processing and the difficulties of waste disposal. The circular economy, on the other hand, aims to “save resources and energy.” How to change the social image of Taiwan’s chemical industry under the concept of a circular economy will be a great challenge to the authorities. This article will elaborate on the concept and core technology of the circular economy and provide recommendations for the development strategy of the value-added materials industry in Taiwan under the premise of a circular industry.



Bye Bye Garbage! Make Good Use of Every Resource
What is a "circular economy"? The most authoritative definition in the international community at present is the one proposed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which defines a circular economy as one that is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times. Circular economy is divided into two types of circulation: biological circulation and materials circulation. “Biological circulation” involves the return of used biological products back into the circulation chain for reuse through the degradation or decomposition of used biological products into bio-raw materials before being released back to the system for reapplication.
However, in Taiwan’s manufacturing industry, “materials circulation” is the major flow of materials within the manufacturing industry. In the past, production in the manufacturing industry was linear: raw materials→parts→products→services→users. This mode of production often resulted in the waste of resources.
In contrast, in a circular economy, the manufacturing industry returns used materials and products back into the production chain. There are six ways (6R) for used products to be returned to the circulation chain:
Recycle: used materials, components and products are returned to the circulation chain for reuse through various mechanisms.
Repair: products are returned to users after repair.
Recovery: used products are returned to product service providers and repaired before being resold to users.
Reuse: used products are dismantled, and usable parts are returned to manufacturers and reassembled before being resold to product or service providers.
Remanufacture: parts of used products are dismantled, purified and turned into usable materials with better performance before being returned to parts manufacturers to produce usable parts and products for sale.
Reduce: enhanced process efficiency, lower raw material usage, reduced energy and resource wastage and lower waste emissions are required in the material circulation chain, including raw material production, reprocessing and waste disposal.



International Example: Garbage Turned into Gold
A circular economy intends to reduce the use of resources and lower the environmental impact. Advanced counties have introduced the circular economy into industrial zone planning based on the concept of environmental protection and reduction of production costs. The best examples are Kalundborg industrial zone in Denmark and BASF’s industrial zone in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Located in Kalundborg, Denmark, the Kalundborg industrial zone is a circular industrial zone centered around Asnas Power Station. With 20 years of effort, the power station, nearby residents and factories in the industrial zone have all been integrated to the point where exhaust heat from the power station is provided to neighboring pharmaceutical factories, fish farms and residents; sulfur sludge from gypsum board factories is used for the production of building materials; fly ash from cement factories is used as raw materials; and waste is reused as paving materials. It has fully demonstrated the spirit of a circular economy.
BASF is the world’s largest chemical company with its headquarters located in Ludwigshafen industrial zone in Germany by the side of the Rhine. It is the world’s largest base for chemical products. The design of Ludwigshafen industrial park has integrated raw materials, heat, water, byproducts and power systems and made the most effective use of raw materials, processes and byproducts from the 160 factories in the park. Situated by the side of the beautiful river Rhine, the water quality of BASF’s effluent discharge from the Ludwigshafen industrial zone is better than that of the Rhine itself. It is not only the model of a circular industrial zone, but also the foundation of BASF’s competitiveness thanks to the benefits of integrating water, heat and byproducts.
In Taiwan, the petrochemical industry is considered as an industry with high consumption of raw materials, high pollution, energy-intensive processing and difficult waste disposal, and its development has been obstructed in recent years, which, in turn, affects the growth of the manufacturing industry in Taiwan. The authorities and enterprises should introduce the concept of a circular economy in the promotion of industrial development favoring environmental protection under the premise of sustainable operation and development. This will become a must for solving the problems faced by the industry. Moreover, to achieve the goal of a triple win among enterprises, residents and the State, we have to work towards the goals of low pollution, low emissions and zero accidents with the efficient use of resources and reuse and recycling as the core, so that enterprises can demonstrate their competitiveness, residents can enjoy a good living environment and the fruit of economic development, while the State achieves sustainable development.

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