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Course, academic year 2023/2024

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Material flow analysis - AM240022
Title: Material flow analysis
Guaranteed by: Department of Sustainability and Product Ecology (241)
Faculty: Faculty of Environmental Technology
Actual: from 2021
Semester: both
Points: 3
E-Credits: 3
Examination process:
Hours per week, examination: 1/2, C+Ex [HT]
Capacity: winter:unknown / unknown (unknown)
summer:unknown / unknown (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
priority enrollment if the course is part of the study plan
you can enroll for the course in winter and in summer semester
Guarantor: Polák Miloš RNDr. et Mgr. Ph.D.
Material flow analysis (MFA) is a systematic assessment of the flows and stocks of materials within a system defined in space and time. It connects the sources, the pathways, and the intermediate and final sinks of a material. Because of the law of the conservation of matter, the results of an MFA can be controlled by a simple material balance comparing all inputs, stocks, and outputs of a process. It is this distinct characteristic of MFA that makes the method attractive as a decision-support tool in resource management, waste management, and environmental management. (Brunner & Rechberger, 2004)
Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (13.01.2021)
Aim of the course

Students will be able to:

1. Delineate a system of material flows and stocks by well-defined, uniform terms

2. Reduce the complexity of the system as far as possible while still guaranteeing a basis for sound decision making

3. Assess the relevant flows and stocks in quantitative terms, thereby applying the balance principle and revealing sensitivities and uncertainties

4. Present results about flows and stocks of a system in a reproducible, understandable, and transparent way¨

5. Use the results as a basis for managing resources, the environment, and wastes, in particular for:

a. Early recognition of potentially harmful or beneficial accumulations and depletions of stocks, as well as for timely prediction of future environmental loadings

b. The setting of priorities regarding measures for environmental protection, resource conservation, and waste management (what is most important; what comes first?)

c. The design of goods, processes, and systems that promote environmental protection, resource conservation, and waste management (green design, ecodesign, design for recycling, design for disposal, etc.)

Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (13.01.2021)

R: Brunner, P. H., & Rechberger, H. (2004). Practical Handbook of Material Flow Analysis (p. 318). Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL, USA.

D: Steffen, W., Crutzen, J., & McNeill, J. R. (2007). The Anthropocene: are humans now overwhelming the great forces of Nature? Ambio, 36(8), 614–621.

Brunner, P. H., & Rechberger, H. (2016). Handbook of Material Flow Analysis: For Environmental, Resource, and Waste Engineers, Second Edition. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press - Taylor & Francis Group.

Cencic, O. (2008). Material flow analysis with STAN. J. Environ. Eng. Manage., 18 (1), 3-7.

Cencic, O. (2016). MFA with Software STAN. In P. H. Brunner & H. Rechberger (Eds.), Handbook of Material Flow Analysis: For Environmental, Resource, and Waste Engineers, Second Edition (pp. 148-176). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press - Taylor & Francis Group.

Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (13.01.2021)

1. Introduction

2. Objectives and Scope of MFA

3. History of MFA

4. Application of MFA

5. Methodology of MFA

6. MFA Procedures

7. Data Uncertainties

8. STAN – software for MFA

9. Evaluation Methods for MFA Results

10. Case Studies

11. Work on your own project

12. Work on your own project

13. Work on your own project

14. MFA Outook: Where to Go?

Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (13.01.2021)
Registration requirements


Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (13.01.2021)
Course completion requirements

Presentation on a specific topic given during the semester. Written and oral part of the exam.

Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (13.01.2021)