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To prospect an urban mine - assessing the metal recovery potential of infrastructure "cold spots" in Norrkoping, Sweden
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Environmental Strategies Research- fms, Urban Planning and Environment, KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
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2013 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 55, 103-111 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In conventional mining, prospecting methods are used to increase the degree of certainty with regard to the stock of metals. Similarly, prospecting in terms of "urban mining" aims to increase the information about metal stocks available for recovery in the built environment. Infrastructure systems, such as for power supply and heating, are rich in copper, aluminum and iron (including steel). For a number of reasons, pipes and cables remain in the ground after being taken out of use or disconnected. This is also true for entire obsolete systems. In this paper, these infrastructures "cold spots" are viewed as hibernating stock with a significant potential for urban mining. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanThe infrastructure systems for AC and DC power, telecommunication, town gas and district heating in the city of Norrkoping, Sweden, have been quantified and spatially allocated with a GIS-based approach of Material Flow Analysis (MFA). About 20% of the total stock of aluminum and copper in these systems is found to be in hibernation. The findings also indicate that cables have been disconnected to a larger extent than pipes. As an example, cables for DC power, taken out of use in the late 1930s yet still in the ground, consist of 230 tonnes of copper. The results illustrate a clear tendency for larger stocks of hibernating copper and aluminum to be found in the central rather than the outer parts of the city. A reverse, ring-like pattern is true for iron, mostly because the central parts of the town gas pipes are used for fiber optics. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanParticular focus has been placed on the industrial area of Sodra Butangen, which is slated for redevelopment and re-zoning from industrial to residential. Since the ground will be dug up for sanitation purposes anyway, the entire metal stock can be taken into prospecting consideration. Analysis shows that the chances of finding aluminum here are 28 times higher than in the rest of the city. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanWe argue for an increased MFA focus on the heterogeneous complexity found in the details of the specific locale, rather than striving for generalized assumptions about the broader picture. In doing so, MFA could very well provide a tool for a future business line of urban mining of hibernating metal stocks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 55, 103-111 p.
Keyword [en]
Urban mining, Hibernation, Infrastructure cold spots, GIS, Metal stocks
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97230DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.05.041ISI: 000322802300011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-97230DiVA: diva2:646180
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Innovation Agency, VINNOVA||

Available from: 2013-09-06 Created: 2013-09-05 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Underneath Norrköping: An Urban Mine of Hibernating Infrastructure
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Underneath Norrköping: An Urban Mine of Hibernating Infrastructure
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study examines the subsurface infrastructure in the Swedish city of Norrköping from an urban mining perspective. Urban mining is a broadly defined term for different strategies that regard the built environment as a resource base for materials. In this study, the focus is on three base metals that exist in large quantities in infrastructure parts: iron, copper and aluminium. A special focus is given to the parts of Norrköping’s infrastructure that are not in-use and thus constitute a ”hibernating stock” that contains recyclable metals.

The main results of this study are twofold. First, a quantitative assessment of the hibernating stocks of urban infrastructure gives answers to how large the stocks are and where in Norrköping they are located. This was performed using a spatially informed Material Flow Analysis to arrive at a recycling potential in terms of weight and spatial concentration. Second, a qualitative assessment was made regarding how these hibernating stocks of urban infrastructure come into existence. An infrastructure studies perspective was used to outline three patterns with their own sets of ”hibernation” logics. These logics give rise to different prerequisites for the implementation of urban mining in practice.

A main argument of this study’s cover essay is that both of the above outlined kinds of knowledge are needed to engage in urban mining with confidence. Thus, the main focus of the cover essay text is to describe how the two different perspectives of Material Flow Analysis and infrastructure studies were combined into a coherent research approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 53 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1617
Keyword
Urban mining, infrastructure, hibernating stocks, Material Flow Analysis, infrastructure studies, Norrköping
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-98056 (URN)10.3384/lic.diva-98056 (DOI)LIU-TEK-LIC-2013:51 (Local ID)978-91-7519-521-6 (ISBN)LIU-TEK-LIC-2013:51 (Archive number)LIU-TEK-LIC-2013:51 (OAI)
Presentation
2013-10-04, A30, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-09-26 Created: 2013-09-26 Last updated: 2013-12-19Bibliographically approved
2. The Urk World: Hibernating Infrastructures and the Quest for Urban Mining
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Urk World: Hibernating Infrastructures and the Quest for Urban Mining
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Urkarnas Värld : Infrastrukturer i dvala och staden som resursbas
Abstract [en]

This PhD thesis concerns urban mining, an umbrella term for different recycling strategies aimed to recover materials from the built environment. More specifically, it focuses on hibernating urban infrastructures, that is: cables and pipes that have been left behind in their subsurface location after they were disconnected. I term this subsurface urban realm of system rejects the “Urk World”. “Urk” is short for “urkopplad”, the Swedish word for “disconnected”, an abbreviation often found on old infrastructure maps denoting discarded system parts. Since urks contain high concentrations of copper, my normative stance is that the Urk World should be “mined” as a contribution towards diminishing the persistently wasteful handling of mineral resources in society.

The thesis has three focus areas. The first of these discusses how the Urk World has emerged, that is: how the creation of urks is sustained in sociotechnical processes related to infrastructure’s provision. The second concerns the potential of urk mining, how much copper the Urk World contains, where these quantities are located and by which implications they could be recovered. The third focus area is devoted to the politics of urks, and is concerned with the political embeddedness of infrastructure and where politics might intervene for the sake of increased urk recovery.

Five papers complete the thesis. The first paper investigates how much copper, aluminium and steel there is in the Urk World of the Swedish city of Norrköping, and how these quantities are spatially dispersed in the urban environment. The second paper is based on interviews with system owners and repair crews, and investigates how urks come into existence in relation to three different infrastructural processes: maintenance, larger installation projects and shutdown. The third paper describes how environmental systems analysis can be beneficially coupled with theories and methods from the social sciences to create knowledge useful to aid the development of urk recycling schemes. The fourth article makes use of the inherent ambiguities of urks to investigate a spectrum of locations where politics aimed for increased urk recovery can intervene as well as what is at stake there. The fifth and final paper investigates urks in Linköping’s power grid in spatial and weight terms, and analyses the implications of urk recovery from several different viewpoints.

In overall terms, the major contribution of the thesis is how it improves the knowledge of societal stocks of materials, thereby giving an increased recognition of the built environment as a resource base. In overall scientific terms, it sets an example of how a coherent interdisciplinary research design can provide knowledge useful for the implementation of urk recycling schemes as well as for political decision–making for increased urk recovery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 99 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1720
Keyword
urban mining; infrastructure; material flow analysis; hibernating stocks; copper
National Category
Social Sciences Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122758 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-122758 (DOI)9789176859070 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-12-11, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council FormasVINNOVA
Available from: 2015-11-20 Created: 2015-11-20 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Wallsten, BjörnFrändegård, PerKrook, Joakim

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