UPIOM: A new tool of mfa and its application to the flow of iron and steel associated with car production

Shinichiro Nakamura, Yasushi Kondo, Kazuyo Matsubae, Kenichi Nakajima, Tetsuya Nagasaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Identification of the flow of materials and substances associated with a product system provides useful information for Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), and contributes to extending the scope of complementarity between LCA and Materials Flow Analysis/Substances Flow Analysis (MFA/SFA), the two major tools of industrial ecology. This paper proposes a new methodology based on input-output analysis for identifying the physical input-output flow of individual materials that is associated with the production of a unit of given product, the unit physical input-output by materials (UPIOM). While the Sankey diagram has been a standard tool for the visualization of MFA/SFA, with an increase in the complexity of the flows under consideration, which will be the case when economywide intersectoral flows of materials are involved, the Sankey diagram may become too complex for effective visualization. Analternativewayto visually represent materialflowsis proposed which makes use of triangulation of the flow matrix based on degrees of fabrication. The proposed methodology is applied to the flow of pig iron and iron and steel scrap that are associated with the production of a passenger car in Japan. Its usefulness to identify a specific MFA pattern from the original IO table is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1114-1120
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 1


Dive into the research topics of 'UPIOM: A new tool of mfa and its application to the flow of iron and steel associated with car production'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this