Modelling Manufactured Capital Stocks and Material Flows in the Australian Stocks and Flows Framework

  • James A. Lennox
  • Graham M. Turner
Part of the Eco-Efficiency in Industry and Science book series (ECOE, volume 23)

Manufactured capital stocks and their relationships to physical flows of materials and energy are of interest in the fields of industrial ecology and input-output analysis. Manufactured capital stocks embody technologies, which may be characterised by input-output (IO) relations. The rate and nature of technological and structural change in an economy are therefore related to the dynamics of these stocks. Certain capital stocks also act as substantial long-lived stores of materials in the anthroposphere. Additions to and scrapping of these stocks directly generate flows of new and used materials and wastes. This chapter is concerned with two relationships between manufactured capital stocks and material flows, and in particular, how they may be modelled in the field of industrial ecology. Examples are drawn from scenarios developed using the Australia Stocks and Flows Framework (ASFF) (Foran and Poldy 2002).

Section two of this chapter deals with methodological and practical issues encountered in accounting for and modelling manufactured capital stocks. Both commonalities and differences between economic and physical perspectives on capital stocks are discussed. An example is given of historical and projected vehicle stocks in Australia. Section three deals with input-output modelling of technologies embodied in capital stocks, focussing particularly on the ‘bottom-up’ or ‘process modelling’ approach employed in ASFF. An example of process-based IO models for steel production in Australia is provided. Section four is concerned with dynamic models of stocks and flows in Industrial Ecology. A dynamic physical IO model (Lennox et al. 2004) within ASFF is described and an example of material flows associated with electricity generation capacity is given. Section 5 concludes the chapter, providing a brief discussion of key issues in modelling capital stocks in terms of material stores and/or embodied technologies within the field of industrial ecology.


Technological Change Capital Stock Material Flow Industrial Ecology Basic Oxygen Furnace 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Lennox
    • 1
  • Graham M. Turner
    • 2
  1. 1.Sustainability and Society Team of Landcare ResearchLincolnNew Zealand
  2. 2.CSIRO Sustainable EcosystemsCanberraAustralia

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