The use of natural resources is necessary for human life and activities. Finding strategies that can satisfy energy and material demands, be sustainable for the environment, and preserve natural resources from depletion, seems to be a crucial point for the modern society. This chapter deals with the role of Decision Support Systems (DSS) for environmental systems planning and management, with specific attention to the use of forest biomasses for energy production, and energy and material recovery from urban solid waste. The two mentioned issues are treated in two different sections to highlight the legislative and technological differences beyond the "treatment" and the "possibilities of use" of biomasses and solid wastes. Then, after a general introduction about how to build Environmental DSS, decision models (characterized by decision variables, objectives, and constraints), and about the state of the art, the chapter is divided in two main sections: energy production from renewable resources, and material and energy recovery from solid urban waste. The first one is focused on forest biomass exploitation and includes a detailed mathematical description of the formalized decision model and its solution applied to a real case study. The formalized model is the generalization (resulted from new research activity and modelling efforts, with new results) of a model developed by the same authors (Freppaz et al., 2004). Great attention is given to the forest ecosystem, to the necessity of preserving satisfying hydrogeological conditions, and to social and economical issues. The objective of the DSS is to help the decision maker in defining the volumes and the flows of material entering the plant in the various years and which are the forest parcels to exploit in the territory in order to verify the sustainability of the plant and to manage the production of energy in connection with the environmental exigencies of the territory. An analysis of the emissions created by the transport of the material to the plant is considered too. The second one regards a more qualitative discussion about the role of Decision Support Systems (mainly based on the DSS we have developed, and, partly, a review of two previous works (Fiorucci et al., 2003; Costi et al. 2004)) for solid waste management in urban areas. In this case, the structure of DSSs able to help decision makers of a municipality in the development of incineration, disposal, treatment and recycling integrated programs, taking into account all possible economic costs, technical, normative, and environmental issues, is described. Finally, conclusions and future developments about EDSS for material recovery and energy production are reported. © 2009 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Titolo:||Decision support systems for material recovery and energy production|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.01 - Contributo in volume (Capitolo o saggio)|