Technology Energy Environment Health

Technology-Energy-Environment-Health (TEEH) Chain

Principal Investigators
MIT: K. Polenske, J. Beer
ETH: H. Siegmann, Q. Zhiqiang
UT: S. Araki, R. Sakai, M. Sadakata, S. Kraines
Harvard: X. Xu
CAS: X. Chen, X. Pan, C. Yang
TUT: J. Fang

Since the beginning of the economic reform in China, three important economic phenomena have occurred:

1. The economy is booming
2. China is the second largest contributor to GHG emissions
3. Energy intensity has declined by more than 50% since 1977

Very little is known about what is happening to the energy intensities and pollution resulting from the utilization of fossil fuels in Township and Village Enterprises (TVE’s). The TVE output is increasing faster than that of state-owned enterprises (SOE’s), yet the energy intensity and pollution generated in many of the TVE’s appear to be higher than in the SOE’s. These phenomena are very interrelated and are best examined jointly. This study is part of a long-term project to investigate the linkages among technology, energy efficiency, environmental quality and health.

Project 1: The Technology-Energy-Environment-Health (TEEH) Chain

  • Study of the household use of energy and generation of pollution
  • Measure and analyze cokemaking workers’ personal exposure to PM10 and ultra-fine particulates resulting from the cokemaking industry:
    – In the plant
    – During the journey to and from work
    – In the home

Project 2: Energy-Efficient and Low-Pollution Industrial and Household Technologies in China

  • Examine industrial technology options in terms of energy use, pollution generation, employment, and investment
  • Focus on cokemaking, which is one of the most energy-inefficient and polluting industrial activities, in Shanxi Province
  • Compare coke-production technologies used by township and village enterprises (TVEs) and state-owned enterprises (SOEs)

Growing from these objectives, to:

  • Train local officials and plant managers in the conduct of coke plant surveys
  • Train members of our team in the monitoring of air pollution with the use of three battery-operated mobile monitors
  • Train members of our team and local officials in China in the use and application of a transportation trade-off model

Further developing the research, to:

  • Extend the cokemaking supply chain from Shanxi Province to Liaoning Province and from cokemaking to iron and steel making to study transport flows of coal, coke, iron, and steel between the two provinces and for export
  • Develop a generic process-flow model for the cokemaking sector and apply it to one or two other sectors, such as iron and steelmaking and electricity generation, that are dominant in the Shanxi and Liaoning Provinces; Train local officials in the use of the model
  • Train plant managers in iron and steel plants in the use of the mobile air-pollution monitors
  • Test the quality of the coke and coal used in cokemaking, and
  • Extend the coal and coke transport modeling to study transport between Shanxi and Liaoning Provinces


  • We have developed the following five important research methodologies for use in this and related research.

    1. An input-output set of accounts for Shanxi Province for all the township and village enterprises (TVE) for the small-scale and medium-scale technologies and non-TVE enterprises for the large-scale technologies
    2. A transportation trade-off model to help determine plant location and transport routes that will minimize use of coal, reduce pollution, and/or affect the fewest employees
    3. A cokemaking process-flow model to examine the internal supply chain in different types of cokemaking plants
    4. Battery-operated pollution sensors that are mobile and can be taken to any plant or household
    5. Scientific pollution-monitoring procedures for using these sensors in the cokemaking plants and for the households of cokemaking workers.

  • We are using the cokemaking process-flow model and a transportation trade-off model in Shanxi Province, China; both models are being adapted by us and others for use in other provinces (Liaoning) and other sectors (iron and steel); peer-reviewed journals have accepted papers written for each of these models (Polenske and McMichael, 2002; Kraines, Akatsuka, Crissman, Polenske, and Komiyama, forthcoming).
  • Based on the findings from these two models, we have made recommendations to local and national energy policy makers in China.
  • As well as presenting our work to local plant managers and environmental and planning officials, we have given a presentation of our research to key national groups.
  • An important current output is a book planned for publication in 2004 with Kluwer as part of the AGS book series.
  • Most Shanxi Province cokemaking plants have installed pollution-monitoring equipment.
  • We have conducted six surveys in Shanxi Province, and are preparing these findings for a major publication.
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