Emergy versus MFA

Source: Shu-Li Huang, 2009. Urbanization and Socioeconomic Metabolism in Taipei.

In this analysis of “socioeconomic metabolism” of Taipei, the author uses the Emergy methodology to describe the flow of materials and energy.  The concept and methodology of Emergy was pioneered by Howard Odum, an ecologist.  Certain aspects are similar to Material Flow Analysis, such as the system boundary, flows, and processes.  Emergy has different symbols for different types of processors, for example consumer and producer, whereas MFA neutrally represents all processes in the same way.  While both MFA and Emergy are concerned with metabolism, as you can see their way of representation is quite different.


Source: Odum, H. T. 1996. Environmental accounting: Emergy and environmental decision making.

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