Configuration of Materially Retained Carbon in Our Society: A WIO-MFA-Based Approach for Japan

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12 Citations (Scopus)


To achieve the goals of Paris Agreement, global society is directing much effort in substantially reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition to energy-related efforts, prevention of carbon release into the atmosphere with carbon capture and storage (CCS) and/or utilization of biomass resources is considered indispensable to achieving the global objective. In this study, considering carbon-containing goods as carbon reservoirs in our society similar to forests and reservoirs enabling CCS, the flow of materially utilized carbon was quantified by input-output-based material flow analysis (IO-MFA). As a result, in 2011, 6.3 Mt-C of petroleum-derived carbon and 7.9 Mt-C of wood-derived carbon were introduced to the Japanese society as end-use products (e.g., automobiles and constructions) in various forms (e.g., plastics and synthetic rubbers). The total amount (14.2 Mt-C) corresponded to 4.1% (52.1 Mt-CO2) of annual CO2 emission in Japan in 2011. Subsequently, by referring to the technology that can treat carbon in the target forms in end-of-life products, the recoverability of carbon as a material has been discussed with respect to each form and end-use of carbon. By numerically showing the necessity and potential of implementing appropriate technologies, this study provides scientific direction for policymakers to establish a quality carbon cycle in our society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3899-3907
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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