Conditions of Sustainability

In order to consider a technology that is inherently sustainable and used in petroleum operations, a method is needed for evaluation. This evaluation method should be based on principles of true sustainability, which are defined and shown in the form of a flowchart in Figure 4.17. Based on this newly developed method, a practical tool is proposed and presented as shown in Figure 4.18. In this evaluation method, for the sake of sustainability, the total natural resources should be conserved in a whole technological process.

Figure 4.17 Proposed sustainable technology flowchart (modified Khan and Islam 2005a).

Also, waste produced in the process of using the technology should be within the assimilative capacity of the ecosystem likely to be affected. This means that an intra- and inter-generation ownership equity of natural resources, on which the technology depends, must be ascertained (Daly 1999). Daly (1999) points out that all inputs to an economic process, such as the use of energy, water, air, etc., are from natural ecology and all the wastes of the economic process are sunk back into it. In other words, energy from the ecological system is used as throughput in the economic process, and emissions from the process are given back to ecology. In this sense, an economic system is a subsystem of ecology, and, therefore, the total natural capital should be constant or increasing. Man-made capital and environmental capitals are complementary, but they are not substitutable. As such, any energy system should be considered sustainable only if it is socially responsible, economically attractive, and environmentally healthy (Islam 2005c).

To consider the petroleum operations system sustainable, it should fulfill basic environmental, social, economic, and technological criteria (Pokharel et al. 2003, 2006; Khan and Islam 2005b, 2005c; Khan et al. 2005, 2006a). In this study, the following criteria are taken into consideration:

Natural (Environment) Capital (Cn) + Economic Capital (Ce) + Social Capital (Cs) a Constant for all Time Horizons

(Cn + Ce + CJ t > constant for any time "t" provided that dt dt dt

These conditions are shown in a flow chart format in Figure 4.18. In the proposed model, a technology is only "truly sustainable" if it fulfills the time criterion. Other important criteria that it must also fulfill are related to environmental, social, and economic factors as shown in 4.18.

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment