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MTE4593 - Materials and environment

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Engineering

Leader: J R Sellar


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit provides an introduction to the political, social and environment background to materials recycling and looks at motivations for recycling. Major technologies relating to the recycling of metals, plastics, glass, paper and ceramic materials are discussed: involving looking at the choice between materials reclamation, energy recovery and landfill. It considers the economics of materials production, as well as 'cradle-to-grave' analyses of materials including products and by-products of the nuclear fuel cycle. In particular it looks at life-cycle analysis techniques. Market failure in the economics of the environment and the role of externalities and their remedies are covered.


The student will develop an understanding of the economic, social, political and technical aspects of materials recycling, an appreciation of the role of recycling in the broader environmental context, the capacity to undertake life-cycle analysis of products or services, and technical knowledge in the main areas of recycling including polymers, ceramics, metals and paper.


Two written assignments: 25%
Oral presentation: 5%
Tests: 10%
Examination (3 hours): 60%

Contact hours

3 hours lectures/tutorials and 9 hours private study per week


ENE2503 or MTE2541 or MSC2011