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   Course Title    Industrial Emissions and Sustainable Production
Lecturer    Irina Kopteva
Institution    St.Petersburg State University
Country    Russia


To discuss industrial pollution in a broad perspective, covering the entire life-cycle of industrial products.


  • To point out that industrial pollution does not only originate from industrial plants, but also from, e.g., mining and forest operations, energy production, emissions from various means of transportation and last but not least, from the product itself when it is used and thereafter disposed of by consumers.
  • To develop the principle of life-cycle analysis of industrial products as the basis for environmental impact assessment.
  • To consider some examples of industry world structures and associated environmental problems.
  • To describe policy responses and future perspectives to improve structure of industrial production and consumption.


Students will learn

  1. to present causes and consequences of industrial pollution;
  2. to determine ways to sustainable production;
  3. to run case studies on the above mentioned issues by:
    • revising published sources: papers, books, magazines, reports, Internet,
    • statistical calculations with such computer programs as Statistics, Statgraf, MS Excel etc.


The course is to be read for Master's degree students at the Chair of Climatology and Environmental Monitoring, Department of Geography and Geoecology. Students already have a background knowledge of environmental problems and they need to learn specific ones, especially connected with emissions. The course consists of fourteen 2-hour lectures and seminars, overall 56 academic hours.


During teaching different approaches will be used. It is necessary to analyse the world industry structure by maps, charts, tables and diagrams as the aim of the course is to discuss industrial pollution. Students will be offered to run case studies on regional aspects using published sources: papers, books, magazines, reports, Internet etc. To present results they will be taught to analyse data by statistics. Every lecture is followed by a seminar consisting of practical work and discussions on results of case studies.



The discussion on the environmental stereotypes dominating in the world, political and economical changes. Old stereotypes were collapsing, paradigms were changing, and we have the task to highlight new environmental concepts. The acpests of physical and human environment. Severe environmental crisis may be converted into an overall crisis of our civilization. The strategy of sustainable development is an attempt to handle the crisis. At the present time it is the most extremely to improve education and research on ecological system as the one of the attempt to form the progressive future.


The review of current publications on environmental issues.


The discussion on problems connected with urban and industrial environments. Developing and rapidly industrializing regions are faced to unplanned urban growth and emerging mega-cities. By the year 2000 24 cities will have more than 10 million inhabitants. The such growth in Asia, Africa, and Latin America has been accompanied by the proliferation of slums and squatter settlements without access to basic infrastructure, water, or sanitation. The resultant concentration of people and of industrial and domestic effluents and waste impose unwieldy demands on urban environments. To improve waste management it is necessary to change consumption patterns , to develop recycling, to invest in new technologies. Damaging effects on human health. The disposal of industrial and domestic waste resulting to soil and water contamination pose potential hazards to human and ecosystem health. In highly industrialized regions, ameliorating soil contamination and combating acidification are priorities. The damage is the close proximity of large populations to the contaminants. One in four U.S. citizens lives within four miles of a toxic waste. Four million one- to six-year-olds in the United States have levels of lead in their blod high enough to cause brain damage. Accidents are often linked to urban and industrial activities. The impact of such accidents can be very wide- spread if the substances permeate through food chains. Being a highly urbanized region, a very large number of people are potentially at risk. F. e. , it is estimated that more than 20 per cent of the European population is habitually exposed to stressful noise levels ( above 65 decibels ) from road traffic. Curitiba, a city of about 1.5 million people in south-east Brazil, as a model of sustainable urban environment. The European programmes of urban renewal and restructuring.


Environmental issues in cities of the developing world.

The analysis of environmental issues in cities of Russia.

The cities of the Eastern Europe and its problems.



The industrial revolution gave rise to serious environmental problems. The development of production and consumption can not be unlimited because of the intolerable environmental impact and the depletion of natural raw materials and energy resources. Industrial pollution does not originate only from industrial plants, but from the entire life-cycle of industrial products, i.e. also from raw material extraction, energy production, transportation , and from industrial products during use and after disposal. The North-Western Region receives industrial pollutants also from long-range transport from remote areas. The principle of life-cycle analysis is adopted as the basis for environmental impact assessment of industrial products. Also we have to view things from a broader perspective and look at ourselves and our life style as consumers.


The birth of the industrial economy.

The system study on the ecosystem and the material economy.The dilemma of industrial world.

Distribution of environmental loads during the life-cycle of a washing machine.


It has been estimated that 50000-100000 substances are being used in the various sectors of our industrial Society. The environmental distribution and fate, as well as the biological effects of a substance are determined by chemical structure of substances. Not all of them are dangerous. The hazardous substance which is only slowly broken down, chemically or biologically, will remain in the ecosystem for a long time and can be distributed far from its source has strong persistency. The substances with high lipophilicity can easily penetrate cell membranes and accumulate in organisms, particularly in their fatty tissues. The toxicity of a chemical substances makes it hazardous to the environment , at some concentration level ( acute toxicity - lethal effect and chronic one ) . The effect of a chemical depends on the concentration of the substance in the environment and on the duration of its exposure to the environment. Exposure to the environment is further complicated by the fact that the inputs are of varying duration ( from minutes to months) and concentration ( from 0 to 100 %), and because of the varying frequency of exposure.

The ultimate fate of a chemical also depends on the properties of the affected ecosystem and its capacity to resist or modify the impact of pollutants ( salinity, temperature, oxygen content, nutrient content, humic substances , occurrence of other pollutants, properties of the biotic community concerned, etc.). The Finnish Bay, Ladozhskoye the Lake, and the inner rivers and streams are characterized by a great variety of physical, chemical and biological gradients.


The study of hazardous substances related to differnt industries.

The analysis of hunam health toxicity trends in some regions.

Global toxic emissions from manufacturing by sector.


Too many pollutants disturb the ecosystem coming from 1) point sources on land or at sea (e.g., industrial plants, power plants, waste disposal sites, waste water treatment plants) or from diffuse, 2) non-point sources through rivers or land run-offs (e.g., agricultural pollution, domestic waste and traffic). The North-Western Region also receives pollution from 3) long-range air transport from the British Isles, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, and even from more remote regions.

The structure of industry is rather different in different regions. The development of industry has been governed by the availability of natural raw materials. In Saint-Petersburg region the chemical , fertilizers, pulp and paper industries, and power plants constitute the more important branches. Many industrial plants are technologically outdated, and need to be rebuilt to meet the present environmental demands. Although consumption per person is relatively low in Former Soviet Union , there too problems exist with waste handling.

DISTRIBUTION OF CHEMICALS is a global problem , and not only local one. Direct emission of heavy metals from industrial plants have been greatly decreased over the last two decades. In spite of this fact, the levels of mercury and cadmium are still on the rise, because of increased long-range air transport and leakage's from diffuse sources. The emission of toxic pollutants is not only a local problem but rather, a global one. The pollutants are normally distributed among several media ( water, sediments, biota, and air), and the relative concentration levels in the different media can differ a great deal depending on the physico-chemical characteristics of the chemical involved, and on the prevailing conditions of the environment. In northwestern Europe the prevailing winds blow northwards from regions near the equator. When the air is cooled down in the northern regions, the organic pollutants condense and are either deposited directly onto the ground or into the sea , or are washed out by rain. An increasing amount of toxic chemicals will be delivered to the cold polar zones, where they are less mobile and more persistent.

This is a big concern today in northern parts of Russia and Europe.


Definition of an air "pollutant". How do the artificial contributions of artificial substances to the air compare to those from natural sources?

The Clean Air Act and its consequences.

The examples of transboundary pollution.

The examples of industry world structures and connected environmental issues.



The load of air-borne pollutants is higher in the part with the denser population and the higher degree of industrialization. Data on individual chemicals are insufficient. National statistics cover just a limited number of chemicals and a great deal of information is kept confidential. The most reliable data for exposure analyses have been collected on new chemicals to be registered, and on high production volume chemicals. The most difficult problem is still to be found in the huge emissions from diffuse non-point sources. These are extremely difficult to monitor and are, therefore, largely unknown. The city of St.Petersburg with its five millions inhabitants is a major source of pollution. The air pollution is determined of emission from about 1000 enterprises, energy production systems and traffic. The total emission of chemicals into the atmosphere has been estimated to be as high as 470000 tonnes/year, i.e. over 1000000 kg each day in St. Petersburg area. . Most ( approx. 60 % ) of the emission originate from traffic and some 32% from various industrial activities.

Combustion for energy production and waste incineration are two major sources of atmospheric pollution. Most of the total energy production today is based on combustion of organic fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas, wood, and peat, and there is no reason to believe that the situation will change markedly in the near future. Combustion emissions which have received the most attention in recent years include carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and various oxides of nitrogen. Carbon dioxide has a special status in this respect.

It is not possible to avoid the emission of carbon dioxide and still get an excess of energy. On the other hand it creates the greenhouse effect in global climate. Sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides are key contributors to the acidification. In many sensitive lakes the acidification has become severe. There are also secondary problems. The addition of acid rain to the drainage area may release metals like copper, zinc, lead, cadmium, and aluminum from the soil. The lower the buffering capacity of the soil and watersources, the sooner the effect of acidification will be noticed. Geography of acid deposition, its effects on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, human health, materials. In addition to sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides, several organic compounds and heavy metals are formed or released in the combustion process, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated organic compounds ( e.g. dioxins ), and mercury being a few notorious examples. In theory, all kinds of fuel can be combusted in such a way that no harmful by-products are released. It is only a question of selecting the correct burning conditions and cleaning techniques. On the other hand, the reverse is true: even the cleanest organic fuel (natural gas) can produce substantial amounts of harmful by-product if the burning conditions are not adequate. The problem is primarily an economical one and not just a technical one.


The calculations on air quality standards.

Air quality in Russian cities with focus on St-Petersburg and its region.

The calculations of the rate of emission of perticaulates from a power plant.

8. ENERGY PRODUCTION. The levels of impacts on the global environment: global climate change, acid rain, transboundary pollution from motor vehicles. Energy resources. Exponential Growth and Resource Depletion.

Renewable and non-renewable energy sources. The future for renewable energy. Energy efficiency and conservation.Home energy conservation and heat-transfer control. Building mateials. Impact of enrgy conservation measures. Solar energy. Energy from fossil fuels. Global warming and waste heat. Electric power plants.

The profit and disadvantages of nuclear power use. Nuclear waste problems. Damaging effects of nuclear power accidents. The strictest controls and regulations of nuclear power industry and alternative energy production. Geothermal energy. Economic and environmental considerations.


The renewable and non-renewable sources used worldwide.

Energy in Developing Countries Assignment.

The calcaulations of energy conversion effisiencies.


ENVIRONMENTAL DISTURBANCE. Transportation is necessary in our industrial Society. It is used to deliver raw materials to industrial plants, intermediate products to final processing , products to consumers, and consumed products to waste disposal sites or to reprocessing plants. In addition people travel more and more both for work and for leisure purposes. Most transport vehicles are powered by the combustion of oil products. Also electrical vehicle, such as trains, get most of their power from the burning of fuels. Thus, the direct pollution from traffic is similar to that of combustion in general. There are vast differences in the sulfur content of various oil fuels. The heavy burning oil used in large cargo and passenger ships contains a lot more sulfur than the diesel oil used in diesel vehicles and the light burning oil that is used in some ships. Even less sulfur is present in the gasoline used in smaller cars and boats. On the other hand, high octane gasoline contains lead compounds. Unfortunately, in Russia the most of cars are old with fuel heavy contaminated the environment. Also the transportation creates the destruction of natural landscape.

The summary of major environmental effects of transport:

LAND - Use and wastage of land and its associated ecosystems; Excavation and use of minerals for road construction; Generation of solid waste as vehicles are withdrawn from use; BIOSPHERIC: Introduction of immigrant species to new environments; Barriers to migration of species; ATMOSPHERIC - Emissions of greenhouse gases, particulates, fuel and fuel additives; Noise and vibrations; HYDROLOGICAL - Contamination of surface and groundwater from surface runoff and spillages of petrol and oil and transported substances; Modifications of hydrological regimes during construction of roads, ports, canals and airports. Transport policy and new technologies - ways for solution of environmental issues.


The study on the differences in the compounds of various fuels.

Pipeline poluitics in the former Soviet Union.

Passenger transportation services in Sweden.


The classification and estimates of mined elements and compounds. The dynamics of changing resources. Global and regional reserves of minerals. Environmental problems associated with different type of mining operation: Habitat destruction, dump failure/erosion, subsidence, water pollution, air pollution, noise, air/blast/ground vibration, visual intrusion dereliction. Rehabilitation and reduction of mining damage.


Examples of effects of mining operation on different society types. The mining in the Cetral Europe triangle region and human health. Coal production and consumption patterns.

11. THE SPECIFICITY OF THE PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY. The pulp and paper industry constitutes a major emission source of chlorinated organic pollutants. There are several pulp and paper mills at Ladozhskoye the Lake ( i.e., Syasstroy, Vyborg). The chlorinated by-products of the bleaching process are widely dispersed in receiving waters. In addition , large quantities of chlorinated compounds are deposited in sediments, both in nearby of pulp mills and further out. In recent years pre-bleaching with oxygen is utilized in order to reduce the amount of chlorine used later in process. Aerated lagoons, ultrafiltration, and activated sludge plants are examples of treatment stages which are increasingly applied in order to reduce the concentrations of chlorinated organic in the waste waters leaving pulp mills. This useful experience should be applied in russian industry. The concentrations of chlorinated organic substances show a decreasing trend. Seminar.

The environmental issues of the pulp and paper industry in St-Petersburg region.

The industry development rates and trends of chlorinated organic substances.

Complex network of material demands and environmental impacts.


PETERSBURG REGION. The waste waters from cities and villages as well as from industrial plants are poorly purified or not purified at all. St. Petersburg, the largest city in the region with some 5 million inhabitants, can illustrate this problem. The Neva river, passing through the city, carries some 70-75 km3 per year of water from Lake Ladoga, itself polluted by e.g. several pulp and paper industries. The amounts retracted to the city from the river by water works, by industries and by water for energy production, i.e. 1,5- 2,5 %, of the total Neva discharge, or some 600 liters per day per person. In general the water delivered to households is not safe; boiling is required before it can be used for drinking. Of the water emitted to the river from the city only about two thirds has passed through a wastewater treatment plant. The total water consumption in St.Petersburg is about 600 l per person and day. Approximately 400 l per person and day is used for housekeeping and municipal services, and less than 200 l per person and day for industrial purposes through the common water supply network. But due to the poor condition of the network ( old pipes, leakages, bad connections, etc.) about 20-25% of the total amount of water produced is lost every day. The first waste water treatment plant was opened up in 1978 in St.Petersburg and then on a very minor scale. In 1980 only 100 million m3 yearly (280000 m3 per day) of the wastewater of the city was undergoing biological treatment. In the 1980s a 25 km-long dam across the Gulf of Finland was built to protect St.Petersburg from being flooded from the sea. Unfortunately, the dam stops water from the estuary of the river Neva from mixing with that of the gulf, making the already polluted water outside St.Petersburg even more contaminated. The dam was stopped in the autumn of 1990 when only 400 meters remained to be built and is now a key issue how to improve the ecological effect. Big dams - all over the world, benefits and environmental impacts.


End-of-pipe treatment of air and water emissions.

Types of water treatment plants.

Fish diversity and water pollution levels.


The equipment for weather monitoring and for analysis of pollutants by different types of spectrophotometer, spectrometer, gasoanalyzor, mass-spectrometer etc. The analysis of the environmental charts, maps and atlases on different kinds of pollution for world, Europe, and large industrial centers in North-Western Region.


Make a table of air pollution control devices and the types of pollutants they can remove from stack gases.

Pollution control in the Eastern Europe.

Pollution control in the US.


The structure of industrial production and consumption must be changed all over the industrialized world. It should be based on results of environmental life-cycle analyses of industrial branches as well as single products. Industry in Russia needs a fundamental renewal, not merely new cleaning technology. Only technologically developed and economically competitive industrial plants can manage their environmental problems. Incentives must be given, or pressure exerted to enable changes, and this is done only by legislation and by use of economic instruments. It is necessary to decrease the amount of consumer waste by more effective means of collection, sorting, and recycling of waste products, or by environmentally sound waste destruction. Ecological problems cannot be detected without environmental monitoring, using either chemical or biological techniques. Ecologists in cooperation with other scientists play a key role in detecting and evaluating environmental problems. In addition , they have to set priorities and to point out the need for change in such a way that the message gets through to politicians and economists, as well as to the public. By changing their consumption pattern ordinary consumers can strongly influence industry. The solutions are: new raw materials, new process principles, less harmful products, better process control and emission cleaning system.


Definition of sustainable development. The differences of sustainability in rapidly and slowly developing systems.

Agenda for chnage. Regional scenarious.

The comparative analysis of the economics of environmental protection and prevention.

Case studies:

  • The analysis of cities problems in developed and developing countries.
  • Energy in ...(country by choice).
  • Usage of alternative energy in ...(country by choice).
  • Interannual changes in average pH of precipitation in ...(country by choice).
  • Oil spills and its effects.
  • Examples of low-cost modifications to industrial processes.
  • Examples of profitable substitution in industrial processes.
  • A system case study on mercury flows.
  • The environmental monitoring changes in Russia and Eastern Europe.
  • Future scenarious for industry development in ...(country by choice).

Reading list: books are available at the department of Climatology and Environmental Monitoring:

  • Geography. Ecology. Culture. Introduction to geoecology. K.M. Pyetrov, A.I. Zhirov. St- Petersburg State University. St-Petersburg. 1995. 126 p.
  • Geoecology. Land planning. K.M. Pyetrov. St-Petersburg State University. St- Petersburg. 1994. 176 p.
  • The basis of geoecology. Ed. by V.G. Morachevsky.St-Petersburg State University. St- Petersburg. 1994. 226 p.
  • Ethnogenesis and Earth biosphere. Gumilyev L.N. Leningrad. 1990.
  • Russia In Environmental Crisis. K.S. Losev, V.G. Gorshkov, K.Ya. Kondratjev, V.M. Kotlyakov, M.Ch. Zalikhanov, V.I. Danilov-Danil'yan, I.T. Gavrilov, G.N. Golubev, V.S. Revyakin, B.Ph.Grakovich. Moscow. 1993.348 p.
  • The Air Quality In the Cities of Russia. Main Geophysical Observatory. St-Petersburg. 1996. 16 p.
  • The Report of Environment Situation in St-Petersburg.St-Petersburg. 1999.300 p.
  • Meteorology and Hydrology. Issues.
  • Coping with Crisis in Eastern Europe's Environment. Ed. by J. Alcamo. The Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. 1992. UK, USA. 325 p.
  • The Earth Summit's. Agenda for Change. A plain Language Version of Agenda 21 and the other Rio Agreements. Publ. by the Centre for Our Common Future. Wr. by M. Keating. 1993. Geneva, Switzerland. 70 p.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment . Theory and Practice. Ed. by Peter Wathern. Routledge. London, New York, 1992. 332p.
  • Environmental Education in the 21st Century. Theory, Practice, Progress and Promise. Joy A. Palmer. Routledge. London, New York. 1998. 284 p.
  • Strategy For Sustainable Development. Proposals For a Swedish Programme. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Printus AB, Stockholm. 1994. 282 p.
  • Expanding Environmental Perspectives. Ed. by L.J. Lundgren, L.J. Nilsson & P.Schlyter. Lund University Press.1995. 288 p.
  • Materials Concerns. Pollution, Profit and Quality of Life. T. Jackson. Routledge.London & New York. 1996. 218 p.
  • The Global Casino. An Introduction to Environmental Issues. Nick Middleton. ARNOLD, London, New York, Sydney, Auckland. 1997. 332 p.
  • Energy. Its use and the environment. Roger A. Hinrichs. 1996.
  • The Kyoto Protocol. Michael Grubb, Christian Vrolijk, Duncan Brack. 1999.
  • The Global Climate System Review. Dec. 93- May 96. World Meteorological Organization.No.856. 1998. 95 p.
  • Global Warming. P. Brown. Blandford. 1996. London . UK. 235 p.
  • The Human Impact Reader. Readings and Case Studies. Ed. by Andrew Goudie. 1997.
  • Environmental Physics. Egbert Boeker and Rienk van Grondelle.
  • Collins. Longman. Student Atlas. 1997.
  • Annual Report on Pesticides Amount in the Environment of the USSR. - Book 1 and 2.- Obninsk1991.- 298 p.
  • The Environmental Atlas of Saint-Petersburg. 1997.

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