Imperial College London

Izhar H. Shah, Ph.D.

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Associate



izhar.s Website




436Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

17 results found

Earl C, Shah IH, Cook S, Cheeseman CRet al., 2022, Environmental sustainability and supply resillience of cobalt, Sustainability, Vol: 14, Pages: 4124-4124, ISSN: 2071-1050

Cobalt (Co) is an essential metal for the development of energy-transition technologies, decarbonising transportation, achieving several sustainable development goals, and facilitating a future net zero transition. However, the supply of Co is prone to severe fluctuation, disruption, and price instabilities. This review aims to identify the future evolution of Co supply through technologically resilient and environmentally sustainable pathways. The work shows that advances in both primary and secondary sources, Co mining methods and recycling systems are yet to be fully optimised. Moreover, responsible sourcing from both large mines and small artisanal mines will be necessary for a resilient Co supply. Regulatory approaches may increase transparency, support local mining communities, and improve secondary Co recovery. Novel Co supply options, such as deep-sea mining and bio-mining of tailings, are associated with major techno-economic and environmental issues. However, a circular economy, keeping Co in the economic loop for as long as possible, is yet to be optimised at both regional and global scales. To achieve environmental sustainability of Co, economic incentives, regulatory push, and improved public perception are required to drive product innovation and design for circularity. Although the complexity of Co recycling, due to lack of standardisation of design and chemistry in batteries, is an impediment, a sustainable net zero transition using Co will only be possible if a reliable primary supply and a circular secondary supply are established

Journal article

Huong T-T, Dong L, Shah I-H, Park H-Set al., 2021, Exploring the sustainability of resource flow and productivity transition in Vietnam from 1978 to 2017: MFA and DEA-based Malmquist productivity index approach, Sustainability, Vol: 13, Pages: 1-26, ISSN: 2071-1050

Resource efficiency is a primary policy goal in many developing countries that are resources suppliers. This study performed a first try to explore the resource productivity and efficiency of an emerging world factory, Vietnam, by applying an improved economy-wide material flow analysis (MFA) integrated with a data envelopment analysis (DEA)-based Malmquist productivity index approach (MDEA). Resource flows from 1978 to 2017, and the corresponding utilization efficiency considering the unexpected environmental outputs, as well as productivity were explored in depth. The results highlighted a positive correlation between rapid growth among domestic material consumption (DMC), GDP per capita, and material intensity (DMC/capita) in Vietnam during the last four decades. Meanwhile, the resource productivity (USD/DMC) increased from 82.4 USD/ton to 125 USD/ton (2017), presenting a much slower pace than that of Japan and China. The IPAT-based decomposition analysis highlighted the contribution of rising affluence (94%) and population (21%) to the rapid growing DMC, while the technology factor (DMC/GDP) needed to be further enhanced. Finally, the total factor productivity, when comparing between Vietnam, China, South Korea, and Japan, showed that, on the one hand, the Vietnamese economy has strongly been changed in a positive direction with EFFCH 1.061 and TECHCH 1.046 during the last four decades. One the other hand, Vietnam is still material intensive and has low material productivity. Our analytical results recommend Vietnam to strengthen technology innovation and aim for efficiency enhancement through closely coordinated policies on sustainable resource consumption, carbon reduction, and economic growth, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 (SDGs 2030).

Journal article

Shrestha K, Hussain Shah I, Liu Z, Park H-Set al., 2021, Regional sustainability assessment using emergy accounting approach: The case of Nepal in South Asia, Environmental Engineering Research, Vol: 27, Pages: 210329-0, ISSN: 1226-1025

Emergy accounting is an environmental assessment tool that accounts for all the energy pathways in production systems. In this regard, the System Thinking Experimental Learning Laboratory Animation (STELLA) with emergy model are used for a retrospective and prospective assessments. Nepal, a country having a relatively small economy but with faster recent growth as well as its geographical position and potentially high vulnerability to climate change was analyzed as a case study using data for 1998–2015 (retrospective) and 2015–2040 (prospective). As per our results, the rising use of non-renewable resources and decreasing use of locally extracted materials caused higher environmental load and reduced emergy sustainability scores. In addition, the effect of natural disasters, such as the Gorkha earthquake, on environmental performance of Nepal was analyzed by emergy accounting. Futuristic emergy analysis for 2015–2040 showed that total and non-renewable emergy would rise considerably, and the emergy sustainability index could further decrease by 33%. Based on these findings, small yet rapidly growing economies, such as Nepal, could improve their environmental management by reducing the material trade deficit (i.e., by increasing domestic material extraction and reducing imports of non-renewable resources), minimizing the use of non-renewables, improving soil fertility, and promoting renewable resource consumption.

Journal article

Huong TT, Shah IH, 2021, Dynamics of economy-wide resource flow and consumption in China, South Korea, and Vietnam-a pan-regional analysis, ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, Vol: 193, ISSN: 0167-6369

Journal article

Shrestha K, Shah IH, Liu Z, Park H-Set al., 2021, Efficiency assessment in co-production systems based on modified emergy accounting approach, Ecological Indicators, Vol: 126, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 1470-160X

Emergy accounting in a system with co-production branch is of great scientific interest since each branch corresponds to a different transformity value. In previous studies, limitations associated with emergy accounting in co-production systems have been highlighted where some “inputs” have to be added to obtain a “useful” product from a “co-product” – giving rise to inaccuracies in the emergy accounting process. To address these methodological aspects of emergy assessment in co-production systems, a modified physical quantity method (MPQM) – that goes in line with the standard emergy algebra – has been proposed in order to provide a different perspective for accounting co-products efficiency. The robustness of MPQM has been verified by taking the case study of Eucalyptus pulp production and a comparison is made against conventional and energy/exergy weighting methods. As per the results, MPQM was able to provide accurate results for co-production systems as compared with other emergy accounting methods. However, the case of Eucalyptus pulp production was found to be “inefficient” following the MPQM approach. These findings are expected to strengthen the methodological aspects of emergy accounting based on the physical quantity criterion.

Journal article

Shah IH, 2021, The metabolic transition of material use and carbon emissions in economically growing Asia: Evidence from 1971 to 2016, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Vol: 28, Pages: 2707-2718, ISSN: 0944-1344

Journal article

Huong TT, Shah IH, Park H-S, 2021, Decarbonization of Vietnam’s economy: decomposing the drivers for a low-carbon growth, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Vol: 28, Pages: 518-529, ISSN: 0944-1344

Journal article

Shah IH, Park H-S, 2020, Chronological change of resource metabolism and decarbonization patterns in Pakistan: Perspectives from a typical developing country, JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, Vol: 25, Pages: 144-161, ISSN: 1088-1980

Journal article

Shah IH, Dong L, Park H-S, 2020, Tracking urban sustainability transition: An eco-efficiency analysis on eco-industrial development in Ulsan, Korea, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol: 262, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 0959-6526

The ecologically efficient transformation of natural resources into economic output is a critical pathway to achieve urban and industrial sustainability. Eco-efficiency approach offers an effective tool to uncover both the status and trends of such a transformation. This paper applied a modified eco-efficiency approach in combination with data envelopment analysis, to analyze the sustainability transition of Ulsan metropolis, Korea, under a fifteen years’ promotion (2000–2015) of eco-industrial development (EID). In the design for analysis, eco-efficiency change – both at industrial park level and the regional level – was investigated to analyze whether eco-efficiency improvements at the park level coincide with those at the regional level. Our main findings were highlighted as: At the regional level, from 2000 to 2015, eco-efficiency of industrial waste generation and energy use has improved by 35.0% and 21.4%, respectively, driven by a significant reduction in waste and energy intensities attributable to technological improvements (EID promotion and urban-industrial symbiosis). At the industrial park/complex level, two national eco-industrial parks (EIPs) in Ulsan showed highest eco-efficiency (pure technical efficiency was 1.0) in analytical years, compared with nine regional industrial complexes. At both levels of analysis, EIPs stood out as eco-efficient and their contribution to urban sustainability transition was overwhelming. Moreover, EIP implementation and urban-industrial symbiosis in Ulsan were identified as the major drivers of regional EID policy. Based on our critical findings, EID was highlighted as a preventative and regenerative approach to improve eco-efficiency at the regional and industrial park level, enlightening other regional and local initiatives towards urban sustainability.

Journal article

Taka GN, Huong TT, Shah IH, Park H-Set al., 2020, Determinants of energy-based CO2 emissions in Ethiopia: a decomposition analysis from 1990 to 2017, Sustainability, Vol: 12, Pages: 4175-4175, ISSN: 2071-1050

Ethiopia, among the fastest growing economies worldwide, is witnessing rapid urbanization and industrialization that is fueled by greater energy consumption and high levels of CO2 emissions. Currently, Ethiopia is the third largest CO2 emitter in East Africa, yet no comprehensive study has characterized the major drivers of economy-wide CO2 emissions. This paper examines the energy-related CO2 emissions in Ethiopia, and their driving forces between 1990 and 2017 using Kaya identity combined with Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) decomposition approach. Main findings reveal that energy-based CO2 emissions have been strongly driven by the economic effect (52%), population effect (43%), and fossil fuel mix effect (40%) while the role of emission intensity effect (14%) was less pronounced during the study period. At the same time, energy intensity improvements have slowed down the growth of CO2 emissions by 49% indicating significant progress towards reduced energy per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) during 1990-2017. Nonetheless, for Ethiopia to achieve its 2030 targets of low-carbon economy, further improvements through reduced emission intensity (in the industrial sector) and fossil fuel share (in the national energy mix) are recommended. Energy intensity could be further improved by technological innovation and promotion of energy-frugal industries.

Journal article

Shah I, Bahera SK, Rene ER, Park H-Set al., 2020, Integration of biorefineries for waste valorization in Ulsan Eco-Industrial Park, Korea, Waste Biorefinery - Integrating Biorefineries for Waste Valorisation, Editors: Bhaskar, Pandey, Rene, Tsang, Publisher: Elsevier B.V., Pages: 659-678

This chapter discusses the integration of biorefineries for waste valorization in Ulsan Eco-Industrial Park (EIP), Korea. The overview of the Korean EIP model and role of the Ulsan EIP program is presented to contextualize the industrial and urban metabolism within the city. The Ulsan EIP program, a part of the national EIP project, has commercialized 235 projects involving 596 companies and created 975 jobs, and presently implementing 34 projects involving 123 companies with the potential of 195 job creation. Eco-industrial development in Ulsan has resulted in significant progress toward waste valorization, material efficiency, resource recovery, and air emission mitigation along with economic and social benefits. The incorporation of “research and development into business” model has provided multiple resource exchange opportunities and driven considerable private investment. Several successful case studies such as landfill gas recovery from the retrofitted landfills, conversion of food waste and sewage sludge to biogas, and industrial symbiosis between a paper mill and zinc smelter have been demonstrated as a pathway toward integrated biorefineries.

Book chapter

Shah IH, Dong L, Park H-S, 2020, Characterization of resource consumption and efficiency trends in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan: Economy-wide biotic and abiotic material flow accounting from 1978 to 2017, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol: 250, Pages: 119554-119554, ISSN: 0959-6526

Journal article

Jamal Y, Shah IH, Park H-S, 2019, Mono-alkyl esters (biodiesel) production from wastewater sludge by esterification, Biofuels, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 1759-7269

Journal article

Venkatesan M, Zaib Q, Shah IH, Park HSet al., 2019, Optimum utilization of waste foundry sand and fly ash for geopolymer concrete synthesis using D-optimal mixture design of experiments, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Vol: 148, Pages: 114-123, ISSN: 0921-3449

Journal article

Shah IH, Dawood UF, Jalil UA, Adnan Yet al., 2019, Climate co-benefits of alternate strategies for tourist transportation: The case of Murree Hills in Pakistan, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Vol: 26, Pages: 13263-13274, ISSN: 0944-1344

Journal article

Shah IH, Park H-S, 2019, Applying the Korean EIP program for Sustainability and Natural Resource Management: Industrial Synergies under CPEC, 5th International Conference on Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (EESD), Publisher: AMER INST PHYSICS, ISSN: 0094-243X

Conference paper

Shah IH, Zeeshan M, 2016, Estimation of light duty vehicle emissions in Islamabad and climate co-benefits of improved emission standards implementation, ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT, Vol: 127, Pages: 236-243, ISSN: 1352-2310

Journal article

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