Analysis of industrial symbiosis case studies and its potential in Saudi Arabia

Zaid Ahsan Khan, Saidur R. Chowdhury, Bijoy Mitra, Mohammad Sayem Mozumder, Alaeldeen Ibrahim Elhaj, Babatunde A. Salami, Muhammad Muhitur Rahman, Syed Masiur Rahman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Industrial symbiosis (IS) involves sharing waste, by-products, heat, and logistics streams. Participating entities are benefitted by reducing resource utilization and waste disposal cost, improving reuse, and creating job opportunities. Hence, countries have used it to ensure clean and sustainable economic growth. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has initiated a few IS-related approaches that focus mainly on the power sector. However, the role of IS in Saudi industries is still limited, and there is significant potential for the enhancement of the major sectors, including oil and gas, petrochemicals, iron and steel, power generation, desalination, cement, and paper and pulp industries. This study investigated 11 successful IS cases and proposed a symbiotic exchange framework. A roadmap for IS implementation is also developed by considering the enablers and the barriers and by outlining the framework, initial steps, and policy levels. However, to deploy IS activities in KSA, technological, economic, and regulatory obstacles must be overcome and the enablers should be enhanced to conserve resources, reduce environmental impacts, and improve social well-being. The future studies should focus on unique challenges of the Kingdom including availability of energy resources at low price, dependency on fossil-fuels, dispersed development, limited availability of water resources, and limited R&D focus on IS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135536
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals ( KFUPM ), Saudi Arabia for conducting this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Strategy and Management


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