Waste Management: From Major Environmental Problem to Source of Materials and Energy

Originally delivered Jan 27, 2010
Developed by: AIChE
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Global economic development has been accompanied by the annual generation of billions of tons of solid wastes. Their disposal consumes land and currently results in nearly 4% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. This webinar discusses the principal means for dealing with what has become a major environmental issue.

In the hierarchy of waste management, recycling is the first priority, but even under the best circumstances, there remains a large fraction of solids that must be landfilled or processed in waste-to-energy (WTE) plants. The guiding principle for 'sustainable waste management' is that it should be based on science and best available technologies, and not on an easy-way-out that seems inexpensive now, but could be very costly in the near future.

This is the first in a 3-part series on 'Waste-to-Energy', co-partnered with the AIChE Sustainable Engineering Forum. Please note that each webinar in the series requires separate registration, and has been designed to function as both a standalone presentation and a component in the series. The other webinars in the series are An Integrated Waste Management System for a Sustainable Society, Burgeoning Prospects for Waste-to-Energy in the United States.



Marco Castaldi

Marco Castaldi was born in New York City and received his B.S. ChE (Magna cum Laude) from Manhattan College. His Ph.D. is in Chemical Engineering from UCLA and he has minors in Advanced Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics. Professor Castaldi has approximately 60 peer-reviewed research articles, 40 peer-reviewed conference papers, 3 book chapters and 11 patents in the fields of catalysis, combustion and gasification. Some of his research findings have been covered by The New York Times, The Observer, CNN, and other trade publications. Prior to his academic career Professor...Read more

Dr. Nickolas J. Themelis

Prof. Themelis obtained his B. Eng. and Ph.D. degrees from McGill University (Montreal, Canada). In the first part of his career he developed metallurgical processes for the extraction and refining of copper and other metals, including the Noranda Process that did away with the emission of sulphur to the atmosphere. Later, he was Vice President, Technology of Kennecott Corporation, the largest copper company in the world at that time. At Columbia University, he has been Chair of the School of Mines and, later, first Chair of the new Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. He is...Read more

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