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

AIChE Webinar
Originally delivered Jan 27, 2010

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.


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Dr. Nickolas J. Themelis

Dr. Nickolas J. Themelis obtained his B. Eng. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from McGill University. In the first part of his career, he was Associate Director of the Noranda Research Center in Montreal where he invented the Noranda continuous smelting and converting process that has been applied in several countries and has reduced sulphur emissions to the atmosphere by millions of tons.

In 1972-1980, Dr. Themelis directed the R&D of a major U.S. corporation (Kennecott). He then joined Columbia in 1980, was chairman of the Henry Krumb School of Mines, and founder of...

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