Sustainability & Environment

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AIChE Credential for Sustainability Professionals

The AIChE Institute for Sustainability (IfS) is launching a program that offers engineers and other qualified professionals a specialized Credential in sustainability. The IfS is well positioned to establish a baseline definition of what Sustainability entails, as well as to establish a Body of Knowledge (BOK) in the field of sustainability.

Institute for Sustainability (IfS)

IfS is an umbrella organization encompassing a broad spectrum of activities related to sustainability. It has three sub-entities: the Sustainable Engineering Forum (SEF), the Center for Sustainable Technology Practices (CSTP), and the Youth Council on Sustainability Science and Technology (YCOSST). It also provides oversight to the AIChE Sustainability Index (sm).

Environmental Division (ENV)

The ENV division provides relevant programs on current environmental topics and non-confidential information concerning all aspects of environmental activity. The division promotes publication of papers of interest to chemical engineers in environmental activities as well as coordinates the Institute’s activities with other related societies.

Knock, Knock. Who’s There? The EPA Inspector!

July
2004
Environmental Management
Lee D. Hoffman ,  Ronald W. Zdrojeski
Preparation and training can help minimize your facility’s — and your own — vulnerability to criminal prosecution for environmental violations.

Mitigating Global Climate Change Through Power-Generation Technology

November
2007
Critical Issues
Frank Princiotta
With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change set to release its Fourth Assessment Synthesis Report later this month, now is a good time for chemical engineers to take a look at this topic. This article provides a succinct integration of...

Simplify Wastewater Treatment Process Design

January
2006
Environmental Management
Elli Maria Barampouti, Sofia Mai, Apostolos Vlyssides
Unlike time-consuming conventional methods, this approach to designing a dissolved air flotation (DAF) plant requires only the physical characteristics of the flocs — their size and density, flowrate and temperature.

Preparing an Air Emissions Inventory

November
2003
Environmental Management
Marc Karell
To keep track of its emissions and its regulatory compliance status, a plant must perform a thorough, process-by-process emissions inventory.

Designing a Scrubber to Control Emergency Releases

July
2005
Environmental Management
Jeffrey Michael Forde, Joseph W. Hower., Anne McQueen, Sunil Ojha
Here are guidelines for determining the scope of the control system, sizing the enclosure, and specifying the scrubber design.

Nanomaterials: What are the Environmental and Health Impacts?

December
2008
Critical Issues
Nastassja Lewinski
As with previous emerging technologies, there have been uncertainties and concerns about the environmental and health risks associated with nanotechnology. This article reviews some of the ongoing efforts to better understand and characterize...

Reduce Business Risk with a CMS

October
2006
Environmental Management
Robert F. Boland
A compliance management system (CMS) helps companies meet regulatory reporting requirements, improve environmental performance, reduce environmental compliance costs, and increase organizational efficiency. Here's a run-down of what to look for when...

Evaluating Supply Chain Sustainability

May
2010
Environmental Management
Joseph Fiksel
Lifecycle analysis (LCA) techniques can be used to quantify the environmental performance of a product, process, or service. This article describes several LCA methods and their application to supply chains.

Apply Process Integration to Environmental Impact Assessment

February
2009
Environmental Management
Ahmed Abdel-Wahab, Hassan E. Alfadala, Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi, Patrick Linke, Eva M. Lovelady
This approach provides valuable insights early in the design process and systematizes the design effort, while reconciling process objectives with environmental constraints.

Use Periodic Checks to Demonstrate Title V Compliance

February
2004
Environmental Management
Colleen McCarthy, John M. Beath
This hybrid technique of determining whether a plant is meeting its regulatory requirements helps overcome the pitfalls of action-tracking and compliance auditing.

Predesign for Pollution Prevention and Control

June
2007
Environmental Management
Gael D. Ulrich, Palligarnai T. Vasudevan
A plant's intrinsic cleanliness is determined during the predesign stage. This article provides guidance for making critical decisions during preliminary design.

Targeting Material Reuse via Property Integration

August
2005
Environmental Management
Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi, Vasiliki Kazantzi
Material reuse is often governed by the functionalities of the process streams. This new property-based technique creates a pinch diagram that identifies targets for the minimum use of fresh resources and waste discharge, and the maximum integration...

Retrofit Water Systems the SHARPS Way

November
2006
Environmental Management
Sharifah Rafidah Wan Alwi, Zainuddin A. Manan, Norrazi Misran, Mohd Hisham Samingin
Use the Systematic Hierarchical Approach for Resilient Process Screening (SHARPS) technique to quickly and systematically isolate cost-effective and affordable water management options prior to design.

Get the Most for Your Emissions Testing Buck

November
2004
Environmental Management
Robert M. Neimeier
A successful emissions testing program involves understanding the purpose of the testing, preparing a request for proposal, eveloping a protocol and entrusting the job with the right person.

Outsourcing Environmental Compliance

October
2002
Environmental Management
Stephen W. Blocki
Save money and reduce risks by contracting responsibility for maintaining compliance to a pollution-abatement expert.

Who Done It? The ABCs of Environmental Forensics

March
2006
Environmental Management
Jeffrey Bolin, Matthew Schroeder, Michael Sklash
These tools and techniques can be used to make sense of soil or groundwater contamination - where it came from, who is responsible for it, and how to fairly allocate the costs to clean it up.

Improve Your Air Emissions Estimates

May
2009
Environmental Management
Jeffrey H. Siegell
Process plants must report emissions from an increasing number of sources. Use these pointers to prepare more-representative emissions inventories.

Preparing for GHG Inventory Verification

April
2004
Environmental Management
- Lauren M. Sandler, James T. Wintergreen
To ensure that the greenhouse gas inventory is accurate and complete, prepare for eventual third-party verification during the planning and data collection stages.

Discussing Climate-Change Challenges

July
2007
News Feature
Matthew McKeon-Slattery
The U.S. is still at odds with other developed nations when it comes to a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the G8 Summit, President Bush opposed a pact advocated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for CO2 emissions to be...

Improve Catalytic Oxidizer Operation

January
2007
Environmental Management
John C. Bonacci
A catalyst guard bed is a simple, low-cost modification that reduces catalyst-replacement costs, saves natural gas and cuts energy expenses.

Measuring and Communicating Sustainability through Eco-Efficiency Analysis

December
2010
Environmental Management
Peter Saling, Bruce W. Uhlman
Eco-efficiency analysis promotes an understanding of the economic and environmental trade-offs over products’ lifecycles, and supports informed, strategic decision-making in all areas of a business, from spurring innovative product development to...

Dealing with Climate Change at the Local Level

February
2008
Opinion
Paul A. Jennings
Whatever problems may be caused by climate change, engineers will be expected to solve them.Now is the time to begin addressing the issues at the local and regional scale.

Industrial-Scale Flare Testing

May
2006
Environmental Management
Charles Baukal, Mahmoud Fleifil, Jianhui Hong, Robert Schwartz
Advanced flare testing at full scale can help to ensure that the system operates as designed. This article explains what's involved and the parameters that should be measured and evaluated to demonstrate performance, reliability and safety.

What Does It Mean To Be Green?

September
2009
Opinion
Phillip E. Savage, P.E.
Sustainability encompasses green chemistry and green engineering, among other concepts. This article explores some of the principles of sustainability and provides a framework for developing a lifecycle approach to chemical engineering.

Collect and Destroy Emissions Safely

May
2004
Environmental Management
Tony Ennis
Vent collection and destruction systems are complex, and their safety depends on the proper integration of the discrete elements. This article provides guidance on how to achieve that.

A Renewable Route to Propylene Glycol

August
2007
News Feature
Suzanne Shelley
Rapid expansion in biodiesel production has spurred a bumper crop of competing processes to turn byproduct glycerin into propylene glycol.

Ensure Consistent Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimates

September
2005
Environmental Management
Miriam Lev-On , Karin Ritter. Susann Nordrum
These techniques can be used to estimate and report GHG emissions from a wide variety of diverse sources, thereby increasing global consistency.

Think Outside the Box to Reduce Wastes

June
2003
Environmental Management
R. Bruce Hartman, Martin C. Welch
Use this audit procedure to evaluate the current performance of your process safety management processes as well as their future viability.

Prepare Now for REACH Compliance

March
2005
Environmental Management
Beth Sirull
Pending legislation would require companies that make or use chemicals in the European Union to register those substances.

Analyzing Equilibrium when Noncondensables Are Present

April
2008
Environmental Management
Allen Hatfield
With the simplifying assumption that all of the noncondensable gases exit via the vapor stream, material balances and equilibrium calculations can be used to determine the compositions of the emissions streams leaving a control device.

Right-Sizing Environmental Controls

June
2006
Environmental Management
E. Joseph Duckett
Size does matter - and bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to pollution control. It is more important to be the right size than the largest size.

Controlling Emissions During Cold Furnace Startup

February
2007
Environmental Management
Wes Bussman, Jianhui Hong, Charles E. Baukal Jr., Richard T. Waibel
High carbon monoxide emissions from a furnace while its temperature is being ramped up can exceed permit limits if appropriate measures are not taken. Here are a few suggestions.

Implementing an EHS Management Information System

May
2004
Information Technology
Jill Barson Gilbert
Information technology issues are just as important as business and environmental, health and safety considerations. Follow these ten tips to deply an effective EMIS with a positive return on investment.

Avoid Common Pitfalls When Using Henry's Law

September
2007
Environmental Management
Allan H. Harvey, Francis L. Smith
Here is practical guidance on the use of Henry's law in engineering calculations and how to account for the temperature dependence of the Henry's constant— which is often ignored but which can be crucial for accurate process design.

Understand the Fundamentals of Wastewater Treatment

October
2011
Back To Basics
Mukesh Doble, Venkatachalam Geetha
Wastewater treatment technologies range from membrane filtration to UV radiation to activated sludge. Compare their advantages and disadvantages to select the appropriate methods for your application.

Incorporating Sustainability into Chemical Engineering Education

January
2009
Special Section
David T. Allen, Braden R. Allenby, Cliff I. Davidson, Cynthia F. Murphy
This benchmarking study of the types of courses offered and the material being taught sheds light on what the engineering profession regards as sustainability.

How Sustainable are Your PSM Processes?

June
2003
Safety
R. Bruce Hartman, Martin C. Welch
Use this audit procedure to evaluate the current performance of your process safety management processes as well as their future viability.

Reduce Your Plant’s Water Footprint

April
2011
Critical Issues
David L. Nystuen
Water footprint reduction and water pollution prevention are integral to any environmental sustainability initiative. Use this rigorous, systematic process to conduct a baseline water assessment that integrates water pollution prevention and water...

Green Factories for Pharmaceuticals

January
2003
Special Section
Rita D'Aquino
A number of companies are honing techniques to produce a wide variety of pharmaceuticals, such as therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies in plants.

Use Cascade Analysis to Optimize Water Networks

July
2006
Environmental Management
Dominic Chwan Yee Foo, Zainuddin Abdul Manan, Yin Ling Tan
This numerical technique for identifying fresh water and wastewater targets eliminates the tedious and time-consuming steps of graphical targeting approaches. Use it to complement the graphical techniques in the design and retrofit of water networks.

Audit Your Emissions Inventory

January
2010
Environmental Management
Jeffrey H. Siegell
Some emissions reports include data that are based on faulty assumptions and methodologies. This article presents an effective approach to auditing your emissions inventory to maximize the representativeness of the reports you submit. <br>

Identification of Cleaner Production Improvement Opportunities

February, 2006
Regardless of its size or nature, every industry generates waste and is responsible for imple-menting the practices of pollution prevention and waste minimization in its day-to-day operations. Whether it's dirty water or toxic wastes, industrial pollution is all the same in one way: it reduces a...

Profiles in Flue Gas Desulfurization

January, 2000
As the need to control process emissions has increased, so have the number of FGD treatment and control strategies. The effectiveness of these treatments vary greatly, depending the types and levels of the materials, as well as the size of the facility. Profiles in Flue Gas Desulfurization will...
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