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.

The Road to Sustainability

June
2007
Special Section
Darlene Schuster
What are some of the resources available to support industry's implementation of sustainability?

Submitting Your First GHG Report

March
2010
Environmental Management
Kristine Baranski, Mary Ellen Ternes
This overview of EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting rule explains the regulation’s requirements and suggests strategies for compliance. It also provides insights regarding enforcement and confidential business information.

Special Section: Measuring Sustainability - Full 24-Page Supplement

January
2015
Special Section
Beth Beloff, Botond Bertok, Heriberto Cabezas, Kevin Chin, Calvin B. Cobb, Ferenc Friedler, István Heckl, Reed M. Izatt , Darlene Schuster, Dicksen Tanzil
Sustainability: What We Measure We Can Improve; Sustainability Trends in the Chemical Industry; Use the P-graph Framework to Design Supply Chains for Sustainability; Recovering Metals from Electronic Wastes

Benchmarking Sustainability

June
2007
Special Section
Darlene Schuster, Calvin Cobb, Darlene Schuster, Beth Beloff and Dicksen Tanzil
Unlike other sustainability indices, the AIChE Sustainability Index (SI) accounts for key factors that are fundamental to the chemical process industries.

CEP: Editorial - Alternative Paths to Sustainability

October
2012
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
When I wrote last month’s editorial about my trip down the path to sustainability, I intended it to be the third article of three (“On the Path to Sustainability” in July, “AIChE’s Path to Sustainability” in August, and “A ChE’s Path to Sustainability” in September). My journey began while I was on vacation in Arizona at the beginning of the summer. Unexpectedly, I experienced sustainability from a different angle during my annual end-of-summer staycation. Thus, this fourth article on sustainability — in sports.

Energy Management and Efficiency for the Process Industries

April, 2015
Editors Alan P. Rossiter and Beth P. Jones have gathered material that lays out the underlying management and technical issues that drive successful industrial energy management program. With a foreword by the Hon. Charles D. McConnell, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, the book provides a clear understanding of both scope of the opportunity and the available methodologies for capturing energy savings.

CEP: News Update

December
2014
News Update
Fossil Fuels Inspire Clean-Hydrogen Catalyst; Organic Solar Cells Heat Up; Biomass Waste Gets Upgraded; New Technique Puts Catalysts on the Right Track; and more.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Solving Wicked Sustainability Problems Requires a New Approach

December
2014
Journal Highlight
The challenges facing the world today — including climate change, resource scarcity, food security, water access, and energy demand — are fundamentally different than those of the past. These sustainability issues can be thought of as “wicked” problems — a concept that originated in the 1970s to describe the difficult challenges facing urban planners at the time and that has now spread to other areas, including engineering. In contrast with so-called tame problems, which can be solved by traditional linear, analytical approaches, wicked problems are much more intractable and very difficult to solve.

CEP: News Update

December
2013
News Update
Made-to-Order Materials Move Forward; 3D Photonic Crystal Stands Up to the Heat; Battery Electrode Acquires Self-Healing Power; GHG Emissions Decline as Power Plants Switch to Natural Gas; and more.

Best Practices for Hazardous-Waste Management

August
2008
Environmental Management
Isaac Powell
A waste generator can reduce the risks of incurring financial penalties and damage to its reputation by implementing these hazardous-waste determination, vendor management and document control programs.

Genetically Modified Crops

September
2005
Critical Issues
John Shave
Viewpoint #1 Regulate the Product, Not the Process by Gregory Conko Viewpoint #2 Not All Sugar & Spice

Minimize Wastes from Specialty Chemical Processes

January
2008
Environmental Management
Michael Cipullo, Jeffrey Mueller
Use this holistic approach as the basis for a process development strategy to identify environmentally sound, cost-effective, low-waste-generating processes.

CEP: Editorial- AIChE's Path to Sustainability

August
2012
Editorial
Cyntha F. Mascone
Last month in this space, I wrote about some of the sustainability activities underway in and around Grand Canyon National Park, and how my vacation there got me thinking about AIChE’s sustainability efforts. The most recent initiative is the...

CEP: Editorial - On the Path to Sustainability

July
2012
Editorial
Cynthia F. Mascone
I love soaking up nature — whether I’m hiking over the red rocks of Sedona, strolling along Jones Beach as the waves of the Atlantic Ocean roll in, taking shelter indoors as an angry thunderstorm rages outside, stargazing miles from the nearest town … or just sitting on my porch watching the grass in my tiny New York City yard grow. Whatever the activity, I continue to be amazed at the awesomeness of the world we live in. Yet I wonder what the planet will be like for our children. Will nature still be as wonderful for them as it is for me?

The Rise of China - Progress at What Price?

June
2007
News Feature
Boonsri Dickinson
As China undergoes an industrial revolution, its once pristine lands are being choked by pollution from coal-fired plants. Spurred by the upcoming 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China is quickly cleaning the air. And, it has long-term plans to invest...

Environmental Calculations: A Multimedia Approach

August, 2009
Consolidates information and technical calculations for a wide variety of environmental factors Operating a business facility of any size, especially a manufacturing location, requires environmental permits from a number of governmental regulatory agencies responsible for protecting human health...

Government Perspectives on Sustainability

January
2009
Special Section
Alan Hecht
Advances in science and technology, the application of diverse government regulations and policies, and green business practices are all needed to advance sustainabilty. Biofuels production is a good case study to illustrate how government and...

CEP: Journal Highlight - ChemEs get Schooled in Sustainability

August
2012
Journal Highlight
David T. Allen- University of Texas at Austin, David R. Shonnard- Michigan Technological University
Sustainable design will be required if the world is to support a growing population with increasingly higher living standards.

Minimize Enforcement Penalties

July
2001
Environmental Management
Jessica L. Idzerda
Identify possible New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration penalties by conducting an internal audit and disclosing potential violations.

Controlling NOx Emissions - Part 1

March
2002
Environmental Management
Mike Bradford
NOx emission standards are becoming very tight, especially in the Houston area and in Southern California. Among the technologies to meet these standards are process modifications and energy efficiency improvements, as well as advanced burner...

Estimate Storage Tank Emissions

August
2001
Environmental Management
Jimmy  Peress
Use this shortcut to quickly determine emissions from fixed-roof storage tanks.

Controlling NOx Emissions - Part 2

April
2002
Environmental Management
Mike Bradford
NOx reduction technologies include selective catalytic reduction, selective noncatalytic reduction, and catalytic oxidation/scrubbing.

Develop Effective Environmental Training

September
2001
Environmental Management
Peter J. Stoll
Computer-based environmental compliance training offers a number of advantages. This article discusses the benefits of computer-based training, outlines its most important components, and provides tips for structuring and writing a course.

Understand the Capabilities of Bio-Oxidation

December
2002
Environmental Management
James T. Boswell
Relatively uncomplicated design and simple operation and maintenance requirements make biofiltration a good option for many types of air emissions control.

Estimate Emissions from Vacuum Operations

May
2002
Environmental Management
Jimmy Peress
This article compares empirical methods and test methods for determining air-leakage rates and offers guidelines on their use.

Destroying Organic Wastes: Thermal Oxidizer Basics

May
2005
Environmental Management
Yehuda Goldshmid
This article describes the types of oxidizers, outlines the parameters that affect oxidizer choice, and provides guidance on specifying a thermal oxidizer system.

Looking for Growth in the Chemicals Industry

January
2012
Chem Economics
T. Kevin Swift
Recovery has stalled in developed nations. Debt, unemployment, and the emerging recession in Europe will encumber U.S. growth prospects in the years ahead. One bright spot, however, is the shale gas story.

IGCC Power Generation - Down But Not Out

September
2008
News Feature
Suzanne Shelley
Many technology advances are underway to address cost, CO2 and reliability issues and expand the use of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), a cleaner way to generate electricity from coal.

A ChE's Guide to Toxicology

June
2004
Environmental Management
Lisa M. Sweeney
Toxicology impacts a chemical engineer in a variety of ways. Here's what you need to know about the basics of this field.

Preventing Pollution Around the World

November
2001
Environmental Management
J. J.  Rao
By implementing these strategies at all of its overseas facililities, an international corporation can reap such benefits as increased efficiency, reduced costs and a positive public image.

Correctly Calculate the Potential to Emit

December
2001
Environmental Management
Janet Scheier
Determining maximum capacity and ensuring that permit limits are federally enforceable are critical to calculating PTE.

Audit Your New EHS Software System

October
2004
Environmental Management
Jill Barson Gilbert
A post-implementation audit of the environmental, health and safety management information system evaluates how well the software meets user needs and its value to the organization.

Clean Up Contaminated Sites

January
2002
Environmental Management
Faisal I. Khan
Risk-based monitored natural attenuation effectively monitors the extent of contamination, the associated risk, and the effectiveness of natural clean-up processes.

Radical Designs Boost Resource Efficiency

July
2010
News Feature
Joanna Ziemlewski
The top projects in the recent 10xE Design Challenge showcase the best examples of resource-efficient, integrative design from the chemical engineering community.

Sustainable Development in the Process Industries: Cases and Impact

March, 2010
The complete, hands-on guide to sustainable development Today's process industries must develop natural resources within an eco-friendly framework that balances current demand with future need. Realizing this goal necessitates global vigilance of three key areas—people, planet, and prosperity—known...

Thermodynamics for the Practicing Engineer

June, 2009
Thermodynamics for the Practicing Engineer, as the title suggests, is written for all practicing engineers and anyone studying to become one. Its focus therefore is on applications of thermodynamics, addressing both technical and pragmatic problems in the field. Readers are provided a solid base in...

Industrial Water Management: A Systems Approach, 2nd Edition

May, 2002
This CD-ROM shows how to systematically incorporate the principles of water conservation, recycling, and reuse into the design of new plants, retrofits of existing systems, and technology development. Technology summaries and case studies that support this systematic approach to water reuse, as...

Pollution Prevention: Methodology, Technologies and Practices

November, 1998
As many industries are beginning to learn, pollution prevention technologies offer more than just a way to comply with regulations, or even to “do the right thing.” It also makes smart business sense. The authors of this book, both veterans of DuPont’s in-house waste reduction team, have put...

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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